Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Life Is a Dream Nightmare

I feel like I'm living in storage, as if I were in an airplane in "comfort" coach seating with
lots of not very good films available, good headphones to block out the noise, lots of books I brought in my carry-on luggage ,and some granola bars and water I brought with me, as well as meds if I
need to sleep.  No idea what the destination of the flight is or how long the flight will be. No turbulence on the flight. My wife is traveling with me, and we take frequent trips to the bathroom to have sex. 

On Being Old

Being old is even better than being a child. If you are old and you
behave badly, no one can put you in a time out. People just pretend
you didn't say that, or do that. You get an automatic pass because

The Unbearable Frustration of Unteachable Students

I appear to have some of the dumbest students I've ever taught. Some
really bright ones too. I just met with each student in a conference
to discuss his or her second paper from start to finish. It's really
so dismaying when you feel you can't teach a student anything about
close reading or writing because he or she has not bothered to read
the assignment carefully or listen to you talk about the assignment in
class--several times, using examples students in the class  identified
and elaborating on them. And the students think they wrote good
papers. There is no getting through to them. Maybe I should just stop
assigning papers and give True or False exams instead. Maybe it's time
to retire.

"Student Ignorance Outcomes"

Aren't SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes) unreasonably optimistic about
teaching? I mean language goes into many syllabi now with phrases like
"students will have mastered . . ." Some are truly preposterous, as in
"students will have learned how to live the good life." If the teacher
can use the future perfect tense this way, and the outcome is already
determined, why bother to have SLOs at all? I think SIOs would be
accurate, as in "Student Ignorance Outcomes." Language could include
various future conditional tenses like "For innumerable reasons,
students may have failed to master . . . Students who failed the
course might have wished they learned how to . . . " Can't we get
creative about the future past?

Millennial Establishment Journalism

I would like to know the average age of contributors to The New Yorker in 2004 and in 2016.  Ditto for New York Magazine and all other magazines and newspapers that have consistently supported Hillary Clinton and opposed Trump, equating him with Hitler, and have called on Sanders to drop out of the race.