Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Herself's Turn

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  • steven crawford,

    Just as an aside, I can actually write without making all these mistake,s it just take a long time to weed them out. I normally print what I write. My errors show up more obviously on printed paper, I'v got a big waist paper bin.

    Just one more word on education. It would be nice if the next government would make mandatory, the chilling the fuck out about how important reading, writing and numeracy is because it isn't.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    . meaning, I suppose, that the ideal class size would be about a dozen. I'd hate to think of the costs involved to implement that however.

    My art school classes where never bigger than 12. That's because it wasn't a flash big university. I believe the curriculum was the same.
    Something I didn't give a toss about ether way. I definitely got where I needed to go.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for the digression, but I've finally figured out National's secret agenda.

    **JOHN KEY IS AN EVIL SCANNER HELLBENT ON WORLD DOMINATION!**

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    I am thinking seriously about doing the masters degree with Massy. Thats because it's run from the old Wellington museum.

    Hmmmm. Well, I have my opinions about the M-place as an employer (and the conversion of the Museum - as does OSH). I'd advise anyone thinking of doing a master's to shop around and sound out their prospective supervisors. The advantage of a master's is that it's very dependent upon the quality of the supervisor and the working relationship that one establishes with them (someone who's good for one person may not have the chemistry with another, for instance). There are some very good individuals there teaching, I do have to say. Moreover, as a grad, you'd have quite a different relationship from an undergrad, meaning that you could manage and control the level of contact to make it suit you.

    Anyway, look around and don't rush into it. It helps to think for a while about what it is that you're addressing in your study project and that can grow and develop in discussions before formal enrolment.

    I am like an arts drain layer with a readers card at victoria university. I'm in it for the architecture

    Hmmm. I may run into you. I'm the guy with the specs and the bad hair. I'll probably have something to say about H G Wells, even though he has little (but not nothing...) to say about architecture.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "creeping qualificationism," - well maybe but she'll be right & no.8 wire doesn't cut it anymore. I feel education is in itself its own reward.

    My Mum recalls the furore when Catholic Schools went on to be State funded & the requirement Teachers had to be qualified was an outrage against the Church. This task having been done by caring or was that canning uneducated Nunns for free.

    And imagine if Auckland Town Planners were education & qualified - ahh a fine dream.

    I took a couple of American Studies papers in the past at Canty. Great to quote Homer in an essay. Homer Simpson that is. The Simpsons are the Shakespeare of our time.
    In Shakespears time it was Greek emo stuff everyone of culture raved about.

    American Studies came into conflict with a few over the concept of race. That race doesn't exist certainly was problematic for a few of the old guard.

    Also AMST showed up the rest of the Arts Dept on how to teach. Online lecture notes, DVDs, and a human being to interact with. Quite a revolution.

    Please don't get into "American Studies what good is that?" It's not the subject that matters as much as the process of learning.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I'm not in the least bit surprised to read that many people first spurned by the education sector have later gone on to do good/great stuff; I don't think for one minute that NCEA, School C or any assessment device frankly can be relied upon completely.

    But likewise lets not entirely discount the contribution education/training can make. I've had first hand experience of individuals, often adults, whose lives have been transformed as a result of their skills being recognised. Anyone working in adult literacy could tell you amazing stories.

    One story, from forestry training, springs to mind. A bloke, probably in his mid '50s, was given an award at the national event the forestry training organisation put on. I think he was the oldest and top performing trainee in a Cert III in Silviculture. He got up to accept the award and was asked a couple of brief questions during which he became pretty emotional. The MC, can't recall who, asked what was going on to which he replied that it wasn't the silvicultural skills he was chuffed about, it was the adult literacy. For the first time in his life, he could read to his grandkids.

    Think you could find a dry-eye in the place, doubt it.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I'll probably have something to say about H G Wells, even though he has little (but not nothing...) to say about architecture.

    I'll bring my plywood time machine. And thanks for the cautions, I'll be astute in my background checks.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I wonder whether we don't end up with creeping qualificationism, with people needing higher qualifications to do the same jobs with no more productivity.

    Word. I am just about to embark upon a *second*, hoop-jumping Masters degree, so that the insanely hierarchical, status-obsessed library world will feel OK about promoting me from a ten-year reign as 'Senior Library Assistant' to the lofty heights of 'Assistant Librarian'. It rather gets on my wick, frankly, as I feel like that first Masters I did - you know, the one where I wrote a fucking *book* - could, quite possibly, have been enough to prove that I am fairly onto it and not a moron. Oh, and the decade of experience after that, working in libraries. Could that conceivably be relevant, too? No, no. I must get *another* student loan, and do *another* lot of readings and assignments, and write *another* 40,000 words that no one will ever read, so that the collection of letters after my name grows and grows, and then perhaps, if I'm very lucky, I can be an *assistant librarian*. You'd think it was brain surgery rather than the intricacies of digital publishing and the Dewey decimal system. Bah. A pox on qualificationism.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Grrrr... Phil Goff, unctuous lying prat... snarl... Lockwood Smith grinning Thunderbirds puppet... spit, foam... Russell Marshal, human blancmange... gibber... Maharey, Mallard...erk! (immediate stroke).

    Do I sound like DFJ yet?

    Actually, I was expecting you to finish with "I was very, very drunk"...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I wonder whether we don't end up with creeping qualificationism,

    we have. in order to have the status of a BA one now has to have an MA. and to have the status of an MA, a PhD. And a PhD has no status anyway. bummer.

    Education is about making distinctions. What we've seen in the last 10 years is the effects of the Left's applying their delusion that education is never about competition and the Right's belief that it is only about the market.

    Some people are better at some things and deserve the rewards and educational institutions should have some economic freedom to do that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Just on the topic of qualificationism, I had to leave my first crappy (civil service) data-entry job after a year because I didn't have GCSE English and had no intention of getting it to keep the job. Which I'd been doing for a year, note.

    I had some similar fun with pay scales for itinerant music teaching in New Zealand. If you want to make money teaching an instrument in schools in NZ, go get the shortest and easiest degree on offer beforehand. You'll get considerably more money that way than if you, for example, go find the best musicians on earth and spend a fortune on studying with them one-on-one until you can play like Coltrane, Hendrix and Jesus combined.

    It would be possible to be irritated by that stuff, but generally I'm of the view that organisations which value people on the basis of paperwork alone are ones that I can happily avoid. They'll only prove to be annoyingly stupid and inflexible in other ways later.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle - I accept the technicality of your point but $6000 a year less of loans in no way compensates for between 4 and 8 years of adult earnings. Mature students really struggle to make ends meet. Believe me I know to my cost.

    Oh yes, it's a difficult path. Often leaving a secure job to jump into nothing. Mortgage, kids, retirement to think about.

    But you said they ended up with the same sized loan. They don't tend to. Their road is harder in different ways.

    Please don't get into "American Studies what good is that?" It's not the subject that matters as much as the process of learning.

    That will be reassuring for everyone, because American Studies is being cut at Canterbury, so everyone is going to have to find a different subject to process their learning though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Grrrr... Phil Goff, unctuous lying prat... snarl... Lockwood Smith grinning Thunderbirds puppet... spit, foam... Russell Marshal, human blancmange... gibber... Maharey, Mallard...erk! (immediate stroke).

    Do I sound like DFJ yet?

    Nope, you've got to work 'lickspittle' in somewhere. Let one of the Freuds explain why that deliciously antique invective is so popular among the wingnutterati, 'cause I'm not going there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    American Studies is being cut at Canterbury, so everyone is going to have to find a different subject to process their learning though.

    You mean people have to watch The Simpsons for fun now? Aw, hell...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Do's a highly educated population get a better credit rating

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    made redundant and invited to reapply for her job

    Isn't that illegal? I thought that was constructive dismissal. Totally abusive, anyway.

    lets not entirely discount the contribution education/training can make.

    Of course. I just don't think we should expect it solve everything, or spread it around wastefully.

    @Finn on using employer stupidity as a screening criterion: the problem is that those employers can be quite hard to identify. And if they are a minority in your chosen field, it makes it hard to get the foot in the door that will give you the experience in the first place. (Having said that, I wore shorts and jandals to work yesterday...)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    --I was empower by one of the Norman Kirk airer state run alternative schools. Coming to thing of it that was a pretty cunning way of hiding problem children. They simply run the school as a democracy, thats an alternative school.--

    A school run as a democracy - fabulous idea. With all the challenges to get inspirational about, the Headmaster at my son's school chooses hair length and bullying parents to pay fees as his pet obsessions. Of course school boards, who employ them, get captured by certain types of empire builders who actually represent the interests of very few in the community. Most regular people simply don't have time.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It was a pretty radical school I went to. We even had a process that enabled us to hire teaches. An elected comity of two teachers and four students. Any problems where solved by having a school meetings 110 kids and some teachers would make or amend rules by the show of hands, after rigorous debate.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Of course. I just don't think we should expect it solve everything, or spread it around wastefully.

    I fear we're too late for this. Having once led protests demanding free university education, something I've not abandoned but relegated, I've also had to argue the case for funding for industry training. I did not escape me that the people who'd most benefit from industry training were fighting over the scraps left by the unis.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    made redundant and invited to reapply for her job

    Isn't that illegal? I thought that was constructive dismissal. Totally abusive, anyway.

    I think you'll find employers get round the law thusly: Your job was to do A,B,C,F, & J. We have reassesed the roles required by our company and have disestablished your position. You are therefore redundant. But because you have been so great*, we invite you to apply for a newly created position that requires the following skills: A,B,C, G & K.

    During the interview process you explain how you're already a master at A, B, & C and F & J aren't too far removed from G & K. They thank you for a great interview but sadly, oh if only it could be different, you haven't got the job. They really need someone with experience in G & K.

    *translation: we don't want you going psycho and stealing all our IP, or stationery.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Nope, you've got to work 'lickspittle' in somewhere. Let one of the Freuds explain why that deliciously antique invective is so popular among the wingnutterati, 'cause I'm not going there.

    <irony>Thanks</irony> I'm going to need surgery to get that revolting image out of my mind now - either that or I make another determined effort tonight to kill more neurons. I think that I'll try the latter.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    <irony>Thanks</irony> I'm going to need surgery to get that revolting image out of my mind now -

    A minor talent, but you have to work with what you got. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The problem with these discussions is if you stray away for a day or so (or if life intrudes), really interesting conversations have moved on to new topics. There seems to have been some talk about the value of American Studies, in wake of its pending demise at Canterbury. My argument is that if you are doing American Studies, you are pretty much studying the shape of contemporary culture. Pretty much of what we consider as culture, value, ideology is defined by the USA, or our relationship with the USA--acceptance, rejection, adaptation etc.

    But then I am inclined to this view as I studied AS at UoC (BA and MA), and it steered me towards a very satisfying career. I do always remember that I first encountered the idea of historiography, through the teaching of Craig Harlan and Leonard Wilcox, ie the notion that the writing of history is shaped by the world view of those writing it. It was a very important moment for, and the start of an intellectual journey.

    If we want to talk of cutting university offerings, perhaps we should start with schools of business/management. They represent the debasement of the purpose of an university education.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If we want to talk of cutting university offerings, perhaps we should start with schools of business/management. They represent the debasement of the purpose of an university education.

    Them's fightin' words!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    The trouble is, Geoff, you'd be relying on managers to make the decision. The plague of managers and the spread of the the deadly disease managerialism is so widespread it's now in charge of itself at all levels. Academics running the academy? Ha!
    It should be business 101 that a manager is someone who doesn't actually produce anything.
    The inflation in the qualifications has a lot of ramifications. We were told recently that NZ has the highest rate of tertiary take-up 76%- in the world.
    Managers took over and they did what they do: they grew the business in dollar terms. No thought for educational need, and quality? That's the job of the branding team, you moron.
    So now what's the aim? Universal student debt, it seems.
    Who, bitter, me?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

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