Best Books 2002

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Wed Jan 8 05:23:47 EST 2003

---Original Message From: Robyn Starkey
> >No guarantee I'd succeed, but there's no guarantee my poor instructor
> would
> >even notice.  There's a certain, well, skill set to it if you pay
> attention.
> >After listening to class discussion and instruction, there just isn't
> much
> >you can't fake.  A lot depends on the class and instructor, though.  The
> >fact of the matter is that some instructors are pretty clueless or have
> an
> >easy handle (one reason I have so little respect for agendized
> >professors--not only are they intellectually compromised, IMO, but they
> also
> >tend to be easily manipulatable).
> Oh great, now I'm *clueless* and dispirited.
> One of my classes was just soooo depressing - I asked them to write about
> their favourite book as an introduction, and at least 5 of them wrote
> about
> magazines, and motoring magazines at that. And a couple more wrote about
> how they don't read. These are people I have to teach poetry to.
> Hmmm. Perhaps Jacob, your profs were so pleased at having a student with a
> glimmer of intelligence, that they gave you pity/gratitude marks.

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time with your class.  That'd have
me pulling my hair out (don't worry, I have lots).

For my professors, I kind of doubt it was pity that made it so easy to get
by.  They weren't that merciful, really.  Perhaps one major factor is that I
took honors courses every chance I could.  I have a tough time understanding
why everyone at my University didn't take these classes because there was no
barrier to entry (you just signed up for them like any other class).  Honors
courses tended to have an extra paper or two and maybe a little more
reading, but the class sizes were half that of regular courses (or less) and
the professors assume that you belong there.  It's the difference between
having to prove you belong and having to prove you don't belong.  It is MUCH
easier to not mess up than it is to shine among many.

Jacob Proffitt

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