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The Progressive Ouroboros

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  • The Progressive Ouroboros

    I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me

    by Edward Schlosser on June 3, 2015

    I'm a professor at a midsize state school. I have been teaching college classes for nine years now. I have won (minor) teaching awards, studied pedagogy extensively, and almost always score highly on my student evaluations. I am not a world-class teacher by any means, but I am conscientious; I attempt to put teaching ahead of research, and I take a healthy emotional stake in the well-being and growth of my students.

    Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.

    Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.

    Now boat-rocking isn't just dangerous — it's suicidal

    This isn't an accident: I have intentionally adjusted my teaching materials as the political winds have shifted. (I also make sure all my remotely offensive or challenging opinions, such as this article, are expressed either anonymously or pseudonymously). Most of my colleagues who still have jobs have done the same. We've seen bad things happen to too many good teachers — adjuncts getting axed because their evaluations dipped below a 3.0, grad students being removed from classes after a single student complaint, and so on.

    I once saw an adjunct not get his contract renewed after students complained that he exposed them to "offensive" texts written by Edward Said and Mark Twain. His response, that the texts were meant to be a little upsetting, only fueled the students' ire and sealed his fate. That was enough to get me to comb through my syllabi and cut out anything I could see upsetting a coddled undergrad, texts ranging from Upton Sinclair to Maureen Tkacik — and I wasn't the only one who made adjustments, either.

    I am frightened sometimes by the thought that a student would complain again like he did in 2009. Only this time it would be a student accusing me not of saying something too ideologically extreme — be it communism or racism or whatever — but of not being sensitive enough toward his feelings, of some simple act of indelicacy that's considered tantamount to physical assault. As Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis writes, "Emotional discomfort is [now] regarded as equivalent to material injury, and all injuries have to be remediated." Hurting a student's feelings, even in the course of instruction that is absolutely appropriate and respectful, can now get a teacher into serious trouble.


    This shift in student-teacher dynamic placed many of the traditional goals of higher education — such as having students challenge their beliefs — off limits. While I used to pride myself on getting students to question themselves and engage with difficult concepts and texts, I now hesitate. What if this hurts my evaluations and I don't get tenure? How many complaints will it take before chairs and administrators begin to worry that I'm not giving our customers — er, students, pardon me — the positive experience they're paying for? Ten? Half a dozen? Two or three?

  • #2
    How are these kids going to fight ISIS?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

    Comment


    • #3
      This article is ridiculous and seems like it was written as click-bait. Fundamental flaws in the article include:

      (1) A very very strange and shifting definition of "liberal" that makes no sense and that I simply don't recognize. The teacher calls himself a "liberal" yet ascribes the bad aspects of his students behavior to them being "liberal". But clearly he sees a big difference between his own behavior and theirs. It is apparently not the fact that they are "liberal" (whatever he thinks that means) that is the problem, because if they were liberal like he is liberal he wouldn't have a problem with it. His level of error in using this word makes me suspect this article is actually written by a conservative pretending to be a liberal in order to complain about "teh horrible librulz".

      (2) He appears to place a great deal of blame the students for complaining too much, yet reading his explanation makes it clear to me that the fault lies with the school administration for acting too severely in response to student complaints.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Starlight. This Hocus Pocus Bogus.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          I agree with Starlight.
          We are all shocked.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            Starlight demonstrates the standard progressive technique: disqualify, disqualify, disqualify, instead of addressing the claims or argument made.

            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
            (1) A very very strange and shifting definition of "liberal" that makes no sense and that I simply don't recognize. The teacher calls himself a "liberal" yet ascribes the bad aspects of his students behavior to them being "liberal". But clearly he sees a big difference between his own behavior and theirs. It is apparently not the fact that they are "liberal" (whatever he thinks that means) that is the problem, because if they were liberal like he is liberal he wouldn't have a problem with it. His level of error in using this word makes me suspect this article is actually written by a conservative pretending to be a liberal in order to complain about "teh horrible librulz".
            There is no error, for 'liberal' is primarily a descriptor of a wide range of beliefs rather than praxes.

            (2) He appears to place a great deal of blame the students for complaining too much, yet reading his explanation makes it clear to me that the fault lies with the school administration for acting too severely in response to student complaints.
            Yes, the fault primarily lies with those who allow the rabid mob to have their way. That he however chooses to focus on the mob does not falsify his other claims.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Starlight View Post
              This article is ridiculous and seems like it was written as click-bait. Fundamental flaws in the article include:
              The accuracy of the argument in the OP is demonstrated by news stories every day.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                (2) He appears to place a great deal of blame the students for complaining too much, yet reading his explanation makes it clear to me that the fault lies with the school administration for acting too severely in response to student complaints.
                This is what jumped out at me. In any line of service work you will get a handful of wackos looking for something to complain about. If the article is true, the problem isn't with student-teacher dynamics, it's with administration-teacher dynamics. The author even brings up how the administration was on his side when someone said he was teaching communism. Why is that no longer the case?

                There is an issue to be had with some liberals misunderstanding social issues and fighting the wrong fight, but that is not the issue here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In related news:

                  Source: Rich Lowry

                  Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis didn't set out to become a martyr to free speech when she wrote a spirited essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education pushing back against "sexual paranoia" on college campuses.

                  To stir the pot, yes. But not to make an example of herself in the fight against the stultifying regime of political correctness that grips academia.

                  This is the chilling fact at the center of the Kipnis affair: Her university investigated her for something she wrote, and not even something that was remotely anti-feminist or traditionalist.

                  ...

                  Conservatives in academia have long traded stories of fear on campus, of keeping their heads down lest they get harassed or fired. Now, the illiberalism of the left is being turned against its own.

                  The groves of academe have become grim prosecutorial arenas where everything you say can and will be used against you. The potential McCarthyites sit in every lecture hall and seminar room, and they are children of the left, students who have been trained and encouraged to be whiny, litigious and censorious.

                  This is a dystopia of the left's making. Its identity politics, feminism and hysteria about campus rape are ascendant on campus. On top of this, it is the Obama administration that weaponized Title IX in response to the alleged epidemic of campus rape and made it a clear and present danger to due process and freedom of expression.

                  In her essay, Kipnis argued that "in the post-Title IX landscape, sexual panic rules," and the new campus codes are "intellectually embarrassing."

                  Her critics could have argued back and hoped one day to be able to write as well as she does. Instead, they protested Kipnis (carrying mattresses, naturally) and reported her to the authorities.

                  In retrospect, Kipnis might as well have been a 13th-century monk taunting the Inquisition. She was duly accused of violating Title IX by writing an essay questioning the excesses of Title IX.

                  The university's investigation of her was about what you would expect if Kafka's Josef K. had provoked the shadowy Committee of Affairs by writing an uncongenial op-ed. It was difficult for Kipnis even to find out what she was accused of, which turned out to be violating a Title IX prohibition against retaliating against an accuser -- even though all she did was write about a case that had nothing to do with her.

                  © Copyright Original Source



                  Yes, this is again to some extent the fault of the administration, but again, the administration is following liberal principles. And it looks like the administration was clearly supported by their comrades in the student body (given the attendant protests).
                  Last edited by One Bad Pig; 06-05-2015, 09:38 AM.
                  Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                  sigpic
                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    In related news:

                    Source: Rich Lowry

                    Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis didn't set out to become a martyr to free speech when she wrote a spirited essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education pushing back against "sexual paranoia" on college campuses.

                    To stir the pot, yes. But not to make an example of herself in the fight against the stultifying regime of political correctness that grips academia.

                    This is the chilling fact at the center of the Kipnis affair: Her university investigated her for something she wrote, and not even something that was remotely anti-feminist or traditionalist.

                    ...

                    Conservatives in academia have long traded stories of fear on campus, of keeping their heads down lest they get harassed or fired. Now, the illiberalism of the left is being turned against its own.

                    The groves of academe have become grim prosecutorial arenas where everything you say can and will be used against you. The potential McCarthyites sit in every lecture hall and seminar room, and they are children of the left, students who have been trained and encouraged to be whiny, litigious and censorious.

                    This is a dystopia of the left's making. Its identity politics, feminism and hysteria about campus rape are ascendant on campus. On top of this, it is the Obama administration that weaponized Title IX in response to the alleged epidemic of campus rape and made it a clear and present danger to due process and freedom of expression.

                    In her essay, Kipnis argued that "in the post-Title IX landscape, sexual panic rules," and the new campus codes are "intellectually embarrassing."

                    Her critics could have argued back and hoped one day to be able to write as well as she does. Instead, they protested Kipnis (carrying mattresses, naturally) and reported her to the authorities.

                    In retrospect, Kipnis might as well have been a 13th-century monk taunting the Inquisition. She was duly accused of violating Title IX by writing an essay questioning the excesses of Title IX.

                    The university's investigation of her was about what you would expect if Kafka's Josef K. had provoked the shadowy Committee of Affairs by writing an uncongenial op-ed. It was difficult for Kipnis even to find out what she was accused of, which turned out to be violating a Title IX prohibition against retaliating against an accuser -- even though all she did was write about a case that had nothing to do with her.

                    © Copyright Original Source



                    Yes, this is again to some extent the fault of the administration, but again, the administration is following liberal principles. And it looks like the administration was clearly supported by their comrades in the student body (given the attendant protests).
                    Are you aware the majority, if not entirety of her article is about how professors should be able to have sex with their students? Do you really consider being against professor-student relations a liberal principle?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                      In related news:

                      Source: Rich Lowry

                      Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis didn't set out to become a martyr to free speech when she wrote a spirited essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education pushing back against "sexual paranoia" on college campuses.

                      To stir the pot, yes. But not to make an example of herself in the fight against the stultifying regime of political correctness that grips academia.

                      © Copyright Original Source

                      Right. They're so sure of themselves that their tactics being used against them by a younger generation catches them off surprise

                      Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
                      Are you aware the majority, if not entirety of her article is about how professors should be able to have sex with their students? Do you really consider being against professor-student relations a liberal principle?
                      Again, the usual progressive tactics: disqualify, distract, deflact.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        Again, the usual progressive tactics: disqualify, distract, deflact.
                        You are hereby disqualified from distracting from deflections.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
                          You are hereby disqualified from distracting from deflections.
                          Very well, I will do my utmost best to point out each and every attempt by progressives here to deflect the truth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            Right. They're so sure of themselves that their tactics being used against them by a younger generation catches them off surprise


                            Again, the usual progressive tactics: disqualify, distract, deflect.
                            If you read the article carefully, Psychic Missile is correct.
                            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                            go with the flow the river knows . . .

                            Frank

                            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                            Comment

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