Here’s how I heard it: If Wanda Landowska married Howard Hughes, divorced him and married Henry Kissenger, she would be Wanda Hughes Kissinger now.
Credit where credit is due — this could be his best drawing of a motor vehicle.
This is a stupid cartoon.
I should have replied days ago, but I’ve been swamped. If your posts are an indication, you write well. Writing doesn’t come easily to me, either, but I work at it. Most of writing is re-writing. I’ve spent the last week agonizing over three pages. I think I’ve got it now, but it took a lot of effort and many revisions. I can go on and on about the bad academic writing in the humanities, but I will spare you. The best book about writing that I know of is “Style: Toward Clarity and Grace”, by Joseph M. Williams.
And one last gripe. Way too many graduate students can’t write well. There’s nothing mysterious about good clear writing. It can be taught, and it should be taught — but not in graduate school. You can teach the fundamentals of good grammar in about eight weeks in grade eight. Not every student will learn it, but enough will. I hate to say this, but too many college teachers can’t write well, either, so of course they won’t be able to teach good writing.
And a comment about graduate courses. A lot of professors at my university seem to feel that a graduate course is kind of like a vacation. They would basically hand their classes over to the students. Each week one of the students would be responsible for leading the discussion based on the readings, and the teacher would sit back and watch. Yes, I get it, graduate students should begin to take more responsibility for their work, but I never felt that my job as a teacher was over. Graduate students still have a lot to learn and they still need a lot of guidance. Every week I would begin my three hour seminar with about an hour of lecture, to show the students something they needed to know. Then we would turn to discussion led by one of the students. My graduate students appreciated the work I put into the course.
A comment about the Humanities side of education. A lot of my humanities students got the impression somewhere along the way that the Humanities are less demanding than the sciences. I hate to say this, but I think some — too many — teachers in the Humanities have the same impression, and that’s the way they teach. Students used to tell me that in their other Humanities courses, all you needed to get a good grade was an ability to express an opinion. Not so in my classes. I always stressed the importance of evidence and clear argumentation. An opinion was not enough. The students noticed that my courses were different from most of the other Humanities courses. Some of them tranferred to other courses, but a lot discovered that they were learning something worthwhile and stayed. (But I couldn’t convince very many of them to take Latin or ancient Greek.)
What could be more fun than math? I took courses only as far as calculus, but I continue to read books about math, just for the fun of it. I stopped taking math courses because I was only moderately good at it. I went to a college with a very strong math program, and a lot of the other students in the math classes were the real deal. If there had been a separate stream of courses for people like me I would have continued.
Such a big topic. I’ve taught at the college level for many years. In general I find that the students are not well prepared. I don’t blame the students. By the time they get to college, it’s too late for the remedial work they need. If we want to improve education, we should start at the elementary level. The biggest problem, in my opinion, is not the lack of standards, it’s the lack of excitement. Little kids, in general, like to learn stuff, but there’s something about the school system that makes learning seem dull.
My favorite is tongue.