Day: May 20, 2016


What always pisses me off amuses me is the use of the adjective “real” to indicate something that the person using it imagines they would prefer over whatever it is that you are trying to make them do instead.

Academia is not the real world and is not preparing the students for the real world.

That means “I don’t want to do class work, and even though I have no idea what I will need in order to get a job, I know it’s not this boring crap that I sooooo don’t want to do now.” Because becoming a corporate cog is infallibly riveting.

I wish academia weren’t the real world. I wish it were this world or that world. Alas, judging by the politics, budget cuts, and rampant corporatization, I am pretty darn sure it’s very much the real world.

We need less math and physics, we need more real-world applications!

This plea for more “real-world applications” really means “How about you hand-wave your explanations, and don’t make me use any math (even though it boggles the mind that someone who hates math would be in this major, but whatever) and don’t make me think deeply why certain phenomena occur or how they can be useful to us. Instead give me a whole bunch of shortcuts and mnemotechnic rules and software packages that I can cram how to apply without thinking why or how. ”

I am very sensitive to the fact that students need to get jobs, and the students in our major do. But I hate it when people are given a chance to think, to learn, to make high-level connections that could make them better at their jobs and give them the tools to appreciate the world around them just go through the motions instead. I know not everyone is suitable for college, and it’s a shame college now seems necessary for even low-level jobs, but still…. What a waste.