Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Elevation

There's still brooding to be done over TrumboFest. You can't undergo Trumbonization like that and forgo weeks and weeks of post-traumatic stress disorder posts.

Although I came out of the reading session feeling quite good about the state of American education (for every mouth-breather I've quoted below, there were two essays that made me clasp my hands and go, "This one understands about semicolons!"), it threw our national geographical idiocy in high relief. I myself hardly qualify as map expert; there were many lolling afternoons of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego, yes, but I spent much of my Carmen time reflecting deeply upon the sunny hotness of the fedora-wearing host. I had little use for the longest river in Bulgaria.

But I do have at least some concept of sea level. The essays I was grading discussed a mountain setting which the author specified as nine thousand feet. And when the students got to writing about use of details in the selection, this rarely failed to assume categorization as hyperbole: "Clearly, the narrator is childishly reflecting upon such an exaggerated height."

One did a whole paragraph about it. This kid was pissed: "That's ridiculous. No place on Earth is nine thousand feet high, especially with lakes." Water anywhere but in those... big... blue parts on the globe, pfffft!

latitudes and attitudes at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

10 comments:

Monica said...

If nothing else, this experience should leave you with the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you are a superior example of the human species. These poor unfortunates (a.k.a. "The Students") were not so generously blessed in the brain department.

How do I remain so optimistic, you ask? Well, MY hairdresser took PSY 101 at cosmetology school. If you're in the Cincinnati area, you might want to look her up. The experience you described in your previous blog was just wrong on so many levels. You should have been able to dance out of the salon singing "I Feel Pretty"! Instead, you had clumpy hair and a gloomy outlook. I could just cry!

Starnarcosis said...

The assertion that no place on earth is 9000 feet high is going to come as quite a shock to Tibet.

Owen the Reader said...

Heh ... "Trumbonization". Oh, the humanity.

mike is right here said...

I always wanted to be on that show. Failing that, while I won't say anything about Greg Lee's "hotness," I did dig the zoot suits he always wore.

Josh The Pilot said...

Nice way to sneak in the Jimmy reference, babe.

boblawblogger said...

What? You were distracted by the host and not the vocal stylings of Rockapella and the strange frankenstein-y guy who sang bass?

Anonymous said...

What's the deal; about semi-colons?

ShannJ said...

Kids these days scare me. Do you think those kind of things are common, or getting more prevalent. What a sad commentary on portions of the education system in this country.

Jcat said...

I think one of the members of Rockapella is in that anoying commerical for Asteline. I think of Carmen Sandiego every time I see that commerical.

mike, zombie jamoboree said...

jcat: that, in fact, is Rockapella in that commercial.

Their lineup has changed so much that only one of the "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" crew is still in the band.

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