March 6th, 2005
i don't see the appeal in harassing people you don't know or have any contact with at all who weren't doing anything. some people are assholes and i don't understand it. not to say that it's WRONG or BAD or any of that crap; i just don't get why anyone would want to do this at all. i'm coming to the realization that some people are simply bad. not that their morals conflict with mine; they are just not good people. maybe a few are sociopathic, but i don't think that nearly covers it. it's a scary thought.
 i am a heretical relativist. the "and because all points of view are valid and equal, we must respect everyone's ideas even if we don't agree" clauses that people like to tack on relativism castrate its ability to say anything remotely interesting about anything. your point of view is valid and equal, but i have no acces to it so i don't care.
so at work, we were grading this utah standardized test. apparently in utah schools they have this thing called a citizenship grade, where basically you get a seperate grade in each class for how good your attendance is, how respectful you are to teachers, etc. so anyway, on the test, the kids have to write an essay, and the topic is whether they would support a new policy in their school that would base whether or not kids can go to extracuricular activities (dances, sports games, etc) on how well they do in their citizenship.
something like 70% of the responses i read were from asshole mormon jackboot thugs who pretty much say that they support the policy because anyone who is not as respectful and well-behaved as they are has not earned these 'priviledges'. some of them actually say kids with bad grades "don't deserve fun", or that anyone who doesn't agree with this policy is causing trouble and should be punished. i want to punch these kids in the throat, i got so pissed off reading some of these. their logic does get pretty wonderful sometimes though. there are a lot that follow the general pattern of 'anyone who does not have good citizenship grades obviously does not respect others, and if they don't behave properly in the classroom they probably don't anywehre else either, so if we [these kids always say we, like they have any part in this decision] let them attend a football game and our team loses they will probably get really angry and punch people. so we should not let them attend.' this derailed train of thought is astoundingly common. i had one that was wicked detailed though, it was awesome. something like "[blah blah they will probably get really angry and..] punch some guy in the face as hard as he can, and then he will be thrown out of the game, and he will wait in the parking lot and when that kid comes out he will steal his bag and throw it in the trash and spit on it. if he does this, it's probably because he did it at school too." i was waiting for him to give names and dates, but no luck.
OH AND the alltime greatest thing of all time. one kid, in the middle of an otherwise normal essay, suddenly busts out with this: "By the Hammer of Thor, I will chew up this misguided policy and do everything in my power to spit it into the chilly crosshairs of traffic." i swear to god, it said that. i OMGWTFed and laughed for like 10 minutes. i also gave him an excellent score. that is half the reason this job has not yet made me give up all hope on the youth of america.
 charming that utah defines a good citizen as someone who obeys authority without question or dissent, no? if you talk back to your teacher, the terrorists win
 the other 30% mostly talk about how unfair and random the citizenship grades are, because teachers can pretty much assign them for whatever they want (there is an official definition of what it's supposed to be, but of course it's terminally vague and unquantifiable). each teacher gets to invent their own criteria, and they can base it on whatever they feel like since there's no accountability on it. some do it all on attendence, some by class participation, some by your actual grade, some presumably by your star sign and the phases of the earth in the lunar calendar, i dunno. but yeah, totally a good system.
 which, if i haven't mentioned, does not currently exist. we're on hiatus until the 21st or so. so if anyone wants to hang out or roadtrip or elope, now is the time!
np: Black Sabbath - Paranoid - 08 - Jack the Stripper / Fairies Wear Boots
|Date:||March 7th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)|| |
it's your long lost son.
let's elope!... no seriously, come to seattle for a week, i miss you =(
Holy crap that really is the best answer on a standardized test. I now realize that I should have fucked around with my essays when I was smaller, beacuse those tests mean crapppp
ps - i don't know what your icon is, but it looks like Ty from Trading Spaces. It probably isn't, though.
ugh, don't get me started on the evil that is "class participation" grades. long story short: I believe if you show up on time, do your homework on time, and listen to lectures (or the teacher, depending on your age group), you should get a good participation grade. speaking as someone who did all these things but still got docked for not "contributing to discussions", I also had the urge to use the Hammer of Thor and smite the policies. if you want to give people bonus participation points for being outgoing and contributory, that's fine--but don't mark quiet people down just because they listened politely instead of yammering.
I believe this "citizenship" bullshit is slightly different from class participation, but i feel your pain in a way. College is over and i'm scrambling for letters of recommendation....but i really don't have close bonds with any of the professors i've had because 1) i'm just a quiet guy in general 2) i'm not the type of person to butter-up a prof just for a favor in the future and 3) I'm frequnetly so busy (classes, work, training, etc) that I can't make it to most prof's office hours anyway. So now what?
reading about the subjective ways a teacher could reward these "citizenship points" brought back bad memories of other subjectively awarded points. it sucks that you have to kiss so much ass to get anywhere in the world.
I remember reading a recent poll of high school students where a majority said that they saw no problem in having a state controlled media. Recent polls of high school students regarding US Presidents also frequently put our current president at or near the top of the list, and always higher than Jefferson and usually Washington, sometimes even Lincoln. Is it the kids that are fucked up? their parents? the schools? probably a combination.....
Also reminds me of something i read in NY Press recently... 70% of NYers think that the public schools here need fixing. Makes sense that a majority would believe that, as someone that has been working in that system for a little while now, i'll tell you it is certainly fucked. But look at the flipside. That means taht 30% of the people polled think there's no problem with NYC public schools and that they are abolutely great institutions all around to send your kids to (in reality, I think any teacher within the system would laugh at that). Granted, this 30% is probably rich people with kids that can afford to go to really nice charter schools or private schools or older people without kids in school anyway....but that's still 30% of the people completely detatched from reality....these people vote too. Now i'm scared.
Utah's a pretty fucked place anyway, have you seen their liquor laws?
And finally, what's so uninteresting about a situation where everything is equally valid (and thus everything's invalid) ?? And, you ever read Kierkegaard? There's a decent biography about him just came out.
BY the Hammer of Thor I miss reading kid essays. I used to find the best stuff left around the computer lab :)
So if someone isn't a good citizen and doesn't get to go to extra-curricular stuff he can go another step in the direction of bad citizenship and **not pay taxes for the stuff he's not allowed to go to**
Mormons scare me because they smile all the time and like conformity so much. And gingham and seersucker.
Actually I knew exactly 2 Mormons in my life (I live in New Jersey for gods sake. We don't have Those People around here) and they were pretty decent.
|Date:||March 8th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)|| |
Wolves are decent in their way, too.
Good point. I suspect they were friendly to me because I am white and might have appeared to be somewhat like them.
Do Mormons have diversity in their ranks, btw? Any black Mormons? Asians?
|Date:||March 9th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)|| |
The Mormons used to be all-white. Now they let anyone in. They have been especially successful in recruiting Polynesians. That is because they believe that the original Mormons were Jews who sailed across the Pacific Ocean (as well as the Indian Ocean, I guess) and landed in Mexico. They haven't been quite as successful with Mexicans, since the early Mormons would have been the Mayans' enemies.
The first migration was supposedly in 800 BC and also shortly after Christ allegedly died in 27 AD. (There is a whole 'nother theory that Christ actually lived 1053-1080 AD but this is not the Mormons' theory.)
I really oughta sign up for LiveJournal myself. Speaking of myself, I have graded Utah essays for Measured Progress. I kinda liked the Utah kids: they were less whiney than the New England kids. The thing which bugged me were the jocks who said they were doing sports to be role models for younger kids. What a crock. They're doing their sport because they like doing it and adults give them attention and possibly you can get a scholarship or even go pro if you hit the jackpot. Which are all adequate reasons, even if they don't set you apart as a good role model.
I have a couple of web pages about Measured Progress which I will mention here:
In spite of the not 100% complimentary things I say, I would go back there if asked (and if I lacked a real job at the time like I do right now!)
|Date:||March 9th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)|| |
guy, why the measured progress obsession? there are way cooler businesses to do random internet searches of
|Date:||March 9th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)|| |
wait what are you even talking about?? the mormons were started in 1820 by joseph smith, when he found and/or invented some book from jesus. mexicans? mayans? 800 BC? what??
|Date:||March 15th, 2005 09:21 pm (UTC)|| |
Actually the Book of Mormon's story is more like the Olmecs' story than the Mayans... but in either case you have to work pretty hard to believe that the Book of Mormon is anything more than a fantasy. And, interestingly, the Book of Mormon is very similar to an early SF novel published a few years before Joseph Smith allegedly discovered the Book of Mormon engraved on gold plates near his house....
|Date:||March 10th, 2005 02:23 am (UTC)|| |
I really oughta sign up for LiveJournal myself
So why dontcha? :)
I have to tell you that I flinched when I saw the subject header in my mailbox. Uh-oh now some Mormon's going to jump all over me for saying they aren't diverse or something.
I feel sorry for the Polynesians. Seems Christians are always stopping there to proselytize.