Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Justify ripping someone's head off

Justice today was somewhat agravating. This was the first class in awhile where the professor really made it a discussion rather than a lecture. There are 112 students in the class and there IS a discussion section, so this is understandable, but only 6 students regularly attend discussion section and this is one of the few chances to speak in front of the whole class. Anyway as anyone who knows me knows, I LOVE to talk in class. It's why I go and the only thing that keeps me sane in school. I also frequently make comments that other people see as insightful or interesting and despite the fact that I do very little of the reading I very rarely make an incorrect comment. Anyway I was really looking forward to being called on and expressing my ideas in this class and was one of the first people to raise my hand. The first annoying thing was that the professor made an effort to specifically call on other people despite my hand being up. What I mean by that was not just that he didn't call on me, but rather that if my hand was the only one up he actually elicited other comments from the class rather than let me say what I wanted to. Now I understand that I comment a lot and that sometimes I have a tendancy to ramble, but it's not like I don't make relevant comments and if I'm the only one who has something to say I think I should be given an opportunity to speak my mind. Eventually after a bunch of people had made semi-relevant coments I was called on and I presented my two thoughts on the matter.

He went off on me. My first complaint was that Peter Singer's postulation that "We have a responsibility to prevent bad things from happening up to the point where the ill done to us outweighs the good we do to them" is problematic because it doesn't define bad things. One could concievably extend this to contentious issues which you think are bad but most other people don't etc... It would create a society of nosey nellies. Professor Johnston basically accused me of nit picking and spent 20 minutes lecturing about the importance of doing a "Charitable interpretation" of other people's work. Excuse me but I just got points off a paper because I forgot to mention a specific MECHANISM by which my theory would be carried out and here's a guy who makes a vague statement about bad things and I'm supposed to cut him slack? Furthermore the alteration that Professor Johnston made to Singer's statement (That we should only interfere with universally accepted bad things like starvation or what have you) does handle my complaint but is not even hinted at in the text and in my opinion goes against the spirit of what Singer was saying. Anyway so the prof let other people take hacks at me (using his revised statement which wasn't even in the text to nullify my complaint, which I think is a little unfair) And then he let every body else take a swing at my second complaint. People tried and couldn't and it turned out that the second thing I said (That this idea eliminates the concept of personal responsibility because everybody becomes responsible for everyone else's messes) was Johnston's main issue with the article.

Now hold on a second. I get blasted for half an hour for making a comment when one of my points was the main point the professor had in mind? Excuse me but I don't think that's very fair. Furthermore when I went down after class to talk to him and restated my complaint in better terms he ended up telling me that it was probably a valid critique and that he'd have to think about it. So I make a probably valid critique AND the critique that he had in mind and I basically get told that I shouldn't have made the comment?

I don't think that's fair. Look I know that my thoughts are complicated. In fact that's what my philosophy professor told me last year. "You have all these complicated thoughts." You know you're a little on the complex side when you're not being clear and concise enough for a philosopher. The thing is that I don't think that they are unneccesarily complicted. I am merticulous and I don't like to leave logical loopholes or possible footholds for opposition in my statements, so I pursue and seal off potential tangential attack routes. The problem is that that takes a lot of time and sometimes I cut corners so we end up with something like what happened today. I was able to convince the professor that my criticism was at least potentially valid with just a few more minutes time, but a comment in class that goes on for five minutes will get you stares from fellow students rather quickly. They don't like people writing mini-position papers off the top of their heads.

That's one of the reason I avoid the reading (I had actually done this reading during friday's Pizza party because the irony of reading about starvation while I myself was both starving and surrounded by plenty of food was too delicious to pass up) When I read I generate difficult and complicated arguments. It's just how I think. Much easier to formulate simplistic easy arguments when I haven't actually read the material.

So Justice class was both interesting and frustrating. The rest of the day was just plain mediocre. I worked out and ate a bowl of soup for Lunch. Anthropology was boring. I made some lame comments becasuse I was timid after Justice. THe professor said that he and I were starting our own Point/counterpoint talk show because I always fight him (What's the point of saying something if you just agree?)

Jeff was good although he gave me a freaking letter from his wife in response to my journal which was pretty annoying. What is it with women who think that the way to get a man to stop disliking women is to not only insult him but also invalidate his opinions and thoughts? Oh well, I'm really not going to stress over that.

Psychology was not so good. I actually dozed through the first half of the class since I only got 3.5 hours last night (Felt REMARKABLY good despite that) and the second half wasn't all that interesting but at least I got the new handouts so it wasn't a total waste.

Since then it's been Statistics homework, rather crappy television to unwind, and a giant turkey burger for dinner since I forgot to eat my snack and it was 1% fat ground turkey.

*sigh* another day blending into the next with nothing distinguishing except for the Justice incedent. I'm looking forward to the end of the semester. This 6 class schedule is a little bit much for me even without doing most of the reading. I just need to score over a 3.6 or so which should be possible. Some day I will find a place where I can really let my mind go and explore with a likeminded spirit or two. At least I hope.

That would be nice.
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