13 thoughts on “A Poster of Rasputin and a Beard Down to His Knees

  1. M’kay… I spent today drunkenly philosophising and steering undergrads towards some kind of existential crisis: the Bush Depression.

    But I did it with thanks for the only silver lining in this economic crisis – that for the first time ever, America is finally starting to think about how to generate their own power and maybe even churn their own butter. That’s probably the best that conservative fiscal policy over the past 8 years had to offer most people.

    I linked the druken philosphization from my name. CH-ch- >hic< Cheers!

  2. Do I get credit for not laughing out loud, merely smirking and staring in horror, when the professor I work for did jumping jacks in the middle of class – but failed to compel students to join her? Is that anything like steering undergrads toward a crisis?

    I say dance. Anything less is unacceptable.

  3. Well, that and calling women cows.

    Professor, I don’t know what to make of that, but the thought of that professor doing jumping jacks in class is steering me towards a crisis of some sort.

    Are you drinking now? I’d have to have a drink after that.

  4. Well, it was 10am. Even I don’t drink that early during the week.

    I could also tell stories about dragging students around (out of the cave) and bullying them (like Thrasymachus) or dividing them up into those dumb ones with bronze souls, the aggressive ones with silver, and the wonderful ones with gold – by name! It’s just crazy!! Maybe I should start coming to class drunk. Can’t hurt.

  5. Well, she told the class today that she doesn’t drink because she just gets crabby but if she’s really tired then the symptoms are basically what drunk is for many other people. Or, as she put it, tired is the same as punch drunk. Yes, I know that doesn’t help clarify things but merely adds another kind of drunkenness. I just tell stories. Even someone as brilliant as me can’t make sense of this one.

  6. I could get into dragging them out of the cave myself. It would make me feel better about something B and I were talking about today, about resistance to learning things one doesn’t already know.

  7. Yes, nm, but would you actually grab a student out of his seat and drag him across the room during lecture?

    Sure, she warned him before class. And for dramatic effect I guess she picked one of the biggest guy in the class. He probably outweighed her by almost 100 pounds.

  8. Depends on the class and the student. And not if they didn’t understand that this was a demonstration of an abstract concept. But the impulse to do it is completely understandable to me, especially (sigh) in my dealings with the particular classes and students where it would be most inappropriate.

  9. okay, that makes sense and I do agree. I just wish that these really were object lessons or lessons that she’s hoping the students will actually learn in their bodies. Instead, it seems to me that she’s just setting memory markers or associations, not teaching deep lessons. And she spends more time on the associations than on teaching the meaning of the concepts that are being triggered.

  10. Sometimes you just have to work with what’s there. I’ve had classes in which solidly setting some memory markers would have been a victory. I realize that we’re talking different disciplines here, not to mention very different institutions. And I would hate to have to watch someone doing things like that badly, which I think is where we started.

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