Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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The Insensitivity of the Sensitive

I felt kind of bad for having complained about my Anthropology teacher's poor spelling and grammar when, last night, he explained to the class that he had a disorder that prevented him from spelling properly much of the time. Though the fact that he was quite comfortably writing words like "ethnology" and "Whorfian hypothesis" on the board, he seemed suspiciously more like someone who might simply not be a particularly good speller. He alluded to having worked in some kind of therapy field, and I kind of wonder if his "disorder" is simply part of a meme to prevent assholes like me from criticising making fun of him as part of the grand crusade for everyone's self esteem. And, of course, his syllabus is one of the few I've seen to specify that grammar will count for around 30% of the grades on our papers.

But he does seem like a nice guy and enthusiastic about the subject he's teaching. He really made me feel like I'm going to enjoy the class. He talked about cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, some concepts that have long been of some particular interest to me. He quite patiently and engagingly explained to the class the concept of perceived reality being fundamentally shaped by culture. Though later, when he kind of mockingly referred to the large portion of the U.S. population that does not believe in evolution, I think he may have lost a few people in the class. I certainly agree with his position, but unfortunately I think we're past the point where we can shut down creationism with a gently sardonic presentation of the facts. I'm afraid we're at the point where some cultural sensitivity must be observed with the creationists if we ever want their minds to be open.

I liked how the teacher kindly considered how many of the students in the class were first time college students out of high school. I've been marvelling at all the really young people around me. The teacher of my American History class looks like he may be younger than me. His class looks like it's going to be by far the easiest, despite his terribly serious demeanour. I rather liked how his class is starting with people coming across the Bering Strait land bridge and native American civilisations, pre-European colonisation. Though I don't know why I was expecting to hear about pilgrims and Thanksgiving first, like it's 1954.

From all the religious oppression, sex, violence, and nudity yesterday, I felt rather comforted about the history I wrote for Venia's Travels. I still felt like I fell short of the right amount of violence, despite how shocked the quivering mass on the Something Awful forums were. Though I guess most of the people there were part of that blushing group of very young, new college students I saw at school yesterday.
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