Last semester’s course evaluations are in for my courses on modern political philosophy — which I call “Liberalism and its Critics” — and on the Israeli/Arab conflict … so, as usual, I thought I’d post some of the highlights.
As is the case every semester, students reported that they were overworked but that they enjoyed themselves more than they expected they would. Also, as in previous semesters, every time one student made a suggestion for improvement, three or four students said the exact opposite. And, finally, as is pretty much always the case, thoughts about the class were relatively limited and reflections about the professor’s personality dominated the evaluations.
Liberalism and Its Critics:
- “It was intimidating at first, but it was refreshing to have someone challenge us.”
- “A lot more fun than I thought it would be.”
- “When people come to you for help, try not to be Nietzschean.”
- “I was a fool and thought it was about American left liberals, but the topic turned out better.”
- “Best course ever. So glad I came to UNL for poli sci.”
- “Very excellent at teaching, engaging, humorous, strict but fair. My favorite professor.”
- “When I came to college as a freshman I expected courses to be this hard. This is the best POLS course I have taken thus far.”
- “Seems to enjoy flunking students.”
- “He was sensitive to [gender, race, and ethnicity], yes, but not sensitive to stupidity.”
- “Funny, sarcastic, edgy, slightly crazy.”
- “I learned what most Americans won’t ever understand without classes like this. More material, more nuance than any other class.”
- “Funny and opinionated, but often I couldn’t tell what those opinions were. He let us figure it out ourselves.”
- “Please include a study guide.”
- “Unique assignments (blogging, simulations) as well as awesome text books.”
- “He knows way too much about everything.”
- “Loved the blogging, loved the peace summits.”
- “He has his style and even though some hate it, I loved it.”
- “[Kohen] wasn’t afraid to let students know they were wrong.”
- “He’s much smarter and funnier than what I expected.”
- “I learned how to use Tumblr, so that’s good.”
Admittedly, this set of evals seems a little “braggy” to me now that I’ve typed them in. Previous semesters were probably funnier because students were more mixed in their opinion of me as a human being; these students all seemed to like both me and the class they took. It really was a fun semester and I’m quite proud of this set of evaluations … especially #9 on both lists above.
I used to think that Millard Fillmore was just a funny example of a president no one really cares about … like Chester Arthur, John Tyler, or Martin Van Buren.
But, thanks to Lapham’s Quarterly, one thing I learned today is that Millard Fillmore is a vampire who still walks among us:
While working on the bio for Millard Fillmore for the next issue, we noticed something…uncanny.
Since Tumblr’s all about GIFs, here’s the best ancient Greek philosophy GIF you’re going to find, via Luis:
Aristotle and Plato in GIF form.
Microsoft Bing’s Facebook advertising campaign is, for some odd reason, focused on keeping you safe from accidental nudity.
Of course, that’s all well and good until you type in the words “accidental nudity” on the Bing website, in which case you get more than a million NSFW results.
Gee, thanks, Bing!
I don’t know anything about Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican representing Texas’ 36th District, but I do know comedy when I see it.
In other news, at what point will Republicans exhaust themselves in their endless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Is it never? If it’s never, just tell me so I can stop paying attention.
As a Red Wings and “Game of Thrones” fan, this is amazing and wonderful in every way.
Part of me secretly hoped they’d uphold the ticket so I’d be able to appeal. I can only imagine that it would have been the most amazing appeal ever.
Over at Twitter, I’m hard at work on a screenplay. Given how much people like movies about heroes and animals, it’s pretty much guaranteed to make a billion dollars.
If you have good ideas, I’m giving out EP credits.
If you haven’t seen last Sunday’s “Mad Men,” this isn’t going to do a whole lot for you.
But it’s the end of Finals Week so I present this without further commentary.
(Source: krebstar3000, via waitingonoblivion)
Tell that to the student who’s sleeping with mouth wide open in the front row of my classroom …
I got the most amazing parking ticket today, while I was parked perfectly legally on a city street in Lincoln, Nebraska.
What’s so amazing about it?
Well, pretty much every piece of information listed on the ticket is incorrect.
1. I was parked at the corner of 12th Street and F Street; the ticket says I was parked at 11th and F.
2. The license plate number is correct, but the registration expiration is wrong by an entire year. That explains why I was ticketed for an invalid registration, but the correct month and year (7/13) are actually on the license plates themselves (front and back).
3. The vehicle information is wrong: I drive a white 2012 Toyota Camry, not a tan Toyota Prius. I used to drive a tan Prius, but I traded it in for the Camry back in November … which is also when I switched over the plates and registration. Apparently that information wasn’t updated in one of the databases used by police.
Now … if you’re keeping score at home, the officer placed this ticket, which was written for expired tags on a 2010 tan Prius, on a 2012 white Camry with tags that were clearly not expired.
One thing I learned while I was contesting the ticket, which is amazingly still pending and which didn’t involve an apology for completely wasting a half hour of my time, is that members of the police force routinely wander around the city, running the license plates of legally parked vehicles to see if there’s any reason they could possibly ticket them. And, apparently, sometimes they ticket them even when there isn’t any conceivable reason.
Hands down, this is my favorite response to yesterday’s post about Justin Bieber’s guestbook gaffe:
I actually want to vomit right now. This has got to be one of the most disrespectful posts I’ve ever seen. There’s no justification for Bieber’s selfish commentary. NONE. AT. FUCKING. ALL. I think it’s really lovely that he visited the museum. Had his guestbook entry ended after “Anne was a great girl,” I’m not sure it would even have been in the news, but if it had, I would find his respect amicable. But, alas, he decided to pull a self-centered, inappropriate move, one that, in my opinion, deserves no explanation or defense. His comment was inexcusable, and that someone wishes to justify him is repulsive …. I’m actually shaking right now because I’m so angry that someone, much less a (Jewish, as I just found out) political philosophy professor, would try to justify what was an arrogant and disrespectful move.
How to put this?
Maybe save some hyperbole for the rest of us?