Friday, February 29, 2008

Janet rewards the suck-up!

Spot has developed a dreadful little game for himself. He put SCSU Scholars into his RSS feeder to see if he could tell when a post was written by Janet. If he thinks so, only then does Spot go to the to site check. So far, he batting 1,000.

Here's the set-up for this one. You're one of Janet's students, and it became obvious early on that she is kind of, well, a homer. She tosses you this softball: "Why are there more software engineers in the US than in India or China?" The student crafts his reply to please Janet:

My students were assigned some very, very small mini-cases to present to the class. Students were to read the information, summarize it, identify the pros and cons or causes. They were to ascertain whether or not information was unclear, missing, etc. and provide solutions or clarifications.

One case discussed the fact that the US has 4x the number of software engineers as India, 6x the number of software engineers in China. The question was, why?

The student who had solved this situation was from Africa. His major explanations included these gems:

"America provides more access to education than anywhere else. Americans always look for a way to improve software, they know (have the freedom) to make improvements"

Note: this statement is from a foreign student who recognizes what we have. I only wish more Americans internalized this fact.

You know, boys and girls, the choice of the word "internalize" is very interesting here, don't you think? Here's the American Heritage Dictionary entry for "internalize":

in·ter·nal·ize (ĭn-tûr'nə-līz')

tr.v. in·ter·nal·ized, in·ter·nal·iz·ing, in·ter·nal·iz·es

1. To make internal, personal, or subjective: "Protean man internalizes the longing for immortality through an ongoing process of death and rebirth within himself" (Henry S. Resnik).

2. To take in and make an integral part of one's attitudes or beliefs: had internalized the cultural values of the Poles after a year of living in Warsaw.

Of course, Janet chose her word perfectly, because she is a propagandist, not a teacher. She is most interested in affecting the attitudes or beliefs of her students; she is more interested in doctrine than fact.

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