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deedlebee

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Posts posted by deedlebee

  1. Their favorite one seemed to be Brazoria County ...

    At the job fair I recently attended, I was impressed with some of the information they gave out. They were one of the few districts that seemed to market academic achievement. You'd think everyone would, but no. Most of the slogans were things like "Respect, Diversity, Honor" .. or some variation.

    They both had issues with HISD. Mostly it was the combative nature that the district views teacher/admin relations. One likened it to the post office.

    HISD (Houston, not Humble or Huffman) at the job fair was downright rude. I honestly don't even know why they were there. They wasted my time. They wouldn't accept a resume until you had created a user account on their website and submitted an application. Who wants to work for an impersonal entity? I was apparently talking to some marketing guy, not a teacher or principal, or even an administrative type. They'll be the last people I ever consider.

    Thanks so much for asking those teachers :> I really do appreciate all the information. It's nice to know that my impressions weren't unique. (If anyone has anything else to add, I'd love to hear it!)

  2. Sometime within the next month or two, I'm hoping to interview with several of the school districts around town. I recently attended a job fair and talked to about 20 different districts. Other than brief conversations, the marketing packet they hand out, and the myriad of websites for each district, I have very little "real" information about the various districts.

    The state's rating system is not helpful, since it can widely misrepresent a district. Humble ISD was recently ranked unacceptable because the district failed to record their dropout rate correctly. Additionally, the rating system seems to have low academic standards anyway.

    Specifically, I'm wondering if the Houston crowd would help me out and give me their personal impressions of any school districts they've lived in or done business with. If available, I would like to learn about any impressions you have had with teachers or administration with regard to academic responsibility, teaching philosophies, general impression within the community, etc.

  3. For five star dining I highly recommend Chez Nous in Humble. It's tucked away in a very small suburb of the old town and if it weren't for the cars parked all over the place, you wouldn't even think it's a restaurant. Excellent menu of French and American cuisine. While it has a weird name, they have the most fabulous chocolate mousse dessert called "Chocolate in a Bag".

    When French chef Gerald Brach first started his classic French restaurant Chez Nous in a former Pentecostal church in Humble, he did it to flee the inflated real estate prices of boomtown Houston in the 80s, figuring when his restaurant caught on, he'd move to the city. "But when it caught on, there was no reason to move," the loquacious and charming Brach jokes ... Many Houstonians happily make the trek to enjoy Chez Nous's classic French dishes such as duckling and rack of lamb. Emphasizing seasonal ingredients, all Brach's meats and seafood are fresh within the last 24 hours, and he buys his produce right off the truck from the organic Cleveland Wood Duck Farm. See the rest here

    As for downtown (re: birthday) dining, I'm always open to cuisine when it comes to fine dining. I've never found myself suddenly finicky in such a restaurant. So really, I'm curious about a great restaurant (evening apparel) with a really great view. And while The Aquarium was interesting, I was quite underwhelmed by the food. Any suggestions, downtown or otherwise?

  4. Though my favorite is the Fred Hartman Bridge ...

    Magnificent! I'll have to take a leisure ride out there soon.

    Speaking of great views, I'm preparing to make arrangements for my birthday and I'd like to have dinner downtown. A while back (well over ten years ago) I remember having a very nice meal several stories up inside One Shell Plaza. Does anyone have any dining recommendations downtown that are in the high rises? (Maybe this should be a new post?)

  5. An Objectivist approach to this would be to sit down with a girl who's gotten attached to you by accident and explain to her exactly why you weren't interested in a relationship, and possibly discuss how she might elevate herself to worthiness. I'd love to see that in action.

    I'm curious about this comment. Perhaps it is different for males and females so I won't attempt to generalize that far. However, if an explicit conversation were to take place about lacking values and the person actually changed to the required effect, would this really make you (anyone willing to post) more interested in the other person? Or perhaps would it cause you to think that this is a person who didn't achieve important values on their own and is still not worthy? I guess I'm curious if anyone really would be "re-interested" in a person who managed to change some undesirable aspect of his/herself or if the old feelings of undesirability are too difficult to overcome, at which point love becomes either somewhat forced, or just unlikely.

  6. I grew up in Pasadena. Or as I like to call it, Clear Lake. Anyone from Houston will get the joke.

    :) Nice.

    Each day I commute from Kingwood to Clear Lake/League City. It's two hours of my day, round-trip, so to keep myself from going nuts, I like to switch my route every now and then. Occasionally I'll go over 610 through Pasadena or over the Sam Houston toll bridge. I have to admit that going over the industrial parks at night is one of my favorite parts to the otherwise monotonous drives. (Seeing the sunsets behind downtown is another.)

  7. Pachebel's Canon in D was my first favorite.

    Bach's Cello Suite no. 1 (prelude) was currently featured in Master and Commander. Love it!

    Strauss's "Emperor's Waltz" always makes me dance.

    Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 Trumpets in C Major is lively and upbeat.

    Respighi's "Pines of Rome" is wonderfully majestic.

    Handel's "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" is a very quick and light piece.

    Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" paints a wonderful story.

    Stravinsky's Firebird suite is also a favorite of mine.

    And the possibly-authored-by Jeremiah Clarke, "Trumpet Voluntary" is positively regal and still quite cheery.

    Also cello suites (my favorite instrument followed closely by brass) and just about everything by Bach that's not exclusively on the organ (the Brandenburg Concerto's (no. 3 esp) come to mind)

  8. My family moved to Houston when I was 2 and a half years old. I do not remember anything before that time and my time spent at college has been shared between Lubbock and Clear Lake. I'll be 29 in December, so, I'd like to think I qualify for that bumper sticker, "I wasn't born here but I got here as fast as I could".

    As for houses, Kingwood (all the older communities at least) was masterplanned so that no two houses would look identical next to one another. So in the older neighborhoods there is a wonderful mix of house styles. One house on our street has a French estate look to it with a decorative front fence, another has Spanish tiles, and yet another has a pair of lions at the front walk. Definitely not a cookie cutter neighborhood :) But also, this is pretty much the norm for a large part of the community. As far as suburbs go, I'd like to think this is a nice one.

  9. OismForever,

    I don't want to sound rude but your post irks a little of trolling. Are you suggesting that anyone who likes horror movies is automatically irrational? The implication that people who want to be viewed as rational by others (since you have offered a quote against another) should only seek out entertainment that they know ahead of time to be consistent with their view of life, seems to be an over-generalized condemnation of the ability to make judgments across all sorts of ideas and genres.

    A person who likes horror films may have several reasons. He may enjoy cinematic special effects, he may enjoy the thrill ride of fear, he may enjoy plots that deal with confrontation of the unnatural, or maybe he just likes to see monsters. (This list is not exhaustive.) The movie discussed in this thread deals explicitly between the belief in the supernatural and provable science. Other horror films (like The Ring) forego science all together, and some horror films deal with more metaphysical topics such as "what is horror?" (like Frankenstein). However, until one actually sees the movie, it is not always immediately evident (from reviews and trailers) where a movie might end up.

    After all, hunterrose didn't say, "I am a huge horror movie fan because I enjoy irrational things."

    Cheers.

  10. 1. Have you ever, in your life, experienced a kind of "existential" fear of death?

    Yes. When I was very young, perhaps between the ages of 8 and 11 I woke up one evening and began thinking about "not being around anymore" and was filled with dread.

    2. What do you think was the cause of said fear?

    A young child's normal contemplation on life.

    3. What did you do about it? Do you still experience it?

    I do not still experience such an overwhelming separation. The idea (as explained below) is still upsetting to me, but not in such a way that it hinders my life in any way.

    4. My personal thinking, based on my own experiences, is that fear of death is actually the result of an unhappy, unproductive life; one filled with endless, repetitive, pointless activities leading nowhere. Does this gel with your experience? Why or why not?

    This does not match up with my thoughts and subsequent fears of death. When I was very young, I became quite upset about death for two reasons.

    1) I would no longer be myself. I did not like the idea of "disappearing from time". I did not like the idea of becoming nothing.

    2) I would be unable to see what happens to the human race. My reaction was the exact opposite of the scenario you describe. I was upset that I could not stay around and continue learning. I knew I didn't have enough time. As I grew, these thoughts became more complex and eventually landed on a saddening sensation from the realization that I'm currently living in a very young civilization. It upset me that I would probably never get to travel through space, much less have time to explore the entire world. I suppose you could say that I'm very optimistic about human potential, and the realization that I wouldn't be around to see the future was extraordinarily frustrating.

  11. While I am ranting, has anyone ever noticed that anime women usually fall into two distinct personality archetypes? They are either fiery, wild, freespirited, and headstrong, or they are quiet, reserved, polite, and headstrong. Maybe that is a cultural thing that should be overlooked, but I wonder if there are any heroines out there who have more depth than this.

    One of my favorite female characters is Kaname Chidori from Full Metal Panic. I was delighted to see a strong willed female lead that's still quite realistically human. How she approaches situations is a very nice blend between heroine and attractive lead. There are other female characters (and male) around her that fit more snugly into the traditional stereotypes. (The little synopsis on the website posted is a tad too short to reveal her wonderful character development across 24 episodes.)

    If you want to go completely off the handle for interesting females, check out Golden Boy. I guarantee they'll leave a distinct impression :thumbsup: Very "well-rounded".

  12. I will probably also be deleting some posts.  They will go in the Trash Can like everything else that gets deleted.

    If you have any questions/comments or suggestions, please contact me via PM.

    I realize it's a tad past fall, but would it be possible to request a specific thread/post be deleted? My reasons are as follows:

    1) There were no responses.

    2) I am the original author.

    3) The post contains an unabridged copy of an academic paper (written by me) and I would like to ensure it is not plagarized at a later date.

    4) The post is about 9 months old.

    If so, I would greatly appreciate the removal.

    http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=2708

  13. On the otherhand, there are a lot of stereotypes that I don't like. I'm not a real big fan of giant mecha anime because it militarily doesn't make sense to me. I also don't like that male figures are typically effeminate and full of angst (which in my eyes turns the protagonist from hero to whiny teenager.)

    No one has mentioned it yet but I highly recommend one to everyone. The anime that had me hooked for life was the first OAV I ever saw: Gunbuster It was made by Gainax and is, in some ways, the granddaddy of shows like FLCL (Not just because they're both made by Gainax, but because they represent a "blowing off of animation steam" by the creators). Gainax originally wanted to make a series that made fun of all the stereotypes being pumped out, but eventually the project took on a bigger scope. The result is a six movie set that begins somewhat light-heartedly and ends with an astoundingly emotional finale. If you like comedy, sci-fi, great animation, a heart-wrenching plot, lots of techy details... you must see this OAV.

    To respond directly to The Tortured One, the mecha in this movie actually does make military sense. The plot premise is that Earth is under attack by aliens that are much *much* larger than most human built ships, and thus, something very large is needed.

    Two special side notes about Gunbuster. It hosts the *largest* mecha ever featured in any anime. It is also the originator of the "Gainax bounce". (You know, that thing girls do all the time? ;p)

    If you're tired of the Shinji types [coward] (Evangelion) and the Yuki [unemotional] types (Fruits Basket), or even the Kamui types [angsty] ("X" by Clamp), I'd suggest going back to the 70's. Series that have become watered down because of lame stereotypes sometimes have earlier incarnations with strong characters. A noteable example of this is the Gundam series. I was first introduced to Gundam Wing, which is too close to watching a boy band with mechas. At some point later, Toonami showed Mobile Suit Gundam 0080. Much to my surprise, the main characters are all over the age of 20 and seem to have their head together. It was entirely refreshing.

    Purple titles are those not previously listed in this thread.

    More modern series that I have enjoyed include:

    Vandread (Space battle of the sexes with bonus aliens)

    Full Metal Panic! (Secret organization becomes bodyguard for school girl)

    Read or Die (The movie/OAV, not the series - Bookworm saves the world)

    Favorite quote from the fansub version (it came out differently in the dub) "I think true love (i.e. real life) is much more wonderful (than the stories in books). Although there may be painful things, no matter what kind of love it is, you can be the heroine." Readman Yomiko

    GITS:SAC (Already mentioned, but was very engrossing after the first two or so episodes. Animation is somewhat lacking.)

    Earlier series of note:

    InuYasha (Gotta love the tension between Kagome and InuYasha! Still, I'm more curious to see what will happen between Sashomarou and Rin)

    Kodomo no Omocha (Extremely hyper animation, very happy people)

    Golden Boy (Not for kids but totally hilarious! - College dropout finds random work)

    Ranma 1/2 (Very old and only good subtitled, but sweet story like InuYasha)

    Movies I enjoyed:

    Princess Mononoke (The soundtrack is fantastic too!)

    Spirited Away

    New Dominion Tank Police (not the series - movie is hilarious, wonderfully animated)

    Vampire Hunter D (Both old and new versions and the (finally) translated novels)

    Escaflowne (Although the story is ridiculously condensed to the point of a few things not making sense to the uninitiated, I really liked the animation and music.)

    End of Evangelion (The series left me hating Shinji but the "end" movie was fascinating to watch. As one observer put it, when told of a possible live-action version for this movie, it would be incredibly difficult to show the true-to-story pathos of so many deaths [i'll leave further details out for spoilers reasons])

  14. Appeal to local businesses for donations (advertising for them, stuff for students). Depending on the items offered you might want to consider having a raffle or a silent auction. How that is related to Objectivism depends on how you advertise the event. "Profitable businesses donate more!" (That might be cheesy, but hopefully you get the idea)

    Non-Objectivist related is to have a food-sale that is unique and widely appealing. Ice cream is always a huge hit (and apparently equally loved by both the sexes!) and could probably be resold at a tidy profit. Another idea might be to see if a local club would be willing to hold a fund-raising type night, with a percentage of the profit of admission going to your club. (Or a movie theater, or a park of some sort.. any place that can hold a crowd and offers entertainment). Another idea (though perhaps the most cumbersome and least profitable) would be to collect old and used books for resale at local shops.

    Probably not the best ideas ever, but I hope they help. Good luck!

  15. There are spoilers in this post.

    I love Dahl's books but I admit I have not read CC&tCF yet. This leaves me with a question. In the original story, is there a subplot about Wonka having an "evil dentist father"? That was absolutely the worst part of the movie and really killed my enjoyment. Instead of Wonka making chocolates because he really loves them, it's turned into the quasi-psychological (and horrible to watch) sad story about oral torture devices.

    As for Tim Burton's take on the movie, I honestly think it was just totally overdone at points. The "poor shack" Charlie lived in looked more like an architectural wonder with it's furiously slanted door.

    These two points aside, the story and visuals were just wonderful. For those who don't know, movies were also made of Matilda (yay!), James and the Giant Peach, and Witches, to name but a few.

  16. The following post has spoilers.

    Even if she hadn't denied medical treatment, the priest should not have been on trial for homicide, because his actions did not produce her death.  The illness produced her death...the priest merely failed to take the appropriate action to save her, but that does not mean that he actually killed her.

    One aspect of the movie that I think bears consideration is the cross examination of the neurologist. (Not the university doctor.) Essentially, he was asked what he would have done differently and his answer consisted of force feeding the girl and subjecting her to electroshock therapy. Witnesses tried to make it clear that her condition did not improve (and some argued that it even worsened) by the addition of the anti-seizure/psychotic drug. Additionally, Emily was apparently lucid enough at times to voluntarily decide for herself to remove herself from medical care. On top of this, the parents, (who I'm assuming at this late point of her affliction are still her primary guardians (only 19)) seemed to agree that the exorcism was the best course of action. Given all this, the doctor's response frightened me a bit. He was speaking in terms of saving Emily's life at any cost. Apparently this would have meant he would willingly go against Emily's own wishes, and that of her family's.

    While I'm absolutely on the side of science (and was pleasantly surprised by the prosecution's line of questioning (esp. the monks)) wouldn't the suggested behaviour of the neurologist, in this particular case, be unethical?

    --

    End spoilers

    On a side note, I've been amused at the reviews of this movie. It seems that many folks who gave the movie a poor review complained that there was just "too much talking" for an exorcism movie.

  17. It was by far the goriest and most disturbing film I've ever seen.

    I'm just guessing that you have not seen Saw. (If you haven't, this should not be read as a recommendation.)

    Sin City was visually appealing for the most part. The cinematography was somewhat refreshing, but not as good as it probably could have been. While I have not read the graphic novels, I think the interweaving of the plots could have been much better. By the end, it's just like watching four separate stories that really have nothing to do with one another, other than the fact that they all happen in the same proximity.

    [spoilerS]

    Some of the violent scenes benefited from the filming style, but some were just not successfully portrayed. There was one in particular where it simply looked like a man who had just been shot 15 or so times (I forget who, possibly Willis' character) actually looked like he had just been standing under a large flock of fiber-loving seagulls.

    Personally, I had a bit of a struggle watching the Kevin character fight.. as he looks so much like a cross between Harry Potter and Charlie Brown.

    As for the morality of the stories or characters, I didn't go into this film with any disillusion that it would be anything other than an action/eye-candy fest. That said, I agree with the above poster who mentioned that the vast majority of the main characters land on the nihilistic and/or altruistic side. The stories overall seemed like poorly constructed lifeboat scenarios in which most of the characters are purposefully so single-minded that their ultimate actions, I think, were supposed to be viewed as the best/only (or most exciting.. maybe to the directors that's one and the same) course of action.

    This left me thinking that while visually, the movie has very nice elements, the stories are flat and weak.

    Also, this movie made me glad I am not a male. I'm not sure how many times I heard guys in the audience groaning from the various castrations. :pimp:

  18. I am finishing up a degree in the Humanities (history, literature, and a bit of philosophy) with the goal to become a teacher, preferably for the fourth and/or fifth grade. I'd either like to work in a Montessori school or possibly start a private tutoring business.

    On the side, I currently work with young autistic children as a private therapist. Most of the programs I have worked with incorporate behavioral therapy for the children who are more severely afflicted. However, as much as possible, I use traditional methods (adhering strictly to hierarchies of knowledge) to teach the children how to think, not just memorize and mimic.

  19. The best professor I had was Dr. Rust that was an accounting professor. ... The other was a massive assingment that would easily take two weeks to finish. He said the lesson was a first hand lesson in dealing with rejection and arbitrariness. We worked for what seemed 3 days straight and showed up to class with what we managed to do so far. Each group looked tired but he did compliment us on our hard work and explained that when we get into the real world sometimes our best efforts weren't enough and that results sometimes out of our control. He then proceeded to push the projects into the trash can. Needless to say, we were more than upset.  Some people went to the chancellors office to try and get him fired. The chancellor said quit complaining and go about our way.

    I have never, ever been an advocate of teachers that use attendance policies or purposely waste the time of students with examples such as the above, simply to teach them "a life lesson". Both are incredibly insulting. For the college professor, the purpose of the class should be to teach the subject, not waste a student's valuable time. A project that takes three days of your time should absolutely be relevant to the material of the course and it is wholly understandable that students should be up in arms over such an atrocious misuse of their time.

    Lisa VanDamme touches on this very arbitrary idea in her lecture "Reclaiming Education". She mentions an example of giving grade-schoolers a test they had no hope of passing, not to test their potential knowledge (as would be appropriate) but simply to teach them the lesson of what it feels like to fail. It's a disgusting practice (but sadly, now fashionable in many public schools) for elementary teachers and completely out of place in a college setting.

    If you want students to come to your classes, you need to have a reason for them to do so. You need to be a good lecturer and present information that isn't simply read out of a book. Consistently, I have found that college professors that use attendance policies are "book readers" and have nothing useful to say and additionally, present no real academic challenge to the student. An attendance policy is usually described as "easy points". This is also insulting, as it would imply that the student couldn’t earn a good enough grade based on the merit of his work.

    I have a teacher this semester who uses a bonus point system to encourage attendance. At the beginning of each class, she randomly selects about ten students and asks them questions from the previous lecture and the assigned readings. If you get it right, viola, you get a point. (If you don't know the answer, no harm done, you just don't get the point.) She also has a short three to four line writing assignment that asks the student to analyze a small portion of the readings. This is also optional and also worth a bonus point. Still, just about everyone does these assignments. These are rewards for achievement and study and are in-line with the purposes of the course.

    Obviously you have to show up to your job, to meetings and sometimes no matter how hard you work, you will be faced with disappointment. The current trend in schools (elementary through collegiate) is this overwhelming need to "teach social behaviour", as if it had been absent for the past 2000 years. Group projects are useful when the goal is to cover a subject that is literally too vast for a single student to cover by himself. But if the goal of the group work is to "learn how to deal with people you don't like", the class is stepping outside the bounds of the material and into an inappropriate realm of psychology.

    Attendance policies in situations where accumulated is absolutely necessary for safety reasons, such as lab work, are perfectly fine. An attendance policy that exists solely to "make people come to class because they wouldn't otherwise," is probably a good indicator that the class is going to be near worthless.

  20. Moose,

    One other idea you might consider before launching into this endeavor is the philosophical climate of the university itself. If the entire administration (as shown by how the by-laws and such are written) is heavily weighted on one side, even with all the evidence you gather, you might simply be rewarded with a hefty "so what?"

    As I drive into my university each day, there's a sign out front that reads "Predatory Wildlife Warning: Snakes, Deer, Spiders, Alligators.." and two more creatures. The whole thing is set on a bayou, so apparently they've taken pains to preserve the happy alligator at the risk it might eat a student. Arguing against the rampant environmentalism and multiculturalism at this campus with the administration is all but pointless. The best use of my time is to challenge the professors' ideas within the class itself. Push them to back up their material with facts and logic, not just feelings.

    The questions don't even need to be inflammatory to get the truth most of the time. What I've noticed about teachers who proselytize like this is that they will fill the class with their personal opinion, weight the lectures in that favor, but when asked to clarify what was "really" happening/meant, they'll say something to the effect of "Oh well of course, but we all know that's wrong." Enough backtracking statements or unanswerable questions from the professor and the students as a whole will probably begin to realize he's a loon.

    At any rate, I agree with the posters above who noted that this is not directly your problem and to let your girlfriend deal with it as she sees fit. If she asks for your help in the matter, then feel free.

  21. Why wouldn't you just walk out of a class like this?

    As I explained above, I have a requirement for U.S. history courses to get my degree. At the beginning of the semester, after attending the first class I searched for an alternative. None that would fill the requirement fit into my schedule. As troubling as this course is, I'm not willing to defer my graduation an entire semester for one class.

    But yes, I wish I could walk out every single week.

  22. (I'm a female)

    When I entered my university of choice, I was interested in joining a group that was basically a sorority (just not Greek). The pledges and I had learned that the year prior, this group had been busted by the university for hazing new recruits in the form of a "light hearted kidnapping". Essentially, the girls who they intended to accept were yanked out of their dorm rooms in the middle of the night (all freshmen are required to sleep on campus), in their nightclothes along with a pair of underwear, and taken to some location for activities, which were never divulged. Still, the group wouldn't be dissuaded and attempted a toned down version of hazing on my group.

    After a day long ceremony (mostly regarding the history of the campus during which we weren't allowed to talk), we were told to "dress nicely and make sure to wear white panties". I was so incensed by this that I decided to make my own rules. I was pretty sure that this was just a meaningless fear tactic, but many of the girls were trying to figure out what embarrassing, and possibly sexual act, we might be subjected to. During the time that we had to change, I put on a pair of the most immodest, blood red, lacy panties I owned, with the thought that "if something does actually happen and they have to see these, at least they'll see I have a spine." No flock-following for me :P

    Hazing of this sort is totally pointless. It only made us resent the group we wanted to join. There was more bonding going on with the selection of big/little sis's than with this silly and obnoxious mind game. There were other things we were required to do as pledges that were actually fun (such as have every member of the group sign our pledge board - fun because to do this, we had to actually meet and talk to everyone).

    The other hazing rituals I've heard about by the Greek sororities, similar to what Elle mentioned, I must also agree with. They serve no purpose but to humiliate a person to subservience. I certainly wouldn't respect a female who actually participated in such behaviour just so she could have access to test banks.

    I never had much use for it but I don't really get along well with other women any more.

    ...

    Why do you think it is that women like you and I (rational, intelligent, independent, goal oriented) find it so hard to befriend other women?  One problem for me has been the lack of candidates for friendship because women become insecure in the face of my confidence and honesty.  Another is that I think women, more so than men, allow themselves to get into group-think mode.  I don't know if that is a truly valid statement, but that is what I have observed (especially in school).  Yours thoughts on this JMeganSnow, and others?

    On this other note, I noticed that starting in middle school, I was quickly excluding females from my life. The first incident I remember was a situation wherein a "friend" of mine declared to me that I had had too much fun at lunch the previous day with someone else and that I should essentially feel sorry and make it up to her. Following such an irrational outburst, I didn't speak to this person again for at least 5 or 6 years. (For the record, I don't speak with her at all these days) Through high school, even though the vast majority of my friends were female, I never felt close to them.

    The topics of conversation always whittled down to something totally inane like "I think that guy who I've never seen before, who was looking at me at the gas station is stalking me, because he looked at me." Or, conversations would start off from such an irrational basis it would constantly put me in a lecturing position. One fine example is when a friend told me about this "great new guy" she was dating, and declared that he was great because, "well, he doesn't hit me".

    I currently have one female friend with whom I feel comfortable talking, and enjoy talking to. She's a chemist by profession. The rest of my friends are all male and I enjoy all the conversations we have. My experience with the friendship of women has left me hesitant to rush out to find more female friends, but I certainly wouldn't mind having them, so long as they are rational people.

    Finally, I have found that many women find it difficult to even communicate with me, as I don't approach situations from an emotional base. In a previous job, one woman was put off because I refused to discuss my personal life in a gossipy manner with unknown coworkers. On the other hand, I later earned her respect by showing her that my self-esteem (in the face of an insult made by a drunk co-worker) was not shattered, dented or bruised, and that life could, in fact, go on about its business without me (a female) collapsing into a teary depression.

  23. I'm heading into the midterm of this class. For those interested, here's an update of what's been going on.

    I was briefly encouraged when I found that for her lectures, she lays out terms on the board ahead of time and discusses them in an orderly fashion. Unfortunately, this particular teacher can't manage to talk about white men or capitalism without spitting fire. She doesn't even attempt an ounce of objectivity when it comes to discussing history. I've never met another teacher, in any subject, who was quite so blatantly biased. My last class was about the economic situation during this time period. Here are a few choice quotes.

    *At one point, I think while discussing social Darwinism, she declared a similarity in attitudes between what one might think of alligators eating children and those who starved out union strikers.

    *During a discussion about Herbert Spencer, she compared British Colonialism to burglary.

    *Seething, she discussed (what I later had her clarify to be the revival, not the origination of) lassiez-faire, and in the most sarcastic tone I have ever heard from any professional said, "It would be wrong to protect the young and the old!" She followed this up with the pithy comment that, "It will take the New Deal to make people realize that we are responsible for each other." She then condemned the philanthropic activities of men like Carnegie because they personally acted with a very patriarchal intent.

    *She assumed that we all agreed on a fundamental like "the state should participate in child labor laws, sanitation and public education", as she again commented in a way, that it is basically incredulous that anyone could ever dream of opposing such things.

    *She mentioned a book, "Dynamic Sociology" by Lester Frank Ward that "examined" history and "found" that all of progress is the result of (enforced?) obligation.

    *She openly attacked those "horrible Horatio Alger stories wherein the victim blames himself for any failure" as some type of cleverly concealed plot to keep workers down. She never actually talked about any popularity, or why they even existed. :(

    *When we talked about "conspicuous consumption" she posed the question, "why do all these middle class people have yards that do nothing?", I answered, "aesthetic". She then ruled that it's merely a psychological failing (to be kind with regards to how she phrased it...), of sorts, that people should want to waste money on palm trees, just because they want a way to show off their wealth (which of course is bad). She then said, "In those days, you could have a maid, dressed up in some pretty uniform to answer your doors, who doesn't do any hard labour! Imagine that, a servant who doesn't serve!" At this point, she ranted for a while and made some totally ridiculous statement that I could not trace back to the lecture in any way. (Again, with spitting sarcasm) "If we see a poor person driving a nice car, that's wrong!" :)

    *She did mention that the clergy (I presume Protestant) noticed the working class had stopped coming to church in great numbers, but that evangelicals and fundamentalists do quite well during this time. "Life sucks here, boy have we got a deal for you in the afterlife!" Of course, she never stops to posit why working class folks might have some reason to stop going to church.

    *Last example, we had to read an "article" by Mother Jones who visited a factory and used words like "slave" to describe paid workers and "murderers" to describe factory owners. She did at least admit that it was not intended to be objective, but only after this was mentioned by the reviewer.

    Needless to say, this was a frustrating class to sit through. It was difficult to try and figure out to what extent which ideas she presented were *really* so horrible, and which were being blown completely away from important context. She admitted a few times that she's not very good with economics and at one point had a bit of trouble explaining inflation to a confused student. As mentioned above, I had to ask her if Herbert Spencer actually coined the term "laissez-faire", because she left me so confused with her presentation. She had made it seem as such, even though it didn't make sense to me.

    I am still interested in this time period, even if this teacher is trying her best to portray it as the most evil in America's history. :o

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