Category Archives: melanie thernstrom

December 11, 2013, 10:03 am

Should a Grading Policy Be Absolute? No,No,No


In the old days at Zenith, I had this sign hanging in my office, given to me as a Christmas present by a student.

OK, so there are some of your students who weren’t listening to Amy Winehouse this semester: too much shot glass, too little in class. Now is the time of year that the chickens come home to roost, don’t they? Their failures are our failures.

And it makes us so mad that we sometimes respond badly. I was privy to an interesting conversation yesterday about having policies that govern late papers, make up exams and whatnot.

The arguments about whether to enforce late paper policies strictly ranged from:

  • Do it: I’ve heard every excuse before; to
  • Don’t be an a$$hat. Give the kid a make up the exam.

I want to emphasize: there truly was a healthy range of views expressed on this issue, and …

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January 3, 2011, 10:48 pm

The Radical Culture Corner Corner: Sex, Lies and Videotape Edition

We at chez Radical went to Black Swan last night, by far the most over-rated movie of the season.  You know you are really in trouble as a movie viewer when the character you like the most is the predator ballet master who just swaps in one prima for another, asserting that ballet skills are all well and good, but what really makes you a star is getting in touch with your inner f**k-bunny.  “Go home and touch yourself,” he advises the Natalie Portman character, after a particularly uninspiring rehearsal.  Ho-kay!

Trying to come down off the dreadful high of that movie, I turned to the New York Times Magazine and found myself literally dumbstruck for the next half hour at the story of how Melanie Thernstrom solved the heartbreak of childlessness after five rounds of infertility treatments.  She and her husband bought some ova, had them fertilized with his sperm, hired two other women to…

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