Net: Welcome back, …

Net: Welcome back, welcome back, welcome ba-ack! Spring begins, and the Great Debates continue. When last we left off, post-secondary students were being skewered and fine drinks were being shared — just as life at a university should be. Join us again, dear readers, as the carnage continues. And have a bloody fine spring quarter.

PSEOed OFF
From JR Boston: This is replying to Fresh-Faced’s comments on Thursday. STOP your whining, you baby! You’re right — no one does like you little post-secondary punks. Net: At least no one’s walked onto Northrop mall with a bunch of their parents’ weapons and … you know. You haven’t even graduated from high school, much less hit puberty, and you still registered before me. Network was right Net: No surprise … — if you are in such need of your high school requirements, then why don’t you take them at your high school. That’s why we have them. Net: We thought high school was meant to deter daytime car thefts.
You have things a hell of a lot easier than you think, too. You’re taking classes for free, while my friends and I have to work to pay our way. Net: Quit whining and work on your jump shot. Why are you rushing things anyway?
I wouldn’t want to start my first year of college as a junior. Net: Debt is so much fun. The high school and college years are the best years of your life — Net: And then you spend 60 years living a life of quiet desperation, trapped in a gray cubicle wishing you had asked out that girl in your pre-calc class. If only you hadn’t had that zit on your chin … and you only live once, so enjoy them.
The last thing I would want to do right now is start a 40-hour-a- week job. Net: What do you think is the alternative for these kids — Hardee’s? They’re geniuses, we tell you, geniuses! And they deserve taxpayer support. Then again, so do we. If only felony convictions were treated more humanely …

From Dashed Hopes: I’m a little PSEO student too. I’d just like to point out that not all of us, as a matter of fact very few of us, are that stuck up.
I believe that Fresh-Faced needs to realize a few things first. First, she should be taking math classes rather than English. If there are 30,000 regular students to 800 PSEO students, there should be a 75:2 ratio on regular to PSEO students in a class instead of the 35:2 as this class so kindly offers. Net: And if there are 500 black students … beware the ugly quota.
That’s if you are restricting classes at all.
“Better students?” How so? Sure sometimes we get better grades than others, sometimes the top of the class. Not always. Percentage-wise our 800 kids may be smarter than the 30,000, but it doesn’t give us the right to take up their spots. I’m sure you could have a better chance getting into that class if you go to the first class and find out that the class still has a few seats open, and you ask the instructor if it is

alright to join. Net: True. But the note from your mother requirement is kind of embarrassing. Whining about your “superiority” not being recognized isn’t helping anybody. Net: Depends. Is Fresh-Faced Aryan? I mean, really. I bet now I’ll have to cover up the fact that I’m a PSEO student so I don’t get beat up by people who are lynching PSEO students, just because one PSEO student decides that he or she is going to stick his neck out and complain about how “no one likes us.”
GENERAL THOUGHTS AND COMMENTARIES
From WorkingTA: First of all, anything done to “Equus” would make it a more interesting play. TNT comes to mind as a major improvement tool. Net: But that would gouge out a heck of a lot more than a few eyes.
Secondly, as a TA grading for money, (I couldn’t accurately call it making a living) Net: How about pimpin’ for whitey? I gave up on being fair long ago. Since fairness is an impossible goal Net: Unless you have way too much peroxide, I have instead strived to be consistently arbitrary. (This is more than difficult enough to tax the entire academic system.) To that end, my grading is cross-checked across all sections of the same course in a given quarter (at least in my department). My fellow TAs and I are supervised by the professors, most of whom are interested in, and responsive to, any complaints by any student, however groundless and malicious.
A big part of tenure and promotion decisions are based on whether professors are perceived to be “customer” focused. Net: Marxist orthodoxy helps too, at least in the humanities. TAs are not customers, so who do you think gets the short end of that stick? Nonplussed is correct that the same grade given, for the same course, at the same University, but in different quarters, does not mean the same level of knowledge gained.
This is made even worse if you try to assess the grading across different institutions. As a budding researcher, I believe there could be some inferences made in a study of the 4.0 grading system. The variance might be large, and there would have to be many contingencies, but that is true in many real-life settings. Net: For example — how willing was that student to sleep with his/her TA? The recent upset over grade inflation was based on a statistical study of the 4.0 grading system, and I don’t remember hearing any laughter.
Thirdly, I would like to put in my vote for Jill as the new name for the country. It is easy to spell and pronounce, it gives prominence to the female gender for a change after 200 years or so, Net: Death to the patriarchy! and it isn’t insulting to any one in particular or obscene. However, I’m not saying I’m opposed to obscenity in general. Net: For example — how willing was that student … I fully support diversity and First Amendment rights. (See, I am trying to conform to the academic world view.) Net: Gettin’ on the tenure track early, eh? Good idea — it’s gettin’ competitive there. Go for the best. Forget the rest. And have a great day.