As a kid I thought adults generally had it together. They could drive cars and buy stuff. They were in charge of the big and exciting world. They invented all this stuff and built civilization.

And something horrifying about growing up has been seeing how little any of them had it together, how little any of us do as we realize we've grown up all of a sudden. When I was in the military, I thought, "this is -not- how we're portrayed in the media, or even in our own commercials." It was a shit show like most other human enterprises.

It's scary to think of academia as a place that isn't always optimal for learning. We grow up thinking the only thing that determines how much we get out of school is our effort, and if we don't do well or enjoy it, we're the problem. We're told we're the performer, and school is the perfect, unquestionable structure for fairly judging us. Like a beautiful meritocracy of the mind. And again we grow up and see all the ways that teachers and professors are humans too, and that some awful ideas infect teachers and make classrooms a shit show just as much as anywhere else. We see all the ways that the pedagogy has so much room to grow.

I know this is the nature of progress and that this entire article and conversation show how we're moving in the right direction. But damn, you'd think "don't be a monstrous asshole to your students" would've reached cultural consensus by now. Being an asshole to your students should be seen as the same level of failure as medical malpractice. I'm cheesy about this, but I think teachers should be uplifted because I -do- believe the role in society is sacred. So when people tarnish it and abuse their responsibility (say, in the form of emotional abuse toward children) I find it extra outrageous. I'm biased because I want to teach eventually too, but I think this is worth feeling strongly about. Like, you cared enough to write this and you're already a professor. You could've just been satisfied with running your own classes the right way. But it's important for these ideas to spread as far as they can.

Anyways, that was a fucking rant lol, sorry. This was a wonderful piece, as usual.

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