On Not Giving an A++++++++++ Grade

Grade inflation is a major problem on college campuses, and it is the sworn duty of the faculty to carefully and cautiously grade all student work the same.  Students tend to expect an “A” grade just for showing up to class when, in structured reality, a “C” grade is what a student earns for merely meeting the minimum requirements for any course.  A “C” is a fine grade — but a lot of students seem to feel a “C” grade is the same as an “F” grade when it is not.  A “C” defines the middling ground for a course and that is the honest grade most students earn, even though faculty tend to inflate grading the middle just to keep the peace.

Continue reading → On Not Giving an A++++++++++ Grade

Assault on Literature through 50 Shades of Yuck

There is a new assault on literature and it comes as a direct result of the garbage that passes itself off as a book series called Fifty Shades of Grey. After tremendous sales of the book series, adult fiction publishers are looking at the classic literature of the past for their way to big profits in the future. Rather than writing fully new works of fiction, the publisher will take existing classic novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and insert numerous sex scenes where the original author had none.

I fully understand that the expression “Sex sells!” has much validity especially in a world where people can click a link on their smart phones and get a dose of Wuthering Heights with sex scenes added in seconds — but just because you can do it does not mean that you should. In this case I think that the classic works of literature should be left undisturbed, so that people can read them as they were written.

Continue reading → Assault on Literature through 50 Shades of Yuck

Fifty Shades of Literary Pornography

Let me start out by being completely honest — I simply do not understand why the novel Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels are so incredibly popular and sell so well. To a certain extent this is understandable. As the saying goes, sex sells. Does it really sell so well in, say, Barnes and Noble for example? I am sure that it does, although it apparently is no longer done behind curtains and in shaded bags exclusively. When you go to a bookstore and head over to the magazine section, you will notice that all of the magazines that feature pornographic images are in shaded bags.

Continue reading → Fifty Shades of Literary Pornography

Favorites of 2006

I’m not anticipating anything earthshattering to be released or to happen in the next fifteen days and so I present to you my favorites of 2006 a good two weeks earlier than it has been traditionally released.

A lot of albums were released during the year but not a lot of them caught my attention, and many of those that did somehow didn’t manage to keep it for all that long. I have two albums in mind for this year – the eponymous Pearl Jam release and the soundtrack to the Disney film High School Musical.

Pearl Jam’s eponymous album was a nice return to a strong rocking band. It takes its place among some of my favorite albums ever. From the moment you open up the avocado emblazened album and put it in to the last moments of the last song you realize what a good thing you have. I was particularly pleased with the fact that for a limited time Pearl Jam basically gave away the mp3 of the first single off of the album, “World Wide Suicide.” I was unable to see them when they were playing at The Gorge in George, Washington (yes, very funny) but I know that the next time they are around I will certainly make a good effort to see them. The album as a whole is a no-punches held back crticism of the current government in power in the United States and the directions that we have taken in foreign policy. I think you could say that the band doesn’t particularly agree with the direction being taken.

Continue reading → Favorites of 2006