Edjumacation

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Büge
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Büge » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:42 pm







Professor of Medicine live-tweets her child's abstinence-only sex ed class.

You can read the whole thing here.

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Friday
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Friday » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:22 pm

Everyone getting pregnant in the class because of CONDOM FAILURE was the absolute best part.

The joke is, of course, that this class will have absolutely no effect on any of those kids. They'll still fuck just as much and just as recklessly. Abstinence only teachers are literally wasting their time and money.

I mean, I fully understand that these people shouldn't be let anywhere near a classroom and instead we should teach safe sex. But their goal is the same as ours: to prevent a 15 year old getting pregnant. Nobody wants that shit. That shit is numero uno on everyone's nope list. It's just personally amusing to me that their methods are literally completely ineffective in getting their desired results.

You can't curb the fucking, only the reckless.
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:47 pm

Friday wrote:They'll still fuck just as much and just as recklessly.


More recklessly. Because some idiot just told them that (1) condoms don't work and (2) they should plan on not having sex. Neither of which reduces the likelihood of anyone having sex, just the likelihood of them having a condom handy when they do.

Friday wrote:You can't curb the fucking, only the reckless.


Right, exactly.

It really doesn't take that damn much to explain safe sex.

Use a condom every time; they usually work. And yes, that's usually, not always; that's why, ideally, you should have a secondary form of birth control (ask your doctor; the pill works well for the majority of women but there are alternatives) and only have sex with someone who you trust is clean. (In high school it's probably not necessary for most people to get tested regularly, but by the time you're an adult, it's a good idea. Check if your insurance covers it; if it doesn't, find a free clinic.)

Nobody's going to get pregnant from oral or anal sex; anal sex is likelier to spread STI's than vaginal, while oral sex is less likely to (but still possible; yes herpes can be transmitted from mouth to genitals; never have oral sex if you've got a cold sore, and you're going to want to ask your partner if it's okay to even kiss). You should still use a condom for anal or oral sex, unless you've both been tested or are virgins.

And if you don't have a condom, you can always just use your hands.

I mean, did I miss anything? Aside from practicing putting a condom on a banana? I think that's pretty much the whole list of everything teenagers should be told in order to avoid disease and pregnancy, right? Obviously there's plenty else to cover in sex ed (the actual biology of how it works, the importance of consent, and, y'know, the fun parts -- I don't think the words "clitoris" or "lube" ever came up in any of the sex ed courses I took here in Arizona public schools), but...I mean, the steps for safe sex are incredibly simple and concise, and even kids with no self-control can probably follow at least some of them.

I guess that's why fundamentalists don't want kids to know them?

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Friday
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Friday » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:03 pm

Obviously there's plenty else to cover in sex ed (the actual biology of how it works, the importance of consent, and, y'know, the fun parts -- I don't think the words "clitoris" or "lube" ever came up in any of the sex ed courses I took here in Arizona public schools)


We're so fucking prudish that I think if anyone said the word "clitoris" in front of a group of high school age kids that Jesus would return on the spot and give the class a thumbs up before grabbing Mary and winking and then returning to heaven.
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:39 pm

I DID have a pretty good Sociology of Sex class in college; I took it for an elective credit after some friends (including the school paper's sex columnist) recommended it.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 29, 2015 1:14 pm

This has been making the rounds this morning.

Higher Education Chronicle: My Title IX Inquisition, which describes how silly grievance politics and manipulation of the complaints systems can get in academia these days.

One of my friends glibly pointed out a possible underlying cause.
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby François » Fri May 29, 2015 1:58 pm

My mother used to work at the "Institut de Technologie Agro-alimentaire" here in Saint-Hyacinthe, which until recently was a world-class place of learning for everything that touches the production/transformation of food and overall agriculture. When the ridiculous plethora of directors and managers was told by the current government (in a fit of austerity) that they would soon have to significantly reduce their non-teacher staff, they all hired assistants. When the time came for the hammer to actually fall, they fired most of their new assistants and gutted the staff at the bottom of the hierarchy (i.e. the people who ever actually interact with students in any way) by about 80%. It's pretty gross just to think about it.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:10 pm

Atlantic: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus

This isn't a railing screed against "Political Correctness", it's a fairly serious look at the damage that the overall trend towards overprotection and hypersensitivity are doing to higher education and mental health. The road to hell is always in good shape, it seems.

IMO, this has been something that's been building for a long time and not as recent as the article seems to imagine. Whatever the underlying reasons might be, initiatives to keep students safe that noticeably exceed initiatives to keep people safe in real-world society were already present when I was in school in the late 90's and early 00's.

Still, it's wild that we've reached a point where this has gone from overprotective but ultimately harmless to batshit crazytown.

The other, much more important thing the article glosses over is that this isn't necessarily some sort of inescapable tsnunami; from what I've seen elsewhere this seems to be a very regional and even school-specific trend. Certain schools have developed insufferable climates like this, but others (probably the majority? How do you minutely measure something so amorphous as the severity of a cultural change?) are fine and reasonable.
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Thad
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:30 am

It's kind of alarming that it's not until halfway through the article that he acknowledges what the actual, legitimate purpose of trigger warnings is and contrasts it with frivolous use of the phrase to signify uncomfortable ideas.

And I think that's the hard part of the debate in a nutshell -- finding the line between respecting people's dignity and suppressing certain types of ideas and speech. There's a difference, it's not always easy to see, and an article with the phrase "trigger warning" in its title that doesn't mention sexual assault until the fourth subheading is not doing a good job of acknowledging that there is a difference.

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Classic
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Classic » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:11 am

I wonder how many folks who get upset at how "PC" and "safe" people try to make spaces get furious when you don't use spoiler tags for their favorite shows.

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Büge
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Büge » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:17 am

Mongrel wrote:Atlantic: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus

This isn't a railing screed against "Political Correctness", it's a fairly serious look at the damage that the overall trend towards overprotection and hypersensitivity are doing to higher education and mental health.


Uh huh, sure it isn't. Depicting college students as literal babies certainly doesn't help with that assessment.

This appears to be yet another article throwing PTSD sufferers under the bus to bemoan the changing status quo and try to silence acknowledgement that the media we consume can be problematic in depictions of violence or rape. The authors even comes up with their own little slogan, "vindictive protectiveness". How cute is that? It's practically tailor-made for the busy conservative blogger.

It also seems to be conflating (once again) that trigger warnings = the right not to be offended, when trigger warnings should be just that: warnings. They let students know that maybe there's going to be a topic in discussion that might remind them of a trauma they may have received, so to be prepared. It even talks about psychological treatments like "exposure therapy", conveniently ignoring the fact that such processes should be undertaken with the help of a mental health professional, not a tenure jockey.

A trigger warning isn't "coddling" any more than a sign that reads "hard hat area" or a "may contain peanuts" label. This article is just another of those angry misunderstandings on the part of old institutional teachers who object to the changing demands of students.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby zaratustra » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:39 am

Mongrel wrote:Atlantic: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus

This isn't a railing screed against "Political Correctness", it's a fairly serious look at the damage that the overall trend towards overprotection and hypersensitivity are doing to higher education and mental health. The road to hell is always in good shape, it seems.


As a general rule, any article featuring the word 'coddling' is a screed of some sort.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:47 am

Buge has all valid points. This just comes back to the point I made when posting: How much of this is real and how much is imagined?

The issue isn't valid warnings, which as you rightly point out are as incidental as "CAUTION: BEVERAGE IS HOT", which might seem a little silly or overbearing to some of us, but which are ultimately harmless and will hardly lead to the downfall of western civilization as we know it, but overreaction, like someone running over and slapping your coffee out of your hand. And IF - only IF - overreaction is significant and pervasive, then yes I would say it's fair to have a discussion on that and maybe some bonus hand-wringing.

But right now all we have are anecdotes. One one hand, the anecdotes I've seen in various articles over the past three or four years have named many different schools in many different states, so I think it's fair to say that overreaction affects a non-zero percentage of schools. But on the other hand "that's not data", as the bromide goes, so we have no way of knowing if non-zero is something trivial, like 2% of schools (and one would assume that in the US, some much larger percentage, like a third or half, of all academia is totally fucked up in vastly more significant ways to begin with [/cheap shot]), or some larger percentage worth actually talking about.
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:04 pm

Mongrel wrote:The issue isn't valid warnings, which as you rightly point out are as incidental as "CAUTION: BEVERAGE IS HOT", which might seem a little silly or overbearing to some of us, but which are ultimately harmless and will hardly lead to the downfall of western civilization as we know it


People always get that story wrong, and it's relevant to your analogy.

"CAUTION: BEVERAGE IS HOT" is actually something a lot more sinister than just a harmless-yet-excessive safety warning. It's a warning in place of legitimate safety improvements.

A woman sued McDonald's because she got third-degree burns from spilling their coffee in her lap. McDonald's' solution to this was, instead of not making their coffee so dangerously goddamn hot, to put a warning label on it explaining that it was hot.

It is a case where somebody brought a safety issue to a corporation's attention, and the lawyers responded from a liability perspective.

Remember that episode of Simpsons where Bart falls down the well and at the end of the episode Homer says they're going to make sure nobody ever falls down that well again -- and cut to Willy putting up a sign that reads "Caution: Well"? It's pretty much that.

Warnings that pretend to fix a problem but actually do nothing about it are relevant to the discussion. But your analogy doesn't say what you think it does.

Meanwhile: I do think there are legitimate problems with suppression of controversial topics on college campuses. But I also think the standup comics complaining about it are a bunch of whiners (et tu, Chris Rock?), and I really think it's important to acknowledge that trigger warnings, safe spaces, et al are reasonable things to have that simply sometimes get carried too far, not to suggest that they're bad things entirely.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Büge » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:23 pm

So Sesame Street will be broadcast first on HBO now, which takes it out of its roots as an educational tool for poor urban families whose children may watch TV while their parents have to work, a point Arthur Chu discusses here.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:59 pm

It's not really that bad. It's not an "exclusive" - it's still going to be broadcast on PBS, just with a delay of several months.

I mean, that's not optimal of course, but in the end the makers of the show went with the option that would net them the most funding. They've done ads for years, so it's not like they were ideologically pure or anything like that to begin with.

Unless the promise of the delayed PBS broadcasts is an outright lie, this is a lot of noise about something relatively minor. I mean, when I was a kid I watched episodes that were years and years old the first time I saw them and it wasn't really a big deal. As a young kid it's all new stuff the first time around. Does it seem a little unfair that richer kids now get to see brand new episodes a little sooner? Sure. Will it make any real practical difference? I doubt it.
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Rico » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:10 pm

Büge wrote:A trigger warning isn't "coddling" any more than a sign that reads "hard hat area" or a "may contain peanuts" label. This article is just another of those angry misunderstandings on the part of old institutional teachers who object to the changing demands of students.

I don't have the link on me, but I read an article yesterday in which the author watched a late-night comedy show. The host had recently hurt himself, and was talking about it, and pleasantly told the audience, "By the way, don't Google this, you'll get a lot of gross pictures you probably don't want to see." And the author bemoaned, "That's it. That's a trigger warning. Just basic human decency that's already built into our interactions every day. Why the hell are people freaking out about something they've been doing all their lives now that we've defined a term for it?"

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Thad
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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:17 pm

While there's definitely something uncomfortable about Sesame Street going to HBO first, I'm also not sure I agree with most of the article.

I’m okay with spoiled suburban kids’ parents shelling out ridiculous sums for Tickle Me Elmo dolls if it kept “Sesame Street” free for the rest of the world.


Okay, so...what's the difference, here? This is the next logical outgrowth of a path the Sesame Workshop's been on for the past twenty years. Relying on pledge drive contributions isn't a viable way to keep the show going, so we've had merchandising, and now we've got the show debuting on HBO and then the episodes airing on PBS a few months later. I'm honestly having trouble seeing how the latter is worse than the former.

The article makes some good points -- how fucking depressing it is that we need HBO to step in to help Sesame Street, in comparison to the kind of leaders we had in Congress when it started; the fact that 15% of US households don't have Internet access so the "well people can watch old episodes any time on the Internet" argument ignores the most vulnerable demographics -- but it also makes a lot of assumptions and produces a lot of hypotheticals that I don't really buy. (Sesame Workshop is going to have to retool the show to appeal to thirtysomething hipsters who watch the show ironically? Jesus Christ, give them a little more credit than that.)

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Mothra » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:36 pm

Oh, I hadn't heard that the new episodes air on PBS a few months later. That's awesome.

Yeah, there is absolutely nothing here worth complaining about.

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Re: Edjumacation

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:57 pm

Afterthought: doesn't the move to HBO eliminate the other (legitimate) issue he's complaining about, the sponsorships the show's taken on over the last few years (ads for Discovery Zone etc.)? Because honestly I'd say HBO-first is preferable to advertising.

Though it's possible they'll do both; presumably the HBO versions of the shows won't include ads, but the PBS reruns might continue to do so.

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