Monday, May 05, 2008

Here's Another Pantload

As long as I'm loving using that word, here's another pantload:

Often it seems as though American higher education exists only to provide gag material for the outside world. The latest spectacle is an Ivy League professor threatening to sue her students because, she claims, their "anti-intellectualism" violated her civil rights.

Oh wait - it gets better. Putting aside the fact that Ivy League freshmen can in any conceivable way violate any professor's "civil rights" (in a very egregious - and hopefully lucrative - sort of way), you seriously need to get a load of what she thinks is "anti-intellectualism":

Ms. Venkatesan lectured in freshman composition, intended to introduce undergraduates to the rigors of expository argument. "My students were very bully-ish, very aggressive, and very disrespectful," she told Tyler Brace of the Dartmouth Review. "They'd argue with your ideas." This caused "subversiveness," a principle English professors usually favor.

Because real intellectualism means swallowing wholesale some pantload moonbat professor's warped world view, as articulated in derivative and nonsensical terms.

Ms. Venkatesan's scholarly specialty is "science studies," which, as she wrote in a journal article last year, "teaches that scientific knowledge has suspect access to truth." She continues: "Scientific facts do not correspond to a natural reality but conform to a social construct."

Gravity is a tool of The Patriarchy, which they use to, er... keep us down!

[/Money quote]

The agenda of Ms. Venkatesan's seminar, then, was to "problematize" technology and the life sciences. Students told me that most of the "problems" owed to her impenetrable lectures and various eruptions when students indicated skepticism of literary theory.

The etiological construct described herein is known as eruptizing about the douchebagalities of the didactic leader's failures to construct positive matriculation realities.

She counters that such skepticism was "intolerant of ideas" and "questioned my knowledge in very inappropriate ways."

"My professor so dumb, she got locked in a bathroom once and peed her pants!"

Ms. Venkatesan, who is of South Asian descent, also alleges that critics were motivated by racism, though it is unclear why.

Because, you know, if you're not white it must be racism. It's impossible for a minority to be a flaming dumbass. Everybody knows that.

After a winter of discontent, the snapping point came while Ms. Venkatesan was lecturing on "ecofeminism," which holds, in part, that scientific advancements benefit the patriarchy but leave women out.

Oh yeah? Well, what about the invention of the credit card?

One student took issue, and reasonably so – actually, empirically so. But "these weren't thoughtful statements," Ms. Venkatesan protests. "They were irrational." The class thought otherwise. Following what she calls the student's "diatribe," several of his classmates applauded.

Ms. Venkatesan informed her pupils that their behavior was "fascist demagoguery." Then, after consulting a physician about "intellectual distress," she cancelled classes for a week. Thus the pending litigation.

Before you call her out as a drama queen for consulting a physician about "intellectual distress," you should know that there is currently no cognizable cause of action in any jurisdiction for "Getting Your Intellectual Ass Handed to You By Your Students."

Though, I suspect her attorney will try to create one.

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