Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Rant...this time of the semester

It is rapidly hitting "that time of the semester," when I never seem to have gotten enough sleep & I don't know how I'm going to fit everything in that needs to be done.  Like I've said a million times, I adore my job & I am fully aware of how lucky I am.  This semester I didn't have to be in to my office until 10, & I'm home by 4.  Bliss.  The downside, it does make your brain hurt & takes a lot out of you iffun' you're doing it right.  Its a lot of pressure...

I know that  99.9 %  of the students that come through my classroom will never have another American history or Humanities class, ever.  If I'm lucky, they might occasionally watch the History Channel after they graduate, and most will probably never set foot inside an art museum outside of doing the tourist thing at the Smithsonians in DC...maybe.  That once they graduate, the media and harbingers of doom will continually bombard them with the idea that history is amorphous and subject to interpretation {it isn't, its more science than art and requires evidence and proof},  and that cherry picking documents to make them say what you want is perfectly acceptable, and anything that news anchor finds ugly should be banned.

I have one, maybe two if I have them for 2010 and 2020, semesters to show them that history is real.  That historical figures are not cardboard cut outs or saints.  That the Bill of Rights mean exactly what they say and that art and music mean something-- no, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" does not mean we should make the rules and morality of your church the law of the land; no, you could not paint like Jackson Pollock, nor could your preschooler-- art has a meaning, it looks the way it does for a reason.

I have to show them that the news channels are businesses, not your friends and not truth tellers-- and they never have been!  They get paid, primarily, by advertisers, and their rates are based on their regular viewing audience.  Their purpose is to get you to remain loyal to them-- to guarantee that a certain number of people will always watch their show.  What better way to do that than to tell you what you already think is true?  They are just multi-billion dollar ego boosts, telling you whatever you already think is happening is, in fact, happening-- and you keep tuning in because they tell you you are right.  Even better, you will refuse to even watch the competition because you already know they are biased because they tell you you are wrong or, horror of horrors, make you question what you believe is right. News networks aren't liberal or conservative-- they are capitalist.

As an aside on a loosely related note: I'm really getting tired of bloggers who constantly talk about the shopping they are doing or the latest gadgetry they bought, who at the same time are complaining about the state of the economy...does anyone out in the blogosphere know what being poor is actually like? Employment is up, value of the dollar is up, and until the fiscal cliff started looming the stock market was on the rise as well.  Do we still have room for improvement?  Of course!  But we are improving.  If you were really worried about the economy, shouldn't that matter?

It makes my head hurt.

Just like this time of the semester makes my head hurt.

If posts 'round these part fall a little flat, blame the end of semester stress~*





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