Picking up the criticism gone awry

sheeyun at ix.netcom.com sheeyun at ix.netcom.com
Wed Aug 18 02:15:33 EDT 1999

(1) How about disliking Fanny's carelessness while having some understanding of how it occurred? 
That's what I do.

(2) I do understand the English-class horrors under discussion-- I have some myself. There is 
another side to this, however. I have recently emerged from teaching college-- economics, not 
English, but my primary aims were to teach my students how to read critically and to make 
arguments. In each class they were introduced to more than one analytical framework, and 
subsequently asked to work with them. 

It wore me down. I'm really tired of teaching. Nearly all my students wanted me to tell them my 
version of The Truth, so they could (attempt to*) repeat it. By The Truth, they meant my econo-
political take on things. I was quite willing to tell them if they asked for my opinion, but 
that's not what the classes were *about*. The classes were about good reading and good argument 
construction in a particular set of analytical areas and frameworks.

I was teaching at an institution where my excellent (and I don't say that casually) colleagues 
were all pretty much trying to do similar things, within the parameters of their fields and 
beyond. Those who had stayed longest were teaching the most mechanically and least flexibly, and 
I can quite see why.

I loved my students, but it was wearying.

(3) I also liked Philip's engineering take on Sophie's responsibility in the old-age 
spell enormously. Before I read it, I was thinking of something quite different, connected with 
the roles discussion. Consider the Goddess's (Millie's) desire to be everyone in the school 
stories, heroes and villains alike. :)

* They kept wanting to memorize, but they had chronic amnesia of a ferocious variety.

Mary Ann

Please pity me: One of my best friends in the universe is visiting, and I have been driven about 
by her all day. She is one of the most terrifyingly awful drivers in the universe, too. My 
nerves are moth-eaten. :D

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