Raving Conservative


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vanity Proven, and I am Satisfied

This is a follow-up to the previous article The Vanity of the Specialty. My coursework has been reviewed by a nuetral professor. Based on the grading criteria set forth in the syllabus the grade that my professor set as an "F" is reccommended, upon thorough review, to be raised to a "B".

This is huge. It also proves my point about how the professor of that class was grading off personal bias and not quality of work. Dissenting viewpoints, no matter how justified, were being arbitarliy penalized. It is hyppocrisy to ask students to analyze events for themselves and then to hurt them if they reach conclusions you do not personally agree with unless those positions cannot be justified. This goes to prove that my positions were justified, and that I did an above average job in my historical analysis despite taking positions that were sometimes contrary to the instructors personal biases.

I remind you that I wrote from a perspective of trusting the source material and did not seek to put my own twist on history. At the same, this second opinion agreed with my professor that analysis is vital to history and must be reduced striclty to who, what, when, where, and how. He states, essentially, that the question of the why and the identification of bias in original sources is vital to the field of history. Now that it is not being used to bludgeon me into taking positions that the evidence I have seen does not support I can relax and conceed the point. However, I also maintain that the abuse of this principle is the chief source of historical confusion and modern lies about history. There is too much irresponsibilty through personal agendas to grant this principle sufficient trust to make it worthwhile for students.

Analysis is a wonderful thing in general. I spend a great dealof time analyzing things. I look at everything from many angles before making my decisions. But I have found that overanalysis is univesally bad, possible worse than no analysis at all. I also maintain my original point that history classes are not about creating an excersize in critical thinking or philosophy. History classes are a place to learn history itself. It is not inappropriate to ask students to analyze events, but it is inappropriate to ask students to analyze events then expect them all to reach the same conclusion as the professor. This creates an environment of scholastic intimidation and must be allowed to persist in any scholastic forum.


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