Monday, October 05, 2009

Professor's Interpretations

What's wrong with our public school systems? Much like the church, you could probably take nearly any position you wanted and have some corner of the truth on your side.

But the folks at Edutopia say, "here's what works."



They say: "You'll be using one of the leading textbooks in the field."
They mean: "I wrote it."

They say: "If you follow a few simple rules, you'll do fine in this course."
They mean: "If you don't need sleep, you'll do fine in this course."

They say: "The gist of what the author is saying is what's most important."
They mean: "I don't really understand the details, myself."

They say: "Various authorities are in one mind on...."
They mean: "My hunch is as good a guess as theirs."

They say: "Your paper needs some minor revision."
They mean: "I never got around to reading it."

They say: "Don't come in late during my lecture."
They mean: "I have the attention span of a fruit fly."

They say: "There will not be a term paper required this semester."
They mean: "They gave me no budget for a teaching assistant."

They say: "Attendance is mandatory and is factored into your grade."
They mean: "I'm so boring that's the only way I can get you to show up."

They say: "That question is beyond the scope of this class."
They mean: "I don't know."

They say: "For a thorough answer to your question, see me during my office hours."
They mean: "I really don't know."

They say: "Well, you must realize there are several disparate points of view...."
They mean: "I really don't know and I'm not likely to ever find out the answer."

They say: "The answer to every question is 'C'."
They mean: "I just got tenure."

[selected from Net 153s Smile A Day and Purdue University's website]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Speaking of college, when I attended good ol' William Jewell out in Missouri, one of the things I did there was write and act in what we believed was the first science fiction radio theater. A short-lived, six episode audio drama we called "The Intrepid Adventures." This was the mid-70s, folks, and we were heavily influenced by Star Trek, The Original Series, but we were also boldly going where no one had gone before, to borrow a phrase. But from where does that word "Intrepid" arise? The old Latin word "trepidus" meant "alarmed." You can see where we pull the word "trepidation" out of it. By adding the negative modifier "in" to it, you get a meaning of "not alarmed" with the word intrepid. The more common meaning is "resolutely courageous, or fearless." The Intrepid was the name of the space-going vessel our fictional crew inhabited.


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