Jump to content

BCSpace

Recommended Posts

If an exercise like this ends up with the professor ordering him out of the class, then the professor is most likely to blame for letting things get out of control.

Just a correction here, the professor ordered him to leave the classroom after the class was dismissed, IOW he refused to continue discussing the subject with the student after class after some exchange had taken place.

If the description is accurate, I would agree with you that the professor didn't handle the situation right from the beginning...he didn't follow the actual purpose of the lesson...to thoughtfully explore the students' feelings and then refusing to deal with it afterwards.

However, the description may not be accurate, the professor may not have brushed him off, but wanted to move on to listening to other students' comments, afterwards perhaps there was another class coming in or perhaps the student was refusing to dialogue and just insisting on an apology (he stated he was waiting for an apology). I would like to hear from other students in the class prior to drawing any definite conclusion.

Link to comment

Just a correction here, the professor ordered him to leave the classroom after the class was dismissed, IOW he refused to continue discussing the subject with the student after class after some exchange had taken place.

If the description is accurate, I would agree with you that the professor didn't handle the situation right from the beginning...he didn't follow the actual purpose of the lesson...to thoughtfully explore the students' feelings and then refusing to deal with it afterwards.

However, the description may not be accurate, the professor may not have brushed him off, but wanted to move on to listening to other students' comments, perhaps there was another class coming in or perhaps the student was refusing to dialogue and just insisting on an apology (he stated he was waiting for an apology). I would like to hear from other students in the class prior to drawing any definite conclusion.

I'd like to understand better what the professor's actual agenda and attitude are, concerning whether he respects deeply held religious beliefs, or whether he subscribes to the more secularist agenda that is taking hold as the norm at public universities. Like many other ill-thought out object lessons, this one had too much potential for conflict, unless it was handled very appropriately. From the comments about the professor on the link you provided, it doesn't appear that he was up to the task. Even if he didn't have an agenda, the comments by some of his students indicate that he certainly had the ability to bungle something like that that would require sensitivity and empathy.

Perhaps it's because I've become increasingly frustrated by higher public education in my own state, a black hole that demands evermore money from the taxpayers, and produces less and less for the investment. Instead, we are treated to increased institutional arrogance, agenda driven professors who propagandize impressionable minds with their own political beliefs, and who denigrate publicly much that I hold in esteem. The exercise, far from being innocuous as some want to claim, was problematic from the start. Letting professors without sensitivity or respect do this kind of stuff in class is irresponsible. That universities don't take this stuff seriously, and blow it off without appropriately addressing it reeks of institutional arrogance that comes back to bite them, just as Penn State has found out.

For me, at least, if it can't be proven that the professor ran this exercise properly - and it appears that he didn't - then the university created a situation that was tantamount to religious persecution. That they have apologized and removed the experiment indicates that there was at least some recognition that was the case.

Link to comment

I'd like to understand better what the professor's actual agenda and attitude are, concerning whether he respects deeply held religious beliefs, or whether he subscribes to the more secularist agenda that is taking hold as the norm at public universities. Like many other ill-thought out object lessons, this one had too much potential for conflict, unless it was handled very appropriately.

The manual stating that the lesson might be a "bit sensitive" is an understatement in itself and a huge mistake in my opinion. The lesson plan is about teaching others how symbols have meaning and it appears whomever wrote the textbook/manual was relatively clueless about the depth this particular symbol would have for many even while stating exactly that.

Stomping on the name of God....more than a "bit sensitive" in my view.

This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings
Link to comment

The manual stating that the lesson might be a "bit sensitive" is an understatement in itself and a huge mistake in my opinion. The lesson plan is about teaching others how symbols have meaning and it appears whomever wrote the textbook/manual was relatively clueless about the depth this particular symbol would have for many even while stating exactly that.

Stomping on the name of God....more than a "bit sensitive" in my view.

Only having read the last half of this thread, maybe I'm going over territory already gone over.

How would the professor have reacted if the student had ask if he has permission to print the professor's name on pieces of paper and then place them in urinals around the campus?

Link to comment

Which is the whole problem with public higher education. Keep your mouth shut, and agree with us, and we may give you a decent grade for all the money we've taken from you.

The problem is on both sides. Professors want to hold on to the prestige and job they have. Students too often are just looking to buy something to slap on the resume. This is why I gave up what might have eventually been a promising career in academia. The professors were children in their petty power games and the students were even worse trying to wheedle things from the professors. At least in the business sector the profit and prestige motives are more transparent and everyone is okay with that.

Link to comment

I should have said quasi-legal matter by complaining about it publicly and filing complaints within the university.

He has the right to do so just like he had the right to file a complaint and make a fuss. I am just saying that unless this story is as sensationalist as this article suggest he was an idiot to do so.

Oh, and Paul appealed after legal charges were brought against him. He did not initiate them.

There is nothing legal or quasi legal about making a complaint with a university.

I hear Christ had a complaint about the money changers in the Temple. I don't remember him looking the other way or waiting for them to initiate action against him. And I dont rememer His complaint being a legal matter either.

The scriptures are clear that we are commanded to seek legally for redress.

Link to comment

There is nothing legal or quasi legal about making a complaint with a university.

I hear Christ had a complaint about the money changers in the Temple. I don't remember him looking the other way or waiting for them to initiate action against him. And I dont rememer His complaint being a legal matter either.

The scriptures are clear that we are commanded to seek legally for redress.

Redress for your feelings being hurt?

And I think we can all agree if this guy had made a whip and used it to drive everyone out of the classroom while trashing it that that would be awesome.

Link to comment

And perhaps cowardice on the professor's part.

Well, that may be, but apparently the book the prof was teaching from is what guided him in the lesson. The book's authors are perhaps the cowards here. Then again, in this country there are relatively few Muslims, and lots and lots of Christians. The point of the lesson would perhaps not be as effectively made using, for example, the Báb, as there are few members of the Bahá'í Faith in the US.

I am not saying that I approve of the use of the name of Jesus (or any other sacred religious name) in this form of exercise, and the point could have been made in other, less fraught ways, but I am leaning towards the notion that this student probably over-reacted. The prof appears to be one of those arrogant types, however, who wouldn't have had much sympathy for a Christian's reaction.

Link to comment

Of course filing a complaint should not in theory cause issues. You would have to be a naive moron though to imagine that they do not in practice cause issues.

I have also been to academia. This is the kind of situation that deserves some eye rolling and maybe becoming an amusing story to tell your friends later. Filing a complaint was stupid. All it is likely to do is create controversy, jeapordize your educational prospects at the institution, and cause issues. On the plus side you might end up in a minor article on a newsite no one realistically trusts.

If this were due to racism, unfair grading practices, intense anti-Christian diatribes, or not working with someone disabled then yes, a complaint would be justified. Complaining about this is pointless. At best you should chat with the professor in a kind and respectful manner. If a person thinks escalating something this puerile is not going to cause you academic difficulties then I have no idea how the person managed to apply to a university. Maybe they had help?

To you it seems pointless. To him obviously not.

Link to comment

Yes, that was the point. To make them realize what simple things offend and how important symbols are.

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.” -Brigham Young

IMNSHO there are much better ways to do it than actually offending. Note: they instructor did not seem to be an equal opportunity offender.

Link to comment

It is possible. But some of the comments on the ratemyprofessor state that the prof is really arrogant, IIRC (others adore him so who knows...sometimes it is just a matter of someone's teaching style not matching up to a student's expectations).

I think it could be an overreaction and it might not be. It all depends on how the professor actually presented it. I would like to hear from other students in the class.

Brings back memories of when I went back to college at 50 years of age. I had some confrontations with arrogant instructors and found that I didn't have to sit like a doormat and take it. Of course I think that my age helped some.

Link to comment

To you it seems pointless. To him obviously not.

So far he got suspended. Not seeing a real win there. Well, unless he was failing all his classes and hoped to get suspended so he could have legal grounds to sue the school for tuition reimbursement.

The conspiracy deepens......

Link to comment

Just a correction here, the professor ordered him to leave the classroom after the class was dismissed, IOW he refused to continue discussing the subject with the student after class after some exchange had taken place.

If the description is accurate, I would agree with you that the professor didn't handle the situation right from the beginning...he didn't follow the actual purpose of the lesson...to thoughtfully explore the students' feelings and then refusing to deal with it afterwards.

However, the description may not be accurate, the professor may not have brushed him off, but wanted to move on to listening to other students' comments, afterwards perhaps there was another class coming in or perhaps the student was refusing to dialogue and just insisting on an apology (he stated he was waiting for an apology). I would like to hear from other students in the class prior to drawing any definite conclusion.

An exercise designed to elicit strong feelings and the professor didn't want to or refused to take the time to explore this students reaction and work through it with him. Seems a bit cavalier to me. You just don't elicit the kinds of feelings that the exercise was designed to produce then brush them off.

Link to comment

An exercise designed to elicit strong feelings and the professor didn't want to or refused to take the time to explore this students reaction and work through it with him. Seems a bit cavalier to me. You just don't elicit the kinds of feelings that the exercise was designed to produce then brush them off.

I totally agree.
Link to comment

So far he got suspended. Not seeing a real win there. Well, unless he was failing all his classes and hoped to get suspended so he could have legal grounds to sue the school for tuition reimbursement.

The conspiracy deepens......

The real win is that he refused to denigrate the name of Jesus. To him, and I would hope to me, that is worth much more than maintaining a grade in an insignificant college class.

Link to comment

The real win is that he refused to denigrate the name of Jesus. To him, and I would hope to me, that is worth much more than maintaining a grade in an insignificant college class.

Except that a lot of the rest of the class also refused or decided not to and yet he is the only one in academic trouble.

Link to comment

One of the older women in our ward bore her testimony yesterday and talked about this story, only she told everyone that he was the only student who refused to stomp on the paper and that he was kicked out of school for his bravery.

Link to comment

Yeah, I wasn't surprised.

People talk about how hard it is to believe the state of the world, but many are just really excited to assume the worst and pass it on without checking to see if its actually true.

Especially when it involves a Mormon taking on anti-Christian liberals single handedly. :D

Link to comment

The instructions allow students the option of not stepping on the paper:

“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”

The hesitating or non-stepping student should have been allowed to not step on the paper and an opportunity to discuss the importance of symbols in culture. He certainly should not have been suspended from the class, unless there were other considerations.

Link to comment

The hesitating or non-stepping student should have been allowed to not step on the paper and an opportunity to discuss the importance of symbols in culture. He certainly should not have been suspended from the class, unless there were other considerations.

He was not suspended from class for not stepping on the paper. There were other students who did not step on it and were not suspended. The university stated he was suspended for threatening the professor.
Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...