Monday, July 27, 2015

Euphemisms

When I saw that a sociology professor at Baylor had replaced exams with "Celebrations of Learning," I assumed that it was yet another manifestation of the panderocracy, another signpost along the good-intention-paved road along which our handbasket appears to be picking up speed.

Imagine my relief, then, to find that these Celebrations are just ordinary exams, with a friendlier name. And balloons.



The corporate world is way ahead of us on this naming thing, as usual. Thanks to the linguistic innovators in the Fortune 500's HR offices, blood-soaked, livelihood-destroying mass layoffs are now referred to "rightsizing" or "simplifying."

What unpleasant necessities of academic life might we profitably rebadge?


A student who fails a class and has to retake it has been invited for an encore performance.



Plagiarism? How about extremely sincere flattery?

Fellow Miserians, what else ya got?

15 comments:

  1. "Invited for an encore performance"

    Do I get a passing grade if I decline the offer?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Denying tenure: An opportunity to excel elsewhere
    Committee meeting: Synergy Festival
    Test cheating: Redefining the parameters by which success is measured

    ReplyDelete
  3. They are proficient at self-advocacy.
    They whinged till we caved.

    They do their best work in a collaborative environment.
    The only way they finished anything is when other people picked up their significant slack.

    They have a lot on their plates, but they are able to set priorities.
    Working out at the gym and online shopping must be done separately.

    The way was made clear for them to prove themselves elsewhere.
    We sacked them. (Works for employees and students.)

    They are as yet in a state of developing competency.
    They're stupid as fuck.

    Growth opportunity
    A specific area of incompetence.

    They were afforded the opportunity to display minimal competency.
    We kept giving them the same test till they passed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are as yet in a state of developing competency.
      We actually use this one.

      Delete
    2. I'm pretty sure we've used them all, sometimes non-ironically.

      Delete
  4. "They do their best work in a collaborative environment.
    The only way they finished anything is when other people picked up their significant slack."
    Equally applicable to students and colleagues.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I mentioned this here recently but, faculty who fail to obtain tenure are, in the words of our new president, released to succeed elsewhere.

    Which I see is similar to one posted by OPH.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My students loathe the words "Attendance Policy" on my syllabus, so I'm going to replace it on my Fall syllabi with "Draconian Mandate Requiring Physical Presence."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm ...

      * Draconian Mandate Requiring Data Network Disconnection

      * Draconian Proscription of Sustenance Ingestion

      * Draconian Terminal Achievement Assessment

      I think this idea could have legs.

      Delete
    2. Happy Hour

      You are invited to attend Professor X's Happy Hour every [day] from [start time] to [end time] in [building and room number]. Please sign the Happy Hour Guest List to win free prizes.

      Delete
  7. Committed to student success: anybody who's admitted and can fog a mirror by breathing on it will graduate

    Quality learning environment: the students dictate what should be taught and how to teach it

    Safe learning environment: the self-perception the students have that they are all geniuses must be constantly confirmed

    ReplyDelete
  8. The failing grades you assigned have been brought into line with industry averages.
    (This place is doomed. Flee, if you can).

    ReplyDelete