The Nine Faces of Dave
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2002-01-16 03:23:27 (UTC)

it's just like in baseball

Got my paper back the other day in English, and guess what
grade it received? B , revealing my prediction to be pretty
accurate. Apparently I didn't get enough information on the
guy I interviewed, so there was a "distance" in the paper.
Yes, the teacher called it a "distance." Naturally, my
reaction to all this was along the lines of "What the fuck
are you talking about?" It comes up that I didn't know the
guy I interviewed. Then the comes the "well that explains
everything" bullshit. So basically, I'm being punished for
interviewing the wrong person, even though the teacher told
the class we could interview whoever we wanted to. Shit,
everybody else who read the paper liked it.

On a better note, I got into swing choir. Assuming my
schedule can handle the necessary rearrangements, I'll be
out of Senile Old Fuck's English class come the second
semester. RoXXor! I'll have to move photography to an
earlier period and transfer into the other AP English class,
but if I can make it happen, it'll be worth it.

Let me tell you about my current class. It's taught by the
same guy I had for sophomore English/U.S. history. Now that
class was great. We got the occasional amusing story, we
saw some great videos, and the tests were a piece of cake
once the system became clear.

So the question is, why has senior English been sucking so
hard? I blame it on increased senility on the teacher's
part, along with a difference in course material. It's also
worth noting that we had a second teacher for sophomore
English, effectively keeping the old fart in check. But
now, the old guy just rambles on, fabricates symbolism, and
gets his facts all wrong. Any given day in there is chock
full of sports analogies, pointless coaching stories, praise
for authors who really aren't that great, college stories
which obviously aren't true, and determinist rhetoric.

The last is the worst. See, my teacher is one of those guys
who believes that one's environment determines one's
outcome. Me, I don't believe there is any one determining
factor. So one day, I went after this hogwash by pointing
out statistical deviations, i.e. bell curves and all that
shit. Studies suggest that no factor is really a
determining factor, and that everything plays a part. My
teacher, who claims he was better at math than English,
demonstrated his complete lack of knowledge about statistics
by stating that data is fit to distributions instead of the
other way around. That is bullshit.

Earlier, he had used the example of Michael Jordan going
back to his old school in the ghetto and telling people they
can make it, since he obviously did. Apparently, Jordan is
wrong, since he's the only one. I suppose if the definition
of "made it" is "became pro ballplayer, made a metric
shit-ton of money, and came back to speak at your old high
school," then yeah, he is the only one. But I define
success a little differently.

Call me an optimist, but damn it, I still believe in the
American Dream. The caste system in this country is not
very rigid, especially not with the evolution of technology
and increased opportunities for education, advancement, and
self-actualization. Not everybody who grows up in a poor
neighborhood is going to end up working at KFC, and not
everybody who grows up in the suburbs is going to end up
living in a subdivision and working as a professor.

That's the beauty of things in this country: nobody who's
worth his or her salt gives a shit about your background or
your family's income level or what you did in high school.
This person cares about what you can do, and what you're
capable of accomplishing.