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Soup Nazis, Rule Nazis, Grade Nazis and You: Advice for Freshmen

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The truth will set you free. You must be as perfect as you can be in light of your imperfections. For happiness, you must follow the rules with precision. Resign yourself to your mortality, to your life, to bitter hard toil, to childbirth in pain, to your g.p.a., to your ADD, to Prozac forever. We are all pregnant with suffering, with our own demise, with twelve-step programs, with the fifty-minute hour, with herpes. We must all deliver death and take our pills — on time. Scheis happens… a lot. Absolutely no soup for you! Absolutely, no exceptions for you! Absolutely, no “A” for you either! Grow up. Who said life was going to be fair?

Oh baloney.

Don’t let the goose-stepping neo-fascists get you down. If you want to be perfect the only thing certain is you’ll be perfectly miserable, and misery is no evidence of intelligence. Cynics be damned. Liberals too. The simple fact is the optimists have always ended up right and the pessimists wrong. Was Malthus right? No. Plague and war are not necessary to fend off mass starvation. In fact food production has kept up with population growth so well, we throw barge-loads of food away every year. Did we actually annihilate the human race with the atomic bomb? Not at all, and it doesn’t look like we will. Global warming? I vote for snow, and, in light of some of the newer studies, lots of it. Comets? Asteroids? Mad Cows? Aphids? Martians? P-LEASE!

The point is, look both ways before you cross the street and you’ll probably be fine. And most of all don’t let someone like me ruin things for you just because I don’t see your true genius and I give you a D. My best advice is never let some self-convinced professor dull your passion for joy, beauty and happiness. F, D or A- inevitably the sun will shine and you will swoon with delight when you least expect it. Count on it. Absolutely.

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About carmine

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Better yet, look at school like a job and be a professional.

    Universities exist simply to give you credentials for the job market now and don’t let anyone fool you to the contrary.

    If you are expecting to develop some rich worldview or looking to delve deep into exploring yourself and the world of ideas, pay to go to a really good, really small private liberal arts college full of hippies or become more realistic. If you attend a large state school, resign yourself to the fact that your professors have already decided you’re another number and a grade-grubbing, anti-intellectual idiot to boot. Yes, professors are often suprised to find exceptions to the rule, but there are many who have plain given up on teaching or respecting anything undergraduates have to say or think. They’re merely there to evaluate your skill set for the purpose of quantifying your economic value to society, whether the field is business or philosophy.

    The sooner you realize that, the better.

    And no college freshman reads this site.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Oh, and most of your classmates are precisely the kind of grade-grubbing, anti-intellectual, compartmentalizing Nazis Dr. Carmine describes. Realize this right away and don’t let it get you down. Socialize with your peers, but don’t take your values from them. Because most of them still haven’t figured out critical thinking yet.

    That is all.

  • carmine

    Bob, Too Too Bitter!!!! You are wrong.
    Jim

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Jim, you teach at one of those small schools and no doubt went to some yourself, but tell me where you disagree.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    To be fair, I should say that Dr. Carmine’s advice was very well-meaning and would be well to follow for you well-adjusted kiddos out there.

    Sorry I can’t be more of a Pollyanna.

    That is all.

  • WTF

    While I tend to agree. Freshmen know even less.

    You have 1 mouth, 2 ears. Majority rules… listen more, keep your pie hole shut.

  • carmine

    WTF-
    Maximum stupidity rules yes? Or is that democracy. If every opinion is as good as any other, for example, yours, then if the majority can be convinced to eat the minority, well, that makes you lunch. bon appetite. yeesh.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    No, Prof — I took WTF’s comment to have more to do with the aphorism, “Since we have two ears for one mouth, the talk-to-listen ratio should match.”

  • James Carmine

    Good Point Dr.P.
    Sorry WTF, the relativists are clearing clouding my critical reading abilities.
    Jim