Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We can read books together, I’ll become clever.

Apathy Jack writes:

So I’m talking to two of my lot before the school production. They tell me they’re bored, and ask if they can raid my book supply.

I take them up to the English department, and lend them various of my books. We then retire to the English Resource Room, where I weigh them down with sundry of the books we have there.

They tell me they won’t get these finished before the holidays. I tell them that I don’t care if they don’t bring them back, so long as they read them. (Most of these books are, of course, not my property, but if you think about it, that’s less reason for me to care about their return, not more...)

As we leave, one of them, arms laden with books, tells me that she had never read a book in her almost sixteen years of life, until earlier this year when I started teaching her and gave her one I thought she might like.

Now, this may be the last thing that the cubicle-jockeys amongst you need to hear, but I really can’t comprehend spending most of your week at a job you don’t love more than damn near anything.


RSJS said...

Yes dear. You're very fulfilled. We get it.

The Hand of Morthos said...

I met a former student yesterday; she's becoming a lawyer. We can't ascertain whether this is a good result of my teaching her the principles of critical thinking.

Also, the record is getting a little broken; it's time to move on to track two.

phats said...

Don't listen to them, they're just jealous. I don't much like it when cynicism is applied to everything in a blanket-like fashion; sure basically everything is pointless and stupid but there are still a few pursuits worth the effort. Hot women come to mind.

Anonymous said...

well, phats, i think rsjs and morthos are getting grumpy about jacks 'i'm better than you' mentality. which i am as well. those of us who aren't teachers can have fulfilling jobs also. teaching may be a noble profession but it ain't the only one and it ain't the most noble either.

Josh said...

In Jack's defence, I don't think he's ever claimed that teaching is the only noble/fulfilling job out there (let alone the most). I've never got an "I'm better than you" vibe of anything he's said, either -- a lot of this sounds like typical Internet behaviour where people's first instinct is to take offense at benign intentions.

The moral is, Jack needs to use more smileys.

Apathy Jack said...

"Also, the record is getting a little broken; it's time to move on to track two."


Moving onto the issues raised by "Anonymous" - you make some interesting points. Make them under a name (or at least an amusing pseudonym) and I might reply to them.

The Hand of Morthos said...

I'm being a bit misconstrued here; whilst I, like some others, do find Jack's 'I find teaching so fulfilling' schtick a little tiresome I'm not exactly sure that I agree with 'anonymous.'

(Although, if you find 'anonymous's' points interesting, Jack, you should be prepared to reply to them regardless)

Anyway, still think that the 'My job is fulfilling' lark is getting a little old. If you keep it up for much longer people are going to start asking what is so wrong with your personal life that you only get fulfillment at work. Which I'm sure is a false dichotomy, but the world is filled with Freudians.

Apathy Jack said...

“Although, if you find 'anonymous's' points interesting, Jack, you should be prepared to reply to them regardless”

Nah - If someone can't be bothered going to the effort of making up a stupid internet name, they're not worth arguing with.

Alright, because I know that won't be a satisfactory answer: If someone comments under a name, I know who they are - either because I know them, or because I can see what they've written. Most commentators on blogs have their own blogs, or regularly comment on the same places, so you can know things about their attitudes to various things, and often also what they do with themselves in the course of a day, etc.

"Anonymous" could be someone who never comes here again. Thusly, I'm not sure where I'm aiming. He could be a doctor or a monkey-keeper. He could be a she. He could be popstar Nazi girls. Hell, the last "Anonymous" who ripped into me disappeared when I asked him what his name was - I can't be bothered crafting a defense for myself if that's going to be the case.

As for the point that questions will be raised about my unfulfilling personal life: I don't have a personal life. I work then I go to sleep. That's not a secret.

By the by, you lot; I did a check. In the last two months (ie as far back as I could be bothered looking) I've made twenty posts - fifteen of which have had nothing to do with teaching. Of the five that concerned my day job, two were wholly concerned with how unpleasant it is, and one had reasons why it is good (or rather; “reason” singular - there was one) to reasons why it is bad (three). While I certainly do love my job, I've only said so once a month, on average. So I’m not sure how people are getting tired of these posts specifically. Tired of all of my stuff in general I can easily understand, but there hasn’t been an awful lot of the stuff that’s caused the commotion. Not recently, anyway.

But I sympathise with anyone who doesn’t like my stuff – the vast majority of it is rubbish. That’s why I don’t force you to read the posts. But let me tell you, when I start selling the computers that have extendable eyelid openers a la A Clockwork Orange that only I control, then you buggers won’t have a choice what you read. Unlike now.

The Hand of Morthos said...

As my flatmate just noted, you're missing the point. When you've said it once you don't need to say it again. In re the time frame; you're dealing with the wrong heuristic. People don't note similar posts on a strict chronological sequence but rather whether a post is highly similar to another post, irregardless of time. It doesn't matter that there might have only been two posts on the subject in as many months it's that the same kind of post appears more frequently than most others. That is the representativeness heuristic and we are its bitches.

Apathy Jack said...

"When you've said it once you don't need to say it again."

Have you ever read blogs?

The Hand of Morthos said...

I try not to. They inflame my glands.

(Also, an implicit appeal to tradition or popularity? And you call yourself a teacher. Harumph, I say. Harumph with barnacles!)

Ben Thomas said...

Apathy Jack is of course wrong - Anon et al *do* have to read every post he makes, whether they like it or not, since an intravenous flickering blog feed is the only thing keeping them from falling asleep and banging their heads on the cubicle walls behind them.

I can't get most blogs at my work - I guess the Web Marshall there is set up to filter banality.

But "Anon", before spilling more intellectual seed on barren ground (whether AJ likes his job is not, in fact, a point amenable to debate) you may wish to consider just not clicking on the link necessary to even read the final, offending paragraph.

Sure, blogs are a shameful joy, marvelling at the sick and bizarre lives of unfortunates (esp political bloggers). But not every instance of positivity is intended as a personal affront.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but, other than Anonymous, the only complaints have been from other Brainstabbers. What about your audience?

I started reading this blog regularly because I enjoyed Jack's posts. They kept me checking in.

Once I'm here, I read and often enjoy the other posts... but Jack's posts are the reason I come back. Just sayin' is all.


Apathy Jack said...

" What about your audience?"

You mean my mother?

My audience, if they had any sense, would have given up reading after the second or third comment - these comment pissing contests are invariably uninteresting to all save the one or two most inflamed participants.

Zum said...

I like all your posts, Jack. Also, a friend of mine recently said to me that he's seriously considering becoming a teacher, inspired by your posts here. So, don't change.

I am tired of people who are fashionably cynical though. A blogger needs only do it once and it's old the first time.

duaneg said...

I think AJ's posts are just about perfect. Not too sweet, not too sour. He wants to tell us how fulfilling his job is every now and then, that's just fine by me. If he gets boring, which going by past performance I find damn unlikely, I'll stop reading.

But since I'm bothering to comment and we're having a bitch -- what is with the inevitable "Full Post" link, regardless of whether there is any more to read? Now that is annoying!

Hedwig said...

As we all seem to be putting in a pound I should add that I like most of Jack's writings but the 'fulfillment' ones do rather irk.

You guys also seem to think that anyone who says that is being cnyical, but just because someone disagrees with a view doesn't make it cyncism.

Josh said...

duaneg: That's how Blogger templates work, I'm afraid -- the Full Post link is on every post or it's on none of them, and some of our posts run too long to do without them.

RSJS said...

Next motherfucker to randomly agree with me ON ANYTHING gets it in the kneecaps. From my perch in my monkey-filled cubicle. WITH HAIRY THOUGHT LASERS.

Psycho Milt said...

Wasn't anyone else cringing in horror at the idea of a 16-year-old reading her first book? Way to freak out the librarian!

damian_nz said...

what jus said. i used to come here for josh but now i come here for josh and jack equally, and currently jack is winning, probably because josh doesn't write like he used to write on the giraffe.