Archive for August, 2011

So Michael Ellsberg – who apparently is a rich boy who went to an Ivy League school, is complaining that they dared tried to teach him to write academic prose!  The bastards!  (As a quick warning, I’m not one to curse in most of the blogs I write, but this one deserved it…)

http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelellsberg/2011/07/31/why-trying-to-learn-clear-writing-in-college-is-like-trying-to-learn-sobriety-in-a-bar/?partner=contextstory

Of course, I’m not rich or a boy, and I went to “real” colleges where writing actually mattered and my teachers wanted to understand what I wrote.  Which is the way I teach.

So maybe the article should have been “why I went to school and tried to learn like a pretentious prick and now I’m angry about it.”

 

While I agree that there is something to be said for writing academic prose, for the most part, we don’t need it.  I’ve never felt that I’ve written academic prose, but I’ve still managed to get good grades.  Why?  I had good teachers, I had good ideas, and I didn’t think of myself as someone who should avoid “most university professors.”

And if he was dumb enough to have submitted “his” essay that was generated from the Postmodernism Generator to me – or any of the teachers I’d had – he would have, instead of getting an “A for his ‘subversive dialectical critique’” would have gotten an F after I asked him to explain it to me and discovered that it was, indeed, just a bunch of gibberish tossed out by an algorithm.

Yes, some idiots have published work from that, but just because one journal did that does not equate to the majority.  Maybe he should have taken some classes on critical thinking?

So, again, I just wanted to say that one person’s experience and bad-mouthing of the state of English classes does not equal reality.  At least, not for most of us who have to actually pay for school and work for a living.

Thanks for giving me a laugh and some righteous indignation Mr. I-went-to-a-$40,000-year-school-and-whine-like-a-baby Ellsberg.