Gerald Graff’s Clueless in Academe complains that students can’t distinguish pseudo-intellectual blather from genuine “ArgueSpeak.” He wants to use popular culture to interest students in learning how to frame an argument.
It’s the professors, not the students, who are clueless, writes Steven Lagerfeld in Opinion Journal. And substituting Spice Girls for Shakespeare won’t help.
Neither will coining clumsy words.
At University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Professor Mike Adams is trying to foster tolerance for different opinions. It all started when he deliberately violated university policy by posting a “Clinton/Gore ’96” sticker on his office door.
After two years without any complaints, I decided to replace the sticker with one that said “George W. Bush for President.” Within a few weeks I heard reports from two faculty members and one staff member saying that someone was preparing to file a complaint about the Bush sticker.
. . . I decided it was time to let the faculty in on my little experiment. I did this by sending an e-mail to everyone in the building which began as follows: “You have all been involved in an experiment in tolerance which, unfortunately, some of you have failed . . .”
As you can imagine, the “liberal” Democrat who was conspiring to punish me for the Bush sticker decided to let the matter go.
Now a sticker on his door — “So you’re a feminist . . . Isn’t that cute?” — has offended a student. She got her daddy to complain to the board of trustees.