A RESPONSE TO LIBEL

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So, you admit that our students have achieved high…yet you say that we make them achieve low. This is a contradiction. It’s the kind of logical or descriptive error that we commonly point out to our students. The fact that you made such an error in public while accusing others of vice should make you feel uncomfortable. This is a positive and productive discomfort that should help you make fewer mistakes of like kind in the future.

 

I’m sure that some of our students were also made to feel uncomfortable. Perhaps especially those who achieved good results. The process of honest critique *is* uncomfortable, and it’s not something that a lot of our students are used to. A substantial chunk of our student population, unfortunately, have been given a distorted sense of their own astuteness by an educational system that values test results over substantive thought. It is our job to get them thinking substantively – to make the rusty gears turn. The howling that you hear is the turning of rusty gears that often don’t want to move. It’s what happens when you tell students who think that fancy sentences make good thinking that their thoughts are cliché and that they need to develop new ones. Someone asks you to make them strong, you show them how they’re weak, you show them how to lift, then they complain when they get sore.

 

In some extreme cases, this sums up the condition nicely, and is descriptive in other cases.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_rage_and_narcissistic_injury

If there is anyone who has worked with me who is willing to make an actual public complaint, I’d love to hear it. There will be no reprisals. I believe in the freedom of speech and I believe in the market. I want to hear how you feel you were mistreated because it will help me either to improve that aspect of my service or allow me to explain to you why your perception is in error.

 

With respect to Latin and Greek, your acquaintances are either lying or mistaken (or you are lying). My advice on major selection is published here and has been public for at least a year: https://bedrockvietnam.com/2017/04/15/justins-guide-to-major-choice/

 

If you meant that we only teach Latin and Greek at Bedrock during the year, well, I can’t imagine how you could possibly think that. I haven’t counted, but we probably have something like 100 small SAT, SAT II IELTS, TOEFL, Java, C, and other classes at various times during the year. We’re constantly opening new classes to keep existing ones small. I know because I grimace every time I look at the bills I pay to the small army of teachers we employ. In the summer, post application, we offered (and will continue to offer) classes, on Creative Writing, Urban Planning, Spanish, Research Methods on Identity, Art History, Film studies – all taught by graduates of American colleges and universities like Columbia, Colby, Berkeley, etc. Latin and Greek were taught and are taught throughout the year by yours truly, though relatively few students attend. If any of my Latin students are complaining that it makes them feel like garbage, good! Dead languages made me feel like garbage for quite a while too… I offer at least one beginner Latin class and one beginner Greek class always and at all times as a sort of offering to Gods of the Classical Tradition, but it’s just ridiculous to say that it’s the only thing we encourage students to study.

 Lovely, btw, how something that I offer for free, for the edification of my students is somehow going to be turned into a weapon to slander me. The irony is….well, classical.

 Unfortunately, since you haven’t worked with us directly and are only reporting hearsay, you have very little of value to add to this conversation. Again, I’d love to address real complaints from real customers publice vel privatim. As usual, you are invited to come on the podcast, and defend your statements. As usual, you will not do this, because your statements are impossible to defend where they are not provably false.



Justin Shelby