GAH! A Good Ol’ Fashioned Rant
Today was more annoying than usual. My psych class is just too much for me to handle; I’ve finally thrown in the soaked proverbial towel and am going to try to change periods. In a typical day, the teacher will hand out some kind of busywork/note-taking guide riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. She likes to use the excuse “I’m not an English teacher,” but I believe that all educators should uphold a certain level of academic integrity which includes not using adjectives as adverbs or ignoring the helpful red dotted underline provided free by Spellcheck perhaps sheerly out of spite. Maybe an ex-boyfriend worked on the development team. Maybe you were beaten savagely with a dictionary as a youth. I’m not qualified to speculate.
After these note sheets (or as I sometimes call them, “a perfect waste of what may have served as toilet paper with the proper chemical and physical treatments”) have been distributed to the class consisting of mainly sheeple and “tools”, (honestly, though, “tool” implies that they have some use, which they clearly do not) I begin to ask reasonable, legitimate questions to futilely better my understanding of the material despite the teacher’s curriculum effectively sabotaging my ability to do so. My classmates do not find my insight or effort to learn valuable and respond with a grand show of groans, sighs, eye rolls, and desperate cries of “Why do you have to get so technical?” and “There he goes again.” I truly think I’ve classically conditioned them Pavlov-style. Whenever I raise my hand in class or start to speak, the aggressive assertion of stupidity begins. The main difference between Pavlov’s experiment and mine is that the dumbfucks in my class have been drooling long before the process begins and continue to afterward.
Today was especially bad. The teacher tried her very best to make an analogy, which was cute. I mean cute in a “Aw, look, that three-year-old tried to make a model of the Sears Tower out of wet macaroni!” way. She was trying to illustrate the principle of framing, where the phrasing of two effectively identical statements can differentiate them in terms of their effect on the audience. In the textbook, the example given was “A cut of meat is more effectively sold with the label ‘90% lean’ than ‘10% fat’.” Personally, I thought this was fairly straightforward and didn’t require further demonstration, but I mustn’t editorialize so much. The ANALogy that my teacher concocted went this way, “Question one: Would you rather receive $10,000 guaranteed on the spot or have a 50% chance of receiving $20,000?” At this point I took the opportunity to ask, “What’s the other 50%?” Cue the groans and eye-rolls. Naturally, the teacher did not comprehend my query, requiring me to elaborate, “Well, you said there was a 50% chance we would get 20 grand, but what’s the other 50%? Get no money? Get a different amount of money? Lose money? The risk isn’t defined well, and the answer is essential to fully assess the situation.”
She ignored my valid question, leaving it to suffer the reply of the masses and moved on. “Question two: Would you rather lose $10,000 guaranteed or have a 50% chance of losing $20,000?” Rather than rehash the “50%” issue, I tried to slip through the rest of the period as painlessly as possible. But when the teacher had the gall to continue, “You see, those questions are basically saying the same thing, just worded different (yes, different.)” I lost my shit right then and there. “Not really, in one you stand to gain money and in the other you stand to lose it. Those are opposite situations.” Cue groans and eye-rolls from the peanut gallery once more. She returns with expert reiteration, “But actually, depending on how you look at it, they’re the same.” I took the gloves off. “Let me break this down for you. Let’s say you start with zero dollars. In the first scenario, your options are to gain 10 grand, gain 20, or gain zero. In the second, you could lose ten, lose twenty, or lose zero. Since addition and subtraction are not the same thing, that analogy doesn’t accurately represent the same concept as in the book and was incompletely formulated.”
Additionally, upon reflection with one of my friends, I should have continued by asking “Would you like to gain a punch in the face or lose a punch in the face?” Either answer would warrant the punch in the face she so richly deserved, and I’d be satisfied. Unfortunately, it didn’t end like that. Instead, my plea for reason was Spartan-kicked into oblivion by the dogshit-caked pedestrian foot of aggressive ignorance. Not to mention that once this ordeal was over, the girl sitting next to me continued to troll hard by passing me post-it notes with Langston Hughes quotes and repeatedly looking at me and laughing. In conclusion, (troll to all English teachers) I’m switching classes.