Monday, February 1, 2010

University Diaries Notes Piece

in University of Minnesota Daily

Theater of Cruelty

"I remember sitting in the back of Physics 1301 and 1302 and seeing multiple people watching whole movies in class which was pretty distracting."

A University of Minnesota student waxes nostalgic while commenting on “Laptop Dystopia,” an opinion piece in the campus newspaper.

The piece just came out. UD expects other commenters will join this one to add their own memories… But it’s not just the sweetness of old college days filled with watching other people’s movies that UD wants to evoke; it’s the phenomenology, if you will, of the wired classroom theater.

The closer we can get to the way it actually looks and feels in real time to have twenty screens pressing up against you on which endless random images jigger for fifty minutes, the better.

"[I]t’s time to stop lying to ourselves. If all you’re doing is taking notes, by all means, carry on. But if you’re spending precious class time playing solitaire or checking Facebook, I’m losing my patience. And I’m not the only one."

Come to the University of Minnesota and fight for your right to a clear visual field!

Good come-on for high school seniors.

Right, so it’s more like a bus, where we can see the driver. Only now that we’re not children anymore, a strange ethos prevails in which some passengers ignore the driver in contemptuous and socially destructive ways, while other passengers, grimacing internally, afraid to question the others’ values, do a slow bitter burn and struggle with a dwindling faith in humanity.

What a triumph for the professor. I try to ensure that my students seethe with rage and lose their faith in humanity while I teach.

Driven to discover? Or driven to distraction?

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