kids.

i told you already a little bit about the former Dartmouth lecturer who threatened to sue her students for creating a hostile working environment. for those of you who were wrapping up the semester, the basic idea is that this gal Venkatesan was teaching a Science and Society class at Dartmouth–it is unclear to me if this was an upper level course or a course in Freshman Composition. During a lecture on ecofeminism, one of the students held court, giving a “diatribe”, apparently to disagree with the claim that most scientific research has primarily benefited men/the patriarchy. For whatever reason, all involved viewed this as a watershed event–there was a round of applause from the students, and Venkatesan went to see a doctor in distress, canceled the class for a week, and then decided to sue her students via a lawsuit against the university. she felt the students’ behavior in this instance, and throughout the term was abusive.  this incident seems to have been the last straw.  i have to leave the story there…i’m not sure where the legal complaint stands. I do know Prof. Venkatesan has since moved to Northwestern.

Now…

i sort of love the idea of suing students because they refuse to learn. it is a truly insane idea. (i understand that’s not what Venkatesan thinks–it is what i think of what she thinks.)

i super love the idea that when students have different opinions on the course material–no matter how half-baked, aggressively uninformed, or disrespectfully conveyed–that we have legal cause to punish them. i always thought they were doing themselves enough harm to begin with. if they can’t successfully and respectfully disagree in class, what does that suggest is going to happen in the rest of their lives?

today…

this asshat over at WSJ chimes in, to indict postmodernism. to make his point (postmodernist interpretative work is so easy it is like a filling in a madlib) he cites his own essay from college where he deconstructed (the television show) Pimp My Ride. ROTFL. i should let the kid off the hook since his college essay reference indicates that he’s graduated in the last decade, is therefore a kid still, and therefore is still all ego-screaming, look-ma-i’m-in-the-paper stage of life, but he’s just begging for it: dude. this is a weak argument you make. ‘postmodernism is a corrupt paradigm because i cheesed my way through a college course?’ how about: sometimes you {wonderful, mature, interesting} students are so {wonderfully challenging and engaging} that your professors {read carefully every word you write, preventing any distractions, like television or alcohol from interfering} in order to {grade you slowly, carefully, and exactly}. thus you should always imagine that you {get the last laugh.}

p.s. bonus for rss and sloe: nin is giving away an album, for free.

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