Friday, January 27, 2006

Hygiene and Pedagogy.

A longtime reader from North Carolina sends this along:

The last posting was indeed excellent, not least for being evenhanded. I particularly have to hand it to the writer for acknowledging the vagaries of the vinyl generation, of which I am a proud member. But one problem of pulling the Socrates quote out of the template drawer is that we can become blind to what is right there before us on a daily basis and which bodes very badly indeed for the future of the professional world.

One of my particular bugbears is simply this: when exactly did the 18-to-21 age male student become so physically off-putting? Fashion statements nothwithstanding, I have yet to see one young guy in my classes who doesn't have--through a combination of stubble, too much sun, too little washing, and a pervasive diet of junk food--an appearance of utter hairy-legged, grimy-toed slovenliness.

I visited some isolated Mexican villages last year that had no amenities like running water or electricity, and the sense of personal hygiene was far superior to what I'm seeing every day here in the decadent capitalist West. Guys, a bit of advice from a not-quite-extinct dinosaur: the Fecal Look doesn't work!!!