October 9, 2009

Letters & (No) Drawings XXIII

"Whatcha takin' in school?"

Ways of Seeing
Comparative Analysis
Mind and Action
Cultures of Production
Theories of Representation
Philosophy of Leisure
Ambiguities in Specialization
Applied Probability
Discourses of Dissent
Organizational Communication

"Considering dropping out."


Boyda said...

I think those classes sound fascinating.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

I think they sound fascinating too (a friend of mine is taking 'Ways of Seeing' this semester, and he's loving it). But I also think they attract the bad kind of hippies. The uncritical and vague, and the fashionable thinkers. The demagogues of the intelligentsia.

Leah's mother told me she taught a high school class called 'Grammar,' then taught the exact same material in a university and they called it 'Theories of Grammar.' That's the kind of bullshit I feel obliged to mock.

But as much as I sometimes find the world of academia absolutely ridiculous ('Theories of Representation'? What the hell is that supposed to mean?) I also often love it (I don't care what it means; it'd probably be fun).

I feel bad half-criticizing Grizzly Bear last post, and now half-criticizing your beloved(?) Academia this post. I'm out to get you, obviously.

PLEASE continue to contradict me.

Boyda said...

I just read this - you probably won't read my response.

Don't feel badly about criticizing Grizzly Bear. I'm ok with it, but I think you're wrong - so that's me, half-criticizing you, no? We can be square. Except....no, I wouldn't use the phrase "beloved Academia."

I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "uncritical and vague," "fashionable thinkers," etc. I mean, I understand what you're saying, and I sort of know to whom you refer, but not entirely. Do you know people like this - I mean really know? Can you give specific examples of conversations that have pissed you off? I think you're probably right that they're out there, and that they are attracted to courses like this, but I think that's fine - it's not the system that's ridiculous, it's them. And they would be that way no matter what they're doing (jeez, talk about broad and general statements...).
This post makes it sound like you're just judging academia based on names of classes.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

I do know people like this. I like most of them.

Yes, some people can be ridiculous no matter what. But sometimes systems are built by the ridiculous people, no?

I hear what you're saying though. I should keep my criticisms specific. It's so (too?) easy to back up to the broad strokes and condemn. It's the same thing that got me in trouble with my Canada vs. Canada entry.

Thanks for keeping me accountable.