Friday, October 02, 2009
The Shame Gene
Sometimes I think what separates the elites from others is the shame gene. Maybe through some Darwinian process they simply excluded it. Those people who were capable of feeling shame were stampeded by those unable to feel it themselves. For example how else do you explain:
1. Insisting on teaching a 4 credit hour non skills course in two two hour blocks when there is amble support that it is a dismal thing to do as a pedagogical matter.
2. Sponsoring an professor exchange with a University in a foreign city in a foreign country in which your own school and state has little connection or interest and where you happen -- by coincidence, I guess -- to own apartments, have friends and would like to live.
3. Giving an all multiple choice, machine graded exam when you claim to be teaching the students analysis.
4. Canceling class for any reason or no reason or to accommodate your overseas adventures.
5. Insisting on a cap on the number of students in your class when it is not a skills class (or even when it is and you could just teach two sections).
6. Implying strongly that if the students buy study materials you have authored they will get a better grade in the class.
7. Insisting that your office be repainted in a more soothing hue even though you spend about 8 hours there a week.
8. Play "I am a friend of the students" game to the tune of several thousand dollars a year for free beer.
9. If you are tenured, going to the office of an untenured professor and making sure he knows how he should vote on an issue dear to you.
10. Claiming that applicant for a faculty position is a brilliant scholar when in fact you like his or her gender, politics, race or sexual preference or you know his or her mom, dad, or spouse.
11. Getting the School to pay for a trip to a conference where you plan mainly to hang with your buds.
Sometimes it seems very clear that if they did not get to make the law many elites would be doing time because much of what goes on is just white collar shoplifting.