Sunday Link Encyclopedia

Well, I, for one, am happy that this clueless and nasty character is quitting her teaching job.

Poor delusional tools are massaging reality into a friendly shape but reality is resisting.

I don’t see why this is supposedly anti-Semitic and what the scandal is about but judge for yourselves.

What British people consider to be murder. I’m never going to get this.

Ancestry.com helps people break the cycle of horrible lies.

Every time I decide that Sarah Kendzior can’t get any sillier, she breaks her own record. I have no idea why she thinks it’s so cute to pose as a dumb airhead. And I don’t really think she is one. It’s a persona she cultivates.

As we say, even the most backwards among us have finally donned jeans. In other words, the demise of the nation-state is finally being discussed in tabloids.

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13 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia”

  1. I have mixed feelings about this quitting teacher. Perhaps she is not the best teacher, but I am pretty sure it is wrong to go too libertarian here and blame personal or professional shortcomings of a teacher for things that are in reality systemic.
    The moment we (the society) decided, with very good intentions, that secondary education should be obligatory and that school has to be a depository for children while their parents work, we also created a situation where teachers were assigned a disproportional share of responsibility for children’s success, compared to family. It would be a mistake to imagine all parents to be as psychologically healthy as the best representatives of the group “parents”, and this lack of psychological health translates into various problems in children. For which teachers are then being held responsible. It would also be a mistake to imagine that the parents, on average, could be immune to the consumerist mentality permeating most spheres of life. Especially if, as I strongly suspect, school administrations themselves are encouraging such mentality.
    On the other hand, any mass-production system cannot possibly be staffed with people who have better than average resilience required to work under such conditions while preserving high professional standards and a measure of psychological health. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that somewhere there are legions of teachers capable of doing that, just standing by, and the only problem is that imperfect teachers are occupying their places…
    Maybe teachers leaving (and explaining why they are leaving, so one cannot imagine it is some personal problem of a particular teacher) under such circumstances is the best solution…

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    1. She failed half of the students in her class because they didn’t hand in all the assignments. Half of the students is incapable of doing all the assignments she gives. And this at no point makes her wonder whether there are simply too many assignments.

      Being critical of a student to a parent in the presence of the student is another completely unprofessional behavior. What kind of a parent who is not a total shit wouldn’t defend his child? What kind of a parent would ally herself with the teacher in the presence of the child? And she’s not getting it.

      And the fixation on keeping things in order – which is insane to expect from children in a large group – points to serious psychological issues.

      There is a shortage of teachers in my state that is entirely manufactured by the state itself. My students who have become teachers don’t complain about kids or parents. It’s issue number one million fifteen in their lives. The problems are created by the state and ok, let’s talk about that. But “being a teacher sucks because parents love their kids and wouldn’t betray them by ganging up against them with a teacher”? That’s barely normal.

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  2. She failed half of the students in her class because they didn’t hand in all the assignments. Half of the students is incapable of doing all the assignments she gives. And this at no point makes her wonder whether there are simply too many assignments.
    Good point. But this assumes she has control of her lesson plans and how many “assignments” to give or what has to be covered. And no, just giving one big test at the end of the term would cause the parents to freak out even more. Kumon wouldn’t be a viable business in the US if there weren’t parents who felt their kid wasn’t getting enough homework. My cousin’s kid will be five and she already is doing these.

    Being critical of a student to a parent in the presence of the student is another completely unprofessional behavior. What kind of a parent who is not a total shit wouldn’t defend his child? What kind of a parent would ally herself with the teacher in the presence of the child? And she’s not getting it.

    Asians. :p But there’s nothing in her text to suggest that she spoke to the parent about the kid in front of the kid. I never sat in parent-teacher conferences with my parents when I was a child.

    And the fixation on keeping things in order – which is insane to expect from children in a large group – points to serious psychological issues.

    Of course. I’m sure the janitorial services have been cut. The bookshelf should not be collapsing though. And why the hell is she de facto expected to buy school supplies out of her own pocket?

    I would never want to be a school teacher and I get very aggressive with people who suggest it to me, because fuck getting additional education to be paid so poorly and be disrespected. But my issues have to deal with how the voting public (via the legislature) & school administration treats teachers, not the kids themselves.

    But you know, I’d bet dollars to donuts quite a few teachers in my state and in
    Texas voted for the Republican supermajority in their state legislatures. Including this woman.

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    1. But you see, this is precisely the problem. You are discussing it as an adult who has insight into the situation. Janitorial services are cut, funding for school supplies is destroyed, insane testing is destroying teaching. This is what we should be talking about and not “kids are coddled and spoiled by mean parents.” This is a pouty, childish stance that an educator can’t afford.

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      1. This is what we should be talking about and not “kids are coddled and spoiled by mean parents.” This is a pouty, childish stance that an educator can’t afford.

        I don’t believe it would’ve gone viral for a second if the teacher talked about janitorial services, school supply funding or testing. Caring about janitorial services would imply that people think of janitors beyond object lessons in how not to live your life. [“Do what I tell you or you’ll end up sweeping trash/working behind a convenience store counter.”] Talking about school funding means talking about getting money for schools which mean higher taxes. There’s a whole bunch of voters who just vote based on “will my property taxes go up?” even if they don’t own property. I didn’t mention testing but that would mean talking about educational companies and the money they make.

        No, “pouty educators v bratty children” is much more satisfying because it absolves the reader of responsibility. “Whiny teachers! Bratty children! Your kid might be bratty, but not my child!”

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        1. And that’s precisely why I hate this post. The kids are defective, yeah, right. And everybody joyfully reposts it. I found the story linked on a friend’s FB, and she’s a teacher. She loved it. And I find that scary because she’s a smart person, has a PhD from McGill, an immigrant. And this is the insight she has into the situation? What can one expect from less worldly, less intellectually gifted folks?

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          1. Many people just don’t like children, either collectively or their own. A far greater number only like the children that are theirs. I don’t think it has anything to deal with worldliness or intellectual gifts.

            We’re in this historical moment where maybe having children is a choice (because of widespread access to effective birth control) and people don’t know how to deal with it. And by moment I mean 2-3 generations at best. Hormonal birth control became legal in the US within my mother’s lifetime. The idea that kids are a choice and therefore you own it joyfully is a historical blink. Nobody got precious and sentimental about children when women routinely gave birth ten times and didn’t have all of their kids survive to adulthood or died in childbirth often.

            Of course, if you want to tie it back to your favorite paradigm, people get annoyed at the idea of subsidizing other people’s “choices” and no choice is more expensive than a kid for the vast majority of humans (in WEIRD societies anyways.) Even the religious people who want birth control to cease being available fall into this.

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            1. Look, we all have psychological problems and some of us, more than others. I grew up in a totalitarian state, which means I’m generationally screwed up beyond what this spoiled drama queen will ever be able to comprehend. But I manage not to inflict my very major dysfunction on students. At some point, personal responsibility does kick in and one has to place a barrier between one’s psychological baggage and other people’s lives.

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  3. Have you read “The Tortilla Curtain” by T. Coraghessan Boyle ? I have heard recs and have now just started reading it. Thought you might be interested because of the subject:

    // T.C. Boyle’s “compelling” (The Chicago Tribune) novel about assimilation and the price of the American dream

    Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

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  4. I’ve read the first part of “The Tortilla Curtain” and do recommend it.

    “It says a lot about T. Coraghessan Boyle’s new novel that so many generations of great satirists come to mind when reading it—from Swift to Twain to Waugh to Woody Allen, Boyle specifically evokes Voltaire.”
    -The Baltimore Sun

    Haven’t read Voltaire, so can’t judge this, but Boyle does use satire wonderfully.

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  5. Why do you call The Guardian a tabloid? After the London Times, it’s probably the most well respected newspaper in Britain. Highly-regarded British authors, like Rana Dasgupta, write regular or special columns for it; it’s been around since the nineteenth century; it’s non-profit. It has problems, sure. But it’s like the American version of the Washington Post–not the American version of the National Enquirer. The Daily Mail is the famous Enquirer-like British tabloid.

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    1. I know, that’s what people say, but whenever I read it, it’s just so unlike what I consider serious press that I don’t know what else to call it. Even this article takes a very serious, important subject and treats it in a very childish way. But at least it addresses the subject, so that is something already.

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