Okay so Pip got me started.
The way math is taught in this country is so ridiculous. I’m actually pretty good at math (in a college algebra class I was told I couldn’t pass without a graphing calculator but I couldn’t afford one and still passed with an A), but I fucking hate it. I’ve managed to articulate three reasons that is the case:
- the use of, as Freire called it, the “banking method” in teaching algebraic thinking
- the industrial revolution’s economic need for ability to perform rather than actualyl understand
- cold-war era emphasis on a faux meritocratic STEM system that would train the next generation of space travelers/engineers.
So for #1, there’s a lot of memorization, as opposed to emphasis on understanding why things are done and how. Students are deemed, for a number of reasons, receptacles that need to be filled with memorized formulas, instead of already sentient-yet-incomplete individuals who would do better to come to understand the relationships between different quantities as a collective, and then be taught the algorithms that coincide with these relationships. This is because of the economic necessity of this kind of thinking (both in regard to not empowering students, and what is actually prudent for what was/is needed to meet the needs of industry).
In several other countries, Geometry is actually the focus of academic math thinking. Algebra gained prominence in English speaking countries to meet the needs of industrial capitalism. What is needed, there, is not individuals who understand the mathematical principles, but subjects who are capable of applying rigidly set mathematical rules to specific situations in a way that maximizes productivity and profit.
The Cold War era “space race” had a lot of influence on education, and kind of took the previous problems and applied them to a tracking situation in which certain students who showed a knack for the already arbitrary standards for mathematical aptitude (and surprise sur-fucking-prise these standards were HIGHLY preferential to white male upper-middle class students) were supplied with resources that were unavailable to others, in order to better compete with the communists.
so I’m going to stop myself there before I type all goddamn night.
I got very angry on Twitter.
So in my Educational Anthropology class, I had a project to teach the class about Freire. Went well, but anyway, I mentioned in-passing “Stop Kony” as an example of a paternalistic ethic, and my professor just like interjected “Oh my God I know!”
thought that was funny ish.
thinking a lot lately about how Critical Pedagogy and the problem-posing method can be utilized to subtly teach basic post-structuralist criticism in a high school literature setting to the end that students are a little more empowered and a little more class-conscious.
so there’s that.
I actually find it encouraging that, in 10 years’ time, it will be impossible to find candidates or job applicants that don’t have naked pictures on the internet.
bed at 10:30 because I’m one of those young hardworking and social college students you hear so much about
a guest speaker in my Women In Mathematics class today said something off-handed about being friends with guys her whole life and girls being “catty.” I mean, seriously. The whole point of this class is to address the gender gap in mathematics, and to help encourage young girls to go into careers in math. What on earth about that sort of sentiment is in any way helpful?
It got me thinking though. One of the ways patriarchy harms people is through hindering friendships. The obvious example would be the “friendzone” bullshit: how genuine friendship between two people of different genders is rare because patriarchy views acts of empathy and kindness as “investments” with the expectation of profits - i.e sex.
But, like, I’m kind of the opposite of this speaker, in that I’ve always found it easier to be friends with women - the difference being that patriarchal cultural attitudes have always made that difficult. Non-romantic (I avoid “platonic” because of its historical implications) friendship between men and women (I’m also leaving my own gender identity out of this for the sake of making a point, and because to the uninformed observer I am perceived in every way as a cis man) is viewed as impossible. Society sees that, when a man is friends with a woman, or hangs out with women, he’s either trying to get in her pants, or he’s gay. Other guys view it as a relinquishment of his masculinity to do so; it’s a compromise of one’s manhood to interact with women in a way that respects them as equals and not as “others” or targets. Women, because of the way patriarchal society tends to define these relationships, are skeptical about letting a man hang out with them because of the threat that this interaction might have a predatory motive - that the point is not genuine friendship.
The result is basically a self-licking ice cream cone. Men and women are alienated from one another and find it difficult to establish no-strings-attached friendship, and so the notion that there is no such thing is solidified. As such, we’re all deprived of meaningful interaction and non-romantic connection with other people.
I want to work at a Verizon store just so I can say “these aren’t the Droids you’re looking for” as often as possible.
I have a lot of very attractive followers who would intimidate the fuck out of me irl.
I have a crappy car.
On the way home from work, I was listening to a dubstep song that samples the “low on health” noise from the Legend of Zelda games.
I’m so conditioned by that noise, and so used to my car being broken down, that I actually almost had a panic attack.
teacher-in-training, marxist, and organizer who can cook and play guitar seeks human within 50 miles who is a halfway decent person.
nope. you’d think so but nope.
what if people in the bible referred to Jesus like they refer to Batman in The Dark Knight? Like THE Jesus.
“It’s simple, we crucify the Jesus.”
Posters for my up-and-coming org’s campaign to keep the Lord Calvert trailer park in Great Mills, MD from being redeveloped, and turned into higher-end apartments and townhomes.
The Great Mills area was recently designated a Health Enterprise Zone by the state of Maryland, providing financial incentives for clinics and pharmacies. Cherry Cove has made a deal with MedStar to build a new clinic, but wants to add to the deal a plan to relocate all trailer park residents and build the “East Run development.”
You can follow the campaign by following @MAllianceGD on Twitter, or the hashtag #savelordcalvert. If you live in the Southern Maryland area, please spread the word about what is happening.
The groups I associate with evenly fit into two categories:
- In which I’m the upstanding, responsible, and ambitious one
- in which I’m the white-trash, underachieving screwup