The Chronicle has this new series called Dear Student in which a group of professors write letters to a student who is has a problem, like needing to add a class in the middle of the semester. (Please don't click!) It is what we folks around here call Smackdown. If you were to read the Dear Student articles (by typing the URL, not clicking on a link), you'd find them to be very mild in their condemnation of the student. The authors sign their own names so I suppose they can't bring it like we do here.
The article that prompts my little tirade here labels this behavior as "student shaming." Student shaming. As the kids say, I just can't even. What we do here at CM is now labeled disapprovingly with social justice terminology. For fuck's sake.
This is my least favorite type of academic. (Beating out "those who get more grant money and teach fewer classes than me" for the honor.) The preciousness of his article is worth beholding - just type http://www.jessestommel.com/blog/files/dear-chronicle.html (that's not a link!) in the address bar to find out.
In the article, he tells the Chronicle that he is choosing to no longer write for them because of the callousness displayed in the Dear Student letters. I imagine this will drive the Chronicle offline by Tuesday at the latest. What is he whining about? He explains helpfully that the Dear Student letters, those tame but amusing faculty responses to annoying students, fail to demonstrate that
- "Education should be about dialogue, conversation, community,"
- "Any teacher that regularly gets caught up in power and control struggles with students over grades has missed the point,"
- "Our classrooms should have more doors and windows, not less," and
- "... we
need to consider whether there is something about the educational
system that has put students in the awkward and uncomfortable position
of feeling like they have to lie to their teachers."
If that doesn't burn your britches, he casually mentions that Dear Student letters are akin to Scott Walker's education budget.
His inadvertent self-parody ends with a statement that he will not join us at a water cooler to talk this way about students. As if we would invite a shithead like him.
But wait, there's more in the article's comments section. I should have known that he's the type of professor to say that attendance is important "because I (and the other students in a class) learn as much from them as they learn from me." Then why are you the only one getting paid? Such bullshit.
* As with all of my best work, this running gag is inspired by Grover. Don't click that link!