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View Diary: Brooks Gives Student A; He Deserves F (50 comments)

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  •  (Two minor nits: none of the passive examples (8+ / 0-)

    come from the student... those are all Brooks' descriptions of her paper.  Also, I'm not sure if you're criticizing "then came" as passive, but it's actually active - just a subject-object inversion.  Brooks does use a lot of weak passives in the article, though.)

    Can I point out my favorite line in the article?  This, from Brooks:

    I haven’t been perceptive enough to give a good answer.
    Cut, copy, paste anywhere he makes a prediction.

    Also, her article sounds terrible, but if she wrote it for Brooks' class, she did the right thing.  He thinks this is good writing, and if I were in his class, shy of challenging every word that came out of his mouth, I'm sure I could mimic fatuous punditry, too.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:04:20 AM PDT

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    •  I thought it was all quoting (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Upper West, pico, native, salmo, wenchacha

      from her paper, but I see there was some passive voice in the other parts ("they are wary of other alternatives as well as dismissive of their ability to actually achieve the desired modifications. As such, the generation is very conservative in its appetite for change").  Overall, the writing consists of sentences with many circumlocutions.  This undercuts the force of the argument. First-drafts tend to have these, as well, because it takes more work to move between describing what the subject is and what the subject does.  (plead guilty myself)

      I didn't suggest "then came" was passive voice; it's just run of the mill bad writing on Brook's part  It's an awkward construction that interrupts the flow of the ideas.  It would only work with a series of shorter, declarative sentences, with the idea to create a rhythm of overwhelming events. It's nothing as awful as this Romney-esque langbortion: "Victoria Buhler[] wrote a paper trying to capture how it feels to be in at least a segment of her age cohort."  (Do we need to hear more of the views of the segment of people with WASPy names at Yale, anyway?  No wonder she watches "Girls.")

      Brooks shows he believes the role of a professor is to get the student to regurgitate the professor's own ideas.  I'd lay even odds Buhler doesn't believe any of this.  Speaking of such mimicry, have you seen the Friedman column generator?  Got it down to a science.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

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      •  A bright cynical student (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge, Upper West

        can usually figure out how much he/she needs to ape the instructor to get the grade. The more full of himself a professor is, the better he'll grade an assignment which bought his bundle of keyword phrases. An excellent cynic could also damn with the faintest of praise, and the prof. would never get it. Hilarious if same said prof then used it as an example in his douchebag column.

        I would watch that show.

        •  Counter example (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wenchacha, Upper West

          She paid her parents' good money to take classes from David Brooks.  Who does that?  Nothing "easy" about a class involving listening to David Brooks.  She might believe not only what she says (completely anodyne) but worse, that it's insightful.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 06:05:54 PM PDT

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    •  Boundless horror (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Upper West, pico

      I can imagine few educational experiences worse than a class with Brooks.  

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