Wednesday, April 16, 2008

PC idiocy

The loopy professor is absolutely right about one thing, at least. In my first class today, at a different university, I had a student with an eye problem, which (of course) I had not been warned about. I did not notice this kid's problem until halfway through the class, at which point I realized he was struggling and I needed to write a lot bigger on the board if he was going to be able to make any sense of anything. I checked with him first to find out whether he could read anything at all (I was worried by the enormous magnifying glass he had), and he said if I wrote big he'd be able to manage. He also told me he needed to sit at the front. I had moved him to a group at the back of class using my usual random counting off method for putting students into groups, and this made me feel like an inconsiderate, insensitive teacher.

But he shouldn't have had to explain all this to me, and the fact that he had to is due to the idiotic notion that seems to have taken hold here that even mentioning a disability is 'discrimination,' and that equal opportunity for disabled people means the disabled should be treated the same as everyone else. This is political correctness gone mad, and what it actually means is that disabled students are not given the same opportunities as other students because the teacher does not know what they need. If I had been warned I could easily have written bigger right from the beginning, and made sure he was seated at the front. Also, I gave students a handout today, and I would have enlarged his if I'd known he was going to have trouble reading it. As it was some idiot had left the lithograph set to 80%, and another idiot (me) did not notice until it was too late, so the poor kid ended up unable to read the handout at all. It was perfectly legible (although rather small) for all the other students, but he was made to feel unnecessarily inadequate because NOBODY TOLD ME.

I hate having to make a big deal out of the whole thing. If there is something I can do to help a student, I will do it. It is not a problem to make larger copies or write bigger on the board. There doesn't need to be all this fuss and singling out the poor kid for special attention. I just need to be TOLD, so I CAN DO MY JOB. His disability is not something that should prevent him learning if his teachers are prepared for it.

In my last class I had another disabled student, this time in a wheelchair. This was no problem at all. All it meant was that when I put the students into groups we moved a chair out of the way first. In that case it didn't matter at all that I hadn't been told, and I wish the PC idiots in the office would learn the difference. I want to know about a disability IF IT MIGHT INTERFERE WITH A STUDENT'S EDUCATION. Why do they insist on making everything so bloody awkward?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Roy said...

Hope everything smooths out. Although it apple some one, a happy life is sent every day.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Treating every one the same is also discrimination if they aren't the same. I mean, following that logic one should put urinals in the ladies' room, right? And tampon dispensers in the men's room.

But lithograph? Really?

Hebron said...

And yet they treat foreigners differently.
Aha! I've solved everything! Apply for disability!
"Hi, I'm disabled."
"Oh yes? What is your disability?"
"I'm... I'm a... I'm a gaijin."
"Oh! You poor dear! Yes, of course. Here, have a benefit!"

Like that'd happen.

Anyway, I like it when people speak up when something isn't working for them. I'd rather have a squeaky wheel than a wheel that didn't work at all. :)

Badaunt said...

Roy: You are right, of course. I must always remember that apple. I was very grumpy when I got home last night.

Keera: Exactly! Treating the disabled exactly like other people IS discrimination, but the PC movement here went haywire somewhere along the line and there are some really odd manifestations. Not being allowed to mention disability is one of them.

Also, it's a MODERN lithograph machine. In Japanese it's called a Riso. It makes a master copy and then you can make the rest of your copies REALLY, REALLY FAST (if you forget to set the tray it shoots paper all over the place), unlike the photocopier, which churns them out frustratingly slowly.

Hebron: That is the excuse I use for using the disabled seats on the train. "In this country I am disabled," I mutter to myself, and sit down.

Contamination said...

I'd like to see that too. Then again, if I understand something I can choose to play the Gaijin Card and seek an advantage. "Oh you poor Gaijin, you could never possibly understand our complex culture, let me help you and make it easy for you"

I'm sure you could just print off two copies of the notes. One in regular font for the class and one with a larger font, over double the number of pages for the student with bad eyes.

We have a disabled student at our school, he can't use his hands properly so we have to write all the notes by hand.

He is a little loopy, even the Japanese staff agree, but I always did my best to accommodate his disability.

But he dis-requested me over me asking him to expand his answer from "Fine thankyou, and you?" answer. Good. I don't have to see his crazy nose hairs any more.

Anonymous said...

Very late comment: nope, BadAunt, I don't think this is political correctness: isn't it the East Asian don't see it & don't mention it & it will go away? Like: I've got pancreal cancer so the doctor at the local kensho hospital tells me nothing is the matter & sends me home.

PC where disability is concerned is great. It's mention it, act on it, make sure there's a note taker, make sure there's a shower in the building's only female toilet, fight if there's no ramp into the building... etc.

In Japan a person with a disability is invisible. Bit like being black in the US in the '50's ("Invisible Man" would describe the Japanese disabled person very well...)

Badaunt said...

Contamination: Discriminating against nose hairs, eh? Naughty naughty!

Anon: I think it is political correctness. It's a new(ish) thing, and The Man occasionally tells me about it. Lots of words have been banished because they might upset someone, and in fact when the loopy professor was given the list of disabled students, she wasn't supposed to copy it. She was supposed to give it back, for fear the document itself might be considered 'discriminatory.'

There was some case a while back where someone used a banished word on TV ('crazy', or something like that) and a woman sued the TV station because her crazy son heard it and ... went crazy. The TV station had to apologize. They've gone MENTAL over the whole PC thing here. And that's why we are not told.

Anonymous said...

BadAunt said: "There was some case a while back where someone used a banished word on TV ('crazy', or something like that) and a woman sued the TV station because her crazy son heard it and ... went crazy."

This is worse than ever it was in the '90's and back from then; this really is awful. Crazy indeed!

Hebron said...

=goes nuts=

Contamination said...


I'm sure if your man were to neglect that aspect of his personal grooming, there would be trouble.

Still, I don't have to look at them any more.