Stuck on Himself Academic Rants

Wow. I don’t think I could have been more appalling than this if I tried.

If we assume that red-state secondary education systems don’t utterly collapse due to underfunding caused by Republican anti-tax mania, then colleges and universities will come into play. The children of red states will seek a higher education, and that education will very often happen in blue states or blue islands in red states. For the foreseeable future, loyal dittoheads will continue to drop off their children at the dorms. …And then they are all mine.

Okay, that’s not too bad.

Except that he is blaming Republicans for the demise of the secondary education system. And not the NEA and parents who are too unbothered to care.

And except that he is assuming that all academic higher education houses are “blue islands.” Well, I hate to say this, but I’ve been to many ivory towers and only one was a blue island. (What was I thinking to ever encourage my child to go there?) At Purdue I had Catholic nuns and ex-Catholic nuns for teachers. There were also drunkards. But, I don’t think that makes them blue.

I suspect the main reason for this is that most academics I know are willing to forego [sic] making a big pile of money in order to, you know, think for a living.

Again, I hate to say this, but hmm. Most academics couldn’t get a job in business. They don’t have the skills. They don’t know how to get into that environment. And I don’t mean that badly. The reason they don’t is they’ve chosen not to go in that direction. But once you’re not in that direction, unless you are a stand out in some area, you don’t get to go in that direction either.

And, I hate to tell you this, but many jobs in business don’t make “a big pile of money.” Yes, my bro-in-law makes a half a million a year in business. But most people don’t. My brother’s an attorney and he can barely pay for a trailer house in the country, away from city taxes. And some professors make much more than these every day business people. I blogged just this month on a professor who has been arrested for pedophilia who makes $134,000 a year from his job, even when he has been in jail. Nice work if you can get it. (Okay, maybe not. I wouldn’t want to be a pedophiliac under any circumstances. Even if it meant I could get paid without working.)

Also, a problem with this statement is the idea that if you are in business you don’t think. Hello. If you don’t think, then you’re not in business very long. It’s not like business is a “pick up the rock, put the rock down” cycle. No, it’s not. That C on a paper that turned into Federal Express, those two guys skipping out of college that turned into Apple… Those are examples of people in business thinking. And perhaps of academics not doing so. — Although it is certainly possible that the presentation of the FedEx idea was so poor as to warrant a C and that the guys were too busy playing computers to do their assignments.)

Then there’s the true eyes wide shut dilemma within this statement. That is the belief and the inference that academics think for a living. I don’t believe that is true. I have never, ever, ever heard of any university in the world (although there may have been one once) who pays anyone for thinking. They pay for teaching, for research, for public meetings. But they don’t pay for thinking.

To be totally appalled at the self-centered arrogance of this English teacher from Northwestern U, read the whole thing.

But before you get too overwhelmed by his obnoxiousness, he did have some points which we ought to consider. If the first time our children are presented with something other than what we know as truth is when they are in college, the foundations we have given them are much too shallow. But I don’t think just reading widely will help. I think you should also teach your children to think critically.

From personal experience I can say that teaching young children to think critically may cause you to spend a lot of time researching stuff you thought you knew when they get into their teen years, but it is worth it.

The article was published in June, but today’s fisking has been brought to you because I found the article via Sondra K at Knowledge is Power.

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