Thursday, October 15, 2009

remember how margaret wente is a worthless fool?

margaret wente is one of those writers who seems to write whatever pops into her little head, then reads it over, and pretend she didn't just make that shit up out of nowhere.

last year she wrote a piece that defended dick pound(the man with most unfortunate name of all) after his famous statement: "we must not forget that 400 years ago, canada was a land of savages, with scarcely 10,000 inhabitants of european origin, while in china, we're talking about a 5,000-year-old civilization."(also, maybe rachel marsden is dick pound in drag? they're both obsessed with the olympics and they're both crazy racist freakshows! mystery solved.)

anyways, margaret wente is also a crazy racist freak show. when she defended pound's statement in the globe and mail she said this:

"claims about aboriginal contributions to civilization are also vastly overstated. did the Iroquois confederacy really influence the declaration of independence? sorry, no. do native medicinal herbs play an important role in modern drugs? no. yet, some leading intellectuals try to argue otherwise. the thesis of john ralston saul's new bestseller is that we are at root a métis civilization, even though he has no evidence to prove it. what is a métis civilization? that's not too clear, either. "

not only is she a liar, but as a writer for a major newspaper shouldn't they be fact checking her work?

ms. wente has a bachelors and a masters in english. this hardly qualifies her for such historical assertions. english majors study literature. somehow she got her wires crossed and thought she was a historian! silly margaret wente.. you have to actually read and study history and re-writings of history to understand history.

anyways, she's an idiot. but it's like every week she fires out a new idiotic piece of shit out of her mouth(not unlike the episode of south park where people start eating food through their asses so they can shit from their mouths--i imagine it makes the same noise when she writes something) and they just keep publishing her!!

in september she wrote a foul, foul piece about university life. actually, it's kind of libellous.

according to wente: "i went to university back in the golden age. our classes were small and many of our professors were creative and enthusiastic. they even marked our papers themselves. there was lots of scope for what is now known as “engagement.”"

unfortunately, due to class sizes and a decrease in quality of education, kids in school today are just getting the shaft, thinks wente.

"the universities say the problem is money. if only they had more of it, they could do a better job of educating undergraduates. there's just one catch. educating undergraduates is just about the last thing most professors want to do."

oh good. blame profs. what a novel thing to do, individual a systemic problem. don't look at how the university ACTUALLY spends its money, just blame it on the people who keep the university running.

professors are actually not teaching on purpose, wente says, because they get rewarded more for research.

"professors are rewarded not for turning out high-quality graduates, but for turning out books and papers – even if they are unread. this perverse system stubbornly persists, despite the fact that everyone knows it's absurd. of course some research, especially in the sciences and medicine, matters a great deal to the advancement of society. but a vast amount of it – especially in the humanities and social sciences – does not."

she hit it here, professors do have to do research. students who want to advance in university have to as well. but they didn't choose that kind of system--it's embedded in the corporatization of the university. but margaret wente is an idiot and doesn't do research. so she continues.

she moves onto TAs:

"last winter, when the teaching assistants went on strike at york university, the public was outraged – but for the wrong reasons. the real outrage was not that a tiny band of strikers could shut down the university for weeks"

ima stop here. if margaret wente had done so much as read her own newspaper during the strike she would know that we didn't shut the university down. the university administration made the decision to cancel classes during the strike--a foul move on their part. they could have decided to keep classes running and let students and profs cross the picket lines if they wanted. they denied students and profs that choice so they wouldn't look back when everyone realized the university could not run without the striking staff/students.

apparently as TAs, we "don't have time for mentoring" because we "have a miserable life."

anyone who has TAed knows this is bullshit. if you make time for it, you can mentor and it's one of the best things about TAing.

so on behalf of professors who love to teach, who are overwhelmed with ever increasing class sizes, who do their best to produce what they need to at the same time as they try to teach to the best of their ability, who understand why this is happening because they're in touch with the system and can see how it works, and on behalf of anyone with half a brain who does an ounce of research before they write something and send it out into the world to be read as fact i'd just like to send a huge fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you to margaret wente.

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