...And The Volvo You Drove In On!

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Ace notes yet another example of the exempt media doing sloppy fact checking when the alleged fact is to their ideological liking, and compares it to the longstanding dilemma of whether to argue with a professor whose politics run counter to yours, or just spew back what s/he wants to hear:

If you had liberal professors in college, you know this for a fact: Yes, you could argue with them when it comes to final exam time. And, if you present a perfectly-argued essay with very few gaps in logic and sufficiently backed up by evidence, they might even give you a good grade.

But they are going to be reading your essay much, much more carefully, and little slips here and there are going to cost you.

On the other hand... if you just parrot back to the professor the crap she was spouting all semester, you can turn in a rather shoddy effort and get an A.

If you're principled, you may have chosen the former course. If you were me, on the other hand, you almost always chose the latter.

In the Fall term of my senior year in college, I took a freshman sociology course. The professor was an unreconstructed Marxist (two of our alleged textbooks were Feminazi Chowderheads Bitching About Capitalism, Vol DCLVI and It's Not About East vs. West, You Capitalist Pig!, and it was clear ten seconds into his first lecture that the cause of every problem the Third World ever had, has, or will ever have is the fault of Ronald Reagan.

Now I had a dilemma. In that lecture hall with me were about two hundred first-term freshmen, their minds empty. Did I dare let this Commie bastard get away with pumping their heads full of shit, thus guaranteeing another generation of clueless activists, or did I just say "Reagan's fault. Okey dokey." and regurgitate all his shit right back at him?

Let's just say I took the Ace approach. I had two other classes that term (one of which was a compiler construction class), I was working 35-40 hours a week, and I just wasn't going to have the time to deconstruct the little Lenin like he deserved.

I had a small slice of revenge at evaluation time, though. I wrote him an evaluation that went something like this:

I will get a 4.0 in this class, but it isn't because I learned anything. I recognized immediately that I could get an easy 4.0 just by parroting back what you wanted to hear, and, frankly, engaging you in classroom debate wouldn't have been worth my time. The hardest part of this whole class was figuring out how to make "It's all Reagan's fault!" fill up two bluebook pages per essay question without making it look like I was repeating myself. You'll never know which of your 'prize pupils' was merely your echo board (hint: there was more than one of us); alternatively, if you find out who I am and give me anything less than a 4.0 as political punishment, I'll be in your department chair's office filing a protest before the envelope with my grade report hits the floor, because I did 4.0 work all term and I can prove it.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on May 5, 2005 12:47 PM.

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