16 July 2006

Opinions are like assholes...

Dear Students:

While I appreciate your attempt to bring the past into the present, and I do know how 'street' it is right now to bash the President, your comparison between President Bush and Louis XIV is not a valid one. First off, your knowledge of history is general at best. Second, your textbook is a survey text and does not go into the detail that you would need in order to make an accurate comparison. (Nevermind that you have no idea how to review your other sources.) Third, unless you have a direct line and whatever the ultra-uber-top-sekret clearance is called this week, your views of present day events are skewed by the media, emotions, and are incapable of being presented in an unbiased manner.

Congratulations. You have put me in an awkward position. Now I have to find a way to tell you you're a dumbass, smack your pee-pee, and correct you, all without hurting your widdle bitty feelings. Because if I hurt your feelings, you go to my department chair and whine. Guess what. You're 18, you don't know shit about shit. I, who have had more educational and teaching experience than you, still don't know shit about shit. I do, however, know how to sort the shit better.

I do my best not to bring in my religious, political, sexual, whatever beliefs into the classroom. Do you know why? Because they pay me to teach, not to wax poetic on my belief structures. I am there to present you with information that is as factual as it can be (given that history is written by the winners), and show you how to analyze it, interpret it, and use it in a way that can be communicated to others. Do you really give a shit who I voted for in the last election? Or how I think the world could be run better? If so, I'll gladly get up in front of my class on Monday and tell them the way the world should work were I Grand High Empress of Everything.

But I get paid to teach. When I feel the need to have my opinions known, that's when I get my ass to the library, to the internet (thank god for e-publishing of journals), to the dank recesses of some older-than-dirt university across the pond. And if I'm lucky. If someone thinks that my opinions or ideas are neat enough... They publish me. And! And, if I'm really, really lucky, they pay me.

Find your own outlet, you post-pubescent gnat. Go do what I did when I was your age. Go out to Denny's, stay up all night sorting how best to solve all the world's ills. Don't harass your waitress. Tip her for the time you've been there, not the bottomless cup of coffee. And keep it out of my classroom unless there's a reason to it.

One Pissed Off Prof.

[If you don't know the rest of the saying, it's "everyone has one and they think their's doesn't stink."]

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