February 17, 2005

My paper is good because I spellchecked TWICE

Echidne has a few choice quotations from David Horowitz' Giant Index of The Evils of Liberal Professors.

"This complaint applies to the discriminating nature of grading of my English teacher…On the last one, I wrote about how family values in the books weve read aren't good. I know the paper was pretty much great because I spell checked it and proofred it twice. I got an D- just because the professor hates families and thinks its okay to be gay." [sic] - Ohio State, English, 2/9/05

"We were then required to watch an immoral Seinfeld episode dealing with masturbation, an exercise with little sociological value. She then gave a lecture on 'moral relativity,' which she defined very closely with 'cultural relativism.'" - St. Louis University, Sociology, 2/13/05

"Talked about flags as symbols of states and argued that new Iraqi flag was not a result of a transparent and fair process…Claimed AS FACT that other Arab societies had red, green and black in their flags…" - St. Michael's College, Human Geography, 4/30/04

Perusing the list Atrios generated, most of the complaints seem to be along the lines of 'the professor expressed an anti-Republican opinion in class!' or 'we did not read any books expressing a conservative point of view!'.

Here's the thing: we're working off the empirically justified assumption that most of the people around us are just as liberal as we are. Should we make jokes and bitch about how we don't like or understand Republican voters? Ehh, probably not. But we're people -- we slip up, and we're willing to apologize when we see we've genuinely hurt someone.

At the same time, it's our job to try to get you guys to learn the ideas of the field of our specialty. This is because we've studied it intensely for years or even decades; possibly even longer than you've been alive. We're simply more qualified to write the syllabus and lecture than you are. You've got to trust us when we tell you that Antonio Gramsci (communist) is more respected among political scientists than Ann Coulter, and his ideas and arguments are more worthwhile to examine than hers. But of course you write your own term paper: if you want to cite Ann Coulter, Ayn Rand, or David Horowitz (post-him being a communist, of course) in your paper, and your paper actually uses these writers to address the issues brought up in class in a relevant and coherent fashion, you will deserve and should receive a good grade.

On the other hand, if your paper on Margaret Sanger and her stance on abortion can be summarized as 'Abortion is murder! James Dobson and Ann Coulter both say so!' (only with 'murder' and 'is' misspelled), you will have earned your F by failing to address the assigned topic.

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