September 28th, 2005

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09:46 pm - your ass is a wad of cookie dough
There are very real political concerns with the idea, but god damn it would do a hell of a lot of people a hell of a lot of good to spend a couple of mandatory years in a military service from 18-20 or so.  One of the things that just constantly flabbergasts me about The College Experience is the incredible lack of comprehension of ordinate and subordinate behavior - in other words, fucking discipline.

When you've got a group of 18-120 people and one professor - or maybe one professor and one TA - running the show, shit just doesn't get done if the prof won't take control of the show.  When those 18-120 people are, largely, civilian kids with no clue, that means if the professor isn't visibly in control, they're gonna fuck up.  Constantly.  It's not, by and large, because they're "discipline problems" in the military sense - it's because they're a roomful of bumbling puppies.  They're not mean, they're just cute, noisy, utterly uncoordinated, and peeing all over everything.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Most of the students I know dread the "hardass" instructors.  Me, I fucking love them.  When the instructor is hard as nails, shit gets done.  The kids sit down and shut up - usually, without really needing a lot of "disciplining", because again, by and large they're good kids - they just need to see somebody's in charge.  They've never gotten whipped into shape hard enough or long enough to get the idea of "sit down and shut up" drilled into their head without immediate reminder.  And as for the "hardass" instructors, they're also generally pretty damn easy to deal with if you've got your own shit together.  If you've got a problem and you come to them with it, calmly and rationally - and you haven't been a general fuckup - they'll help you find a way to fix it.  It's a lot easier to just "not be a fuckup" than to carry the whole load of the school process on your own shoulders.

Anyway I just wish somebody would give the instructors - if not the kids - some basic training in how to grab the kids' attention and shake 'em a little when they need it.  I really despise it when it gets to the point that the kids get so damn rambunctious that I can't even follow what's going on, and eventually *I* have to be the one to point at a cluster of them and say "You, you, you, and you.  Cut it.  You're done," or even - in one case - bellow "PIPE DOWN!" to shock the whole class for the crucial second to realize that, oh hey yeah, the instructor is trying to call out names to hand back their freaking tests, and nobody can hear him.  It ain't my job as a student, it isn't a role I want, and for fuck's sake that's insubordinate behavior in and of itself in further leeching authority from the instructor.

But when you can't even hear the instructor, and s/he isn't doing shit about it, what else are you gonna do?

Current Music: Immortal Technique - The Poverty of Philosophy

(13 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 02:41 am
i think part of the reason is the way that high school is seen as kind of "keep them sort of awake until they get old enough to get out of the house" and college is seen as "ok, this will seperate you from the chaff....if you let it"; whereas in e.g. my dad's time, high school was your wheat/chaf seperator. which is why the drop out rate in uni's for first year is so fucking high nowadays

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 02:50 am
Yeah, the problem is considerably worse now than it was last semester, 'cause 1. it's a Fall semester and 2. my entire courseload is "1 of 2" courses, ie, core requirements with a I and a II component. Calculus I, Fundamentals of Algorthmic Design I, and Japanese I. So most of my classmates are literally taking their first college course EVER, have never ever received a college grade before...

And one thing I really do <3 about USC is that their entrance requirements are very low... but they WILL fail your ass out if you're a fuckup, and in fact they do fail out fuckups in droves. It's amazing how much heavier the campus population is in Fall than in Spring. Only way to do it, if'n you ask me.

From: godbacchus
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 06:54 am

[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 11:26 am
This really sounds like high school. The fuck ups in my college hung out at the pub until they failed and got their asses kicked to the curb. The ones that showed up for class were there to learn. Never once did I experience what you're describing in class. I guess it helped that the passing grade was 75% though.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 11:53 am
This isn't Canadia; 18 year olds can't hang out at the pub here. =)

[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 04:59 pm
You see ? Now that's the problem in America !

[User Picture] From: quinnlove
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 03:18 pm


I'm not so much about the mandatory military thing, but I have to say, some people just have no idea how to behave. In my church choir, people talk all the time. During the songs, when other sections are singing, when they have a quarter rest, whatever. The director can talk till he's blue in the face, and they just won't shut up and listen. It's maddening. In the other choirs I've been in, people knew to shut up and do like the man tells you, or else.

The other day, some of the altos decided to sing tenor. We didn't have any tenors at practice, so they figured they'd cover the part. You can't just do that. The director said, "No, don't do that," and they did it anyway. It was ludicrous.

The thing is, there's nothing I can do. All I can do is be a good example and every once in a while complain. I can't make this choir be any better. They just don't get it.

And that is my rant about choir. Oh, and then there was drama on the choir e-mail list...argh. Drama. Never mind, this comment is getting too lobng, but my point is: some people just don't know how to behave.

[User Picture] From: freakout
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 05:12 pm
I understand what you're saying about discipline, but did you just say MANDATORY MILITARY SERVICE? Slow your roll there DAD.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 07:19 pm
I *also* said there are very real political problems with the idea, so get offa my BOZACK lil' miss priss.

From: misspsinfoline
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 06:43 pm
I want to hear you rant about Jane fonda being celebrated as one of the "100 Women of the Century".

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 29th, 2005 - 07:21 pm
If there were only 100 women in the last century, I got laid WAY more than my fair share.

[User Picture] From: aj_reloaded
Date: September 30th, 2005 - 04:52 am
Aye. Put ‘em on the deck, Jim. By 3’s! Society did this shit to you, son.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 30th, 2005 - 04:55 am
when you got the best eval of your 6-year Navy career for putting an intransigent-petty-officer's-head-shaped indentation in an aluminum alloy coffee mess, getting a few freshmen's attention for long enough to shut 'em up isn't exactly a challenge.

also, Goldschlager is good.


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