Saturday, March 11, 2006

So NOW you know what I'm talking about

From another campus correspondent, very close to the action:

Although I'm new to (the nearby university), I've followed your column ever since a friend and former student of yours linked me to it. I have read, I have laughed and I have learned from it. Unfortunately, until today, I never had a reason to write in.

Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy the degree program. I just hate the students. I'm currently enrolled in a course in Free Speech and believe me, I've done my part. I'm the rare over-educated person that you see in the communications program. I'm the one who dominates debates and shreds the other students' ideas to pieces. I like to think I have cut through the ignorance, if even just a bit.

But today, I couldn't take it. Today, the Professor decided to gauge if anyone had their position swayed about free speech thanks to the course. A resounding chorus of "Yes" was issued. That is, save one.

She was a flash of blonde at the very, very far back of the classroom. Before today, she barely ever came to class, let alone talked. Today was her moment to shine. Of course, the Professor had to inquire as to just why she hadn't changed her mind. What she said I'll never forget.

"Uh, like, when people disagree, people get mad. If everyone that wanted to disagree were to remain quiet, we could all be happy."

The room was silent.

My god, I never knew it was this bad. I always thought of you as an honest professor from what I've read; now I think of you as a saint.

Well, hardly that, young grasshopper. But I am a pretty accurate observer, as are you. Thanks for the story!


Blogger John said...

That reminds me of a movie that was recently released on DVD called "Pretty Persuasion." The main character is a high school Ashley and delivers this enlightened speech on race.

"I have respect for all races, but I'm very glad that I was born white. As a woman, it's the best race to be. Especially if you want to become an actress, like I do.

"If I wasn't white, then the next thing I would wanna be is Asian because a lot of men like Asian girls because they think they're docile and subservient and sweet which I don't really think is true because I once met this Asian girl at summer camp one time and she was a real bitch.

"If I couldn't be white and I also couldn't be Asian, then my third choice would be African-American because I've always wanted to be a gospel singer and also, black men are more forgiving if your butt gets big. Except I'd definitely want light skin and Caucasian features like... Vanessa Williams or Halle Berry.

"And finally, you know, no offense or anything Randa, but my very last choice would be Arab. I mean, truth be told you're not in a very enviable position. There's a lot of resentment in this country toward the Middle East and there's a lot of stereotypes floating around which I don't think are true because in the short amount of time I've known you, you haven't tried to bomb anybody and you currently smell okay to me."

I'm sure she'd be right at home in the bubble.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

I have a colleague who may be taking a job at (the nearby university). For his teaching demonstration, he lectured to this same class. When he mentioned that he was interviewing at (the nearby university), I told him he should start reading this blog. I'll be sure to point him toward it when I see him on Monday morning. Very amusing...

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, a member of my cohort in grad school is on a 1 year appointment at SMU. I'm not exactly sad that he's having to deal with exactly this kind of stuff -- he was kind of an asshat.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Jim Bob said...

Someone sure seems to have an awfully inflated sense of self-worth. Sure, the Ashleys are vapid and annoying, but the sense of superiority that non-Ashleys often have to their classmates is just as much of a pain in the ass.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! New to the university, and already so callow and full of oneself. They're young, engage them, help them grow.

That way you'll grow too.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's depressing to see that this goes on at other universities besides SMU. Part of me knew this, the other half just didn't want to believe it.

As for the writer- eh. Wait until they get to somewhere they really have to think.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm the rare over-educated person that you see in the communications program. I'm the one that dominates debates and shreds the other students' ideas to pieces. I like to think that I have cut through the ignorance, if even just a bit."

Before I started law school, someone said to me: If you can't tell who the asshole in class is, then it's you. Sorry, but it is definetly you and not the dumb blond in the back.

You don't go to class to learn any more than she does. Academic arrogance is a sure sign of ignorance.

Prof, I'm surprised you published this. I would have thought this kind of student would annoy you just as much as the Ashleys.


1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She gets. Sometimes the only solution is to put all the unhappy people to death.

1:38 PM  
Blogger J said...

When are you going to give us an update about you and your man? You're well versed in the ways of pop culture and should know all we want to hear about is who's doing what with whom...

12:13 PM  
Blogger Morgaine said...

The person who wrote the letter is young, and it's normal to be arrogant when you are young and bright. It's not unusual if you're old and bright, either. In this case, I sympathize with him. It's a pain in the ass to pull the rest of the class along and have a moron like that blonde waste valuable class time.

I remember a class where we were discussing psychological defense mechanisms, and the teacher described one as "bird of a feather flock together" only to be interrupted by a guy that wanted to argue that that might not be true of every kind of bird... This went on the whole hour, with him not understanding one point she was trying to make.

I'll bet the s.o.b. got a better grade than I did, because his frat gave him the tests ahead of time.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous littlem said...

I've heard that awareness is the first step to recovery.


2:08 AM  

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