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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Quick break from studying for my Spanish exam to complain:

Oh fan-fucking-tastic. I have one of those completely unfair English teachers who thinks it's fun to give smart people lower marks to make them work for an A, despite the fact their 'B' work is miles above the quality of 'A' work from other class members. We had to write an op-ed piece last week. I think it was worth approximately nothing in the scheme of our final grade, but I did a fairly decent job. I wrote about an article she gave us dealing with consumerism. I mentioned in my editorial:

One point Kulman doesn't explore at all in her article is the responsibility of corporations for out-of-control consumerism in America. It's ironic that many large corporations have taken it upon themselves to act as our moral guardians, protecting the ears and eyes of America from “obscenity” through self-censorship of their broadcast or stock, yet they often act immorally in their manufacturing processes and their effect upon the landscape of America.

In the margin, my teacher writes:

This is unclear. Can you offer an example of show in what ways this happens? How does Walmart do it, if they do? This accusation must be substantiated concretely.

Well, for a start, this is a goddamn OPINION PIECE. It's ONE AND A HALF PAGES LONG, a length I reached only after heavy bloodletting. And - here's the funny part - I didn't mention Walmart in connection with self-censorship anywhere in my article. Yet, she immediately thought of Walmart in her comment. Gee, I wonder why. Could it possibly be because censorship of Walmart's products is COMMON KNOWLEDGE? Not to mention the censorship of broadcasts by television stations after the FCC scandal last year (Maybe you heard about it? Something to do with Janet Jackson, I think). Do I honestly have to spell all this out in a very short editorial piece aimed at educated adults?

And again:

The mythical image corporations have carefully created with the billions they have saved through these dubious practices [sweatshop labor, etc] distracts us from these realities.

Her comment?

Again, offer a concrete example.

WHAT? What do you want me to say? "For example, [insert any major US clothing company here] has saved billions of dollars making their products in third-world sweatshops. They spend those billions creating a mythical image of their company through advertising." That seems a little goddamn redundant, doesn't it? I'm writing this editorial for people who read newspapers, not for remedial elementary school students.

So I got a B. And the comment:

Good work, Melissa. The essay is good, but I know you can raise it to exceptional.

Telling, isn't it? God, I hate teachers like this. Ms. Renzo, I wouldn't be doing your class if I didn't have to to satisfy my degree's retarded general education requirements. If I could get away with not doing first-year English classes and skip straight over to second year creative writing, I would. But since I have to, I would appreciate it if you would give me a mark based on the standard for the class, not on your expectations of me.

Really, I'm just pissed because there's a girl in my class who was also in my class last semester. I talked with her a week ago, and learned that she also got an A for English 101. The punchline is that I read her essays during peer reviews, and they were atrocious. Why? Why, God, why?
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