“Trigger Warnings”, “Special Snowflakes”, and Failure
May 21, 2014 5 Comments
One of the blogs I most enjoy, is written by a neighbor (the way we figure things out here, anyway) Hercules and the Umpire, who is a Federal Judge in Nebraska, and yep, he is the one who had the guts to comment on how women (and sometimes men) lawyers dress in court. I have no idea what his politics are, although I suspect that like mine, they are based mostly on reality. Anyway yesterday, he posted this, and while I don’t have a courtroom, I think this is an appropriate warning to any of you ‘special snowflakes’ who wander in here as well because frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn about your feelings. Here we do and say thing based on experience, success yes, but more often failure, reality, and figuring things out enough to keep most unintended consequences at bay. Here’s Judge Kopf, read and heed, because it applies to life as well as his courtroom.
By the way, there are no “trigger warnings” in my courtroom, just a mean ass guy who doesn’t spend a lot time worrying about your feelings. Be damn sure you grow up before you begin practicing law. That’s legal realism.
From the things that do NOT work file: Rutgers University.
If you remember they disinvited Condoleezza Rice from being their commencement speaker. It sounded to me like they were afraid that their graduates might not survive a few minutes contact with the real world. Anyway since he is a nice guy, P.J. O”Rourke penned a piece to help them out. Here’s some excerpts
I hear Condoleezza Rice stood you up. You may think it was because about 50 students—.09 percent of your student body—held a “sit-in” at the university president’s office to protest the selection of Secretary Rice as commencement speaker. You may think it was because a few of your faculty—stale flakes from the crust of the turkey pot pie that was the New Left—threatened a “teach-in” to protest the selection of Secretary Rice.
“Sit-in”? “Teach-in”? What century is this?
I think Secretary Rice forgot she had a yoga session scheduled for today.
It’s shame she was busy. You might have heard something useful from a person who grew up poor in Jim Crow Alabama. Who lost a friend and playmate in 1963 when white supremacists bombed Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Who became an accomplished concert pianist before she tuned her ear to the more dissonant chords of international relations.
Secretary Rice was Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Denver and received a B.A. cum laude in political science—back before the worst grade a student had ever heard of was a B-.
The professor who influenced her most was Josef Korbel, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s father.
Secretary Albright and Secretary Rice don’t agree on much about international relations. But they don’t sit-in or teach-in at each other’s public appearances.
Secretary Rice got a master’s in political science from Notre Dame, a Ph.D. in political science from Denver and, in the meantime, was an intern at the Carter administration State Department and the Rand Corporation and studied Russian at Moscow State University.
Well, maybe nobody does need to be smart. But that’s your problem, sitting here thinking you’re so smart for graduating from Rutgers.
She rose from assistant professor to provost at Stanford. (Ranked fifth-best university in America byU.S. News & World Report. You’re ranked 69th.) While she was doing that, she also served, from 1989 to 1991, as the Soviet expert on the White House National Security Council under President George H. W. Bush. […]
Some of your professors don’t believe that Secretary Rice would be worth listening to. Some believe you need to be taught to disapprove of her morals and ethics. I am quoting your state’s Star-Ledger newspaper: “‘Attending the teach-in will be a strong signal that we will not sit quietly while a small group of irresponsible people [although I’d thought we’d established who they were during the sit-in] dishonor our beloved university,’ said history professor Rudolph Bell.”
Rudolph “Jingle” Bell. It is to be hoped poor Rudolph doesn’t have a very shiny nose.
Anyway, you might have heard something good from Secretary Rice. You’ll hear nothing good from me.
Here you are graduating from Rutgers, which is, as I mentioned, the 69th-best university in America. Maybe Rutgers should add more vegan selections to its cafeteria fare. U.S. News & World Report scorekeepers go for that kind of thing. Actually, you’re tied for 69th with Texas A&M, an NFL first-round draft with a small college attached.[…]
Now let me address just the young men in the audience. Guys, of the 21.8 million college students, 12.5 million are women and 9.3 million are men. Guys? What? As someone who’s been married a couple of times, I can tell you your wife was always going to be smarter than you. But you’re letting her frame it and hang it on the wall.
I have done research. I have done mathematical analysis. I have also done fieldwork. That is, I’ve talked to people who went to college after the jingle bells of academia took over the institutions. Gosh.
What constitutes a “college education”?
You need to study history, so that it doesn’t come around again and, per Santayana, bite you in the Ukraine. You’re thinking, “Santayana—historically great guitar player.”[…]
Eight or so subjects to get a college education. Think you could find 100 wonderful experts in each of these, 800 professors, for $1.4 billion? That’s $1.75 million a year apiece. There would be applicants. You could hold classes in the Moose Lodge or at the Y. Classes would be large. So was the agora where Socrates taught. But there’s no free WiFi in the Moose Lodge. And this kind of college education sounds like work. Which is something you’ll be looking hard for, starting tomorrow.
Go Forth and Fail.
And along that line, Bill Whittle has something to say about our old friend failure as well.
Now start thinking, and failing until you get it right, just like every generation has done.