Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

Or, as one of my fellow grad students called it "Colonial oppression day."

I had a nice dinner with my wife and kids. I promise no indigenous peoples were oppressed by our meal.

I often wonder why English majors have to attack holidays for things most normal people never even think of when celebrating them. It reminds me of the few Wiccans I know who claim the Catholic church stole Halloween (aka Samhain) from them.

I am in no mood to make an argument over this point. I am going to go spend time with my family, but I just felt the holiday needed to be noted.

And I know there will be grumbling about Bush's "thinly veiled campaign ad" (referring to his Thanksgiving dinner with the Troops in Baghdad) on campus come Monday.

Or it could just be that our President decided to sacrifice much of his holiday so he could show the troops just how much he admired them. An amazing gesture by a very underrated president.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Well, has found this blog. Cool. I enjoy Erin's blog immensely (I've linked to it before - see entries below), so it's nice to see someone out there has alerted Erin to my presence on the web.

As for the comment about being unable to check the accuracy of what I have written - well, I am being somewhat anonymous (though if you really want to find out who I am, it isn't that hard) because I am afraid that if this blog is discovered by my professors, AND they figure out it is me, my grades will drop and my position in the program may suffer. I'm married with kids - I need to get my degree over with soon so I can get a job.

This blog is mainly so I have an outlet to blow off steam. Perhaps in my frustration I exaggerate slightly, but I am not making any of this up. It all has happened, and to me.

As for my year in school - I'm actually on my first year for the PhD, but I already earned an MA at another college before coming to where I am currently.

There are some conservative members of the faculty, but they aren't in control by a long shot.

News item of the day: My professor I TA for was declaring that the English department doesn't get enough funding because the administration (and the legislature - this is a public University) is afraid we are all a bunch of "pinko commies." Another student asked "Well, aren't we?" And the professor replied, without a trace of irony or humor: "I certainly hope so."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Warning: mild profanity (not my words, but the words of one of my professors).

I recall when I started my PhD program that the professor I was "TA"ing for at the time, got all the TAs together and told us how to deal with "right wing assholes' who will try to steal the discussion and push their narrow views on the class.

I made a comment about how, yeah, extreme views on either side of the spectrum are bad when taken overboard - what is needed is real discussion considering all the sides of the issue.

I was given an odd look and told that liberals are never wrong and their views are appropriate for class, since liberals are open-minded and tolerant and that's what higher education is about: liberalizing the students.

Silly me, I thought it was about clear and honest discussion of all sides of an issue.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Guess what? The professor I work as a TA for (in a general education class designed for the General student body) admitted he chooses works of literature that are anti-religious because he wants to show the students how idiotic it is to be religious. This is a general education class designed to teach literature to students who otherwise will never take a literature class.

Instead of teaching literature, he is using literature as a way to force his atheistic beliefs on the students. I wouldn't mind so much if there was some balancing going on - such as using literature that is fairly pro-religious, or a discussion of how the books can be read as anti-hypocrisy instead of anti-religion. No such luck, though.

He knows I am religious, but he hopes I'll get over it.

Here's another good article to check out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Not much today, other than another student that is pro-choice, pro gay marriage, anti-George W. Bush, all for higher taxes and who thinks all religion is bad for society tried to convince me he was a moderate.

Found a great link at another blog for more on the Conservative English major problem:

Monday, November 10, 2003

Okay - here we go.

Today's topic is: FOX News. Today, many people in one of my classes began ripping on the FOX news channel for being a conservative news network controlled by Rupert Murdoch. Of course, I mentioned that CNN was partly created by Ted Turner, a liberal man if there ever was one, and they just blew it off.

Later, we read our teaching philosophies and one student actually said his teaching philosophy is to make his students realize that George W. Bush is a bad, evil man on the level with Hitler. Critical thinking apparently requires hating conservatives and buying the liberal party line without question.

What bugs me is the lack of critical thinking among English majors. Overall, they just mouth idiotic liberal phrases like "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" and act as if the debate is over. (Because to argue is to show yourself as an evil western colonialist with views that resemble Nazis. You may think I'm exaggerating - I'm not. The other day, in the graduate student lounge, several students complained loudly that Paul Wolfowitz hadn't been killed in Iraq yet).

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