26.1.09

OBSERVATION OF THE NIGHT. A professor deconstructs student bloopers.
The answer is that written language, including orthography, makes little or no impression on a large percentage of students because these students are, in fact, operating with oral mental habits rather than literate ones. Many students no longer bother even so much as to press the Spell-check button before printing off a paper. This points, once again, to a failure of the K-12 phase of education to inculcate basic intellectual habits or even basic bourgeois attentiveness in these students. Many a critic has complained that the supervisors of K-12 nationwide have long since deemphasized rigorous literacy training in favor of unstructured oral “expression” and mediated visual demonstration. Not spelling a word correctly when the word is before one’s very eyes is, I would argue, a non-trivial error suggestive of a profound alteration of the mental state away from literacy.
And the solution is to open the doors to anyone who has finished K-12?

Sometimes, though, unintended consequences have potential to work favorably.
[President] Obama himself told the 2004 Democratic National Convention that America must “eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.”
Bourgeois attentiveness, forsooth.

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