…Houston Friend, a student at ASU who got a bad grade on a paper and wrote in to blame the whole culture for it.
Last week, I got back a graded essay, which happened to be worth a significant portion of my grade. I got a C and was immediately upset because I had been somewhat proud of my work when I was writing it.
I soon perused the plethora of red marks throughout the paper and began to notice generally why I did poorly.
The principle reason I got a C was because I didn’t have enough “evidence,” as this particular paper required a certain amount of references to sources read throughout the semester.
The “plethora of red marks” is an indication that there might be a lot of problems with that paper, and it’s certainly true that we professors have expectations of a certain level of scholarship, that is, familiarity with multiple sources, in undergraduate work. It’s good that Mr Friend recognizes these shortcomings in his work. Or does he?
Mr Friend identifies a bigger problem. It’s not his fault, it’s the academic world, which demands…
The academic world our generation has grown up in gives an enormous amount of credit to empirical, tangible and scientific evidence.
Oh, really? That sounds reasonable to me. What does Mr Friend want?
I think we have been accustomed to perceive intelligence as a product of one’s ability to present concrete evidence, especially scientifically. Not to say this is completely wrong or ineffective, but I think we must consider the possibility of metaphysical realities. And maybe, just maybe, we live in world that can’t always be explained rationally.
I see. He wants to write an irrational paper that lacks empirical evidence and is built on intangible claims, and he wants to get an A for it.
Where does he think he is studying? Liberty University?