Learned Helplessness

There’s a lot of learned helplessness. I’m trying to give an award to a student. $500, nothing to sneeze at. But he needs to follow a link and enter his info into the system. I’ve been trying for two weeks to get him to do it. He can’t find the place to sign in, doesn’t know how to fill out the questionnaire, etc.

How about putting in a bit of effort? Finding a way to figure it out? No, that’s too hard.

Professors are the same. How am I going to teach in a mask? Poor little me, I’m so helpless.

Have you explored facial shields? Got together with other colleagues, reached out to the biology lab and the engineering lab to see what they can manufacture onsite? Petitioned the administration? Sought COVID funding (of which there’s a lot)?

I got on this back in June. And as a result, it’s my second semester teaching in a facial shield that’s specifically manufactured for me, following the CDC guidelines and my fashion preferences. For real.

We need SEO but obviously have no money. I went to the marketing department, said, “look I really need this but we’ve got zero dollars zero cents. Can you help?” They said,”sure, we have a special grant to do this for free but nobody is asking. Thanks for thinking of us!”

I could have sat there weeping that we are losing out to schools that can pay for SEO. As we’ve been doing for years. Or I could do something about it.

It’s like people don’t see themselves as adults and don’t believe that the world belongs to them.

Socially Distanced Participation

Six feet is not a huge distance, by the way. You can have great in-class discussions in spite of social distancing and masks.

My advanced literature seminar is 75 minutes long. Last class, I barely spoke for 10. The rest was taken up by students speaking, group activities, etc. It’s a foreign language program. Obviously, you don’t teach language by lecturing. We are specifically trained to occupy under 7% of class time with our talking and let students speak instead. (This is peculiar to foreign languages, of course).

This is in response to the many people who keep asking me “but how do you manage to teach in the classroom if you can’t have any student participation?”

This is all a myth. We have tons of participation. I got rid of the essay this semester in favor of a massive oral component. I can’t shut these students up, they are so eager to participate. What are people talking about?

Stages of Development

Before, when I’d come to pick up Klara from school, she’d run to me, happily squealing, “Mommy, Mommy!”

Now that she’s almost five, I come to pick her up and she immediately runs towards the school window to wave and giggle and chat with the kids she left exactly three seconds ago.

These are normal stages of development. Friends gradually become more important than parents. In teenage years, the need to separate from the parents and form one’s own identity culminates in an animosity towards parents and an overvaluing of the peer group. People who don’t go through this process on time tend to have trouble forming their own families.

So you can imagine the damage done to kids when they are barred from hanging out with friends.

Answer to the Riddle about Masks in the Car

OK, I can see that people are struggling with the riddle about masks in Quebec so here goes.

The reason why people get fined in Quebec for leaving a mask hanging on the rearview mirror of a parked car is…

… drumroll …

… wait for it …

because if you were to start driving with the mask still on the rearview mirror, it could obscure your field of vision and cause an accident. Imagine the joy of a person discovering a thousand-dollar fine notice slapped on a car while he was away, wearing a mask and definitely not driving. It’s like fining a person for having a towel in the car because he could potentially use it to strangle somebody.

The question of how one is supposed to know about all these new rules is never asked.

The correlation between the degree of Leftism in a province and the severity and capriciousness of these mandates is undeniable. Quebec and Ontario are completely off the charts in both measures.

Jailed in Canada

In Canada people who return home after traveling are locked up against their will and forced to pay room and board for the duration of their jail term. The prices are sky-high. Unlike the US, Canada has found a way to speed up the transfer of capital from the middle class to the oligarchy by levying gigantic fines on individuals for all sorts of minor things (like leaving a mask hanging on the rearview mirror in a parked car. Can anybody guess why this is a crime, by the way?).

There are one or two remaining independent journalists in Canada who go to these “government hotels” and film the captives as they stare out of the windows of their jail.

This is what you get for being more to the left politically as a society.