Picking up the criticism gone awry

McMullin, Elise mcmullea at kl.com
Wed Aug 18 16:03:04 EDT 1999

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

Fair enough - after all, one of the reasons dwj is so re-readable is
>that her people have these real personalities.
>"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."

Yes, I'm very glad you shared this.  I was only thinking about my
reaction (although my high school horrors ended with graduation &
college was far more interesting and challenging).  

But I recall that attitude among most of my classmates right along.
"Just tell us what will be on the test." "Just tell us what we should
write on the test that will be the correct answer."  

I once wrote a tenure review recommendation for a professor who was
seriously worried because some of the other students felt that she left
*too much* up to them, and said so in their reviews.  How dare they be
asked to think?  I ended up shamelessly demanding that my college adhere
to the high flown words in their own prospectus - true liberal arts
education, learning how to think, art of inquiry, etc. Did they want a
tenured professor who was committed to that or not?  It's embarrassing
that they had to think about it ( I had to write two recs because they
were on the fence over the student reviews), but they did the right
>thing in the end.  You fought the good fight Mary Ann!
>"* They kept wanting to memorize, but they had chronic amnesia of a ferocious

Lol!  I'd rather think than memorize any day.  But then I'm the one who
>is always grasping for names of things....
>"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"

Heh heh, my loony drivers always seem offended when I grasp the strap or
compulsively tap my braking foot against the floor. Deep, calming

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