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I Gotta Rant


Ro-bear
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I have to vent. :screams:

 

Yesterday I took my Scholars Bowl students to an academic quizbowl event in Chattanooga. It's fun hanging out with the bright kids and letting them compete.

 

One of my teams had no competition experience. They are underclassmen, and, to be honest, they have not accumulated much knowledge in their young lives. I knew they were going to be slaughtered, but that is O.K. According to Quizmaster Charlie, there are three rules of academic competition:

 

1. It is better to win than to lose.

2. It is better to lose than to be stomped.

3. It is better to be stomped than to not compete at all.

 

We invoked Rule Three several times yesterday. That is not the problem.

 

The problem came in Round Four. Our reader announced his presence by entering the room, shouting "God damn!" and going to the dri-erase board to re-draw this skull-and-crossbones logo which apparently had been partially erased in his absence. The same logo was on his t-shirt. It seemed terribly important to him.

 

Let me describe this guy. He was a husky college-age lad who bore a more than passing resemblance to the late comic Chris Farley. Except this guy had a chin-beard and was an asshole. When he entered the room and cursed, some of my young charges were quite shocked. They are mostly religious kids (I haven't seen as much praying in years as I saw at lunch in the UTC food court that day. It was unnecessary, as the food was not that bad).

 

I let the "God Damn!" go. So did the coach of the other team, a Christian school from Nashville.

 

The competition got off to a slow start. No one buzzed in for the first toss-up. "Farley" looks up and says in amazement "Really?" then gives the answer. Second toss-up, again no response, and Farley asks sarcastically if we need to check the buzzers to see if they are working. One of my students looked over her shoulder at me and I shrugged. I suppose I should have said something.

 

Third toss-up, the other team gets it, and Farley says with obvious disgust "Finally!" I see the neck muscles of my team captain tighten. I definately should have said something.

 

Fourth toss-up, Farley reads a few lines from "Pianoman". None of the kids know the composer. Farley says "There is no hope for America!" Now I am going to say something, but my team captain beats me to it. She shoots back "Really? Would you like to answer for us?" Farley replies "Yes, actually I would!"

 

Now I am very pissed off. I say "Wait a minute. What is your problem? These are high school kids. Maybe their parents listen to Billy Joel, but they do not. This is their first competition and they have been beaten quite badly twice today already, and the last thing they need is some college punk condescending to them. So knock it off!"

 

I felt my face flush and my adrenaline surge. I wanted to haul his fat ass outside and stomp it into the smallest crack of the sidewalk. Perhaps if I had spoken up earlier...

 

My kids were nudging each other and looking at me with an awestruck expression. They had never heard me raise my voice. Farley looked at me as if an adult correcting his churlish behavior were a strange phenomenon.

 

The rest of the round passed without incident as I stewed in my own choler. I shook hands with the coach of the other team, which beat us badly, and wished his team luck in the rest of the tournament. I apologized to him and his team (not Farley) for showing my temper. the kids said "That was awesome" and the coach said "If you had not said something, I would have. I am going to report this reader's behavior to the quizmaster.

 

One of my students told her parents, who were at the event but with the other, more successful of my teams, about the incident. Her angry father made complaint and the reader was sacked. By the time I got to the quizmaster, three others had reported the fellow.

 

Some people think a knowledge of academic minutia gives them license to be dismissive of comparatively ignorant kids. I don't understand this. These are very good kids who want to learn. Their only crime is a present dearth of knowledge. I'm going to write a letter to the university about this incident. I don't want one more kid to be humiliated by this oaf.

 

There! I feel much better for having vented my spleen. Thanks to all with the patience to read to this point.

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I'm proud of you for speaking up for your kids - and the other teams' kids. The college kid is young too and needs to learn a lesson. Perhaps he now has a teeny bit more empathy for kids who have put themselves out there and been humiliated.

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He's an ass and it was obviously wrong to make your students feel bad, but he sounds like a real card and a highly intelligent person. Sometimes people can be so intelligent they find the rules of order just need to be broken. Too bad John Hughes is dead, the guy could have served as stuff for a great Hughes film. Your class will lick their wounds, will find society in their court, but this guy will likely be an interesting character to know moving forward.

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This guy's attitude disgusts me, though I may have had a somewhat similar attitude when I was younger. Some people feel they must tear others down in order to feel good about themselves.

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He's an ass and it was obviously wrong to make your students feel bad, but he sounds like a real card and a highly intelligent person. Sometimes people can be so intelligent they find the rules of order just need to be broken. Too bad John Hughes is dead, the guy could have served as stuff for a great Hughes film. Your class will lick their wounds, will find society in their court, but this guy will likely be an interesting character to know moving forward.

 

 

I have no doubt at all he is very intelligent. The back of his t-shirt indicated he was a member of the UTC academic team. Such collegians are almost always far above the average in intelligence. Perhaps the problem is that he is too aware of that. Or maybe he fears others aren't as aware of it as they should be. You know, the kind of guy who joins Mensa to prove he can. But I don't think a high school competition is the place for him to display his brilliance. It's supposed to be about the kids. As for his being an interesting guy to know moving forward, I suppose that depends on how one feels about insensitive jerks.

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Know who I think will be an interesting person to know? The young lady who called him out. This guy is older, larger, much more knowledgable, and in a position of some slight authority...and she wades right in. I think she will do very well indeed, whether or not she ever becomes a font of knowledge. :grin:

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Know who I think will be an interesting person to know? The young lady who called him out. This guy is older, larger, much more knowledgable, and in a position of some slight authority...and she wades right in. I think she will do very well indeed, whether or not she ever becomes a font of knowledge. :grin:

 

I'm in no way in favor of having fun at the expense of others. It's immature and just mean. And, I wasn't there, but just based on your description, he sounds like an interesting character and I tend to like interesting characters that others sometimes don't like -- call it a character flaw on my own part if you will. But from your description, I'll take him as my buddy and as his buddy I'd probably chide him and try and provoke him to find a better outlet than lording his knowledge/sense of superiority over others and I'll let you take the sour puss :D with a bad sense of humor who will no doubt have the crowd guarding her back. :P

 

You don't agree? You shouldn't have made the guy sound so damned interesting. :woohoo:

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  • Super Moderator

I would have requested that he do the Chris Farley Chippendale dance from Saturday Night Live as penance. After all, it's just as culturally relevant and iconic as Billy Joel.

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I'll let you take the sour puss :D with a bad sense of humor who will no doubt have the crowd guarding her back. :P

 

It's sad to me that an adult would label a high school girl as a sour puss for standing up for herself.

 

I guess it just shows that I have no sense of humor.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: At the last Scholars Bowl meeting, several of the students reported that they have received phone calls from a UTC official apologizing for the incident and assuring them that Farley McChinbeard has been dismissed from the academic team and will no longer officiate at events sponsored by that organization.

 

Now he can pontificate freely at public bars where adults can decide for themselves how to respond to his boorish broadsides.

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Now he can pontificate freely at public bars where adults can decide for themselves how to respond to his boorish broadsides.

 

 

Hahahaha, I like that idea.He might wind up with a good attitude adjustment.

 

 

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Sounds like the jerk in the bar in the movie "Good Will Hunting." He will one day come across someone more intelligent and will be put in his place.

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I'm left wondering what's so interesting about the chin-bearded Chris Farley. Sounds like a self-important douche to me.

 

The way Ro described him, he was a cross between Bluto and a lovable smart ass in a John Hughes film. I'm probably reading in too much.

 

He's just a kid people. Kids do stupid things. This kid's prank was slightly more intelligent than lighting a bag of poo or pulling down his pants.

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I'm left wondering what's so interesting about the chin-bearded Chris Farley. Sounds like a self-important douche to me.

 

The way Ro described him, he was a cross between Bluto and a lovable smart ass in a John Hughes film. I'm probably reading in too much.

 

He's just a kid people. Kids do stupid things. This kid's prank was slightly more intelligent than lighting a bag of poo or pulling down his pants.

 

No, he was on an academic team, which makes him an adult, or a person in an adult position and therefore requires mature adult behaviour. This is especially the case since he was dealing with high school kids, people who were officially in a developmentally younger and less mature lifestage than himself. According to the school's decision (see Ro-Bear's last post), that is the way the school saw things, too.

 

I am glad to see that in this case justice was done.

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Just because he didn't shove the kids into a locker doesn't mean he's not a bully. Intellectual bullies, imo, are the saddest, and maybe the most dangerous, kind... the kind who might wind up as counsel to a president who wants a legal loophole for torturing.

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  • Super Moderator

Just because he didn't shove the kids into a locker doesn't mean he's not a bully. Intellectual bullies, imo, are the saddest, and maybe the most dangerous, kind... the kind who might wind up as counsel to a president who wants a legal loophole for torturing.

 

 

Exactly!

 

(I sure wish we could +1 the moderators!)

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  • 1 month later...

Just because he didn't shove the kids into a locker doesn't mean he's not a bully. Intellectual bullies, imo, are the saddest, and maybe the most dangerous, kind... the kind who might wind up as counsel to a president who wants a legal loophole for torturing.

 

So true, so true. Like my second divorce, it wasn't intellectual bullying more like emotional rape. Bullying comes in many forms.

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Sorry, mate, but I can't stand people who take quizzes seriously.

 

And I'll add that quizz results amount to a kind of material for intellectual bullying. rather like IQ scores, exam grades, university credentials etc. -- it's all part of the same thing. Lighten up the bloody lt of you!!

 

I'm on Vigile's side, here.

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