Handmaiden07, on Apr 24 2004, 01:23 AM, said:
You may take it personally that I think that the modern profession of teaching is more about churning out corporate cogs than it is about instructing children, but you don't get to say that I disrespect YOU on account of that opinion.
Perhaps not, but you'd better get a helmet on 'cause I'll be coming at your head for saying so anyway. It's a syllogism. You think teachers are workers in the factory of 'corporate cogs'. I am a teacher. QED, QT.
#1 - you may NOT be one of the people who buys into the modern thinking.
Suppose for a moment I think turning out 'corporate cogs' is good and just and morally perfect and just what America needs (even if I am Canadian). What then?
#2 - you may DISAGREE that that is the case.
And I certainly do, but that's neither here nor there.
#3 - you may AGREE, and point out that education has always had the function of preparing people to live in the world they live in, and to function within society as one if its cogs. And therefore you may feel that this is exactly what SHOULD be happening, and I'm off the wall for suggesting otherwise.
But the crux of the problem remains that the discussion centres entirely around an unfair generalization on your part about the WHOLE education system. Everywhere. You don't point to, say, the Regents system in New York state, the California curriculum--- in short, you don't offer anything, not even an anecdote. Just a charge uphill, your flag to April's breeze unfurled.
And there's why I take offense. Because if you said "that's how it is in QT-country!" then I could write your comments off to a bad experience, possibly while raising Sunsport. Or, as another example, if you attributed it to your own opinions of how the education system failed *you*, I could counter with how it probably was the only thing that saved my life. And then we could have a poignant moment of mutual appreciation for each others' opinions, and be on our merry way.
In short, I could give you the benefit of the doubt if I could see the puppets of context and experience dallying. But with a single (and in the case of the "corporate cogs" comment, harsh) comment? There's a lot to be desired from which to draw a discussion. And I can't help it if I'm quick to offense. But I still try to give everyone reasonable grounds to not piss me off.
In all of these scenarios, the issue at variance is not YOU, but what you do professionally.
And yet, my point is, no matter how hard you try to take me out of it, when all I bring to the discussion is the selfsame me that I am every day, I'm going to bring myself into it, and I'm going to bring the hammer down if I perceive an unfair remark.
I do this with any sense of injustice I encounter. People make remarks about the Catholic Church that are unfair? People make bad noises about Toronto Maple Leafs fans? People want to get uppity about those who enjoy classic rock? I am all those things, too--- I am not just some bird with an attitude and Coke in his tummy. And I only take offense where offense is due to carelessness or arrogance. I trust my instincts, and usually they're right.
And, it may very well be a sign of respect that I persist in bugging you about it - not believing that a guy like YOU could possibly lend your talent and reputation to the corporate machine!
To which my response would probably be something along the lines of "and just what is that supposed to mean?" I'd probably invoke the Borg and hive-minds and so on, and really get my feathers ruffled over it. I would not take it as a sign of respect, I can tell you that. I would take it as quite the opposite.
It's the same as if, using more prominent examples, I were to say that "I can't believe that Lil is a lawyer!" or "I can't believe Zack is a Democrat!" or "I can't believe that John Burke is a Catholic!" ----or worse, if someone were to say that "G is a typical Republican" or "Iolanthe is a typical grad student" or "Christopher is a typical author", or worst of all, "Cardie is so obviously a Jew" or "QT is such a typical black woman".
Those are all reactions based upon stereotypes. The kinds of stereotypes that really get under my skin. It doesn't matter to me if those stereotypes are based on colour or politics or occupation.... they're still going to be unfair.
You would certainly have the right to take it personally, because you are a human being, and as you stated, you've invested years of your life - made a commitment to this field. But notwithstanding, that would still say nothing at all about my respect level for you.
I think I've explained pretty adequately that I would expect respect for me to be manifested in all forms, across the board. As long as there's generalizations being offered, they're being offered about everyone they affect. And, to me, the very nature of respect means NOT offering a generalization as fact. You never know what you're gonna get if you do that.
Note that all of the preceding was part of a long continuation of your hypothetical point, and I'm not offended at all, nor do I seek to offend anyone by continuing the point-- if I did, I apologize.