It reminded me of Wymark's recent cocaine story.
It got me to thinking about the drug class I had in the 10th or 11th grade. Was it really a class about drugs? I think it was. All I remember from it is having to write a bunch of papers about different drugs.
The teacher didn't even read these reports. She just checked that you reached the appropriate number of pages and possibly checked that you didn't go too crazy with the margins and/or font size.
One of the assignments was to write a report on PCP. All I did was go to my Microsoft Encarta CD, look up "PCP", copy and paste the article, and make subtle changes so it doesn't look so blatently like an encyclopedia article.
The next drug was, I don't know, LSD. I don't remember exactly what the drug was. Maybe it was LCD. Anyway, all I did was take my report for PCP and do a search and replace for "PCP", replacing them with LSD.
I got an "B" on both of these papers. I don't know why it wasn't an "A". Maybe there weren't enough pages or maybe everybody got a "B". But she absolutely was not reading those reports and everyone knew it.
One of the worst teachers I ever had but somehow, she's revered. She died ten years ago. Her obituary talks about how she was "ecentric". That's one way of looking at it. She didn't teach shit, though. And she offered to change my grade from an "F" to a "D" if I bought leftover candy from her. This was not a joke. I declined and got an "F".
It's just totally inappropriate to buy grades. I think that's day 1 teacher training stuff. But I guess that was part of her ecentricity.
Another awful instructor I had was a music professor. This was in university, of course. She was Australian. We had an assignment where we had to submit a picture of a musical instrument. This is the sort of assignment I would expect from a kindergarden class.
But here I was in university, paying a lot of money to be here. So I go to the university's computers and try out that newfangled internet thing. I type "clarinet" into Altavista. Up comes a website that has a picture of a clarinet on it. I click on the image to enlarge it and print it out. It printed on two pages. So one page had half of the clarinet, the other page had the other.
But what could I do? Whether or not Microsoft Paint existed back then (it may or may not have), I didn't have access to the software on these university computers, I don't think. You could only use the internet on them.
Anyway, I got a "B" on the assignment. I was fuming. I looked around and everyone else got an "A". Was my clarinet not a musical instrument? Are you grading on the aesthetics of our pictures? If so, why weren't we told? All we were told to do was to submit a picture of a musical instrument. I did that. I did 100% of the assignment correctly, that should be an "A+".
So I started using that class to work on assignments for other classes. Then she somehow scolded me for that. I don't remember how. But anyway, I dropped the class after that.
Often, these nonsense, blow off classes like art, music, and gym have teachers with the proverbial chip on their shoulders. But let's be honest with ourselves, none of these are academic subjects. You can't teach somebody to be a great artist or a great musician or a great athlete. On the other hand, people with natural aptitudes toward art, music, and athletics shouldn't be rewarded for this.
That's exactly what happens, though. Oh, you can't draw. You fail art class. You suck at dodgeball? You fail gym class. It's absurd.
The person who does well and the person who does poorly may very well give the same amount of effort. So it's not right.
I suppose you can say the same about any subject. Some people are naturally smarter than others. Is it right to award the lazy genius and punish the hard working dimwit?
But I don't think that happens nearly to the degree that you see in art, music, and gym. Homework is the great equalizer and that's why I hated it so much. "Here, take this home, and if you just do the work and turn it in, it will greatly improve your grade. You can ask your parents for help, you can work with other students, you can use the fledgling internet, we don't care."
It's totally unfair. Grades should be based entirely on how well you do on exams. And none of this open note/open book shit.
The whole system is just pathetic. I think homeschooling is the answer. Of course, this only works if your parents are a) not working and b) not imbeciles.
Went to Perth today. Got home at like 7.00. That's way too late. But, it's only the second day this week that I worked. And I had two cancellation days. So whatever. I guess it's fine. No work tomorrow.
I enjoy not working way more than working. But I'm fairly full up. I'm working every day next week. Three days the week after. One day the week after that. A couple of days in May. A day in June. Two glorious weeks in July. And shit comes in last minute all the time. It's almost a given that I'll have more than 1 day for that third week. And it's rare to get work more than a month in advance so shit will come in for future months.
That's why I'm no longer advertising. I get enough work as it is. And things are growing organically. Every time I go to a job, I have a potential new customer because the opposing side gets an invoice from me too and I tell them that if they require my services in the future, let me know. And often they do.
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