Monday, October 25, 2004

consider perhaps letting somebody who can compose coherent sentences cast stones on your behalf?

Given the way-leftness of many/most sociologists, it is commonly claimed that there is a bias against students who choose to do papers that adopt conservative positions on issues of the day. I'm sure this probably happens, sometimes, although I'm equally sure its incidence rate is massively exaggerated. Myself, I have always found it more interesting when students take positions that disagree with my own, and, besides, I think that, if anything, I personally may be more likely to give conservative papers more of a benefit of the doubt because I am paranoid about being unfairly biased.

In any event, of the common conservative stances taken in undergraduate social science classes, perhaps none is so popular among white students as to argue against race-based affirmative action in college admissions. This is all fine, except students should recognize that there is some irony to their passionate opinion if the paper they turn in is completely ineptly and lazily done. Put yourself in the professor's shoes: imagine reading a paper that sloppily manages to make every junior-high and high-school compositional error as it sounds off on how there are all these hyperdeserving white kids who are being denied admission to your university because their spaces are being devoured by that enormous proportion of students--maybe here at UW as high as 3-4 percent!--who are black. You can perhaps understand how a professor might wonder whether these hordes of deserving whites denied admission are instead being more obviously wronged by whatever admissions policy happened to let your seemingly-undeserving-sorry-self through the door.

(Post prompted by/pilfered from a conversation with DH)

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you are going to instill a spelling and grammer check here?

Anonymous said...

Word.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one to stir the pot, but I've heard that History and Math Professors are more inclined to give passing grades to dumb athletes - it may behoove any Lefty Sociologists to generate some numbers of this, in case Bush does get elected - a little CYA if you know what I mean..............

Anonymous said...

How did "athletes" become part of this thread?

dorotha said...

i'm so glad you posted this because i have something to add. today in the class i TA, we were discussing affirmative action. one kid, who happened to be a white, male, engineering student, was arguing against affirmative action because it amounted to special treatment for minorities. after class he asked me a question about a paper that is due on thursday. the paper is one of two short assignments. the student wanted to turn in one longer paper instead of two short ones. i said, "so you want special treatment? i can't treat you differently from my other students." he got really mad at me and told me i was inflexible. is it okay that i have secretly enjoyed laughing at him for the past two hours?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dorotha,

I think you're being extremely generous by only laughing at him for the past two hours. If he were my student, he'd also be losing points for arguing his point irrationally and inconsistently.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the student on Affirmative Action (i.e., I see Affirmative Action as just, and I defend it). However, I also disagree with the view of at least two readers of this blog that the student's position is necessarily irrational and/or inconsistent. His logic could be that (1) he's just learned in your class that we sometimes take special circunstances into account in making decisions and allocating resources, and (2) he is asking you, as his instructor, to do the same for him. Like you, I would not let him change the assignment. But, I might ask him why he wanted to do so rather than dismissing his inquiry based on an assumption that he's a moron who can't think logically.

dorotha said...

man. remind me not to relay a story to the readers of JFW without first remembering that a bunch of tooly academics read it.

dorotha said...

man. remind me not to relay a story to the readers of JFW without first remembering that a bunch of tooly academics read it.

jeremy said...

man. remind dorotha that it's easy on jfw to accidentally post the same comment multiple times.

(BTW, I think that Dorotha can think it ironic that someone would stridently argue the Special Treatment Is Unfair position and then immediately afterward ask for special treatment. It doesn't [necessarily] mean she thinks the kid is being a moron so much as perhaps undermining/contradicting his own argument.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy makes a good point. The "tooly academic" was probably reacting more to the writer suggesting he/she would dock the student points for his request, without knowing more about the request. That would seem to reinforce some stereotypes of lefty academics discriminating against conservative students. While I suspect Jeremy is right about some academics giving conservative papers the benefit of the doubt, many may not. Ultimately, this likely harms the disciplines those persons purport to represent.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Freese: I am an older student, part time, and I am ultra conservative. You seem like a fair man so I feel you can give me sound, objective advice. I am a freshman and I think I am falling love with a Sophmore who is a self avowed ultra Liberal. How can I break the ice with her? Should I get a sack of donuts, approach her and ask if she dropped them? I don't want to talk politics as I fear she is smarter than I am. I am very lonely, please help.

Anonymous said...

To the person who asked how athletes entered this thread: I am very jealous of the good seating some Professors get at ball games. I have seen with my opera glasses the appreciative smiles and nods the coaches give these Professors, they turn and give a thumbs-up to these Profs. when certain players score a TD or basket. At least some of these Professors are discreet and don't cheer too loudly at the games. Some even attempt to look away when Coach turns and beams a smile at them. Far be it for me to start rumors, but it is common knowledge that athletes have difficulty in completing voter registration forms, hence are neither conservative or liberal, and by the Queensbury rules of debate, are fair game for discussion. Punt that one, buster.

Anonymous said...

To the person who asked how athletes entered this thread: I am very jealous of the good seating some Professors get at ball games. I have seen with my opera glasses the appreciative smiles and nods the coaches give these Professors, they turn and give a thumbs-up to these Profs. when certain players score a TD or basket. At least some of these Professors are discreet and don't cheer too loudly at the games. Some even attempt to look away when Coach turns and beams a smile at them. Far be it for me to start rumors, but it is common knowledge that athletes have difficulty in completing voter registration forms, hence are neither conservative or liberal, and by the Queensbury rules of debate, are fair game for discussion. Punt that one, buster.

Anonymous said...

To the person requesting a punt: You wrote, "Far be it for me to start rumors, but it is common knowledge that athletes have difficulty in completing voter registration forms." This is inane, as on overall characterization of athletes. At my school (large, public, mid-western, state university), many of the athletic teams maintain GPAs that are higher than the all-campus average.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the simian gait and been asked too many times on campus where a bathroom is to argue about it, and yes, I have seen them drop the baskets they had woven in Algebra 202 as they lurched off in the direction I had pointed to, but, I need to back off least the fun of this Blog becomes otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The statement about athletes' stupidity was just about the most asinine comment I've ever seen on this blog. I was a starter on the basketball team at my college for four years. I was also a pre-med and engineering double major with a 3.9 GPA and scored 2310 on my GRE. Clearly I'm not the illiterate imbecile the commentator would have Jeremy's readers believe all athletes are.

The fact of the matter is that a great many athletes are far more intelligent than your average student. People who were varsity athletes in college are disproportionately represented among the nations top doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Many of them credit the drive that helped them become great athletes with helping them to become leaders in their fields.

jeremy said...

The previous commenter has got to be lying. No one with that mix of athletic and academic accomplishment could possibly be a JFW reader.

Anonymous said...

Will all of Jeremy's students please respond with a 1 if they pump iron, and a 2 if they prefer eating bacon and donuts - let the stats speak for themselves and settle this matter of athleticism and intellect once and for all - numbers don't lie, buster.

Anonymous said...

i dont like to butt into student affairs but someone has to speak up for the students - im a janitor at the building where mr freese teaches - all his students are nice young ladies and nice young men - they shouldnt have to do extra work like this research thing - besides everyone already knows that jocks are dumb

Anonymous said...

2

Anonymous said...

What code do we get if we like to eat bacon and donuts while pumping iron?

Anonymous said...

2

Anonymous said...

2

Anonymous said...

2

Goesh said...

Though not a student, I sure would have to respond with a big 2 on this one.

Anonymous said...

This is one hot survery - you're smokin' baby, you're smokin' !! Tally a 2 for me as well, I'll take a bag of glazed over a Bow Flex any day!!

Anonymous said...

We need to take a step back for a second here and ask a few critical questions.Is this spontaneous survey suggesting in any way that students are being motivated to get better grades because of athletes? Athletes are not showering after practice and are coming to class stinky - is this prompting students to study harder and get better grades so as to depend on brain rather than brawn to earn a living after college? Can we make this inference at this juncture of the survey?

Anonymous said...

I've had it with you Statistas (those who hate monger under the guise of research, as evidenced by the survey above) - you don't fool me for a second. This is nothing but a subtle endorsement of the efforts underway by the Sociology Department to steal athletic funds to finance vicarious research projects. I would like to punt the agent who started this survey/slam on athletes,and that perverted donut man, off campus!

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the university is to educate, not to fund a bunch of overgrown pituitary freaks playing a game. You want a school that prioritizes football over education? Go to Ohio State. You want a school that prioritizes education? I'd say go to Wisconsin, except that the state legislature clearly prioritizes tax breaks for millionaires over education. Maybe Hamburger U. is the way to go...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Freese - I'm that part-time, older freshman student you have tried to help find love. It not only appears that I better avoid the football stadium when seeking romance, but that my poems and offer of trans-fatty acids in a sack are not working for me. Should I transfer to the University of Minnesota or seek sanctuary by majoring in Sociology here? In light of a previous post, I'm sure you will understand that any commitment to Sociology will mandate an avoidance of statistics classes on my part. Lastly, I would rather have a donut then pump iron so whoever is in charge of this survey, mark me down as a 2, if part-time students are allowed to participate. Sincerely Yours, LDM (lonely donut man)

Anonymous said...

there's a physical dimension to education and human development. the ancients understood this. alas, have modern tooly academics forgotten? perhaps they never knew...

Anonymous said...

2

Anonymous said...

1 On Wisconsin! hey statistas wont you come to football practice we need some new tackling dummies
YEE-HAWW

Anonymous said...

You want humor? I got humor. There was this jock who had a frog on his head - I mean we're talking a big, massive frog. It seems the jock had lurched through life with this frog on his head until one day he decided to do something about it. He drug his knuckles down to a surgeon and got checked in. He was put in an exam room and pretty soon the surgeon came in. He looked at the jock with the big frog on his head and asked, " what can I do for you, mister?" - and the frog replied, " You can start by removing this wart from my ass". Put that in the red zone, buster!

Anonymous said...

OMG! somebody give that respondent a dozen jelly-filled donuts and slap a big 2 beside my name.

Anonymous said...

still waiting for the humor.

Anonymous said...

Count me as a 2 and I'm still waiting for Prof. Freese to analyze the survey data -

Anonymous said...

I hope you load of 2's get some exercise too. Otherwise you'd just be giant tubs of goo after consuming all the bacon and donuts you can get your hands on!

Anonymous said...

It appears that this informal survey at least suggests that athletes have more body odor than non athletes.

Anonymous said...

But a lot of the non-athletes fail to bathe on a regular basis. That's not just B.O., it's B-Whoa!

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with the last poster. This survey only reinforces the corporate relationship with higher education. By foisting donuts on unwitting students, through the groomed sugar response successfully implimented in the species in such a short time frame, they do grow fatter and slower paced, thus making it easier for jocks to catch them and pummel them and otherwise bully and intimidate. This may be none other than a genetic reflex on their part, BUT, it sure the hell conditions them for the gridiron and hockey arena - it keeps the killer intstinct well honed for thrashing opponents in the real arena of sports. And we all know how much cash this brings into the University, so gorge away my pudgy little Statistas - we need you!