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  • LEDES

    TA MUG iconThis LEDE is a new feature on THE Ave.  The lede in a newspaper is the paragraph that initially draws readers into a story. On THE-Ave.US, stories can be spread across  many posts so we will use ledes to draw your attention to stories about specific topics or to authors who write here on TA.

    For example, you can click here for stories about the UW or here for timely stories about the presidency under Mitt Romney.

  • SUNDAY REVELATIONS

    ST PAUL ICONEvery Sunday, THE Ave begins with a story about religion. Sometimes these are quotes from one of the bibles, other times they stories about how religious and anti religious people behave. Hopefully there is enough balance to please, offend, or stimulate folks who care about what is done in the name or names of deities. READMORE HERE.

  • SOUTH CAROLINA

    Some months BBQ SC ago I started writing about South Carolina.  In part I started because of the fight between that state and Washington state about jobs for Boeing.  What I have found is almost unbelievable.  The cradle of the confederacy, remains almost incredibly foreign to any place I have lived.  Teen births, gun abuse, anti union laws, racism, … I have relatives who chose to live there but I doubt I would ever want to visit their home. CLICK the BBQ guy to readmore.

  • UW

    mR sMITH GOES TO THE uwThe UW was and is the soil from which THE Ave developed.  This lede will take you to stories about the UW … the athletic department’s budget, the lack of free speech on campus, the achievements of the UW that do not get heralded, relations with the city and state, and more. Recent stories have dealt wit a very strange fight over the UW logo.

  • ROGER RABBIT

     

    Roger RabbitRoger is our resident Chief Justice of the cabbage patch.  A former judge and a former journalist, this furry creature is cynical about most things, legalistic about law, and even .. at times … good at making fun.

  • LEGAL THUGS

    legal thuggeryLegal thugs …. they are a pestilence.  I found the lady here watching at the edge of a labor meeting in Seattle.  Who was she?  From her clothing, manicured nails and skeptical posture I took her for some corporate type, perhaps a corporate lawyer looking for an edge.   Lawyers working for corporations seem to be pretty good at that and pretty bad at any sense of ethics.  Indeed, I believe Law 101 teaches them that the first principle of the law is that “it is OK if you can get away with it.” This may be a caricature but I have been collecting stories about lawyers who use perjury as a device, extort money from targets afraid of the costs of law suits, hold forth while hiding under fictions that they are not acting as lawyers, and much more.   Read about this under the tag for legal thuggery.

October 22nd, 2014 - 3:34 am § in America, political correctness

DON’T SEND YOUR CHILD TO HARVARD!

AAUP ICON thumb

Sarah Stroup
UW Professor of Classics
from AAUP listserv

Esteemed Colleagues—

I read the Deresiewicz article earlier this morning, and with some annoyance.  There are parts of it with which I agree—the expectation of excellence in numerous extracurriculars and service hours, the exceptionally stressful environment of the university (not limited to ivies, either public or private, by the way) et cet.—but there was something that rankled.  I mean, beyond the cinematic hyperbole (anyone see Tina Fey’s *Admission?*) and clear anti-intellectualism (or at least anti-ivyism).  There was something that rankled.
Ok, so this fellow spent a day on a Yale admissions cttee in Spring 2008.  I have no particular reason to doubt this, knowing nothing of the Yale admissions calendar, though I do find it interesting that even a whole long day of a cttee meeting should be taken as sufficient experience to write about ivy admissions as whole.  But we all have different standards for evidence, so let us pass this by without mention.
But what was it?  This article was just published, and it is based on a day’s observations six years ago?  I knew nothing of  Dr. Deresiewicz, and so thought I’d look him up.  He was at Yale between 1998 and 2008—he left, that is, within months of his experience on the admissions cttee.  I found that interesting.  And so I looked him up some more.
The summer after he left Yale, he published, famously, an article entitled “The Disadvantages of Elite Education” (http://theamericanscholar.org/the-disadvantages-of-an-elite-education/#.U86bNxbv0ZY), in which he confesses that he did not know how to talk to a plumber that had come to work on his pipes (apparently not a metaphor), and it is the fault of his elite education, which taught him to believe that “people who didn’t go to an ivy league or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class.”
First of all, I suspect that his plumber (I wonder why he assumed that the plumber had not had an elite education) must have breathed a deep inward sigh of relief when this arrogant, patronizing troglodyte backed awkwardly out of the kitchen to go carry on conversations with “people from other countries, in other languages.”
Second of all, if Deresiewicz came to believe that people from other educational backgrounds are “not worth talking to,” then this is both a deep moral failing and, I suspect, the fault of poor parenting or crummy friends (if, that is, he is being honest, and I suspect he is not).  I am the child of parents who went to ivy-equivalent (whatever that means: let us say merely “élite,” accent and all), and I am a Cal alumna, and among the many fine lessons my father delivered me were (1) every person who meet can do something you can’t, and most of these things matter more than anything you research, and (2) try not to be an asshole.
I’m still working on that second one.  Anyway.
As I grew up, with a fairly privileged educational background and optimistic educational trajectory, I never received, from either parents or professors, the merest hint that my education made me better than anyone else (unless they were a PhD in Classics from Harvard, because then, of course).  If this is truly the lesson Dr. Deresiewicz learned along the way, it is a matter of the character of those with whom he spent his time, not the character of elite institutions per se.
However.  I do not believe that Dr. Deresiewicz is being honest with us.  I do not know why he left Yale in SP 2008, but I do not believe it is because he suddenly realized he couldn’t talk to plumbers.
And why, then, this article, now?
(By the way, IvyGate published a hilarious rebuttal to Dr D’s piece, here: http://www.ivygateblog.com/2008/06/isnt-harvard-just-the-worst/ )
In the “do as I say not as I do” category, I happen to love Wikipedia for quick peeks into trivial matters (I also happen to love to erroneously edit Wikipedia pages, and am no longer allowed to do so).  Dr. D is one such matter.  Wikipedia informs us that Deresiewicz had compiled the “The Disadvantages [etc]” article, “and other articles” into a book (!) [Excellent Sheep: Thinking for Yourself, Inventing Your Life, and Other Things the Ivy League Won't Teach You] that is set to be published by Simon and Schuster (!!) in 2014!  That’s this very year!  Talk about a coincidence!
I looked for the book by that title, and could not find it.  Darn.  But I did find Excellent Sheep: the Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life and How to Make Small Talk to Plumbers.
 
I made up the plumbers bit.  But the book is coming out in about a month.  Or perhaps in as little as a couple of weeks.
In other words, the New Republic piece—a virulently anti-academe piece based on a one-day experience six years ago—should be understood to be just what it is, which is a self-interested press release for Deresiewicz’s new book.
Fair enough.  But let’s keep things in perspective: this is not a piece written by an academic who cares deeply for his students and the stresses of higher ed at the top institutions (indeed, Dr. Deresiewicz’s disdain for the students he taught for ten years makes me rather relieved that he turned his attention to plumbers); it is written by a former academic with an ivy-sized chip on his shoulder, who is trying to promote his book.
And good luck to him.
As Ever, or Even More So,
Sarah Stroup

October 22nd, 2014 - 1:59 am § in Misc.

BREAKING NEWS: TA News gets secret picture Kim Un Jong

The Dear Leader has been missing for weeks, leading to speculation he has been deposed.  He does not look happy in this picture deceived this AM form an anonymous, possibly faux source.[...]


October 22nd, 2014 - 1:39 am § in America, Hypocrisy, The Ave Scene

Hypocrisy of the Left

  Seattle Socialist Party Wants $20 Per Hour Minimum Wage, Offers $13 Per Hour For Website Manager[...]


October 20th, 2014 - 1:30 am § in America

KKK offers to provide hazmat suits to Americans afrAID OF African Virsus

The KKK has offered to provide hazmat suits to citizens concerned that US immigration policies are letting infected Africans into America.[...]



October 18th, 2014 - 1:18 pm § in Hypocrisy, Religion

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Bishops to Pope: FU

The only way this Pope is going to fix the Roman Catholic Church is by 1. using his ability to speak for God.  2. Appointing better people as Cardinals and Bishops. Pope Francis needs to do more.  At 75, Pope Frank is likely to die and the current college of Cardinals will replace hiumn with anot[...]


October 18th, 2014 - 9:30 am § in Misc.

THE Ave Challenge: Where is this?

A. Kenya B. South Carolina C. Beijing D. Chicago E  Senegal[...]


October 17th, 2014 - 12:35 pm § in America, Americanism, Misc., political correctness, politics, Schools & Colleges, The Ave Scene

Class and Leadership in the Black Community

Alright before I begin, It has to be understood that black people are different.  These are my thoughts, based on my life and understanding of the Black Experience. This is hypothetically speaking. At no point during our history here in America, nor before while in Africa have all black people been[...]


October 16th, 2014 - 11:54 pm § in America, Corporatism, Hypocrisy, Politics, The Ave Scene, USA

Do you think Larry Ellison might be able to pay a tax on his unproductive wealth?

Why don't we recognize Cuba?I have written many times about the wealth tax.  A wealth tax designed to tax wealth selectively based on productivity has the extra advantage of increasing the use of capital to stimulate jobs.  Put another way … money invested in gold coins, yachts, art, real estate, government bonds or ca[...]


October 15th, 2014 - 8:55 am § in America, Americanism, Corporatism, Hypocrisy, Schools & Colleges

Message to Washington state’s best students is clear .. if you can get into an elite private schools you should do so .. TO SAVE MONEY!

UW Weritas UNLESS YOU ARE AN ATHLETE: DO NOT APPLY TO THE UW Over at the Berkeley Blog, Robert Reich has written a disturbing essay on the effects of endowment of private, elite schools, on the US governments subsidy for education of the wealthiest Americans: “(Given the) relatively small number of stu[...]


October 22nd, 2014 - 3:56 pm § in America, politics

It’s Really Happening: America’s Middle Class Is Vanishing

America is experiencing not only income inequality, but also wealth inequality, which isn’t surprising.  What’s shocking is how far it has gone. The post-World War 2 gains made by the middle class have been completely erased, and U.S. wealth distribution is now back at 1940s levels, acc[...]


October 22nd, 2014 - 9:35 am § in Misc.

Canadian Parliament Is Attacked; One Shooter Reportedly Killed; Wounded Soldier Has Died

Witnesses reported between 30 and 50 shots being fired inside Canada’s in-session Parliament in a probable terrorist attack by an apparent jihadist in the Canadian capital of Ottawa this morning.  A soldier guarding Ottawa’s war memorial outside was wounded and later died, but there are[...]



October 21st, 2014 - 7:41 pm § in Politics

Oops …

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October 21st, 2014 - 7:11 pm § in Hypocrisy, Politics

Wisconsin Voter Fraud Exposed

Although studies have shown actual voting fraud is very rare, a Wisconsin man is being prosecuted for voting twice in the 2012 presidential election in different states (Wisconsin and Indiana) and 5 times in Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election the same year. Prosecutors have charged Robert Mon[...]


October 21st, 2014 - 4:15 pm § in Misc.

Georgia Town Sells Woman’s Home To Collect $94.85 Of Property Taxes

An Asian-American woman who paid cash for a Georgia condo had her home sold without her knowledge for $94.85 of taxes she wasn’t told she owed.  The only notice she received was an eviction letter after the sale. Earlier notices of tax delinquency and foreclosure never reached her because tow[...]