December 26, 2009

"My 'C,' 'D,' and 'F' students this semester are almost exclusively American..."

"... while my students from India, China, and Latin America have - despite language barriers - generally written solid papers, excelled on exams, and become valuable class participants."

69 comments:

vbspurs said...

From the article:

Of course, he had it exactly right. Success is all about time management, and in a globalizing economy, Americans’ inability to stay focused and work hard could prove to be a serious problem.

That would make sense if AMERICANS hadn't INVENTED the concept of time management.

Jesus, yet another article putting down Americans for being illiterate or unmotivated. You never ever see these kinds of articles in France or Germany, not because such things don't exist there (oh but they do) but because Americans seem to take an immense delight in poking fun of their own people, always pointing out how dumb they are. It's just one "Jaywalking" Jay Leno skit.

Michael said...

yet another article putting down Americans for being illiterate or unmotivated.

I disagree. I think American students are generally spoiled beyond belief and that their work ethic sucks. They expect their parents to hand them success on a platter and whine loudly when it doesn't happen.

I also think that they're the reason Obama was elected President.

Robert said...

Let me see if I get this straight. People who take the time and make the effort to learn a second language, willing to study abroad, and have real opportunities awaiting them for them back in growing countries work harder than American kids that couldn't be bothered to try harder in high school so that they could to a better college than Babson.

Who'd a thunk?

There are plenty of lazy Indian and Chinese students, but those are in India and China.

traditionalguy said...

The teachers who tell students that all they have to do is show up and look nice to succeed are ruining their students. The learning of a Discipline is motivated by finding a value in the education.By giving all of the students the same reward just for showing up and looking nice destroys that motivation. I blame Walt Disney.

Fred4Pres said...

Obviously Americans are genetically flawed.

Fred4Pres said...

Robert nails it.

Which is why I strongly support an immigration plan based on objective success. Higher education, work ethic, etc. The best and the brightest should be welcomed here.

Fred4Pres said...

Then again, perhaps Kara Miller is just anti American!

kidding!!!

LonewackoDotCom said...

For years I've been reading articles extolling the virtues of immigrants vs. Americans, and it's good to see Althouse finally discussing one example even if it's only the 1,203,832th example.

For a recent non-college example, see #6 here, and note that another well-known (at least to me) booster used almost the same example shortly afterwards. For more, here are a few examples of boosterism, and here are a few uses of "jobs Americans won't do".

(Note: tagging content is something I only added a year ago, so neither of the last are a complete listing; I still need to tag a lot of the earlier posts.)

chickenlittle said...

I'd like to see some objective data rating Miller against her peers. All I can find is a mediocre at the dubious ratemyprofessor.com.

Near the end of his life, Sir Derek Barton made a point of praising his Chinese students and postdocs and how only they would work all day Sundays. Barton himself had "retired" to Texas A & M which lacked age-mandated retirement.

I somehow doubt that Miller is the same caliber as Barton though.

Roman said...

If the people of these countries are so smart, why are they studying in the US? Is that why all of the brightest from this country study in the third world's finest universities?

David said...

Friend of mine here in our little southern backwater town had a daughter who was a sophomore in the local high school. She was doing a half hour a night of homework, getting A's and B's and generally bored and more engaged with social twitter.

With her assent they enrolled her in a boarding school in Virginia that is known for pretty high academic standards. She is still getting A's and B's but has to work 3-4 hours a day outside of class to get them. She's excited and engaged by school and still engaged in social twitter as well.

It's all in what we expect of them. Kids will deliver in the face of high expectations most of the time. The schools expect way too little, of students and teachers.

Don't even get me started on the expectations we set for African Americans. Bush was wrong in describing "the soft bigotry of low expectations" only insofar as he called it soft.

David said...

Roman said...
"If the people of these countries are so smart, why are they studying in the US? Is that why all of the brightest from this country study in the third world's finest universities?"

Because they understand that learning English and understanding the dominant economic power in the world is important to their future?

The better question is why more Americans are not studying in China.

The answer: "Too hard."

Adam said...

It's clear that no criticism of US college students is possible. If our precocious geniuses are compared to foreign students, then the incantation "selection bias" is sufficient to ward off the evil vibes (even though the admissions office is supposed to be doing plenty of selection on its own). If they're compared to US students of a decade or two ago, then the critic is just a clueless geezer who doesn't understand the subtleties of learning and communicating in the post-paper era.

The most surprising thing to me is that this professor has the fortitude to award grades of D and F. I'm surprised she hasn't been fired for teaching incompetence, as measured by her students' evaluations of her.

G Joubert said...

Incoming 1st year American college students are abysmal at writing. I've been hearing that since the mid-1960s when I went off to college - bonehead English or bonehead math, anyone? But I believe it has gotten even worse since then. I teach a few lower division classes in a private college, and writing assignments are always a very wild adventure at leasy with some students.

Big Mike said...

Robert (3:35) has part of the answer, and David (4:28) has another part.

This past year I participated in two international technical conferences. Hardly anybody there -- even professors from American universities -- was American-born. I don't think there's any one thing that explains why our Millennial generation can't compete, but I think we'd better fix a significant fraction of what's wrong. And quickly.

vbspurs said...

Which is why I strongly support an immigration plan based on objective success. Higher education, work ethic, etc. The best and the brightest should be welcomed here.

Though I like to think I resemble that (I say immodestly), and such big libs like my parents would agree with you totally, I actually will disagree.

I agree with Stephen Jay Gould in thinking the treasure that is America could never have been possible without the floods of illiterate peasantry, and other societal castoffs who were disregarded or put down in their own country. From this pot of genetic "inferiors" according to the opinion of the day, arose the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Balfegor said...

If the people of these countries are so smart, why are they studying in the US? Is that why all of the brightest from this country study in the third world's finest universities?

Smart is not the same as knowledge. They may have more raw potential, sure, but they need to get the knowledge, the know-how, from somewhere, and that somewhere at the moment is the USA (or Europe, or Japan, etc.)

Another point to note, though, is that the USA doesn't only attract the best and the brightest -- it also attracts the people who couldn't get into a decent university back home, but can get in in the USA (for diversity or affirmative action or foreigners-pay-full-tuition or other reasons), where they can get a degree that will distinguish them at home, and only have to compete against Americans to get it. Good for motivated students (or motivated families, sending their children over), even if they may not quite be the best and the brightest.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Adam: somewhere between much and almost all of the criticism of US college students isn't constructive. Some of it is more than a bit TokyoRose-ish. Many or most of those criticizing Americans' educational faults while extolling immigrants don't really give a flying fig about what's best for Americans; they'd openly sell us out if they got a chance. 'They’ve just “grown” beyond their country'.

As for vbspurs, wouldn't you know it: I have a tag called the immigration tradition fallacy.

For those on the right who peddle these lines, meet your buddies.

Big Mike said...

My extended family lived the immigrant dream. My grandfather, who came through Ellis Island, was an unskilled worker. His male children were skilled laborers and his daughters mostly married skilled workers. The third generation were mostly professionals, primarily in education. Each generation was taught to respect education and to study hard so that they could do better than their parents did. I've done my best to pass that attitude along to my own offspring.

Of course these days my kids -- when in elementary school, middle school, or high school, sometimes ran into teachers who knew less about the subject they were teaching than my kids did entering class. Add that to the list of reasons why the American kids are 'C,' 'D,' and 'F' students when they face foreign-educated competition in college.

vbspurs said...

From Lonewacko's link:

Immigrants who came through Ellis Island were checked for disease and suitability. And, they were pre-screened by the cruiseship companies, who were charged if someone was rejected. Nowadays, anyone can overstay their visa or just walk across.

I can't disagree that many immigrants who swim across the river are never checked by American officials, but without knowing anything about you so forgive any misunderstanding, I can tell you that BOTH legal immigrants and those applying for visas must provide a clean bill of health TO GET THE VISA. I'm not talking of immigration visas, but merely tourist visas. I know, I had to go through that many times.

And just in case of interest, here is my Immigration Experience coming to America.

Robert Cook said...

I blame the parents.

Seriously.

Balfegor said...

Of course these days my kids -- when in elementary school, middle school, or high school, sometimes ran into teachers who knew less about the subject they were teaching than my kids did entering class. Add that to the list of reasons why the American kids are 'C,' 'D,' and 'F' students when they face foreign-educated competition in college.

There are a few areas where foreign education has better substantive coverage -- basic math, I would guess, and the history of the particular foreign country. But I don't think it's the substantive knowledge from pre-college education that is creating the gap. After all, American students enter with massive advantages in speaking and reading English. It's that foreign education (at least in Korea/Japan, which is the only foreign education system I'm at all familiar with) emphasises hard work, drilling, and acquisition of substantive knowledge -- essentially, they're in many ways like US public education seems to have been 50 or 60 years ago.

vbspurs said...

Balfegor wrote:

it also attracts the people who couldn't get into a decent university back home, but can get in in the USA (for diversity or affirmative action or foreigners-pay-full-tuition or other reasons)

I actually had experience with that. My best chum at Oxford was one Grace Park, of UC Berkeley. She couldn't get into Korea's best university due to the stiff stiff competition, despite her enormous intelligence and sterling grades (as can be seen by the two other universities she could later get into).

But even she told me that what Americans do better than others is creativity. The importance of invention and just not reverse-engineering or parroting perfectly digested information is key to understanding the genius of Americans.

edutcher said...

Balfegor said...

...

Another point to note, though, is that the USA doesn't only attract the best and the brightest -- it also attracts the people who couldn't get into a decent university back home, but can get in in the USA


Remember the old line from "Stripes" where Bill Murray says, "You're Americans. Your parents were kicked out of every decent country."?

There's a lot of truth in that. The ones that come here have a better shot in this country (at least BO), than back home, so they make the most of it - or Mom and Dad see they do.

The other point is that American education has been so dumbed down while discipline has gone out the window, so the average kid, as Michael pointed out, has no idea of what is really required to succeed.

I do have to say, however, that, bar none, the laziest, most incompetent student I have ever encountered (in a graduate marketing class) was from India. Talk about "a day late and a dollar short"!

LonewackoDotCom said...

The visa rules are linked from here. Note that there are 27 VWP countries; I believe that means they aren't subject to this list.

There are some stories about this topic at this tag.

Cedarford said...

vbspurs - I agree with Stephen Jay Gould in thinking the treasure that is America could never have been possible without the floods of illiterate peasantry, and other societal castoffs who were disregarded or put down in their own country. From this pot of genetic "inferiors" according to the opinion of the day, arose the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Except they weren't genetic inferiors. Just generally the best, and best motivated of their class of people...America had no taste for "wretched refuse". They wanted the workers and craftsmen and farmers good enough to be able to afford expensive passage to America.
We weren't taking in the likes of NOLA scum refugees from Katrina. Or Fidels self-identified "bottom 3%" of Cubans via the Ellis Island analogy to the Mariel boatlift or dangerous unskilled "noble Islamist Somali refugees".

================
What we have done in America is somehow believe that if we dumb down schools so that everyone has an educational attainment level of lazy, dumb African Americans...we will be a happier, more equal and harmonious society.
The problem, obviously, is that the rest of the world which we compete with doesn't play by the "dumbed down is best!" rules and their HS'rs are typically 1 to two years ahead of similarly aged American HS grads in subjects likely to get them into a good job later on.

PatCA said...

I am not doubting her experience, but I or my colleagues have different ones. It's like the U.S. protocol of grading and revising and test taking is all show, and so what if I want my servant to take my Spanish test, and so what if I turn in the exact same paper for a final grade without doing the revisions?

University life is part childhood and part adulthood. A student MUST do the work for a class even though he might understand it without taking the tests. I personally don't blame them for sleeping or texting when half their classes are Gen. Ed. required BS liberal arts indoctrination sessions. So, instructors just have to accept that these kids are not all that excited about it. I wasn't back then either.

William said...

Most of what gave western civ its edge was, in fact, invented in China. There was no lack of creativity there. They invented not just things like gunpowder and the compass. They invented the wheelbarrow, oil drilling, fried chicken, paper money, and an endless list of useful things.....Historians speculate on why the Chinese with their enormous industry and intelligence were not the ones to bounce around on the moon and colonize Australia. Some say it was because the Emperor owned everything. When the Chinese invented a mechanical clock, it was installed in the forbidden city for the initiates to admire. When the invention of mechanical clock finally reached Germany, it was installed in the town square for the townspeople to admire. Pretty soon the people in the next town built a bigger and better clock. And so it went. Envy, emulation, and greed do more than Confucian principles not just to make the world go round, but to make it spiral upward.... The really smart Chinese competed to do well in their calligraphy and civil service exams. The capitalists and the military were held in low regard by the Mandarins. The budgets of the military and the opportunities for merchants were purposely limited by this class. Sound familiar?.....I think Americans, by and large, are more apt to justify their lives by making money than by seeking academic honors. As Willy Loman pointed out more fortunes are made by being well liked than by being well read. The American students aren't lazy. They're just biding their time and waiting to pounce.

vbspurs said...

Lonewackodotcom wrote:

The visa rules are linked from here.

Here's an excerpt.

However, foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States to study or work may require certain authorization and documentation prior to applying for a nonimmigrant visa.

And in my day, that certain documentation and authorisation included a copy of your bank statement, a police record clearance, and a letter from one's doctor after having taken a physical, showing you had no diseases like AIDs or syphilis, etc. All notarised, of course.

miller said...

I don't think it's "lazy" as much as it's bad training and discipline.

Face it, it is not hard to be moderately successful in America, and there is an enormous safety net. Students in America can get by with minimal work in high school and get A's. (One of the funniest things is that Ivy League schools get the 'best and brightest' 4.0 students who then routinely flunk basic courses. How can this be?)

Here's my take: I work in the tech industry and I see mostly South Asians and Chinese software developers. Enormous numbers of them, far beyond the generic American ones. And I see few if any black or Hispanic ones. There's something about the societies in India and China that sees extremely hard work and study as a way to get out of incredible poverty. Those students are motivated by their countries' current state of enormous poverty rates. American students lives in a fairly comfortable country and don't have as much of a challenge. So they aren't as motivated.

I don't know why there aren't more non-white American software developers, but I can't think of a single Hispanic software developer where I work, and I work in a company with thousands of software developers and testers. And we have more Israelis than African-Americans working as software developers. Not for lack of trying to get "diversity" - but the American education and familial system isn't reaching these people with a way out of poverty. Parents in India sacrifice mightily to send their kids to universities in America.

Juba Doobai! said...

I'm told that Chinese students are very good at copying papers. They game you by seeming to do all the corrections and grunt work. At the end, they hand over a copy of a paper they've bought or copied or been given. Friends who teach in China tell me that websites which allow them to check papers for plagiarism are an essential tool. You see, they say that failure is not really part of the university system in China. Once a kid is admitted (difficult to get in), allegedly, he's sure to graduate. Since I've no friends teaching in the other areas, I can't comment. However, there ARE lazy American students. The quality of their work and work ethic is abysmal. They prefer to drop a class and hunt for an "easy" teacher than to stay in a class with a demanding one or to learn to do things properly. Happily, not all students fall into this category.

Almost Ali said...

Well, we do have an Affirmative Action president - a student who left no transcript, and no trail - an editor of the Harvard Law Review who apparently wrote no articles - and married an affirmative racist who majored in sociology. And reparations.

With role models like this, we can hardly blame the kids. There's very little left of the merit system. What little remains is trying to figure out how to retain at least a fraction of their hard-earned labors. Because now they have to support millions and millions of trained deadbeats spewing out of America's unionized high schools.

(Of course, we always need government workers, and the more the merrier)

fivewheels said...

It really is all about being lazy, but Ms. Miller's examples are idiotic and lazy as well.

I hate the glib, Luddite blaming of technology, especially videogames. Give me a f'in' break. American kids are too interested in texting on their cellphones? Where do those phones come from? Does she think Japanese kids aren't into smart phones? Please, have you met any?

And pretending that classroom success is somehow inversely proportional to skill in Halo or Call of Duty is just as ass-backward. As someone who was once one of her precious model-minority exemplars, I would bet that after those kids ace her easy tests, they go home and smoke their white American classmates in Xbox Live firefights too. Like Asians don't play the hell out of videogames.

Guess what? Being good at Modern Warfare is a lot like being good in class. It just takes practice, repetition and a comparatively tiny amount of aptitude.

The prof needs a different scapegoat.

kathleen said...

I always resented professors' desire for class participation. Why is/was it my job to make their job easier? I was the one paying tuition, while they were getting paid. Meanwhile, I had to listen to fellow students drone on and on trying to impress. Just teach me, please.

LonewackoDotCom said...

vbspurs seems to have missed the part at the first link in my last comment about waivers: a couple dozen countries' citizens don't need to go through a long process to come here temporarily. In some cases, of course, they stay a "bit" longer than expected.

She also seems to have missed the post at my last link about people basically just being waved through at the border.

former law student said...

Here is the key, in my experience:

Kara Miller teaches rhetoric and history at Babson College.

Babson College offers one major: Business. Business majors are tightly focused on that which seems important to them: their business courses. Rhetoric and history fall under the rubric of "What do we have to take this crap for?" They believe their time and effort would be better spent mastering their business courses -- after all, prospective employers are not looking for history majors to come out of Babson. So they wisely blow off the extraneous coursework.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

But are these so-called hardworking students getting any snatch?

The good professor leaves this question unanswered, doesn't she?

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

This sort of thing is pretty simple to explain. We're selective about students from other countries. We get people who want to be here who often have to sacrifice a great deal just to have a chance at an education.

If you were to take a random sample of students in China, Latin America and India and tested them at home I doubt you would see the same results. Conversely, I imagine if you tested American expat students abroad, they'd test much higher than the average back home.

Also, there are subsets of American students that do better or worse. If we were to exclude poorly performing groups from higher education, as most countries do, I think most of the supposed disparity would no longer exist. That's not a good idea, and we shouldn't do it just to look better in a USA Today graphic.

What I learned from traveling is that foreigners can be remarkably ignorant, too.

Seven Machos said...

The only thing more fun than saying how dumb and lazy Americans are is saying how the fashion model on the cover of the magazine isn't really that hot.

Also, you may have noticed, Rothliesberger doesn't really throw a tight spiral.

former law student said...

I'm thinking UW Law should add algebra to their curriculum. I bet the foreign students would outshine the Americans here as well.

vbspurs said...

I realise this is substantially OT, but I did find the visa procedure to come the US as a permanent immigrant. It's from an American girl's blog (she fell in love with a Brazilian). This is half-way in the process. There's stuff that came beforehand. And Part 3 is the interview.

--a copy of the NOA2

--filled out DS-230 (just the top)
--2 copies of a filled out DS-156 (which you do online and print)
--filled out DS-156K
--filled out DS-157
--filled out FS-257A (this is the Portuguese/English version)
--filled out Sworn Statement

--2 passport-sized photos
--letters of good conduct from local authorities (see your local consulate for request forms)

--original birth certificate and a copy
--original death or marriage certificates and a copy of each
--original military service document and a copy

--receipt from $131 standard US visa fee (in Brazil, you must pay ONLY at Citibank)

--sealed medical examination* (see list of doctors in Brazil here)
--filled out I-134 and supporting documents (proof of citizenship/residency, last tax return, letter from employer, recent pay stubs)**

--foreign fiance's passport


Though I agree with Seven Machos that rich people have an easier time coming over to the US, even they cannot skip these steps.

The tourist visa is less onerous, but not by much, believe me.

Robert said...

Vbspurs,

So what. Went through it with my wife. She was switchings contries for godsakes.

There is the implicit assumption that this will lead to citizenship in the US. No such assumption exists the other way. I would never be allowed to be a citizen in my wife's home country.

John Lynch said...

Paperwork weeds out less educated and lower class people. People with more education and a higher class life experience know how to make the system work for them.

To a less literate or less connected person, a long series of forms and meetings is a deterrent.

I'd contend that that's the whole point of it. Kind of marxist of me.

Bureaucracies also have an incentive to make things more difficult, in order to reduce their workload and to cover their ass in case of a mistake.

Synova said...

I was going to say what Robert said.

Students who study abroad are self-selected to have put in that extra effort. How do American students who study abroad do?

I only know two, personally... my cousin, who studied in Switzerland and ultimately got a PhD in bio-chem, and the valedictorian of my high school class who studied at (I think it actually was) Oxford for one year who became a lawyer.

Yeah, sure, my study sample has only two data, but neither of them represent lazy-ass American students.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

John Dewey must be happy in Hell!

John said...

Humanities college professors suck, because they are paid like shit.

Superdestroyer said...

It would help if people actually looked up some data on Boston College. According to princetonreview.com, Boston College is 2.5% international students and about 8% Asian-American. According to collegeresults.org, the mean SAT for entering freshmen last year was 1350 (math,verbal) and Boston College has an admission rate of about 28% I doubt if the kids who worked hard enough to get into Boston College do not know how to study or work.

According to the collegeresults.org, Boston College has a four year graduation rate of 88% and whites have a higher graduate rate than any other ethnic group.

Please, always take what professors say with a huge grain of salt. The published data does not support what the professor is saying and that does not begin to go into the honest and ethics of international students. .

Pete the Streak said...

Umm....the college in the article was BABSON College, not Boston College.

Just sayin'.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I do volunteer "teacher aid" work (primarily math tutoring) in a 5th grade class at a local (San Diego) public school, and I would estimate that 80% of the students are behind where they should be.

andrew said...

I can blame parents and to a degree incompetent teachers.

Parents are soft. I come from a family like Big Mike's actually, except we're Mexicans (we're stealing your jobs, your education and your women). I work full time graveyards, go to school during the day and I sleep on Tuesdays most of the time. I'm a 4.0 student and I'm thoroughly disgusted by the amount of worthless individuals around me. Its absolutely absurd that these people have the gall to say that Acct 2302 is hard and then ask me to take some of my time to help them. While there was one student who was genuinely having a hard time with some of the course work, the rest were up shit creek because they couldn't be bothered to pay attention.

Discipline, determination, and ruthlessness are the keys to success, which are completely out of this current younger generation's grasp.

G Joubert said...

I always resented professors' desire for class participation. Why is/was it my job to make their job easier? I was the one paying tuition, while they were getting paid. Meanwhile, I had to listen to fellow students drone on and on trying to impress. Just teach me, please.

Becoming educated consists of much more than passive listening. There ought to be MORE participation, not less.

former law student said...

People who enjoy participating in class, quickly become pariahs in law school.

Just sayin'

vw: surtirds -- an excise tax on defecation.

kathleen said...

On the contrary, class is for passive listening. I then go home and educate myself, without having to listen to other nimwits natter on. Why should I pay to listen to someone recite arguments I thought of when I was twelve?

Of course, professors like class participation because it eases their load.

kathleen said...

"People who enjoy participating in class, quickly become pariahs in law school."

or they become president. as I recall, fellow harvard law students had a special contest to see how long obama could drone on in class while being indulged by the professors

David said...

Once again: Expectations.

People perform up (or down) to expectations in nearly all activities.

Our expectations for our teachers and students are far too low.

VegasGuy said...

US lower schools are little more these days than institutionalized child abuse. Universities are moldy excuses that excel in providing comfortable sinecures for Marxists and radicals of various ilk. These sterling types totally infest the faculty, liberal arts, soft "sciences" and "studies", most of which survive by inclusion as requirements in actually useful majors - and by not having to meet any standards of academic excellence or meaningful content. It's PC with tenure.

And the fresh new victims-cum-students, products of union-run "education" factories, are supposed to be bright and attentive in the pseudo courses? Not likely. Those students (and student attitudes) will be found in the physics, math, engineering and hard sciences departments where demanding content like that found in fun courses like partial differential equations, analytical chemistry or fluid mechanics will quickly weed out the weak and texting-addicted.

EDH said...

Don't sweat it Superdestroyer.

I have had my own Emily Latella moments on Althouse also.

Be brave, don't delete!

Seven Machos said...

On the class participaton canard: if you, as a teacher, want participation, then call on people to participate. And make it equal. Don't let the droners drone. Class is theater. You get out of students what you want to hear, or maybe even something interesting, and you make the point you want to make, and you move forward.

Joe said...

I believe one factor is the continuing infantilization of America. Teenagers are simply not permitted to grow up. Teenagers are being locked into pubescent hell. How about we make 16 the age of consent for everything including the legal age of emancipation from parents? How about we halt public education after 16 and tell teenagers to grow up and adults to stop getting in the way.

(I'd compromise at 17, but firmly believe that if society stopped worshiping childhood and placed high expectations on our youth, they'd adjust within a single generation.

And while we're at it, adults need to stop managing every moment of their kids lives and stop hovering over them like ever present guardian angels.

While I'm at it, cut all the budgets at school for activities outside the narrow range of core education. Yes, this includes sports and music and all the other programs that interest groups claim help students. [Not that college is any better--the amount of money wasted their on crap is absurd.])

Joe said...

Humanities college professors [generally] suck because they [generally] are morons who can't get jobs elsewhere. (One of the most bizarre epiphanies in college or high school is realizing that you are being taught by an idiot. Perhaps well meaning and enthusiastic, but an idiot nonetheless.)

Opus One Media said...

Joe said...
Humanities college professors [generally] suck because they [generally] are morons who can't get jobs elsewhere..."

Dear Joe,

As you go off onto your pursuit of higher education and a productive career, mom and I hope that some nice, bright humanities professor takes you aside and pounds some art, music and culture into that thick skull of yours so you might be an interesting person with a broader perspective. God knows your mom and I tried but you were such a feckless son of a bitch we couldn't do it. So you leave us as a completely uninteresting moron with as much grasp of civilization and decorum as a turd in the punchbowl. Duhhh pull your finger you knockknock.

Love

Mom and Dad

Beth said...

if you, as a teacher, want participation, then call on people to participate. And make it equal. Don't let the droners drone.

Mais oui. Good advice.

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Joe said...

Oh Opus, you are so cute. I especially like how you blithely assume that anyone who thinks humanities courses are a waste of time hasn't had enough of them. How quaint. Are you filled with your smugness quotient for today?

So now, please explain why it should be the function of government and of the accreditation committees to enforce this? How many people do you know who took humanities overview courses because they had to and remember anything from them? And what evidence is there that such courses made any difference in their lives? Hell, I majored in Film and remember nothing of these classes except how universally bad the teachers were.

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