Thursday, December 12, 2013

Today on Professor Facepalm: Things I Learned This Semester

It's the end of the semester for me, and with my grading done, it's time to take stock. Much to my surprise, this semester has been very productive in terms of research. But rather than selfishly try to advance my career by publishing my results, I'm going to share them here, after the jump!

Yes, it's been a heck of a semester for insights into my discipline. These undergrads... goodness! They're chock full of interesting ideas! Well, maybe "interesting" isn't the right word. Novel? Technically, I suppose. Weird? Yes, that, too. Completely deranged? Ah, spot-on.

Things I learned about my discipline from my students this semester:

1) The central philosophical concept in Kant's moral theory is the chronological imperative.
2) Marx was a "socialite."
3) Utilitarians just want to follow God's law.
4) Plato was a Marxist (which, presumably, means he was a socialite, too?).
5) Aristotle was a great Christian philosopher.
6) and that "America is not ready for a Liberian world view." In the context of the paper, "libertarian" makes more sense, but I'm enchanted by the possibilities of a literal reading of this sentence.

As a bonus, I offer a bit of disciplinary insight, as well:

Professor Facepalm's Law of Video Relativity: No matter when you start a video you want to show the class, someone always comes in five minutes after the video has started... even if the video is less than five minutes long.

See? A wealth of new ideas, and not even locked up behind a subscription-only paywall. My generosity knows no bounds, does it?

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I read every goddamn word of every post--even if it gets pushed down to the 34th page. That's how devoted I am to Fab.

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    2. Okay, it's the end of the semester, and I'm sure people are getting a bit frayed, but perhaps "I Shouldn't Have To Do This" could remember that (a) people are perfectly capable of using the "Next Page" link and (b) this is one space where we can come to get away from the psychotic performance-pressure of academia... so perhaps all the anxiety about "being on the front page" is a little, oh, nuts? Can we say "nuts" these days? Ah, what the heck - it's nuts. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Have some alcohol of your choice.

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    3. Hey, just to pick up on this. When you post on your own, you can SEE on the posting page what else has been posted and what else is scheduled. I don't think Leslie K has to be in charge of monitoring that. If you've got something you want to post but you see 7-8 pieces already up - you even see the TIMES - then schedule it for the next day. Those who get buried by you will bury your next post, I can assure you.

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    4. Exactly. Sometimes I schedule my posts, other times I fire-and-forget. As you like. And, hey, let me just say, whether it was you or someone else, thanks for adding the link to Liberia! That made me giggle.

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    5. I agree that care is in order. On the other hand, it seems to be a pretty busy time of year, for both posting and commenting (presumably because a lot of us are tied to our computers, grading), and perhaps a bit more turnover than usual is appropriate (says Cassandra, who is in regular need of break/procrastination material).

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  2. Whoa, Coach...let's back off the ego and remember this is all for fun, eh?

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    1. I could not agree more, Dr. Python. This is not an academic journal!

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  3. A corollary to your Law of Video Relativity:No matter when you start a video you *must* show to your class--as in, it is effing CURRICULAR, elsewhise why would I have the fucker IN THE GODDAMNED MACHINE??--someone always leaves the room on an effing take-a-piss break that cannot wait. And FOUR will do so if you have announced sternly and with focused volume that you will be showing a film, so piss NOW or forever hold your piss.

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    1. Some of my students must have the tiniest bladders in the world. Why don't they use the facilities before they come to class? And this is not the time to get snacks out of a machine. They think it's like a movie theater or something.

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  4. If a "Liberian world view" is a mid-19th-century colonialist/racially separatist one (at least one of the strains of thought that went into the founding of Liberia, though admittedly not the only one), then parts of America seem all too ready for same.

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    1. Eek! And, sadly, I think you're right.

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