Mailvox: not the teacher’s pet

Aero sides with the academy:

Its good to see the grade giver had the insight not to give you all As

A lot of them tended to have this hangup about students occasionally showing up for class and buying the textbook or something. Weird. I think the time I most enjoyed getting called on the carpet was when my stats prof was chewing me out in front of the class for missing a pair of classes after she’d threatened me with an F if I missed another one.

HER: “Why weren’t you here last week! I told you I’d fail you if you didn’t show up!”
VOX: “Hey, I couldn’t make it. It was physically impossible.”
HER: “Physically impossible? Were you sick? I don’t believe you.”
VOX: “Seriously, it was impossible. Ask the police. They were the ones who were keeping me locked up.”

LONG MOMENT OF STUNNED SILENCE

HER: “You were in jail? For what?”
VOX: “Assault.”

I ended up with a B+ since she decided to only dock me for not turning in any homework. (Only college prof I ever had who actually graded homework.) I’m pretty sure the main reason she set aside her little attendance policy was that she was terrified I’d end up in her class again the next semester if she failed me.

Who says the fascists lost?

From the Telegraph:

Every baby attending a day nursery or who is in the care of a childminder will be taught a new national curriculum devised by Whitehall, it was announced yesterday.

Childminders and nurseries will be under a legal duty to teach the Early Years Foundation Stage to children “from birth” until the age of three. Inspectors from Ofsted will check that the children are developing in four “distinct curriculum headings”. This will include becoming “competent learners”, for which they will be expected to have mastered such skills as comparing, categorising and recognising symbols and marks….

The framework will have the same compulsory force as the national curriculum, which lays down what children learn at school.

The British might as well simply ban parenting children altogether and grow armies of clone-workers while they’re at it. Or, alternatively, just import more Muslims as that seems to be working really well in France. And is anyone surprised that the children’s minister at the Department of Education who is at the forefront of this abomination is named “Beverly”?

The way in which Western societies plunge themselves headlong into destruction while a signficant percentage of its members watch and nod approvingly is totally mystifying to me.

Mailvox: a bubble waiting to burst

Renee conflates academic success with real world success:

Right now, I’m getting the top grades in my biology and chemistry classes, and no, they’re not all girls. I got the highest grade in my class on my chem prelim last time around. (I have another one coming up Thursday that I really should be studying for now).

What am I supposed to do, fail on purpose?

No, of course you shouldn’t give up your pursuit of excellence in your academic endeavors. Learning should always be prized, for its own sake. But neither should you confuse academic success with material success or expect the latter to flow naturally from the former.

Academic success is much simpler than real world success because it depends upon one very simple principle: please the giver of grades. This generally involves the ability to follow directions, do what is expected and show up to class. The problem is that these abilities are almost completely irrelevant when it comes to achieving success in the real world. At best, they will help one become a reasonably well-compensated worker bee in a large organization where results are measured by subjective performance reviews given by one’s superior – in other words, pleasing the giver of grades.

Many have noted that few of the most successful self-made men have undergone traditional educational paths. This is not an accident. Success in the real world requires risk-taking, creativity and resiliency, three things that no student with a 4.0 has ever been required to demonstrate, not even at the finest schools. Unlike the caring teacher or the nurturing professor, the market doesn’t give a damn about you and you’re not going to get a do-over on that failed demonstration to the all-important potential strategic partner because the cat that Daddy gave you on your fifth birthday had to be rushed to the vet and you just didn’t have time to finish your preparations.

What Renee and other young women need to keep in mind is that they have been sold two fraudulent bills of goods. One, of course, is that men will value them for their accomplishments and find them more desirable with a career and a college degree. The second is that academic success is realistisc and adequate preparation for marketplace success. This latter reality is becoming ever more apparent as women now make up 57 percent of this generation’s college students but are conspicuous primarily by their absence from the latest generation of entrepeneurs.

It boils down to this. School is talk. Real work is action. You can talk all you like, but an idea only becomes a product or a service through action. Now, it is true that men and women who talk a good game can make a lot of money for a while – I know a few high-priced New York consultants; they’re totally useless but they do make a lot of money convincing large companies to pay for their banal “services” – but at the end of the day they haven’t built anything or really accomplished anything. And they know it.

There are women who have the guts, insight and tenacity to build a business from the ground up, but it’s interesting to note that the Debbie Fields, the Mary Kay Ashs and the Oprah Winfreys of the world have all achieved great market success with very little in the way of an academic foundation.

So, get your good grades. Take pride in them. They will give you an initial leg up. But that’s it.