Friday, November 13, 2015

not even gonna lie, watching the cathedral self-destruct this week has been SCHA-WEET!!!

WaPo |  This February, Northwestern professor Laura Kipnis wrote an essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education criticizing “sexual paranoia” on campus, only to be targeted by a crowd of 30 protesters carrying mattresses and pillows. Students filed a Title IX lawsuit against her, but she was cleared of wrongdoing.

In June, a professor wrote an anonymous piece for Vox titled “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me.”

“I’m a professor at a midsize state school,” the piece began. “I am not a world-class teacher by any means, but I am conscientious; I attempt to put teaching ahead of research, and I take a healthy emotional stake in the well-being and growth of my students.

“Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.

“… The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that’s simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher’s formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.”

“… The relationship of trust between professors and students seems to be weakening as more students become monitors for microaggressions,” echoed NYU professor Jonathan Haidt in an article for the Atlantic on “the coddling of the American mind.”

“I don’t mind if students complain directly to me. Each lecture involves hundreds of small decisions, and sometimes I do choose the wrong word or analogy. But nowadays, e-mail and social media make it easier for students to complain directly to campus authorities, or to the Internet at large, than to come talk with their professors. Each complaint can lead to many rounds of meetings, and sometimes to formal charges and investigations.

“Increasingly, professors must ask themselves not just What is the best way to teach this material? but also Might the most sensitive student in the class take offense if I say this, and then post it online, and then ruin my career?”