Grade Inflation, adnotated
The original article is here.
Today we're going to talk about the causes of grade inflation. "Wait, is this going to be on the test?"
You're a professor and you grade the paper a C. The next day Type A Personalityi Only Child comes up on you, "how is this a C? I answered the question correctly, didn't I?" Yes, butii you write like a nine year old, 80% of this is the syntactical equivalent of "umm" and "ahhh", and many of your sentences are minimally altered passages right from Wikipedia. "But this is a history class. Why are you grading my writing style?"iii
There's really no good way for a professor to respond to this nut. The depth of his stupidity precludes any explanation from being meaningfuliv; he will not be able to understand that the writing is a reflection of the rigor of the ideas which is a reflection of the knowledge of the material and etc. So you give him an A and head to a strip bar. I sympathize.v
Two explanations are commonly offered for grade inflation-- and let me clarify that the grade inflation people complain about is the kind that happens in the introductory survey courses. No one worries about grade inflation in the 400 level thermodynamics class. 1. Universities don't incentivize teaching, they incentivize research, so the teaching suffers. 2. Students are drunken idiots. While both have merit, let's see if there isn't another explanation that shrewdly protects the unconscious of most of the players.vi
Here's a nice graph:
The only surprising thing to me about this graph is nothing. Since no one over 90 is reading this, let's focus on 1986. What happened in 1986 that changed the grading trend?
Generation X went to college, that's what. Coincidentally, psychological researchers Twenge et al found that that was the year narcissism on campus began to rise:
And by "coincidentally" I mean "not coincidentally." It's hard to tell a growing population of narcissists that their schoolwork blows, so you don't: A. Makes sense.
Most people stop their analysis right there, but you should really go the extra three steps and not just pee in the sink: now those students are 40. They grew up to be the Dumbest Generation of Narcissists In The History of the World, so narcissistic that not only are they dumb, but they do not know how dumb they are and cannot be told how dumb they are.vii They are aware that there are things they don't know, but they are certain that they have at least heard of everything that's worth knowing. Whenever the upper management guys at Chronicle Of Higher Education or The National Review pretend to disagree about the "classics" or "Great Books" or the "value of a liberal education," after five minutes it becomes clear that even they haven't read all those books, or most of them, or even a respectable minority, or three.viii They've read about them, ok, that's what America does, but when you finally pin them down and they admit they haven't read it-- which would be fine-- their final response is of the form "there's no point in reading Confessions now since we've all moved beyond that."ix Oh. And those are supposed to be the smart ones; everyone else in the generation thinks that the speed at which they can repeat the words they heard on TV or read on some magazine's website is evidence of their understanding.
Which brings me to the main point, the other cause of grade inflation that no one ever talks about: in order for a grade to be inflated, a professor has to inflate it. In other words, grade inflation isn't the student's fault, it is the professor's fault. A kid can complain and whine/wine all he wants, but unless that professor buckles, there's no grade inflation. So the starting point has to be: why does a professor inflate a grade?
Yikes. Now that shudder you're feeling is not only why you never thought it, but how it is possible no one else ever brought it up? The answer is: every discussion about grade inflation has been dominated by educators.x
The "college is a scam" train is one on which I'm all aboard, but that doesn't mean each individual professor has to be scamming students; there's no reason why he can't do a good job and teach his students something that they aren't going to get simply by reading the text. If a student can skip class and still ace the class, the kid is either very bright or the professor is utterly useless. Right? Either way, the kid's wasting his money.
And I know every generation thinks the one coming up after it is weaker and stupider, that's normal. But why would a professor who thinks college kids are dumb turn around and reward the King Of Beers with an A?
The answer is right in the chart and in a book by Allan Bloom that most college professors have read about.xi When that professor who was 40 in 1986 was back in college in 1966, he was part of a culture that believed there are no "wrong answers, only wrong questions", like "you really think we should we stop shaving?" or "should we listen to something other than CCR?" And meanwhile the rate of As doubled. So now you have to put up your money: if you believe that grade inflation at that time masks/causes a real shallowness of intellect and education, then those students, now professors, simply aren't as smart as they think they are. Unless you also believe that bad 60s music and even worse pot somehow augmented their intellect.
And if you accept my thesis that narcissism prevents insight because it is urgently and vigorously self-protecting, then these same professors are not aware of their deficits. They think they know the material they are teaching simply because they are teaching it.
The problem is they are grading your papers and they do not know how to value a paper. Of course they can tell an A+ essay and they can tell an F- essay, but they are pretty foggy on everything in between. But they do not realize they are foggy.xii They think the problem is "the students complain." So they judge essays in comparison to others in the class or they fall back on the usual heuristics: page length, sentence complexity, and "looks like you put a lot of work into it."
And worse-- much worse, given that they are supposed to be educators-- they have no idea how to take a so-so student and make him better;xiii what, specifically, they should get him to do, because they themselves were similarly mediocre students who got inflated As. Do you think they got their A in freshman analytic philosophy and said to themselves, "Jesus, I know I really didn't deserve this A, I better go back and try and relearn all this stuff."xiv No: they went ahead and got jobs in academia, so that when a student comes to them asking, "how can I do better?" they can respond, "You need to apply yourself." Idiot.xv The system is broken. You broke it.
Here's an example. Say your essay question is, "describe the causes of the American Civil War." Ok, so far everything the kid knows he learned from Prentice Hall, but something inside him thinks the answer is: LABOR COSTS.xvi Hmmm. Insightful and unexpected, let's see what he does with it.
But there's not much he can do with it, there aren't many obvious resources to pursue this "feeling" he has.xvii He does what he can. It's not that good. C. Grade inflation gives him a B.
Meanwhile, Balboa the el ed major searches carefully in his textbook and discovers the cause was... SLAVERY. He airlifts two sentences each out of five other books, asks for an extension because his grandmother died, adds nine hundred filler words including "for all intensive purposes" and "he could care less", and then waits in the parking lot to threaten you with "but this is a history class. Why are you grading my writing style?" He gets an A.
The problem is that the first kid is strongly disincentivized from pursuing his idea, from becoming a better thinker, in very specific ways.xviii
First, and obviously, since the majority of the students are going to get an A, he just has to do just as well/horrifically as the average student, and if they're all writing about slavery with the enthusiasm of a photocopier then if he wants an A he better buckle down and learn the truly useful skill of masking the words of a Wikipedia page.
Second, he is very nervous about offering a professor anything that he didn't hear the professor explicitly mention, let alone endorse. What if it's "wrong?"xix
Third, because grading an essay is subjective, all professors try to make it objectivexx by attributing value to measurable quantities which are actually stupid. For example: in most undergrad classes, the bibliography counts for 5%, maybe even 10%. How you (that's right, I said "how you") going to pad a bibliography with six sources when you can't even find one to support your thesis? So the pursuit of an interesting thesis is blocked by the 5% of the grade that comes from something that should count for exactly -20% of your grade, i.e. if you have a bibliography, you're a jerk.(1) This false value has two consequences: it "pads" the grade (e.g. the student already starts with an easy +5-30%) so it is easier for him to get an A. But more importantly, it is now easy for the professor to justify giving him an A. "His content wasn't that great, but the points added up; and besides: what the hell would I tell him to improve?"
I can't emphasize that last part enough-- the cause of the ridiculous grading is not the complaining of students but the convenience of the professor.
This is why if you are in a class and you feel the need to ask, "how many pages does this have to be?" and rather than look at you like you just just sneezed herpes on his face he instead has a ready answer, you are wasting your money. I get that you need the degree, I understand the system, but you're wasting your money nevertheless.
Take a quick scan of what these academics consider the highest level of academic scholarship: read their own journals. Here are the first three paragraphs of the first article ("Terrorism and The American Experience: A State Of The Field") in the temporally coincident month's Journal of American History, and I expect you to read none of them:
In 1970, just months before his death, the historian Richard Hofstadter called on U.S. historians to engage the subject of violence. For a generation, he wrote, the profession had ignored the issue, assuming that consensus rather than conflict had shaped the American past. By the late 1960s, with assassinations, riots, and violent crime at the forefront of national anxieties, that assumption was no longer tenable. Everywhere, Americans seemed to be thinking and talking about violence, except within the historical profession. Hofstadter urged historians to remedy their "inattention" and construct a history of violence that would speak to both the present and the past.1
Over the last four decades, the historical profession has responded to that challenge. Studies of racial conflict, territorial massacres, gendered violence, empire, crime and punishment, and war and memory make up some of the most esteemed books of the past generation. Yet on the subject of "terrorism," the form of violence that currently dominates American political discourse, historians have had comparatively little to say. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, a handful of conferences have addressed historical aspects of terrorism, from its nineteenth-century origins to its impact on state building and national identity. Scholarly journals (including the Journal of American History) have devoted the occasional special issue to examining terrorism's roots and present-day implications. Within the historical profession, several book-length works have taken up episodes of terrorism, examining the production of both violence and state repression. Social scientists and journalists have offered sweeping global histories, tracing the problem of terrorism from antiquity to the present.2
As a result, we have a better understanding of terrorism's history than we did a decade ago, but it would be hard to classify this surge of work as a flourishing subfield or even a coherent historiography. Almost a decade out from 9/11, most U.S. historians remain hard-pressed to explain what terrorism is, how and when it began, or what its impact has been. There is little consensus about how best to approach the subject or even whether to address it at all. This is partly because the issue poses knotty political questions: How do we talk about terrorism without reinforcing the "war on terror" or lapsing into hopeless presentism? It also brings serious methodological problems: Is terrorism a word to be traced through centuries of semantic permutation? Is it an epithet to be applied to forms of violence we do not like? Is it a concept to be defined, however loosely, and followed through time?
Like any project that takes its cue from current affairs, constructing a historiography of terrorism requires caution and a light touch...
If a student wrote this I'd punch him in the bladder and get a good defense lawyer, assault charges be damned.xxi I've deliberately avoided the easy targets like the po-mo journals; this is "the leading scholarly publication and the journal of record in the field of American history" and the author goes on like this for 20 pages. Can you trust this professor to grade an undergrad paper? The first two paragraphs are filler, meaningless noise in the guise of a sophisticated introduction. Maybe she can tell an A+ and she can tell an F-, I have no idea, but is she in any position to know a C from a B? And help you improve? Do you want to write like her? If you had questions about the history of terrorism, or terrorism, or history, would you call her?
I picked her because she was at random, but the same forces apply ubiquitously: academic journals are long, boring, poorly written academic-ese that no one reads because whatever insights or information they possess are buried in...the syntactical equivalent of "umms" and "ahhs." Even those who theoretically need journals to do their jobs every day (e.g. lawyers and doctors) avoid them.
Apart from boycotting any classes taught by these people I don't know what the solution is. Some professors cleverly include a "class participation" grade, and these professors pride themselves on using "the Socratic method." Sigh.xxii Asking random students random questions is not the Socratic method, it's annoying, In order for it to be a true Socratic method, the professor would have to ask the student to state a thesis, get him to agree to a number of assumptions, and then masterfully show, through dialogue, how that agreement undermined his own thesis. In other words, the professor would have to have considerable fluency with his topic and be interested in each individual student, as an individual. Good luck with that. xxiii (2)
If you reconsider grade inflation not as a function of the quality of the output but rather as the result of a hesitating lack of confidence about what constitutes good quality-- and again, I'm talking not about A+ and F- but the differences between the B and C levels where most "good" students are; and accept that, simply as a numerical reality, these "average" students are then the ones who (likely with the assistance of grade inflation) go on to become future academics, then a number of phenomena suddenly make a lot of sense. And the most important one is the one that students have long suspected but never dared say out loud: professors do not know the material they are teaching, but they think they do.
An American History professor may be considered somewhat of an expert because he's been teaching the Civil War for the past 15 years, but he's only been repeating what he knew 15 years ago for 15 years. And every year he forgets a little.xxiv How carefully is he keeping up with it-- especially if his "research interests" happen to lie elsewhere?
I know doctors who have been giving the same receptor pharmacology lectures to students for a decade. I know they are narcissists, not just because they are too apathetic to keep up with the field, but because it never occurred to them that receptor pharmacology might have advanced in ten years. They believe that what they knew ten years ago is enough. They are bigger than the science. These aren't just some lazy doctors in community practice, these are Ivy League physicians responsible for educating new doctors with new information. Yet the Power Point slides say 2001. "Well, I'm just teaching them the basics." How do you know those are still the basics? Who did you ask?xxv
You think you philosophy professor re-reads Kant every year?xxvi The last time he did was in graduate school-- when his brain was made of graduate student and beer. Think about this. Hecko, has he even lately read about Kant? Do you think he tries, just to stay sharp, to take a current event and see what Kant might say about it? No, same notes on a yellow legal pad from Reagan II. Does he "know" Kant because he's been "teaching Kant" for 20 years? When in his life is he "challenged" by someone else who "knows" Kant? Seriously, think about this. For two decades the hardest questions he's been asked come from students, and he's been able to handle them like a Jedi. How could he not think of himself as an expert?xxvii
The sclerosis of imagination and intellect that inevitably happens over time will make it impossible for him to grade a paper that does not conform to his expectations. I don't mean it agrees with the professor, I mean his expectations of what a good paper looks like. Students already have a phrase for this: "What he likes to see in the paper is..."xxviii
So when it comes time to write a paper about Kant, it is infinitely less important that he understand Kant then it is for him to understand what the professor thinks is important about Kant-- and it is way easier to get through college this way. And if you have the misfortune of being taught Kant by a guy whose "research interests" are not Kant, forget it. You're getting an A, and he hates you.
This stuff matters, it has real consequences. When one narcissistic generation sets up the pieces for the next generation, and you put the rooks in the middle and leave out the bishops and hide one of the knights, and then you tell the kids that they lack the intelligence or concentration to really learn chess, you have to figure they're not going to want to pay for your Social Security. Just a thought.xxix
Also: TAs are helping grade some of the papers, and some is worse than all. In order to ensure grading consistency, the essay answer has to be structured in a format that facilitates grading-- because if the professor can't value a B form a C, how can a TA? So the answer must mirror the six points in the textbook or the four things mentioned in class. This, again, means you shouldn't spend any time learning, you should spend it gaming the essay. So if the essay question is, "Discuss some of the causes of the Iraq War" you can be dead sure that "some" means specifically the ones the professor thinks are important. There may be others, but you're taking a big risk mentioning them. The TAs are just scanning for keywords. As long as they're in there, even in grammatically impossible constructions, you win. A. (3)
Here's one solution: abandon grades.
"But we have to have some way of objectively evaluating students!"
Haven't you been listening? You can't just suck the Red Pill like a Jolly Rancher, you have to swallow it. Grades aren't objectively measuring people, the whole thing is a farce. The grades are meaningless. Not only do they not measure anything, but the manner in which they are inflated precludes real learning. Stop it.
"Some grades aren't inflated." But how would anyone on the outside know? Can you tell them apart? The long term result will be: bad money drives out good money.
"Well, I earned my As." No you didn't, that's the point. I'm not saying you're not smart or didn't work hard, I'm saying you have no idea how good or bad you are, you only think you do.
"Just pass/fail? But how will employers know a good student from a bad student?" Again, you are avoiding the terrible, awful truth because it is too terrible and too awful: when employers look at a GPA, they don't know anything. The 3.5 they are looking at is information bias, it not only contains no information, it deludes you into thinking you possess information. You can't erase that 3.7 from your mind. In what classes, in what levels, against what curve? Just because employers do it doesn't mean it's useful. They use sexual harassment videos, too.
Grades do not only offer incorrect evaluations of a student's knowledge, they perpetuate the fiction that professors are able to evaluate. They can't. Again, they may be able to tell an A+ and an F-, but a B+ from a B? Really? That's the level of their precision? But a professor cannot ever admit that he doesn't have that precision, because it cannot enter his consciousness that he doesn't. "I've been teaching this class for 15 years." And I'm sure it gets easier every year.
Speaking of Iraq: on the eve of the Iraq War many Americans got together to demonstrate. I'm not in the protest demographic, the only way I'm going to be at a march is if there's alcohol, but I accept the fact that a protest is sometimes the only way to be heard and the last resort against a government that has forsaken you. I get it. Ok. So I'm watching the protests on TV, and a lot of people quite obviously don't want to go to war, and want it stopped at all costs. And I see a group of people with signs walking behind a long banner, and the signs and the banner say, basically, "UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS AGAINST THE WAR."
I've no doubt that there wasn't a little bit of the old Vietnam nostalgia there, but what made me furious was the signs. They actually believed that identifying themselves as university professors was helping the cause? Did they think Americans were going to slap their foreheads, "wow, educated people are against the war, maybe I gots to rethinks this?" Yes, that is exactly what they thought.
They could not see that they were sabotaging their own cause, that anyone ambivalent about Iraq would either not think anything or be blinded by white rage, "look at these mother--" and vote for Bush six more times. These professors were coming from such a profoundly narcissistic stance that they didn't see this, or they didn't care. They may have wanted to stop the war, but what was much, much, much, much, much more important was to be identified as against the war, even if by doing that they were causing other people to support the war.
Here's what TV didn't show: the next day, those professors went to their classes, taught a bunch of anxious, restless but bored students stuff that they really had no business teaching, and later asked them to write essays that could be graded essentially as multiple choice questions so that they wouldn't really have to read them. If these professors didn't realize or care that that they were violating their own principles about war merely to self-identify, do you think they care about you? They have much bigger things to worry about. A.xxx
1. Bibliography, as distinct from references. Anyone who produces a Bibliography without specific references as some sort of support of the truth of their idiocy is on notice. I'm talking to you, DSM.
2. An interesting educational experiment would be to come at things form a negative perspective. "Look, class, Hegel was a complete jerk, and his ideas were infantile pseudo-buddhism garbage. I'll give 50 points and a candy bar to anyone who can explain to me why." And see if that doesn't inspire the student to want to understand what Hegel was trying to say. I don't know if this will work. I know that a disengaged professor saying that Hegel is a great German philosopher and then reading lecture notes written back in 1986 on a yellow legal pad very clearly doesn't work.
3. Here's an essay I'd love to read, hell, love to write: "There are numerous "established" causes of the Iraq War, yet they almost always cite reasons that occurred after 1990. Please watch the 1975 film Three Days of The Condor. Other than a Tardis, what explanations could there be for director Sydney Pollack's ability to predict the future with such accuracy? Please discuss some of the events of the late 1960s to early 1970s that made the finale's prediction possible.———
- UStards still being UStards, "type A personality" is supposedly a point of reference now.
For actual, civilised people it's just a lightweight rebranding of the sangvine type as described in the old texts, with the added condiments of not only the UStards' universal need to misrepresent their dismal, artless copycraft as "branding", but also the peculiar needs of random commercial combine (tobacco producers, in this case) towards muddying the waters of parochial public discourse occuring in that country. Just think "non-phlegmatic" and you're good to go, practically speaking.
Being American is shameful, in and of itself, by the way. It means you're a lesser person than you could have been anywhere else. [↩]
- This is not a "Yes, but", this is a No.
The notion that one can "answer the question correctly" as if it's some sort of 8 * 8 where for as long as you scrawled down "64" you've answered "correctly" deeply misses the entire point of humanities. The usual example deployed to try and help lay people overcome their mental infirmity and perhaps come to some sort of vague understanding of this purely academic point is
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.
Alternatively, there's also pro idiotas, there is the very plain statement that "your idea" CAN NOT BE an idea because it is coming from you, for as long as you aren't someone, and so forth. All sorts of evil, elitist, unwelcome, undesired but nevertheless controlling if antidemocratic, divisive, unequalitarian and anti-humandignitarian notions. In short : no matter what words this kid wrote down, he is wrong and deserves an F. End of story. [↩]
- No, he is grading your whole person. It's the actual point of the entire class, and the whole reason an entire stable of adults even gets up in the morning to fight traffic to go sit with some idiot kids for hours on end. [↩]
- Whether the explanation is meaningful to the student or not is a red herring. The explanation must be sufficient, not meaningful. If the student gets unruly there's a rod for that. [↩]
- I do not. [↩]
- You have to give it to Ballas, he has the proper methodology. [↩]
- Strange that a D-K reference isn't in there. [↩]
- This is my impression as well. [↩]
- Sort-of like army officers imagine there's no point to passing the physicals anymore - they've also moved beyond that. Sort-of like "CEO"s have moved beyond profit and the press moved beyond sense and everyone moved beyond the shed where it restlessly awaits being shot already. [↩]
- Riddle me this : if discussions about problems in education are to be dominated by educators, then why should discussions about crime not be dominated by criminals ?
Every gang rape is a very pleasurable experience for at least eleven of the twelve people present, right ? And they should know all about it - in fact, if one's to obtain an "objective" (in the faux sense of that term as used in the US) assessment of any gang rape, they really should ask the eleven. They were the ones mostly watching, mostly calm, the girl in the middle had too much going on to really notice what's going on, right ?
Educators opining on education is not like physicists opining on physics. It's like Central Casting models in "lab coats" blathering on TV. It's like "Earth Sciences" "experts" discussing policy. It's a sickening sight. [↩]
- Note that "about".
I have a few friends (lawyers, hedge fund managers, high powered money types generally) who make sport of hunting and humiliating UStardian college professors socially. It is a sport I would like to see extended to the middle class. Next time you're at a pretentious party and you spot some douche in the uniform of "college professor", go see if you can make him admit he's not read a whole book in a decade, hasn't understood one since the last time he tried to read drunk and generally speaking survives from day to day on fishwrap articles and the occasional cliffnote.
These empty rattleholes go around derping faux social consensus about how "bankers are evil" and bla bla, progressive taxation and what have you ? Take the 2`000 dollar hairdo chicks to watch them fumble and stumble and suck your cock in public. It's the least you can do, and you definitely owe this much to the general partners. They're paying for the drinks, after all, right ? Make it worth their while. [↩]
- This happens to be an excellent point. See, it was true, earlier, that grading is a reflection of the rigor of the ideas which is a reflection of the knowledge of the material and etc. In this sense, grade inflation is in and of itself proof that the supposed teachers do not master the material they are teaching. [↩]
- This observation, in case you are wondering, is why we even are reading this together in the first place.
You see... I am an absolute teacher. Not in the sense that I am any good at it, mind you. I used to think I was good at it on the simple grounds herein described : I am teaching, aren't I ? So I must be good. But now that I've taken the time to think about it I no longer believe so.
I am however an absolute teacher because through luck, or good fortune, or the benevolence of benevolent others, or through any other blessing or happenstance or whatever you wish just as long as it isn't my own merit I find myself invested with absolute power over a number of students. It's not that I can, like any teacher out there, write down some bad letter on a piece of paper. Or talk to their parents about it and hope it does anything. No - I am special, I am judge and executioner, I can order jail and make it stick, I can order corporal punishment and apply it myself, I can do whatever I damn well think of. This is what makes one an absolute teacher, and irrespective of how one ends up with complete dominion over another, what that dominion makes him is a teacher and naught else. So here I am.
How do you take a so-so student and make them a better one ?
This is not an idle question. Consider it well. What if the student doesn't think they're progressing, for instance ?
Take the simple case of looks, there's a physical component which makes everything easier. Suppose a woman that has been, through diet and exercise and aesthetics training, through both example setting and reprimand, positive and negative enforcement, has been going against odds and looking better each year than the previous, between twenty and thirty. This can be done, by the way, it sounds impossible but it is really trivial. And yet... she doesn't think so. She thinks she grew fat. And then, if confronted with nude pictures a decade old, she understands, as a function of cognition, that no, this is not so, on the contrary. Yet goes on to think she grew fat. Not in the sense of anorexia even, necessarily, just, as a serious dislike of her own body. She's ugly, for which ugly fat is a proxy, and notwithstanding she's anything but. So you explain that ancient Toqueville point, that for the oppressed oppression seems like nothing whereas to the recently liberated the slightest, most tolerable remaining infringements are unbearable, that modest imperfections are magnified by the success enjoyed in clearing more significant ones ? Suppose it doesn't stick.
But what does it matter what she thinks, a slave's body is not hers or for her, as long as you're happy all's well, right ? O ye of little knowledge, let's move on. Take a girl that knows not how to add, as a 20something college major. So you force her to learn arithmetic, twenty years after she should have mastered it. And then you make her understand the basics of mechanics, and how numbers and more broadly speaking (is it more broadly ?) math control everything around, and now she can figure on her own how fast a bottle of wine has to be thrown so it goes into orbit, and how much "carbon" goes into the kitchen air to boil a pot of water and everything else. The result ? She wistfully would like to know math. Which she does, but... she wants to know it like you do. That's what, three sigmas away from human experience ? Four ? Who even knows, but the fact of the matter is that in teaching, if you're any good at it, if you actually teach as opposed to building walls of pretense, you are ALWAYS going to take a so-so student and make them worse. What did she know, before she could multiply ? "About say maybe half the math", yes ? And after ? A tenth ? And if you teach her Taylor series it will go to less than one percent ? It will, as it must.
So you are, in the strict logic of the system, taking so-so students and making them ever shittier. This does obviously not promote self-satisfaction, and so it necessarily has no place in the US vulgate. It's just not a thing to do, it's abuse not education, taking people and making them less in their own eyes. So what if that less is only relative, they know more which means they can appreciate more ? Back when the circle had a radius of one and could see one out past that, the portion covered was but one, but the portion seen but four. Triple that, if you will, and it's not easy - now the nine covered is scant consolation for the THIRTY SIX that's visible. A unit covered is worth nothing, each single unit seen uncovered is pure pain. That's how the mind works, exact opposite of the thing that sinks socialist economies.
What can you do ? You want to be a good teacher, don't you ? God knows you have all the tools that one could ever want, chief among which love, so what's keeping you ?
The problem, I believe, is insoluble. A "good teacher" is the exact equivalent of "a good use of time" : thermodynamically impossible, enthalpic nonsense. The roots of the tree of knowledge may be bitter, but the fruit are definitely unflattering. For the sort of people for whom unflattering is the worst sort of bitter, education is forever impossible. [↩]
- Amusingly, this was exactly my experience. [↩]
- Yet when anyone tells them anything other that vague, unactionable bullshit, they start backing out like we're suddenly on the set of a horror movie which they've already seen. Try it. "Make a list of all the philosophers you heard of, pick up one of their books, open it randomly, copy down the paragraph you landed on and do a full grammatical analysis on it! You know, like in 7th grade. Back in 1880, probably, as I somehow doubt they still do actual anything in class anymore. "Oh, you can do that ?" Of fucking course you can do that, why the everloving fuck do you imagine they even used to teach that in the first place ? This is why, so you could of your own volition use it as an analytical tool against the world! So as to learn, so as to go to the core of things, of your own, on your own, by yourself. What did you think it was for! "Oh, I didn't think it was for anything, I just thought it was there to waste some time doing things you'll never do again irl". Idiot! It's somehow the tool's fault that you are lazy now ?! [↩]
- Obviously the correct answer. [↩]
- "College trains libertards", right ? There isn't anything for kids to read that'd yield any other result! What was written in English that's worth reading ? And who teaches them French [other than to read postmodern shit] ? Who teaches US kids German ? Who beats his 16yo every night between 11:30 and 12:00 until he's finished Critik ? [↩]
- The bigger problem is that the second kid will depend on his parents, the government or the mercy of strangers to be fed. For he can't feed himself. The first kid could, but you didn't give him a chance. [↩]
- Yeah, what if ? [↩]
- This is by far the cheapest idiot-detecting heuristic available. People who approach a subjective process with either a desire, and an expectation or an intent to "make it more objective", irrespective for what reason [they pretend to be doing it], or to what purpose, or in what manner are the idiots. Always.
They're the dudes who want to discover the secret technology of "making women like them". Fancy that, it's not like it's subjective or anything, they want the objective TRICKS. That'll make ~~~any woman~~~ fall for them. Sort-of like car keys, that's what they want, universal car keys, but for women. How do you hotwire a woman ? [↩]
- I agree it's pretty miserable, but the form doesn't even bother me. Consider this phrase :
Almost a decade out from 9/11, most U.S. historians remain hard-pressed to explain what terrorism is, how and when it began, or what its impact has been.
Seriously ? Historians, let me insist, historians are pressed, and not merely to record but actually to explain events that happened DURING THEIR MOTHERFUCKING LIFETIME ?!
It's not daytime TV, it's history! It is specifically forbidden from discussing current events, it says so right in its constitution. For as long as anyone involved still lives, the matter can not be discussed as history, period. Someone blathering in such profound ignorance of the core tenets of the very field he purports to be qualified in disqualifies himself not only from that field, but from literacy altogether! What in the living hells is this crap and who let this drunk out of the bar!
Beverly Gage is perhaps too old to star in xhamster movies, but this is not sufficient excuse to pretend like she has any business at Yale. She does not, and her presence there, however brief, reflects rather miserably on the whole institution. [↩]
- Again : being an UStard is the worst thing you could possibly be. It's not so much that you go around in a land filled with beer that's really alt-flavoured fanta and cheese that shares a precursor with shoe soles and door filling. It's that you go around where some idiots put bedsheets on their head and think themselves Marcus Cesar or whatever his name was, and go about applying "the Socratic method" of picking their nose. The cheese you could survive, the bedsheets never. [↩]
- Amusingly, Romania was finding itself in a very similar situation to current US : back in the 1890s! Here's a bit from that time, displaying in its full glory the famous Mr. Mariu Chicos Rostogan's "Socratic method" :
D. Marius Chicoș Rostogan, distinsul nostru pedagog absolut, și-a început cariera printr-o memorabilă conferență didactică.
Mr Marius Chicos Rostogan, our distinguished absolute pedagogian, started his career with a memorable didactical conference.
Vom da aci mai la vale conferența în rezumat, apoi câteva note, luate după natură, despre activitatea în praxă a eminentului pedagog.
We shall reproduce below the conference in summary, and then some notes, taken from nature, as to the actual activity of the eminent pedagogian.
Trebuie prealabil să spunem că d-sa, totdeauna înainte de e și i, pronunță pe:
n ca gn franțuzesc,
t ca k,
d ca gh,
g ca j,
c ca ș.
It must be specified that he makes the following mess of normal pronounciation : [elided].
Aceasta pentru ușurarea citirii citatelor din vorbirea d-sale, pe cari voim să le transcriem pe cât se poate cu pronunțarea lor originală. Cititorul va suplini părțile din cale afară originale, pe cari ne-a fost prea greu să le transcriem exact, ca de ex. gn și g.
This mention is made to simplify the notation of quotes from his speech, which we wish to transcribe as much as possible with their original pronounciation. The reader will supplant the truly outrageously original parts, which we found too hard to transcribe exactly, such as for instance the gn thing.
Vom căuta să ne roskim astăzi ghespre metoda ghe a prăda grămakica în jenăre și apoi numai doară ghespre metoda intuikivă și ghespre răspunsurile neapărake, nețăsitake ghe lojica lucrului, amăsurat inkelijinții școlerului!"
We shall aim to speek today hof ze method of deploring gramatiks in jeneral and then just only hof intuitive method and nekessary, nekessitated by the lojic of matter answers corresponding to the intelligenke of the schoolboy!
Așa începe d. conferențiar. Cui nu a asistat la conferența aceasta trebuie să-i spunem că pedagogul pune întrebările și presupune și răspunsurile. Așa că urmarea, deși s-ar părea o conversație între pedagog și școlar, este însuși corpul conferenții. Iată rezumatul acestei superioare opere didactice.
So begins the lecture. We must inform whosoever hasn't attented such a conference that the pedagogue asks the questions and also voices the answer. So the following, while it might seem a conversation between pedagogue and student, is the very corpus of the conference. Here is, in summary, this superior didactical opus.
Pedagogul: No! ce-i grămakica?
The Pedagogue: Now! What's gramatiks?
Școlerul: Grămakica iaste...
The Student: Gramatiks is...
Pedagogul: No că-z ce iaște? că-z doar nu iaște vun lucru mare.
The Pedagogue: Now for what's ising! For'z not ising som' gran' thing!
Școlerul numai apoi se răculeje și răspunghe: grămakica iaște o știință ghespre cum lucră limba și lejile mai apoi la cari se supune aceea lucrare, ghin toake punturile ghe veghere.
The student then forthwith recollects himself and responks : gramakiks is a science as to how language works and the ulterior laws to which that working answers, frohm all punctures of viewing.
Pedagogul: Bravo, mă! prostovane! (îi zic așe doară nu spre admonițiune, ci spre înghemn și încurajare). No, acuma, spune-ne tu numai cum se împart substankivele? Școlerul, la întrebarea aceasta a mea doară, musai să răspunză, nețăsare, amăsurat priceperii și rățiunii sale:
The Pedagogue: Well done, dumbass! (I say thus therefore not towards admonition but towards encouragement and impetusion). Now then tell us you just how noms are divided ? The student to this question of mine therefore must answer, necessartly, by measure of his ability and ransom :
Școlerul: În substankive care se văd și substankive cari nu se văd - reșpeckive concreke și abstracke!
The Student: In noms that are seen and noms that are not seen - respekily cankerous and chartruse!
Pedagogul: Apoi merem mai gheparte pe ogorul pedagojic și punem cheskiunea doar: Ați auzit voi, copii, ghespre jăn? Ce iaște jănul?
The Pedagogue: Then we further proceed on the pedagogical acreage and embattle the kestion just : Have you children heard of jeen ? What is the jeen!
Școlerul răspunghe: Jănul e cumu-i lucru: masculin, femenin și ekerojen au neutru, reșpeckive ghe bărbat, ghe femeie și ghe ce nu-i nici bărbat, nici femeie.
The Student: Jeen is as the thing's being : masculine, feminine or ekerojeen or neutral, respektivle hof man, hof woman an' hof what's not man nor woman.
Pedagogul: Esemple doară...
The Pedagogue: Esamples therefore
Școlerul apoi musai se exprime astfel:
The student necessarily will express thusly : the horse is masculine nom, it turns to foal and becomes feminine.
Pedagogul: No! dar neutru?
The Pedagogue: Now! But neutral ?
Școlerul (inoțent cumu-i, el nu poake da exemplul aghecvat; eu, pedagogul, atuncia-s gata să-i dau ilustrățiunea keoriei)...
The student, innozent as he is, finds untable giving aquekate examplings ; I the pedagogian therefoare's ready giving the illustraction of kheory) : Neural! Neutral afterwards, if the horse's masculin and the foal femininal, neutral's the ass, which is neither horse nor foal nor donkey nor horse : he's an ass wherefore mulatto of both jeens and presidents for which matter one consults zoologhey, which is another naturally science and thus naturalia non sunt turpia!...
După aceea doară, școlerul musai să fie, în rățiunea să puerilă, eghificat pe gheplin ghe jănurile tutor substankivelor.
After that therefore, the student necessarily must be, in his puerile reason, tutentirely ekified hof all nom jeens.
Vine numai dup-aceea cheskiunea makemakică... Spune-ne tu doară, Bârsăscule! (zic eu școlerului) ce înțăleji tu prin curbă, o linie curbă?
Then just thereafter comes the makemaki chestion. Say you therefore, B (I say to the student) what you usterdend through curve, a curve line ?
Școlerul: Care nu-i ghireaptă...
The Student: Which isn't straikt.
Pedagogul (zâmbind cu bunătate): No! care nu-i ghireaptă, bine! da' cumu-i, dacă nu-i ghireaptă?
The Pedagogue: Now! That isn' straikt, good! But howsit, if not straikt?
Școlerul mai apoi vine la aceea înduplecare a rățiunii că musai va să răspundă minken:
The student therefore comes to that giving up of reason that's necessarily going to momenkarily respunk : It's bent, a bent line that go an' go an' go an' again retorns whence nail it processed.
Pedagogul (jucându-și serios rolul): Bine! răspuns limpeghe! chiar! reșpeckive esact... No acuma, spune-ne cine au invăntat numerele?
The Pedagogue (seriously): Well! Limkid answer! Verily! Respektive esact... Now then, tell you us who invanted numbers ?
Școlerul acuma, după memorare numai, căci memoria e, cum zice Tubinghen, pur animală, răspunghe ca animalul: numerele pare, reșpeckive cele cu soțiu, le-au invăntat Pitagora, iar mai apoi cele impare, reșpeckive cele fără soțiu, le-au invăntat Eratoskenes!
The student now, through memorization only, for memory is, as says Tubinghen, purely animalic, answers like the animal : the even numebers, respectively with husband, was invented Pitagoras, and then later those odd, respektively without husband, was invented by Eratoskenes!
Cum veghe, onoratul aughitoriu, toake răspunsurile școlerului după metoada intuikivă moghearnă sunt nețesitake prin lojika lui, proprie vorbind născândă, dar completaminke formată printr-o educățiune aghecvată cercustanțelor, probăluike ca gherivând ghin natura noastră, carea lucră pe cum e mânată mai gheparke.
As the esteemed auditorium can see, all aswears of the schoolboy through the intuikive moghern methoad are necessitaked through the lojiks of itself, properly speaking birthing, but completketamine formed through adekwate edukating to cercularcens, provked gherivking hof our nature, which works as it is driven vorwarts.
Într-o viitoare conferență, vom cuvânta apoi ghespre această natură iarăși în aplicățiunile sale în raport cu pedagojia, cu beserica și cu ișcoala!
In a future conference we will word hof this nature again in aplicatings of itself with reports to pedagojee, charch and ischool.
(Aplauze. A doua zi, pedagogul nostru este numit în slujbă profesor "ghe pedagojie în jenăre și ghe limba makernă în șpețial". Să-l vedem la lucru.)
(Applause. The next day, our pedagogian is given a job teaching "hof pedagojee in jeneral i hof makernal language in spekity". Let us see him at work.)
Profesorul: Că-i onorat domnul inșpectore va binevoi doară un momânt să asculke aplicățiunea metoaghii intuikive.
The Professor: That the honored Mr. inspector will please for just a moment to listen to the applicationing of the intuikive moghern methoad.
Inspectorul se așează, scoate carnetul și condeiul și ascultă.
The inspector sits, takes out a notebook and pen and listens.
Profesorul: Mă! prostovane! tuala ghe colo.......... Spune-ne tu doară: ce iaște ființă și ce iaște lucru, mă?
The Professor: You! Dumbass! You that one there... tell us therefore : what is live and what is thing, yo?
Elevul: Lucrul, dom'le, este care nu mișcă, și ființă pentru că mișcă!
The student: Thing, sir, is that which moves not, and live for it moves!
Profesorul: No! dar ornicul meu... prostule! ființă-i ori lucru?
The Professor: Now! But my pocket watch, stupid! Think is ? Or lives ?
Elevul: E lucru, dom'le!
The student: It's a thing, sir!
Profesorul: Că'z doar mișcă, mă! auzi-l! (bagă ceasul în urechea elevului).
The Professor: For that it moves, yo! Listen-it! (sticks the watch in the student's ear).
Elevul (ferindu-se): Da, dar dacă nu-l întoarcem, nu mișcă.
The student: Yes, but if we don't turn it, it doesn't move.
Profesorul (satisfăcut): Bravo! (cătră domnul inspector:) Ș-apoi doar ăsta-i ghintre cei meghiocri... Bine! (Elevul trece la loc.) Tu, mă! ălălant ghe lângă el... Câke picioare are boul, mă?
The Professor (satisfied): Bravo! (towards the inspector) And this one's more amongs the mediocre.... Well! (the student goes back to his place). You! The other one next to him... how many legs has an ox ?
Elevul: Patru, dom'le!
The student: Four, sir!
Profesorul (vesel): Ei, pe dracu! că-z doar n-o să aibă șapke!... și ce e boul cu patru picioare? lucru ori ființă? Ha?
The Professor: The hell you say! Like it wasn't going to have sevent! ... And what is the ox with four legs then ? Thing or live ? Ha ?
Elevul: Ființă, dom'le!
The student: Live, sir!
Profesorul: Dar masa ființă-i?
The Professor: But what the table ? Is it live ?
Elevul: E lucru, dom'le!
The student: It's a thing, sir!
Profesorul: No! că-z n-are și ea patru?
The Professor: Now! For hasn't it also four ?
Elevul: Da, dar nu se mișcă, dom'le!
The student: Yes, but it doesn't move, sir!
Profesorul (și mai vesel): Ei! pe dracu! să se miște... poake doar că cu șpirikismus!
The Professor: Eh! The hell! How'd it move... mayghaps just with spirtikismus.
Inspectorul (tușește tare și caută să schimbe vorba): Mă rog, cum îl cheamă pe elevul acesta?
The Inspector (coughs loudly and tries to change the topic) If you will, what's this student's name ?
Profesorul: Anibal Ioanescu.
The Professor: Anibal Ioanescu.
Inspectorul: Răspunde bine.
The Inspector: He answers well
Profesorul (cu siguranță): Că-z ăsta-i ghintre cei bunișori!... No! la gheografie acuma... Mă! tu ghe colo... Spune-ne tu doară toake ștakele Europei.
The Professor (sure of himself): For this one's of the betterish! Now! For geographiks now! You that one there... tell us then all the states of Europe.
Elevul: Franța, dom'le.
The student: France, sir.
Profesorul: Franțiia, bine!
The Professor: Freenchia, good!
Elevul: Anglia, dom'le.
The student: England, sir.
The Professor: Ising!
Elevul: Germania, dom'le.
The student: Germany, sir.
The Professor: Ghermania.
Elevul (se pornește repede. - Profesorul dă din cap afirmativ la fiece nume de stat cu satisfacție și cu mândrie): Elveția, Rusia, Suedia, Italia, Belgia, Olanda, Turcia, Bulgaria, România, Serbia, Muntenegru și Grecia... dom'le!
The student (starts quickly - the Professor nods affirmatively for each state name with satisfaction and pride) : Switzerland, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece... sir!
Profesorul (încruntându-se): Și apoi mai care, mă?
The Professor: And then which ?
Elevul: Atâtea, dom'le!
The student: These, sir!
Profesorul (începând să scrâșnească): Dar Șpania, mă?
The Professor (griding his teeth): What of Spain!
Elevul (intimidat): Și... Spania, dom'le!
The student: And... Spain, sir!
Profesorul (mai aspru): Dar Șpania, unghe-i Șpania?
The Professor: What of spain, where is Spain ?
The student: ... ?!
Profesorul (magistral): Șpania-i lângă Portocalia, mă boule, și vițăversa!
The Professor: Spain's next to Orangeland, you cur, and viceversa!
Elevul (aiurit): Și... Spania și Portocalia, dom'le!
The student: And... Spain and Orangeland, sir!
Profesorul (din ce în ce mai sus): Și mai care?
The Professor (ever more acute): And then which!
Elevul (pierdut): Virțăvercea, dom'le!
The student: Viceversa, sir!
Profesorul (indignat): Nu Vițăvercea, mă! Dănimarca, mă! Dania, mă! (Șoptind amenințător printre dinți:) Dania tătână-tău! (Energic:) Merji la loc, boule!
The Professor: Not Viceversa! Denmark! Danja! (whispers threateningly through teeth) Your dad's deed! (With energy) : Back to your seat, oxhead!
Elevul pleacă obidit la loc.
The student goes back depressed.
Inspectorul (conciliant): Ei, oricum, tot a știut destul de bine.
The Inspector: Well anyway, he knew pretty well.
Profesorul (încă fierbând de ciudă): Pe dracu! știut! Traiane Ghiorghiescule! Vină tu... Spune-ne tu doară, s-audă și onorat domnul inspector: dacă sunt în lume apoi câte le veghem doară, cine le-au făcut pe toate?
The Professor (still boiling with rage): The hell! Knew! Traian Gheorghescu! You come... say then thus, so honored Mr. inspector can hear : if there are in the world what all we see therefore afterwards, who's made them all ?
Elevul (sigur): Natura, dom'le!
The student: Nature, sir!
Profesorul (zâmbind cu bunătate filozofică): Ei, pe dracu! Natura!... Dar pe Natura aia cine au făcut-o, mă prostovane?
The Professor (smiling with Platonic kindness): The hell ? Nature! And that nature, who made it, dumbass ?
Elevul: Dumnezeu, dom'le!
The student: God made it, sir!
Profesorul: Dar vezi bine că Dumnezeu, că-z doar nu tată-tău și mumă-tă!... No! acuma... noi, românii, musai doară să șkim pe cum că: ghe unghe ne trajem noi?... ghe unghe?... spune!
The Professor: Well right and proper God, not like your mom and dad! Now then! We, the Romanians, must thus know as for which : therefore whenceforth we come! Whence! Speak!
Elevul (energic): De la Traian, dom'le!
The student (with energy): From Trajan, sir!
Profesorul (făcând cu ochiul inspectorului, care stă în admirație): Și cine era Trăian?
The Professor (winking at the Inspector, who looks on admiringly): And who was Trajan ?
Elevul: El era un om bun!
The student: He was a good man!
Profesorul (emoționat): Bun, drăguțul ghe el! zic zău lui Dumnezău, bun!... și cu cine s-au bătut el?
The Professor: Good, dear him, hand to God, good! And who did he fight ?
Elevul (brav): Cu turcii!
The student: The Turks!
Profesorul (râzând cu mult chef): Pe dracu! Că-z unghe erau turcii până atunci în Europa... Mai târziu doară apoi s-or ghescoperit turcii... (Puternic:) Cu dacii, mă!
The Professor (laughing heartily): The hell! For where were Turks at that time in Europe... Later then were discovered the Turks.... (Strongly) With the Dacians!
Elevul (mai brav): Cu draci!
The student: The Dracians! [Word sounds almost like "Devil" in Romanian.]
Profesorul: Că zău lui Dumnezeu că cu draci s-o bătut!... Dar mai apoi, Ștefan cel Mare și Michaiu Bravul cine au fost?
The Professor: Hand to god devils he fought... But then later, Stephen the Great and Michael the Brave who were they ?
Elevul (mândru): Ei erau oameni buni.
The student: They were good men.
Profesorul (aprobând cu tărie): Buni, mă !... și s-au bătut...
The Professor: Good, they were! And they fought...
Elevul (cu multă mândrie națională): Cu draci!
The student: Devils!
Profesorul (entuziast): Cu draci! zic zău lui Dumnezeu!... Merji la loc!... Bravo, prostovane! (Către inspector, care e transportat:) Că-z ăsta doară iaște un școler emininke!
The Professor: Devils! Hand to god!... Go back to your place. Well done, dumbass (To the inspector, who is transported) This one's an emineker student!
Inspectorul: Are și mult talent!
The Inspector: He also has much talent!
Profesorul (cu siguranță): Ei! pe dracu, talent! că-z talent nu-i doar ghe vreo samă! asta-i lucru anticvat... Cu metoaghele mogherne doară, totul zace numai în aplicățiune!... No! la muzică acuma... Spune-ne, Popăscule: ce-i muzica?
The Professor: Eh! The hell talent! For talent's not hof some matter! This is anticvated viewing... With the intuikive moghern methoad, all lies just in application!... Now! To music therefore... Say Popescu : what's music ?
Elevul: Muzica este care cântă, dom'le.
The student: Music is which sings, sir!
Profesorul (nemulțumit): Nu așa, loază! Nu cuvânta doară ca râtanii... vorbește ca școlerii. Dă-ne tu numaighecât ghefiniția chiară și agkecvată!
The Professor (displeased): Not such, troglodyte! Don't blather like barn hands... speak like students. Give notwithstanking the ghefinition such and aquariated!
Elevul: Muzica este...
The student: The music is...
The Professor: What ?
Elevul: Este când...
The student: Is when....
Profesorul (foarte nemulțumit și repetând definiția): Muzica iaște aceea care ne gâghilă urechile într-un mod plăcut... (pântre dinți, aparte, școlarului:) Ia sama doară să nu ți le gâghil eu ție într-un mod neplăcut! (Se aude clopotul de ieșire.)
The Professor (very much displeased, repeats the definition): Music is that which kikles ears in a pleasant fashion (through teeth, apart, to the student) take care lest I kikle yours unpleasantly! (The bell rings)
Inspectorul (se ridică; copiii fac și ei ca inspectorul): Domnule profesore, sunt foarte mulțumit. Metoda dumitale e admirabilă...
The Inspector (stands, and the children stand with him): Mr. Professor, I am very pleased. Your admirable method....
Profesorul (tăindu-i vorba cu mândrie): Că-z asta doară e metoada lui Peștaloțiu!
The Professor (cutting him off haughtily): For this is Pestalotious' methoad!
Inspectorul (urmând): ...și zelul dumitale vrednic de laudă... (Către elevi:) Voi, băieți, căutați a profita de știința bunului vostru profesore și nu uitați că de la voi așteaptă mult patria, România, pentru viitor!
The Inspector (continuing):... and your zeal worthy of praise (to the children) You boys, try and profit from the science of your good teacher and do not forget that the country, Romania, expects much of you for the future!
Profesorul (conducând cu multe reverențe pe inspector și încântat de rezultat): Că-z eu ce le tot spun boilor, onorat domnule inșpectore?... Apoi dacă-s porci și n-au ghestulă aplicățiune!
The Professor (walking the inspector out with much turkish protocol, well pleased by the result) : For what do I say to the ruminants, honored Mr. Inspector ? But if they're pigs bereft of application!
As you can see... [↩]
- This is an excellent point, and the reason civilised places (such as, for instance, Romania) have periodic exams in place for teachers. If they flunk these, they're out of a job, and no, the union can't help them - it provides classes, and support materials and so forth, but the exam is still the exam.
Meanwhile in the US, officers no longer pass physical fitness tests. [↩]
- Another excellent point. The basics aren't easier teaching subject matter for being basics. They are harder. [↩]
- He'd better.
This is the entire fucking point of books - not "Biographical accidents of random anon UStard" sort of maculature but actual books, penned by white men from Europe - that you re-read them with some periodicity and judge your own evolution against in their adamantine level. This is what civilisation is.
What did you think civilisation was, soda and cheetos ? [↩]
- Consider how often these "experts" in their own mind and no one else's actually challenge reality. How often have you seen one of them actually engage a contrary view ?
Take this random derp pars pro toto :
To bad there isn’t such a thing as intellectual rugby…I would gladly try to field a team from people I have know, and let Pete do the same, and watch his eagle @ss get stomped into the ground before he could ever gain any altitude.
Meanwhile he doesn't even know b-a exists, let alone be respected enough to be allowed to speak there.
With experts like these you don't even need the mud huts to find yourself in the middle of Africa. [↩]
- True story : I once wrote a highschool paper in verse. It was RomLit, which is like English Literature, the topic was a Romanian poet. The paper itself wasn't very good, in terms of content, of "keywords", but it got an A+ and the teacher (a drunk, by the way) cried on it. In class.
So no, this isn't a universal rule. Just because UStards are tards does not mean all people are equally retarded, empty, hollow, pointless, miserable and in general an enduring shameful stain on the race. Not even drunks. [↩]
- Exactly. Precisely and exactly this, and it's not even so much a matter that they won't want to. It's that they won't have what with, they'll live in households of better people who despise you, and work for them, and obey them.
And you'll fucking starve, in a septic tank somewhere. As you should. [↩]
- Aka, not even worth beating. [↩]