Still Need to Share

This is the last post of the kind for today, I promise.

“The most important events of the XXth century were the two World Wars and the invention of the color TV.”

“The decade of the 60s is mostly known for how many drugs were taken.”

“The most important events of the XXth century were the revolutions in China and Iran.” (I agree they were important but why these two specifically? I now really wonder what the student’s Major is.)

“The Beatles were one of the most important phenomena of the century.” (Hear, hear!)

And the absolute winner: “The most important thing in the XXth century is Feminism because it changed the world for the better!!”

P.S. For those who keep worrying: in this particular assignment, I only grade the use of Spanish. Opinions are neither castigated nor rewarded.

Who Cares About the Walk on the Moon?

I just found a huge cultural difference between me and my students. They think that one of the most crucial events of the XXth century was the walk on the Moon. To me, this makes zero sense. It wasn’t even the first trip into outer space. And who cares, anyway? As of now, space exploration has not led to anything significant and has proven to be a major waste of money.

I attribute this to the success of the Cold War propaganda that, I’m guessing, probably touted the walk on the Moon as something hugely important to mask the frustration of lagging behind the Soviet Union in every aspect of space exploration.

Based on this and on the Princess Diana comment, I’m starting to get a feeling that my students fail to grasp the difference between the sensational or the hyped up and the truly important.

Important Events

OK, this isn’t going well already. The very first response to the question “Which were some of the most important events that influenced our entire planet in the XX century?” was “The death of Princess Diana.”

How am I supposed to continue grading after this?

P.S. A question for everybody: who is this Caesar person that, according to a student, was assassinated after Kennedy and MLK?

P.P.S. “When women decided they wanted to have the right to vote, people disagreed.” I love the women vs people mentality.


Welcome to the Country of Barcelona!

The very first response to the question of “Which Spanish-speaking country you would like to visit and why?” elicited the following response: “I always wanted to visit the country of Barcelona because I heard that it has beautiful architecture and a great climate.”

I want to interpret this as evidence that Catalonian nationalism is reaching its goals.

When Scientists Are Stupid

From Inside Higher Ed:

The scholars conducted in-depth interviews with 74 physicists and biologists who are graduate students or faculty members at prestigious universities, and the results illustrate options that male scientists have that many female scientists who have or want children lack. A majority of men studied who have families organized their lives in decidedly unequal ways with regard to family and home duties. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most traditional male scientists are older (and more successful). But the study finds that many male scientists starting their careers (and whose wives work outside the home) do not attempt to have equal responsibility for raising children or managing homes.

Well, if one wants to remain an immature little boy who is incapable of having a life partner and needs a Mommy and whose children resent and despise him, one should absolutely pursue this course of action.

I have noticed, though, that there is a certain vein of immaturity that is very present among men in the sciences. In the Humanities, most men I know (even the ones who are older) are aware that being a walking stereotype of a male chauvinist pig and a Mommy’s boy incapable of growing up makes one look ridiculous and undermines one’s life. In sciences, it’s a lot more often that you meet men who seem completely stunted in their development. Read the linked article and you will be shocked at how these “scholars” blabber on incoherently, incapable of expressing (or probably even forming) a single thought.

There are very intelligent, progressive and anti-chauvinistic men from sciences who read this blog, so exceptions from this sad rule exist. Yet I do believe that many men in sciences lag behind developmentally and intellectually. This probably happens because in the course of their studies they do all they can to avoid taking courses in the Humanities and not everybody is enlightened enough to educate themselves. As a result, we end up with people who are very good at their own limited field of knowledge but exhibit all of the characteristics of an idiot savant outside of it. (Seriously, read the quotes in the linked article, if you don’t believe me.)

Again, if you are a male scientist who reads this blog, this post is not about you. You wouldn’t be able to get through a single post of mine if you weren’t completely different from those sad creatures.