David Thompson
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March 15, 2017

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Jen

World's most expensive kindergarten.

David

The guide is both patronising and incoherent. Faculty are reminded to “interrupt” when “someone is being asked to speak for their entire race, cultural group, etc.,” and yet the whole premise of the guide is that group identities are of defining importance, indeed paramount, and that certain, implicitly favoured groups must be spared challenges to their assumptions, even when factually dubious, based purely on the Designated Victim Status of the group to which they notionally belong.

And so faculty are warned not to “nullify” the “feelings” of students “who represent different groups.” Which implies that faculty simultaneously must and mustn’t treat students as identitarian mascots, representatives of their race or sexual inclination or whatever. And again, there’s an implication that some notional groups count more than others, solely by virtue of some assumed collective fragility.

Mags

You didn't say 'oops', David.

#FrownyFace

David

You didn’t say ‘oops’, David.

I denounce myself.

Tim Newman

To be fair, I tend to use the term "oops" at work when I've found somebody, often myself, has majorly fucked up some piece of engineering. I find it's less triggering.

David

I usually go with bugger, or, if out of earshot, something saltier.

Joan

I usually go with bugger

#Triggered

Sam

Other forbidden behaviours include acknowledging in class that illegal immigrants have in fact broken the law,

So students who want the law enforced can have *their* feelings 'nullified'?

David

So students who want the law enforced can have their feelings ‘nullified’?

I see you’re getting the hang of it.

Kevin B

I think this needs to be expanded into the oops/ouch/fuck off protocol whereby when a snowflake is offended in class he says "ouch" and the professor or whoever did the offending says "oops" and then everyone in the class who is there to learn real things about the real world, (or is just pissed off with the whole SJW PC nonsense), shouts at the top of their voice: "Fuck Off!!"

Jamie MacMaster

And mummy and daddy are paying through the nose for this so that their liddle babykins is ready for the big, bad world, Man, where does a fellw find suckers like that?

JJM

"[U]sing gendered metaphors in descriptions of atoms..."

I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. And I'm not interested in learning either.

SumDumGuy

oops/ouch/fuck off

Roshambo rules?

Bill

Ouch

David

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

From the Diversity and Inclusiveness Guide:

Examples of microaggressions… Using heterosexist or sexist examples or language in class. “Atoms sometimes attract each other like this male and female here. At the same time, atoms sometimes repel each other like these two males here.”

Presumably, gendered or heteronormative metaphors are verboten on grounds that gay people are (a) exquisitely delicate, and (b) somehow unaware that most people walking the Earth are heterosexual, hence the figure of speech. And because any acknowledgement of this fact will result in fainting spells, hysteria and inconsolable weeping.

So clearly, not patronising at all.

PiperPaul

"using gendered metaphors in descriptions of atoms"

What is the French language going to do about this when everything is either male or female?

The Académie française better get busy!

SumDumGuy

Form the Guide:

This guide includes suggestions for addressing issues of
diversity and inclusiveness in the classroom.

Shortly followed by:

Four Corners Exercise: Divide students into four groups based on their dialogue engagement
style. Corner #1: Students who share a lot in class; Corner #2: Students who only talk when they
are particularly motivated by the topic; Corner #3: Students who talk only when called on by the
professor; and Corner #4: Students who don’t talk at all in class. Have the students discuss
different types of communication in their small groups as well as large group processing

So promote diversity and inclusiveness by categorizing students and them separating them into like groups. Makes sense.

Lisboeta

gendered metaphors

So how should one describe the paired terminals heretofore called male/female? "Bit-with-pins-or-pointy-things" and "bit-with-sockets-or-holes" does seem awfully long-winded and imprecise.

Anyway, those of us who need to make such connections will stick with the classic nomenclature!

Sporkatus

Might I remark on how dishonest it is to make up imaginary examples for application because any realistic examples would expose the idiocy?
I guess that's "questioning the credibility and validity" of these morons, though. "Oops"?

Dom

What does the guide tell a snowflake to say if ze stubs zis toe? Do you see the problem?

David

Might I remark on how dishonest it is to make up imaginary examples for application because any realistic examples would expose the idiocy?

Yes, there’s quite a bit of that, and the whole document has an air of things being strongly implied but not actually said. Another sin to avoid is “expressing racially charged political opinions in class” – specifically, objecting to the tolerance and encouragement of illegal immigration – while “assuming that people with those racial/ethnic identities do not exist in class.” So presumably, you mustn’t mention your objection to this particular kind of law-breaking in case someone in the class is breaking it. But the guide doesn’t say in what set of circumstances a student would be permitted to voice this objection. Instead, you’re left with the distinct impression that it’s a viewpoint best discouraged.

Tim Newman

Atoms sometimes attract each other like this male and female here.

Eh? Do these terms even get used? When I was taught ionic bonds it was always positive and negatively charged atoms, not male and female.

David

Eh? Do these terms even get used?

Again, it sounds a little improbable - possibly, as suggested upthread, because discouraging a more typical example – say, referring to male and female connectors in an electrical engineering class - might reveal the whole thing as overbearing, patronising and rather silly.

David

But then, the whole thrust of the thing assumes that students should very much be “engaged in dialogue about oppression, bias, power.” Rather than, say, engaged in chemistry, engineering or aeronautics.

dicentra

“questioning the credibility and validity” of (certain) students’ accounts of an event, even if one has contradictory information.

It's annoying as hell when you relate your own experience on a matter and someone with no experience feels obligated to add his/her random opinion, especially as a rebuttal. (Yes, by all means, rebut my direct knowledge with your ignorance.)

If you're relating a painful experience and people compulsively chuck in their precious opinion-based rebuttals, it actually feels like being kicked in the gut.

THAT SAID.

Dealing with such unpleasant interactions needs to be a matter for the individuals to settle (or not) as best they can. Bringing in Da Man to pre-emptively curb-stomp one of the interlocutors is the worst possible way to deal with interpersonal conflict.

But that's a feature, isn't it? If one side can count on outside muscle to stomp on their enemies, and the other knows that they have lost even before they've begun, then the problem is never resolved. There's no chance for the interlocutors to come to an understanding; instead, any previous enmity is deepened, the wound starts to fester, and gangrene enters into the society.

THIS is the end game of conflating the personal with the political: a divided polity that hates each others' guts on a personal level. No opposing team members sharing a pint after the match — we must have have scarring on our own bodies that we can directly attribute to them.

In the American Civil War the opposing sides were divided geographically. Having the enemy camps intermingled means rioting in the streets and blood in the storm drains. It means the people will cry out for someone, anyone, to restore order.

And that's how the Taliban took Afghanistan.

Hopp Singg

I sometimes pronounce "oops" as "wimp!" It's part of my heritage.

dicentra

So students who want the law enforced can have *their* feelings 'nullified'?

Nazis don't have feelings, ya ninny. Nazis can be punched freely at any time.

dicentra

I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. And I'm not interested in learning either.

I use gendered pronouns in my user documentation all the time. Processes written in C++ are male (obvy), Python/PHP scripts are female, and the Linux kernel is transUnix (xe, xer, xeirs).

Actually, when I'm discussing processes with the developers, I might say, "so this guy sees the data and throws the error message," with "guy" meaning "component" or somesuch.

David

If one side can count on outside muscle to stomp on their enemies, and the other knows that they have lost even before they’ve begun, then the problem is never resolved.

And once you realise that you’re now the embodiment of a favoured group, a protected group with unilateral privileges – a word I use pointedly – then escalation and abuse are all but inevitable. It’s a license for histrionic role-play and whatever leverage goes with it.

dicentra

Speaking of terrorists (and we were), don't miss this fascinating interview by Mark Steyn of the author of Enhanced Interrogation. James Mitchell is the CIA psychologist who interrogated (and waterboarded) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of 9/11 and various other unrealized atrocities.

One thing you'll notice immediately: Mitchell is no blood-and-guts, seething fanatic, hell-bent on inflicting pain just for its own sake. He appears to be a tender-hearted man whose friend was executed by jihadis and who still weeps at the recollection.

Also clear from the interview: KSM and his ilk are extremely dangerous, wily psychopaths who understand Western Society frighteningly well — well enough to do us in — because they know how to use our own putative virtues against us.

Mitchell is also the victim of numerous bureaucratic and political outrages, including a lawsuit by some random terrorist in Africa with whom he had no dealings, and yet the suit has not been tossed out. (Steyn can relate to that one.)

Just over an hour long and well worth it.

Sporkatus

If you're relating a painful experience and people compulsively chuck in their precious opinion-based rebuttals, it actually feels like being kicked in the gut.

I'm almost certain it's an aggression of some kind, most likely a *tad* greater than "micro". Of course, it's an endorsed aggression, so it doesn't exist.

so this guy sees the data and throws the error message

You can bet he's only doing it for some doll.

Actually, I'm confused - does needing to be regrooved for citing a very heteronormative musical get offset by it being a musical? Inquiring minds and all that.

Sporkatus

Nazis don't have feelings, ya ninny. Nazis can be punched freely at any time.

They picture themselves as Captain America. They are, instead, Deputy Barney Fife engaged in alleged judo against alleged miscreants.

Caught a James Mitchell interview in the other room the other day - think it was on CSPAN. Quite a guy.

dcardno

Have the students discuss different types of communication in their small groups as well as large group processing...

It's going to be a pretty desultory discussion in Corners #3 and 4.

David

Corners #3 and 4.

The very shy and the excruciatingly shy are getting together to rock the house, pump this jam, and generally get down with their bad selves.

Spiny Norman

Or no conversation at all in Corner #4, just embarrassed, uncomfortable glances.

Sporkatus

I could understand in concept using the groupings to ensure "group diversity" - place one gregarious, one excitable, one reactive, and one mute each in a group of four - and using those dynamics to try to wring participation out of #3 and #4. A bit stupid, but not imminently doomed to failure. A way to form a heterodox group as might naturally form in society, but by force and thus a little daft.

Shoving off all the non-engagey types into their own groups seems moronic, apart from the bit where at least one of those groups will have similar "nerd" interests to engage in together which have nothing to do with the class topic.

David

just embarrassed, uncomfortable glances.

I gather shy people communicate via blushing and the angles of their shoes. That’s why they spend so much time looking at them.

Sporkatus

Shoes are useless for standard semaphore - no way to turn one's ankle to 135 degrees. There may be a specialized variety.

Spiny Norman

Jen,

World's most expensive kindergarten.

With nap times, too!

PiperPaul

You knew this was coming, didn't you?

MikeG81

"Nazis don't have feelings, ya ninny. Nazis can be punched freely at any time."

I long for a day when calling someone Stalin is a mortal insult.

Damn Yankee

So how should one describe the paired terminals heretofore called male/female?

Innies and outies.

Yes, yes, I'll go over to the Shaming Carousel now. No need to use that cattle prod.

Paul Carlton

So how should one describe the paired terminals heretofore called male/female?

Life affirming and patriarchal.

Spiny Norman

I long for a day when calling someone Stalin is a mortal insult.

The people most deserving to be on the receiving end of such an insult would consider it the highest praise.

Zionist Overlord #73

So if I'm differently-abled and unable to pronounce the 'oo' sound, can I say 'ouch' each time someone says 'oops'?

dicentra

place one gregarious, one excitable, one reactive, and one mute each in a group of four - and using those dynamics to try to wring participation out of #3 and #4

That never happens. #1 and #2 do all the talking while the other two nod. Making students work in groups means that the already able students carry the whole load while the less able just string along.

Children don't know how to mentor other children except when closely directed by an adult. They have no idea that the other kids need mentoring nor do they realize they've got the capacity to do so, nor that having the capacity, they ought to.

Putting students into groups = time that teacher isn't standing there yakking, which, it's not wrong for teachers to want a change of pace, but the expectation that the students will teach each other is largely wishcasting.

Sporkatus

That never happens. #1 and #2 do all the talking while the other two nod. Making students work in groups means that the already able students carry the whole load while the less able just string along.

Very true. I did hint it had a more sound *idea* behind it (from a "children-as-miniature-adults" framework), not that it would work in practice, just less stupid than grouping *by* personality type and leaving groups segregated by communication skill to then "compete" in communicating...

I'm also basing things somewhat on my own "group project" experience, in which I (tending to be group #3) usually had to hold the sanity leash on the capers of the moron extroverts from groups #1 and 2. There's no telling what they'd get up to on their own.

PiperPaul

"usually had to hold the sanity leash on the capers of the moron extroverts"

David, is this similar to your experience overseeing the group of participants at your site?

Jenny R.

This is the product of an instructional staff who have no idea how to relate to other human beings in an organic way.
And that statement is acadmicish speak for: we have a bunch of people teaching who cannot talk to other people in a manner that even comes close to approximating normal human communication.

Yes, I had to sit in on a staff meeting today -- teacher development. ...not one thing learned that I didn't know from living/working outside of academia...I'm not getting paid enough to attend these things. I can't believe we wasted nearly 2 hours on it. Two hours of my life I will not get back.

At least no talk of "oops" or "ouch" but creating a safe and caring learning space has come up many times. Like I said, not paid enough.

Jenny R.

They're really big on group learning and "student directed learning" -- giving the traditional instructional lecture is very very bad and counter productive.
Personally I think it's because they can't really teach (see above: can't actually relate to other human beings in a normal fashion -- which means nobody else can behave that way either -- can't be truly effective leaders, can only be no-no you don't's and talk about things endlessly with citations of studies, numerous, nearly identical studies that go nowhere...).

QuintAmpersandJessel

I'm pretty sure that, when I was 18, I would have been offended beyond belief by that "ouch oops" crap. What happened to students that they even put up with it, or apparently enjoy being treated like toddlers?

David

David, is this similar to your experience overseeing the group of participants at your site?

It’s probably best not to pull at that thread.

fnord

engaged in dialogue about oppression, bias, power.”

=======
Unispeak dictionary:
dialogue (v) to regurgitate received opinion

fnord

They're really big on group learning and "student directed learning" -- giving the traditional instructional lecture is very very bad and counter productive.

=======
They call this 'style' of 'teaching' "the guide by the side" vs "the sage on the stage". They seem to think that they can elicit knowledge from the mass of lumpenstudenten in the cheap seats.

Rafi

The guide is both patronising and incoherent.

And full of typos.

#Excellence

David

And full of typos

The author of the guide, the university’s Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, Jesús Treviño, is paid a mere $214,000 a year. Apparently, that’s not quite enough to make him check his own punctuation and spelling. To say nothing of his numerous, rather obvious logical errors.

But as we’ve seen, more than once, these centres of “inclusive excellence” do tend to hire people who presume to lecture the rest of us while themselves struggling with the basics.

Burnsie

A heterosexual student claiming that LGBTQIA+ individuals do not have the right to exist.

To be fair, this is a belief held by some adherents of a certain Religion of Peace™ who express said beliefs elsewhere in the world by beheading, stoning, hanging, and defenestrating LGBT individuals.

So perhaps Mr. Trevino is tip-toeing here. He doesn't want an "ouch/oops" moment on campus with that crowd.

Jacob

these centres of “inclusive excellence” do tend to hire people who presume to lecture the rest of us while themselves struggling with the basics.

Wow. Another win for affirmative action.

David

Wow. Another win for affirmative action.

Mr Scherer, the director of the Inclusive Excellence Centre at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, does struggle with consistency and evidence, and elementary grammar, even in official documents. But these things are only significant if we assume that the aim of such departments is actually to propagate excellence. I see no evidence that excellence, or even competence, is of any concern to these people. What matters, it seems, is churning out lots of mentally uniform and resentful mediocrities.

PiperPaul

It's weaponizing ignorance and encouraging obstinance. #Excellance!

Crawford

"Wow. Another win for affirmative action"

Hehehe,oh the stories that us saffas can tell about AA ("our" version of affirmative action) and where it leads...

Crawford

And when I typed "our", I really meant the ANC sponsored version of affirmative action.

David

Speaking of resentful mediocrities, take a squint at this one. Click through and see how effortlessly she switches from anti-racist piety to black supremacist boasting.

fnord

Mr Scherer's qualifications consist of:

a) posession of correct attitudes
b) posession of sufficent melanin

Both are necessary, which is more important? That's a matter of some debate. If one wished to hold such a debate it would of course not be allowef on the campus. Can't upset the sheep students.Free Carefully managed speech is a wonderful thing.... for the managers.

[+]

I see no evidence that excellence, or even competence, is of any concern to these people.

Standards or 'social justice'. Pick one.

David

Standards or ‘social justice’. Pick one.

Given that another favoured buzzword is “equity” – which, when used by campus activists, seems to mean something like “equality of outcome regardless of inputs” - there is a contradiction.

WTP

I long for a day when calling someone Stalin is a mortal insult.

The people most deserving to be on the receiving end of such an insult would consider it the highest praise.

My copy of Anna Karenina has a blurb from Lenin.

KrakowJosh

There is no guideline for how to deal with, say, opportunist and vindictive accusations of racism or “privilege,” or attempts to denigrate straight, white male students as inherently ignorant and oppressive...

Under the circumstances I'm not sure we should be attempting to denigrate anyone; or am I just being niggardly?

Hopp Singg

I long for a day when calling someone Stalin is a mortal insult.

It was in Stalin's day. If he caught you.

Jenny R.

Don't get me wrong: group work can be rewarding for everyone, but as the instructor you have to set it up carefully (assign individual tasks to everyone, provide an outline of the assignment and its goals (group and individual), work with each group at points along the way to the finished product...and I've found giving group and individual grades at task points and final result very...eh, motivating,they still have to do get a grade on what they personally do). I don't like just turning people loose, not even graduate students can always be trusted in this way. But it can be used to help them learn some skill sets they may not get otherwise while having some fun.
But I tend to use the framework I learned from the military -- because it works better.

And my line of instruction deals quite a bit with finding and trying to avoid bias (English -- although my major has turned into a swamp, then again they all have -- I get a lot of non-humanities majors, so I read a lot of stuff coming from the STEM departments...uh, they have no room to brag, wow!). I have taught that the truth has power, and an ethical responsibility attached to it, and I suppose I have talked about the oppression of language = the stifling of critical thought and discourse...maybe I should start using the "O" word...hmmm.

But then again, I don't get to write guides, nor even lead "development sessions", and I'm lucky to get one tenth of the salary Mr. Trevino does (lowly adjunct).

Paulette Dubois

I'll see your denunciation of my microaggression and raise you some REAL aggression. To wit: I'm going to slap your designer specs right off your face immediately following this class, you microcephalic twathole.

Just saying.

Rich Rostrom

dicentra @ March 15, 2017 at 14:25 In the American Civil War the opposing sides were divided geographically. Having the enemy camps intermingled means rioting in the streets and blood in the storm drains.

There were lots of places in the U.S. where the enemy camps were intermingled.

For instance Missouri - where the War began with rioting in the streets and blood in the gutters of Saint Louis, and spread to bloody guerrilla conflict in almost every corner of the state. The Indian Territory was just as bad, with ugly internecine fighting between pro-Confederate and pro-Union factions of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Watcher

“A white student threatening an African American student over views on affirmative action.”

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this 'threatening' probably involves not enthusiastically agreeing with and involves not demanding even more affirmative action. This 'threatening' may even be the Thoughtcrime of not really believing in affirmative action, even while externally vocally supportive. I don't think that this 'threatening' has to involve any actual physical threat at all.

Spiny Norman

Click through and see how effortlessly she switches from anti-racist piety to black supremacist boasting.

That resembles nothing more than a troll post at 4Chan's anarchic /b/ board.

These "intellectuals" walk among us...

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