Re: Findlay Student Messages: thoughts

Subject: Re: Findlay Student Messages: thoughts
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 09:44:27 PDT

Sara Shelton writes:

>I had ignored the flames and ravings about "the Findlay situation,"
>hoping that it would die off like many other frenzied outbursts. But
>after reading this post by mistake, I have to ask myself (and other
>subscribers) if this vitriolic and elitist reaction is something that
>we want to be associated with. Is this the kind of behavior
>that we accept as a reasonable reaction to a well-intention,
>innovative (if somewhat unwise) pedagogical strategy for introducing
>new technical writers into one aspect of their future careers? I
>personally find Robert's diatribe much more offensive than even the
>most ill-considered "student" post.

I was not reacting to either the students' postings, nor the instructor's
alleged intentions. I was reacting to the instructor's METHODS,
and his I-am-blameless-everything's-your-fault-you-awful-techwhirlers

The students are more or less in the clear, of course, since they were
acting on the unsound advice of an alleged expert.

Elitism? While I admit that I feel that some college instructors
are better than others, I hardly think that anything I said can be
construed as a blanket condemnation of ALL college instructors,
or a statement that technical writers occupy too lofty a place for
college instructors to aspire to. In fact, I don't think I
mentioned college instructors in the plural even once in my posting.
I was talking about a single, specific person. I neglected to
offer an opinion on any of the other 4,999,999,999 people on
the planet.

>As for going beyond rudeness straight to aggression, I believe Robert
>Plamondon is the one who bemoaned the fact that a poster had
>unsubscribed because he had missed his chance to
>"slap him around a little."

Indeed I did. This is, after all, a kinder, gentler age. One
can no longer use sword or pistol when claiming satisfaction for
untoward remarks. It's e-mails at dawn! Imagine my disgust
when the churl had fired off HIS round, then decamped before
a return shot could be readied. What's the world coming to?

>What a stunning lack of professionalism (and arrogance) from someone
>claiming such a superior grasp of etiquette and decorum.

Now, now. When did I make such a claim? I contrasted the conditions
of being "raised in civilized company," and "having half a clue" to
those of being "raised by wolves." I don't think these comparisons
have the sort precision or intricacy that cry out for the services
of a Trained Etiquette Professional (though one can always write Miss
Manners for a second opinion).

-- Robert

Robert Plamondon * High-Tech Technical Writing
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (503) 453-5841
"I regret that I have but one * for my country." -- Nathan Hale

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