Thanks, L, for sending this. It reminds me a lot of our conversations with certain other people in the blogosphere. I notice that they’ve got Australian accents. I wonder if it’s as bad over there as it is here.
The girl’s got the best lines:
5:35: “You think you’re so great with your maths, your science, and your facts? What about feelings? Huh?”
5:50: “Stop violating me with your different opinions!”
I saw this story a few days ago: Cancellation of College Production of ‘Jesus in India’ Over Casting of White Actors Prompts Debate. It’s a story of how Lloyd Suh, a Korean American playwright, stopped a college production of one of his plays because the actors were White kids playing Indian people. The students at Clarion University had already begun rehearsals–Lloyd Suh first complained about the casting on November 2nd and asked the producers to change the casting on November 9th, and the performances were set to begin on November 18th. I’m assuming they also already spent lots of money on the set and promotion. In the end, they were not allowed to do the play. As you all know, I’ve spoken out against racebending before. But this is different. While I understand Lloyd Suh’s views on diversity, he made the wrong decision here. I think he hurt a lot of people with his decision, and he lost an opportunity to take the role of teacher.
There’s a good article in the Times today about Success Academy Charter Schools. Founded by hedge fund managers, Success Academy schools rely primarily on public funding, with additional fundraising–similar to what charter schools do in my area. They’re killing it.
Though it serves primarily poor, mostly black and Hispanic students, Success is a testing dynamo, outscoring schools in many wealthy suburbs, let alone their urban counterparts. In New York City last year, 29 percent of public school students passed the state reading tests, and 35 percent passed the math tests. At Success schools, the corresponding percentages were 64 and 94 percent.
Every so often things get heated here, as in a conversation we had over the last few days about private school pay vs. public school pay. Snoopy claimed that private school teachers get paid more, which is why all the “experienced” and supposedly better teachers go to private schools–they head for the money. As a private school kid who eventually grew up to have two private school kids who are now public school kids, I know about teacher pay–in both settings. Furthermore, I’ve spoken with many friends who are teachers, and I’m a former mortgage broker who has seen tons of teacher tax returns. I’m an authority on the subject and can say with authority that public school teachers in general get paid more. If you don’t believe me and feel that a reporter is more reliable than someone who spent all day looking at actual tax returns, check what a reporter (who is actually also a TEACHER) has to say about national statistics (thanks Yun Xu for the link). Check the government data as well. To quote this actual teacher:
Illustration credit: Eleanor Taylor from the NY Times
There’s a FANTASTIC article in the NY Times today about the notion of safe spaces: In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas. “Safe spaces” are places where people decide not to offend one another. They are conceived with the idea that dangerous ideas can be not only offensive but harmful. We’ve seen this concept on the internet where people issue “trigger warnings” before talking about ideas that supposedly could cause trauma to the reader.
The basic story is that the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon got videotaped singing a song: “There will never be N** at SAE. There will never be a N*** at SAE. You can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me, there will never be a N** at SAE.” University President David Boren has come out full force in condemning this racist chant. He’s severed ties with the frat, and he’s ordered them to clear out all their stuff from the frat house. The national fraternity SAE has cut ties with the Oklahoma chapter. The football team protested yesterday by marching instead of practicing. There could also be some fallout from future recruits:
We’ve had our share of liberal Kool-Aid commenters on this blog, people who are so liberal that their philosophy can be reduced into four words: “Blame Whitey and Chang.” So if a violent criminal who happens to be Black hassles an Asian shopkeeper and steals from him, you blame Chang. If the same violent criminal tries to go for a cop’s gun and ends up getting shot, you blame Whitey.
But what happens when there’s a conflict between Whitey and Chang? What do the White Liberals do then?
I just saw this article. Two former UNC college athletes are suing their alma mater and the NCAA for not educating them. The column raises the question of whether it makes sense to turn sports into a college major, or whether it makes sense to give college credit for athletics. Many of these athletes spend upward of 60 hours a week in their athletic programs, and they have little time for study. As the first paragraph hints, athletics for college athletes isn’t an extracurricular activity for college athletes–academics is the extracurricular activity. Some professors are making the argument that we let people major in music–so why not let them major in football? Another argument is that lots of companies value athletes for their teamwork, grit, and determination. Why not allow people to major in this, if that’s in fact what companies want?
I first heard of William Deresiewicz after his excellent essay went viral (I blogged about it here), and then I heard about him again after Zim posted Steven Pinker’s also-excellent essay which attacked Deresiewicz’s ideas. I decided to give Excellent Sheep a read.