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  1. #71
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    5w6 so/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    While you make some valid points, given that around 3/4 of profs are N, your premise that the SJs are the ones running the universities is grossly unsubstantiated. Sure, there'll be some SJs in there, but the population from which the committees are selected are distinctly N in the first place. I know for fact that my dean is INTP (I took 15 credit hours with him while he was teaching), I know for fact that my university president is an INT(probably INTJ), etc. I have suspicions about some of the other key players being N, but I don't know them well enough to argue those ones. Besides the point, given that academia is so N-heavy, the SJs in there would be willingly aligning themselves with more Nish values (knowledge for knowledge's sake), not vice-versa. I'd suspect that a lot of the NTs would be more pragmatic about the business end of it than a lot of the SJs.

    You wreck your argument by overstating it. It surely has its merit, but your conclusions do not ring true in my personal experience, and they do not align with the population sampling of MBTI statistics from the university environment.
    My retort to you is that although most University officials are Ns and if they had their way, they would not endorse SJ values. However, they generally do not get their way and are forced to endorse SJ values to stay in business.

    Why do they have to do this? If these professors and deans did their best to force their students to learn, almost all of them would drop out. They realize this and then ask themselves how they can fix this problem. The most obvious answer they come up with is this: construct a program that will be deemed satisfactory by SJ standards, specifically, a system of 'education' where students are forced to perform, simple, route-tasks that require very little critical thought.

    My response to you can be summarized in one sentence. Just because most University authorities are not SJs it does follow that they will not enforce SJ standards, they will enforce SJ standards because the public demands this from them and they need to appease the public in order to stay in business.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

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  2. #72
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    University is not exclusively about providing education or getting people to learn. At least the case is such in the United States. In the United States, the University must offer the kind of services that the public will be willing to pay for, otherwise it would not survive as the government is not willing to offer ample support for such an institution.

    What is the majority of the public in the United States willing to pay for? Obviously for whatever they deem to be important. What exactly is it that they deem to be important? That is what Keirsey may describe as SJ values. First of all making money, having a high status in society. In order to do that, genuine and deep learning is not necessary. What is necessary is having some very basic skills and knowledge that will make it believable to most superficial, ordinary people that you are quite skilled and knowledgeable. By the standards of the contemporary society, having genuine knowledge isn't important, it is only important to ensure that other people think that you do.

    Since the students make the payments that keep the Universities in business, it is important to provide the kind of a program that they will want to enroll in. That is, one that does not lead them to do any genuine learning but only forces them to learn to do things in a one simple, straight-forward way. This is desirable by the students because it will convince most people that they are knowledgeable.

    Today, most people are not accustomed to learning, they would much rather memorizes a number of rules regarding how to do things and mindlessly implement them till the very day that they retire. (No wonder so many seniors in this country suffer from the Alzheimer's syndrome) Since these people are the ones who are calling the shots with respect to what must taught at the Universities, there is no reason to expect for such institutions to be devoted to learning.

    Most institutions are mere bureaucratic organizations as most people find them easy to deal with. To do away with bureaucracy means to force people to think for themselves. No-one is ready for this. If you want an institution that is devoted to learning, start a private school of your own. You are not going to have an easy time finding a University where learning is one of the main institutional purposes. Making a genuine effort to get people to think for themselves is a subversive and a revolutionary proposition at this point. Most Deans would find the suggestion of making people learn instead of earning an income for the institution or making the public happy by giving them the educational program that they want earnestly baffling.

    Although man has the capacity for rational though, it is not a rational animal as learning and critical thinking cannot be regarded as his salient attributes. Why would they? We have just recently evolved from monkeys whose primary purpose on Earth was to climb trees and propagate their species. Wait several billions of years when our descendant species evolve, perhaps they will find learning to be quite natural.

    The bottom line is, the activities of the University cannot be focused primarily on learning because if they were, the overwhelming majority of the public would not want to have anything to do with it. Most people find it much more natural to climb trees and propagate their species than to read. Certainly we have evolved from the point where our monkey ancestors were, yet not far. Sensorial activities dominate our culture. Monday night football, mindless soap operas, gangsta rap performers, Britney Spears, the Fear Factor and so on and so forth will acquire 10 times as many people who are willing to attend their performances more than any contemporary academic.
    Very well said. Sure, he generalized a bit, and there are those of us who actually want our students to think and learn for themselves. All in all, I find freelance work more appealing because then I have a freer hand in planning my own means and curriculum.

    Otherwise....Damn, good post.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  3. #73
    Senior Member blanclait's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Sounds like you are at a shit uni. Ours is relatively independent. Okay, so they have some things you should really abide by, but they're just guidelines so that you're not producing absolute shit.

    What exactly do you want to gain from your time at uni?

    Transferring out, coming spring to FIT (2yr AAS)

    I wanted to learn technical skills in garment construction as well as develop my art philosophy by interacting with others. The level of discussion that goes on in my year is very shallow.

    Whereas average age in FIT is lot higher, most students already have a degree, being NY and all they use better professors. Also its a school focused on technicality. I'm seriously tired of learning chiaroscuro (since gr9 art) or making a "neat-pretty" color wheel.

    The level of discussion is like:
    A: I took an inspiration from apple, therefore this is the stem, and here's a worm accessory.
    B: why is the stem green?
    A: because my project is related to recycling.

    Just goddamn awful.

    Some say it gets better in 3rd/4th year, but I doubt it. Philosophy and design sense isn't something that you can develop in 2 yr or so. Therefore, I got impatient.

  4. #74
    / nonsequitur's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    512 sp/so


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    As a math and physics double major, with lots of friends who studied engineering, I can not concur with the above. Chemistry has a reputation for being FAR "easier" and less mathematical [and also intense and cerebral] than does physics. People always talk about how hard quantum mechanics is, not how easy it is. I've never heard anyone say "Gosh, physics is SOO easy. I need something that is actually challenging!"
    As a Chem/Biochem double major with lots of friends who studied engineering and physics, I can say that the difficulties lie in different areas. The problem with chemistry and any biological science is that they're both broad with many many different theories with regards to how things work. Getting the tools to understand the theories are not easy either - my inorganic chem classes involved quantum chemistry and physical chem classes involved quite a bit of math as well. Organic chem has principles that make things relatively simple, but in research is the hardest to do because said principles sometimes don't work (but this is also true of molecular biology).

    Usehername, I can concur with your opinion that most of lower-level chem/biochem is just memorisation, but things get a lot more complex and problem-based the further you go. I am treating my research degree right now as a professional degree; to get training in a wide range of areas so that I will have the tools and opportunities to do what I want to in the future.

    I'd also say that I've taught many different types of students in university - the ones who believe in the system the most and work the hardest are those who do the best. Paradoxically, those who see the loopholes and don't think it's important are those who don't do well because they "can't be bothered with a faulty system". I teach to convey principles and link ideas together so that my students can acquire different perspectives that will enable them to engage in their own problem-solving. I generally have groups of students who appreciate logical, global thinking and care about what they're doing, those who are doing the class to fulfill credit requirements and those who drop out because they find it "too much effort". Some of them move downwards but almost none of them move upwards.

    I can't adjust attitudes, I just have my perspective from when I was a student - I genuinely wanted to go into research and contribute towards finding cures for diseases (acquired my cynicism a short while after I graduated). My perspective of uni from when I teach is that I'm trying to get paid and hopefully expand the minds of my students. I don't expect any of them to become academics or want to go into research, though I have seen some of my very good students go into postgrad study too. I will not neglect them or force them to go it alone. I will try for them if they try. If they don't, I make sure that they know they cannot expect me to hold their hands the entire way.

    As for the question in the topic... I would say that I learnt most of my lifeskills from uni, but almost none of them in the classroom. It was merely a means of getting me to where I wanted to be. But by staying on campus and then moving out, interacting with visionaries and people who genuinely cared about the world, talking to different professors with different perspectives, living overseas in two different countries, making connections with diverse groups of people and having to do many things that I hadn't before - that was how I grew up and became truly independent. You don't get that kind of experience going to a trades/professional school unless it's a graduate research school/med school/law school. I think it was because when I started uni I had the attitude that I would try to get as much out of it as possible. Otherwise I might be as cynical about the process.

  5. #75
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    May 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post

    Usehername, I can concur with your opinion that most of lower-level chem/biochem is just memorisation, but things get a lot more complex and problem-based the further you go. I am treating my research degree right now as a professional degree; to get training in a wide range of areas so that I will have the tools and opportunities to do what I want to in the future.
    Absolutely--I restricted my opinion to only undergraduate courses, though I'm sure there's some undergrad courses that are complex, too. Though I haven't taken any 4th year or graduate studies in chemistry, I'm quite confident that it gets more complex and nuanced and difficult.
    I found 3rd year chem easier to understand than 1st year chem because it was an exploration of the same territory from a bunch of angles, rather than glossing over a whole discipline's worth of studies.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #76
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    You can't compose novels without learning the alphabet. So I think it is in lower-level science classes. There's a lot of misconceptions that have to be beaten out.

  7. #77
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Its a place to get "being an asshole" out of your system before you have to face the grown up world.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  8. #78
    Senior Member sofmarhof's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    I seriously think college is making me regress intellectually.
    Not much in the mood to get into describing why now.

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