January 14, 2005

Might I Have A Blindfold?

'Tis I, the "Sucky Smallholder."

I was afeared that posting any thoughts about community college would result in a firing squad.

I didn't post it for a bit, considering the risk of offending people in the blog community who I respect and even (from the appropriate non-stalking electronic remove) care about.

I asked the Maximum Leader to look the draft post over and see if he thought it unsuitable for publication. I figured he'd look at it, we'd chat, and make a decision. But I perhaps didn't make the tenative nature of the review very clear to my esteemed generalissamo. Quick like a bunny, like Hooker bringing Wallace's outline of natural selection (as, of course, an "able correspondent" who supports the real work of his friend Chuck, whose unfinished work wasn't really scooped) before scientific society. Ah well, me thoughts are me thoughts, and I might as well be damned for a goat.

That said, I have to say, if one is going to be flamed, one couldn't ask for better flammings than those offered by Ally or Powerfmn (although I'm afraid to ask what the "fmn" stands for). Both folks are models of civil discourse. We haven't seen any namecalling and both support their stances with solid evidence. Both have experiences that have opened my eyes to the larger community college phenomenon.

I would quibble with one of Powefmn's statements. I too took a class at a Northern Virginia Community College. I remember, as a high school student, being appalled at the slack-jawed inattention of the other people in the classroom. There was no student involvement in the learning experience at all. I remember wondering why most of those people were there. Weren't they paying to be there? Why would you pay to be somewhere you find to be absolutely booooorrrrriiiiiinnnngggg? How the heck do you learn a language if you never speak in class? Perhaps that one class was atypical and Powerfmn and Ally's experience with community college classes are more representative of the whole.

One thing I do know is that I wish Ally and Powerfmn had been at Longwood with Mike and I. Discussions would have been much more fun if they had been multipolar. And I would have had my erroneous presuppositions challenged (and changed) with polite ferocity.


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