Saturday, January 24, 2004

Op-Ed Contributor: Career Girls

What a crock - Op-Ed Contributor: Career Girls

But such reading is crucial, especially since literacy in sexual politics means literacy in all politics. Despite some reawakening of student activism via Howard Dean's Internet-based campaign, in my experience, attempts to introduce contemporary politics into classroom discussions meet with blank stares. Even this past year, as our country began a war, I encountered mostly silence when I broached the topic of Iraq, a mix of paralysis and anxiety, plus some disgruntlement over my deviating from the syllabus. [ed - boldface added

How dare students care whether their time in the classroom is well-spent, it is not like they are paying

Tuition and Fees
The comprehensive fee for the 2003-2004 academic year is $37,900. Other expenses include books and supplies (around $800) and personal miscellaneous expenses, including health insurance and round-trip transportation (varies depending on student's home location). [ed from About Connecticut College

But at least, the op-ed contributor must be a professor in a discipline that would make sure the time spent in class on the issues of internet-campaigning or foreign policy would be well-spent. Alas, NYT lists the author as

Rhonda Garelick is an associate professor of French and Italian at Connecticut College.

French and Italian? Well, I cannot image why I would be annoyed if my French (or performance studies) professor would spend a not insignificant chunk of $37,000 (plus fees) on discussing her opinions on Iraqi war or "Family Time Flexibility Act". Frankly, I think it is incredibly presumptous of Ms. Garelick to dismiss her students as apolitical and unable to "mine the implications" of government acts. After all, she does not sound (admittedly I only know her from a 350-word essay) like a person with whom one can publicly disagree in the classroom on a off-sillabus topic and still hope for a fair grade. I can only suggest, and hope for the sake of her future students, that Ms. Gorelick will channel her energies into obtaining a position that would be more conducive in devoting herself "more to teaching "wakeful" political literacy: the skills needed to interrogate all cultural messages" than classes in French and Italian.

ps. I think the comparative literature degree Ms. Gorelick possesses is one of the best general degrees a person can have. I just strongly disagree with her assessment of what proper student behaviour should be in response to off-topic discussions in classes with a well-defined curriculum.


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