Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pathetic Pedagogues.

A History adjunct from the South sends this:

Your site saddens me. RMP may well be useless, and allow hateful messages to be propagated on the internet, but how does flinging degrading and hurtful comments in the other direction help the matter? You seem to have admitted to yourself that it doesn't help anything, yet you've gone through the trouble of making and updating your little site for venting spleen and getting your 15 minutes anyway. Really, why? I'm looking for a rational reason here, not more emotional appeals to the effect of "OMG! Students are calling me names on the internet!"

I also find it really pathetic that so many pedagogues writing in feel so free (so entitled even!) to comment on their students' physical attributes. This goes way beyond parodying the "hotness" rating category on RMP. One writes "here's a bra that fits" for one of his (I'm guessing female) students. And there are other snarky, frankly gross comments like this (not to mention the ones that are otherwise sexist or racist).

Meanwhile, other teachers bemoan having their "jugs" commented on or their portliness discussed. Sexual harrassment and physical insults fly both ways throughout your blog. Having gotten some of the former from profs whilst I was a student, I am all the more determined to never, ever, treat my students with anything even bordering on sexualized disrespect. Silly me, I even find avoiding being disrespectful in general towards students to be an important goal. And that includes while posting pseudo-anonymously on the internet. It sets a terrible example.

I wish some of the folks writing in to your site had absorbed similar lessons during their earlier educations. I hope that as time goes on, you start to get better students, or re-vamp your teaching techniques, or come out of your depression, or all of the above. There are a lot of problems with American academia, and your site is just adding to the pile.