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Old 11-27-2004, 10:44 AM   #26
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
I thought I said the prof was an ass. As a ex-prof who retired except to teach grad students and do research because of assnine behaviour like that in universities, I get to do that.
I saw that you did, but b/c of limited time I didn't address that. I tried to imply by using the phrase "over the top" that I agree entirely with your thoughts up to the point of name-calling. I should have noted overtly in the last post that I feel in total agreement with all that you have written except this:
Quote:
Learn of your mistake and next time, for heaven's sake, drop the class instead of acting like an ass and skipping classes.
While it's not the most responsible behavior, and almost certainly will be learned from regardless of outcome, I don't think he's acting like an ass. And I challenge the idea that calling him one will help him learn in any way.

I did far more irresponsible things in response to arrogant, jerky college professors and administrators. I learned from the experience(s) in whole and in part. I didn't come away from that episode in my life thinking that people in this situation need to be demeaned. Being young, not knowing how to handle poorly behaving authority is tough enough.

Mary Kaye, your points are well taken...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:27 PM   #27
Bradence
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Thank you for all the great responses everyone, onto a few specifics.

First to Lynn Seiser. I have to admit that what you wrote is very close to how I reacted to the situation initially. I certainly believe this with regard to my MA training. I'm beginning to think that this may be the way to respond to the situation. I agree with what Rocky said about my bad manners/poor etiquette and so I'm very resistant to the idea of appealing and forcing the grade.

Paul Shipley. Your comments were very apt and your perspective was appreciated. As for the idea of apologizing and returning the situation to a regular professor-student relationship, I think that's out of the question. I didn't include all the details in the story to spare everyone the diatribe on my life. When I spoke to my professor he wasn't aggressive or even insulting. He was coldly dismissive. He didn't want to know why I had missed the classes (not that it would have changed anything) and he also didn't want to talk to me about it for long, he just wanted the decision on the appeal so he didn't have to deal with me anymore. That's the impression I got anyway. Your point on students attending classes thinking their cup is full is well taken though. I'm sure that influenced my decision to skip the classes.

To Mary Kaye. A new perspective is always helpful and worth bringing to light. However, I have to say that I found your post somewhat troubling. It seems to me that there comes a time in everyday life or MA training (particularly if you want to reach the upper echelons of a discipline) when you must be able to learn on your own. I certainly am not anywhere near this point in aikido, however I feel that as nearly a third year university student (this semester is my last second year semester) I should be able to learn most of the class concepts on my own. The idea that a teacher is necessary in order to achieve a passable understanding in a course seems a little over-the-top.

I want to be clear that I mean no disrespect and I understand the idea that job security is what you were addressing primarily. Your explanation was meant to apply generally to the situation as a means of describing my professors reaction rather than excusing it in a specific instance. However, I have been lead to believe , perhaps incorrectly, that the goal of education (in the university or the dojo) is to eventually get rid of sutdents. Isn't the best sensei the one who eventually reduces his teaching so that students can begin to grasp concepts on their own? It seems that there comes a time in any learning process when the student must choose to find the answers for him/herself otherwise a person isn't really learning, the person simply becomes a parrot. Perhaps that isn't the best metaphor

Anyway I've written enough now, everyone's opinions on this matter have been excellent food for thought for me.

PS I have decided not to appeal the decision. I'm an excellent student so this grading will not sufficiently affect my GPA and I think that the loss of the credit hours will serve as a good lesson to remind me to act with a little more humility in the future. Thank you for all your opinions.

edit: I should also point out that this idea of respect for a sensei vs a university teacher is still interesting to me and I would welcome the opportunity to continue this thread on the principle now that the practicality of it has been resolved.
Brad(ence)

Last edited by Bradence : 11-27-2004 at 02:31 PM. Reason: small edition
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:32 PM   #28
Clayton Drescher
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

maybe you should've jsut dropped the course when you found out you it wasn't going to be useful (advice for the future ). As a student, I know how pressed we are to fit courses in, and I dont have time to take a crap course, or even a course that I *have* to take but will not be worth the efffort this semester, I'd take it the next time around.....but then again I really really get hacked off at people who dont come to class, but at least you did do your assignments and seem to have a valid position.

But check the overall university rules about attendance and course credit, the schools I have gone to have had them, the profs were usually one or two skipped classes more strict, but missing a semester's worth of classes would definitely lose your appeal there.

Good luck
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:40 PM   #29
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Clayton Drescher,

I did check the college rules with regards to attendance and their is no position on the college on the issue. I believe that the college leaves it up to the individual professor to write his syllabus as he/she sees fit.

Brad(ence)
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:00 AM   #30
Clayton Drescher
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Well that's good, I bet that prof won't make the same mistake twice, lol.
G'luck!
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:01 AM   #31
MaryKaye
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Brad Eamer writes:

"However, I have been lead to believe , perhaps incorrectly, that the goal of education (in the university or the dojo) is to eventually get rid of sutdents. Isn't the best sensei the one who eventually reduces his teaching so that students can begin to grasp concepts on their own? It seems that there comes a time in any learning process when the student must choose to find the answers for him/herself otherwise a person isn't really learning, the person simply becomes a parrot."

I don't believe in this dichotomy, in aikido or in the university. Ther's a difference between the step that a teacher must take with advanced students--"This one you have to figure out for yourself, I can't do it for you"--and detachment and loss of connection. In my field, the road to the PhD involves more, not less, personal engagement with the teacher, but the nature of it changes--the student challenges the teacher more, building his understanding by presenting and defending his own ideas. But a graduate instructor who doesn't engage is not "encouraging his students to learn on their own," he's just abdicating his responsibilities.

Probably the most important experience of my life as a student actually came as a post-doctoral student. After a summer of frustrating work, I walked into my supervisor's office and said "You have made a fundamental mistake in your theory." He gave me a piece of chalk, leaned back in his chair and said "Show me." Two hours later we were both convinced, and we wrote a retraction to his last paper. No parroting here, but it could never have happened if we weren't interacting--if he had left me to "go my own way" I doubt I would ever have arrived. (For one thing, I didn't fully understand my objection to the theory until I had to explain it to him.)

Last winter I had the priviledge of training aikido at Maui Ki Society, and participated in a class where the first half was led by Suzuki sensei (8th dan) and the second half by his student Curtis sensei (7th dan). Clearly this relationship has to have gotten past the point where the senior is telling the junior what to do and the junior is simply copying it. Their aikido was not identical even to my relatively untrained eye. But equally clearly, they were still very much engaged with the teaching relationship. There was a kind of electricity between them on the mat that was different from classes where only one was present, an ongoing dialog.

Of course not all teacher/student relationships, in aikido or elsewhere, live up to that one. But I think it shows how a student can develop his own style and identity without requiring disconnection, and to me it's an ideal to aim for.

Daniel Linden's recent book (haven't gotten to read it yet) should have some stuff to say about this.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-28-2004, 04:46 PM   #32
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
While it's not the most responsible behavior, and almost certainly will be learned from regardless of outcome, I don't think he's acting like an ass. And I challenge the idea that calling him one will help him learn in any way.
Okay, you are right, I should not have called him any names and I do sincerely apologise. I should have said that he was acting somewhat irresponsibily, stubbornly, and without much respect for what the prof was trying to do, even if the prof's approach was also somewhat unethical, stubborn and irresponsible on his/her part.

Why is it that this round-about approach is any better than the direct one?

Please understand that I am not trying to sarcastic or anything like that. I really don't understand. I was always taught to be direct and attack the centre of the issue by my profs and senseis and not waver around the edges.

And I really am sorry if the approach upset anyone. Especially you, Brad.


Rock
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Old 11-28-2004, 08:24 PM   #33
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

What a fascinating thread!
It's making me evaluate my relationship with my sensei and with my thesis advisor.

Jeanne
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:32 AM   #34
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Re: Respecting Sensei

One aspect not being mentioned here is that not everyone learns well in the same "modality." In some cases (mine, for example), listening to a lecture is just "doing the time required." I'm a visual-tactile learner, not an audio-visual learner. Listening is just not how I learn, and note taking is something I do to distract myself -- I can't possibly take down everything the prof says, to refer to later, anyway... If I had a prof who honestly wrote good material, I'd rather read what he's written than have to listen to him -- for one thing, I can read much faster than he can speak, and cross-reference what he's written to get further meaning from it. If he's a lecture-only guy, I'm doomed without a good text to back up his "babble."

So please don't be insulted if you have students who'd rather read your on-line materials than hear you speak -- take kudos from the fact that they can learn from you AT ALL, and congratulate yourself for an excellent presentation of the topic(s).

And on the counter point -- be assured that there are students who won't understand your canned materials without the human interaction of a classroom.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:59 AM   #35
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

[quote=Why is it that this round-about approach is any better than the direct one?[/QUOTE]

What are your goals? I think it comes down to that question...

Aikido is about refining your approach and becoming extremely efficient. And as a matter of principle we train to choose to inflict minimum damage necessary to meet our goals. We practice being in the optimal position relative to uke (others), which gives us tremendous potential to cause injury. But we act on the most compassionate option to resolve a situation.

Your initial approach conflicts with these two specific principles of aikido.

To pick on someone and get them out of a listening frame of mind is not only damaging, it is also indirect. It's like starting a technique from a bad position and them ripping them to the ground.

"Direct" and "compassionate" are not mutually exclusive by any means. And incidentally, in many cases, "indirect" is the least compassionate choice of action.

I honestly am not interested in giving you a hard time. You come across as a nice guy with excellent ideas and experiences very much worth learning from! I hope you take my perspective for whatever it's worth...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 11-29-2004, 12:20 PM   #36
aikidocapecod
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Sunny said, "To pick on someone and get them out of a listening frame of mind is not only damaging, it is also indirect. It's like starting a technique from a bad position and them ripping them to the ground."

She is 100% correct. I have witnessed this situation in meeting at my office. Person A disagrees with Person B. And the manner Person A uses to display the disagreement is almost like a public attack on Person B.

In any forum, one with many participants, or only two people, when one attacks anothers idea or thought in a way that makes the attacked feel threatened, all valid rational communication stops. When communication stops, there is no hope of progress, or learning.

Aikido practice teaches us that cooperation is the easiest way to resolve an issue.

So I think Sunny's words are totally correct....
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Old 11-29-2004, 02:23 PM   #37
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Respecting Sensei

[quote=Sunny Liberti]
Quote:
Why is it that this round-about approach is any better than the direct one?[/QUOTE wrote:

What are your goals? I think it comes down to that question...

Aikido is about refining your approach and becoming extremely efficient. And as a matter of principle we train to choose to inflict minimum damage necessary to meet our goals. We practice being in the optimal position relative to uke (others), which gives us tremendous potential to cause injury. But we act on the most compassionate option to resolve a situation.

Your initial approach conflicts with these two specific principles of aikido.

To pick on someone and get them out of a listening frame of mind is not only damaging, it is also indirect. It's like starting a technique from a bad position and them ripping them to the ground.

"Direct" and "compassionate" are not mutually exclusive by any means. And incidentally, in many cases, "indirect" is the least compassionate choice of action.

I honestly am not interested in giving you a hard time. You come across as a nice guy with excellent ideas and experiences very much worth learning from! I hope you take my perspective for whatever it's worth...
Dear Sunny and others,

I really do appreciate your comments and I am thankful for your help. I did not take your comments as any attack but a useful comment for me.

I guess my problem stems from the fact that I MAY still consider the second approach much more of a direct attack on the person. I am not sure. However, I do know that both down here in Barbados, out in Western Canada, and in Japan, the second approach that addresses the actual behaviours would be considered direct attacks on the person's integrity but not the first approach that just states a general opinion. We would consider the second approach a little too graphic and specific.

I know that in Western Canada, we often have a similar reaction from and to Eastern Canadians who tend to use the more specific approach. In Western Canada, we often tend to just blow off the comment if we don't like it but if the person gets really specific, them's fightin' words.

I may have to put this down to my general illiteracy when it comes to the English language (I never really learned it that well when I was a kid, just like I never really learned Japanese that well either--bilingual problem and mixing schooling). On the other hand, it may also be a cultural difference between people from the Western part of North America (except for the Granola Coast) and the Eastern part (I notice you are from the East Coast). Would some others from the Western Provinces/States and from the East Coast like to comment on this? It may help us become a little more understanding of each other.

I know this seems to be getting off the topic of Aikido a bit but I think this is important in that we need to be able to understand each other and be able to talk with each other without getting each other all riled up over mistakes in protocol. Also, it is about joining and working in harmony.

I think we had this discussion about ten years ago on the Aikido-L but never came to any good conclusion. It would be nice to get some closure to this issue. Or, does anyone remember how that discussion ended up?

Still confused but grateful,
Rock
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:01 PM   #38
Bronson
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
Would some others from the Western Provinces/States and from the East Coast like to comment on this? It may help us become a little more understanding of each other.
As for me, if I'm being an ass I'd rather be called an ass directly.

Bronson (born and raised in midwest USA)

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:40 PM   #39
Peter Goldsbury
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

In Hiroshima University, the general rule is that five absences loses the credit for the course, that is, the student cannot take the final examination. However, final judgement is always left to the professor and I myself make the rule more severe (the third absence loses the credit). Actually, I have been known to complain to the dean of the student's faculty over prolonged absences from my classes and this has always produced a dramatic improvement. The argument that a student can find my lecture notes more beneficial than actual attendance would cut just a little ice if the student showed that he had mastered the lecture notes and had read all the texts on which they were based. In other words I expect the same degree of commitment in the classroom as I would on the mat. Since all my classes except language classes are electives (jiyu sentaku), students are free to choose to take the class, but on my terms, not their's.

Nevertheless, I think it is very important to be straight with the students from the very beginning. During the first orientation session students are told exactly what their obligations are, in terms of attendance and work required to obtain a credit for the course. With language classes attendance is checked every class. Since it is a common practice for absent students to get their friends to answer in class roll call, I have devised other methods to ensure that this does not happen in my own classes.

Finally, I do not think that attandance in a class or in a dojo is regarded as a contract here. In any case contracts are regarded differently. They are much less explicit and there is a general rule that disputes shall be resolved with 'sincerity'. Thus, I think that a student who attempted to argue that his own way of study was superior to that of the professor would lose every time.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:23 PM   #40
Lan Powers
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Re: Respecting Sensei

In regards Mr. Izumis request
I much prefer the direct, to the point, approach....But here in the southwestern part of America, it is very important to temper the directness with direct eye contact and open body english.
( I understand that varies from culture to culture,fascinating isn't it?)
Much is lost in printed form. At least on the level of communication you can achieve without being especially verbose.
Lan

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Old 11-30-2004, 11:00 AM   #41
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Wow! So it doesn't just come down to "What are your goals?"!! It's more like, "What cultural vehicle are you using to meet you goals?" Fascinating! I really like your response!

I didn't do a good job in the last post explaining my position that I think the *direct* way is to kindly address the behavior, as doing this would keep the listener open and you'd have a better chance at getting though. I thought the *indirect* way was labelling a person over their behavior, as doing this shut down their capacity to hear.

Am I ever myopic in that thinking!?!?!?! The *direct* and *compassionate* way would be the culturally appropriate version of inviting someone to listen and saving face... and my way was very cultually specific.

I can't even plead that I don't get out much. I have lived in LOTS of places around the world.

Sunny

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Old 11-30-2004, 01:10 PM   #42
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Respecting Sensei

All right, this is exactly where we ended up last time on the Aikido-L. It is frustrating because we all end up at the same place, which is "it all depends."

I suppose that is a lot like Aikido but we still have to communicate with each other and not piss each other off for no good reason. Anyone with suggestions for how we handle this? The last suggestion on the Aikido-L was "Don't worry about it. Someone is always going to be pissed at someone else for something. Ignore it." We could do that again but then the issue comes up over and over and can create bad feeling for some.

Rock
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:55 PM   #43
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
All right, this is exactly where we ended up last time on the Aikido-L. It is frustrating because we all end up at the same place, which is "it all depends."

I suppose that is a lot like Aikido but we still have to communicate with each other and not piss each other off for no good reason. Anyone with suggestions for how we handle this? The last suggestion on the Aikido-L was "Don't worry about it. Someone is always going to be pissed at someone else for something. Ignore it." We could do that again but then the issue comes up over and over and can create bad feeling for some.

Rock
Hello Rocky,

Well, it does "all depend". The initial poster's experience was of a university in Canada, but my experience in the UK, US and here in Japan has been different. In my experience disagreement with the professor's views on his own senmon subject and his way of teaching is a delicate issue and (a) has to be structured (i.e., the student has to be in a good position to argue the case\it is not based on "feelings") and (b) is best done with the professor face to face in class or in the study, rather than expressed through absences from class.

Thus the student needs to have the negotiation skills to work his/her way through a "grievance procedure", if you like. If you look at the martial arts as a form of general communication, then aikido is advanced negotiation\of an integrative kind, not a zero-sum kind. These advanced negotiation skills are sometimes in much evidence on the tatami, but are rarely in evidence off the tatami, especially at meetings and on discussion boards like Aikido-L.

I am using "Tasaogare Seibei" in one of my classes at the moment and in the last part of the movie Seibei Ikuchi tries to negotiate with the samurai he has to kill. The movie is another of the late Tokugawa-early Meiji genre, made popular with "Last Samurai", but I think it is much better than this latter film. Sakamoto Ryoma is another example of a (real) samurai & martial arts expert with unusual negotiation skills.

So, if a student has a grievance of some kind, he/she has to be able to communicate this grievance in an effective way. (I am talking now of situations outside any grievance procedure set up by the university.) Students who can do this with me, especially here in Japan, will certainly get credit for it. This sometimes happens with students who need a grade in order to graduate, but have been absent for various reasons (but not the reasons the poster had here). I have never withheld a grade from a 4th year graduating student, but the student has to come with a case prepared as to why I should give/him her the credit. But if it is based on disagreement with my approach to my own subject or my way of teaching it, the case had better be pretty watertight.

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P A Goldsbury
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:02 PM   #44
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Re: Respecting Sensei

A couple of responses here.

First to Rocky, I have been on a few message boards and this issue always comes up. When something is written it is much more difficult to interpret the innuendos than if the person was standing directly in front of you. However, in this case spefically I didn't have any problem with the way you phrased it. Others pointed out that it might not have been the best way to respond, but I don't feel that criticizing Rocky calling me and ass is the best way to respond. I could tell that no offence was intended and therefore no defense was necessary. If I felt that it was inappropriate then maybe it would be alright to chime in as a third party, but when Rocky means no offense and I don't see his comment as offense then it's quite clearly not a problem. I think I even thanked Rocky for his comment. This is just a small comment getting out of hand.

To Peter Goldsbury. Your perspective was an interesting one. I'm curious about whether you feel your approach to your class would transfer over into western culture. Would teach a class at a western university the same way? The second point I would like to bring up is a mild correction. My position was not that my method of study was superior to my professor, my position was that my method of study was adequate because I felt that I could learn the major concepts of the course on my own. I've stated that not attending classes was bad manners/poor etiquette as Rocky pointed out, there's no doubt that I would've learned more had I attended class. I think the specific issue for me was that not attending classes meant automatic failure even though I had done the same work everyone else had done.

Do you think your students would be incapable of developing a passable understanding of a course that you teach without attending lecture? I suppose it depends to a certain extent on the discipline. It would be nearly impossible to learn any discipline without any instruction, but surely there are basic principles that a student can learn with or without a teacher.

Brad(ence)
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:59 PM   #45
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
Brad Eamer wrote:
A couple of responses here.

To Peter Goldsbury. Your perspective was an interesting one. I'm curious about whether you feel your approach to your class would transfer over into western culture. Would teach a class at a western university the same way? The second point I would like to bring up is a mild correction. My position was not that my method of study was superior to my professor, my position was that my method of study was adequate because I felt that I could learn the major concepts of the course on my own. I've stated that not attending classes was bad manners/poor etiquette as Rocky pointed out, there's no doubt that I would've learned more had I attended class. I think the specific issue for me was that not attending classes meant automatic failure even though I had done the same work everyone else had done.

Do you think your students would be incapable of developing a passable understanding of a course that you teach without attending lecture? I suppose it depends to a certain extent on the discipline. It would be nearly impossible to learn any discipline without any instruction, but surely there are basic principles that a student can learn with or without a teacher.

Brad(ence)
I can give only a short answer at this point, since I have to go to class. My students might think that they need not attend, but would be very unhappy indeed if I was absent.

I understood from your early post that you yourself did not think your approach was "superior", but I think this is a matter of words: 'adequate for your own purposes' is what you no doubt thought, but 'superior' is how I would have understood it, had I been your professor.

The second issue you raised is that not attending class meant automatic failure, but I think I made clear in my earlier post that this would be an issue here only if a professor chose to ignore the five absences rule, which is an official university rule and is clearly stated in the materials students receive at registration/orientation.

If a student had a grievance against a professor for withholding a grade due to absence from the course and took the grievance to the academic affairs committee, in principle the student would lose if he/she had been absent more than five times. There would need to be other, mitigating, factors and the argument that the student believed that he/she did not need to attend class, for whatever reason, would count for very little.

There are other issues you raise in your post that require a longer response, which I will give as soon as I have the time.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:44 PM   #46
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Thanks Brad, for you comments and I appreciate your understanding. And Peter, I absolutely agree with you. My greatest problem in teaching students back in Canada was that they never really learned rhetoric so they couldn't argue with me in a coherent manner. If a student put up a good argument, whether I felt they were right or wrong, I usually gave them the points, the grades, or whatever and left the field "in disgrace". I figured my job was to teach the students how to make and support their point, not necessarily to win an argument. If the student was actually even interested in coming to my office to continue the discussion in a sensible manner, I usually gave them double the marks for persistence and a fighting spirit.

My questions aren't about the actual academic situation, but about the situation here on the internet. It is usually not the intent of anyone here to really blast someone -- that is against the flaming rule anyway. However, people do inadvertently hurt others in the way they respond. Sunny is right. If Bradence wasn't from Western Canada, I might have actually hurt his feelings and that was not my intent. Now, it may be that the only way to respond clearly and without personal attacks that connect is to make sure you know where the other person is coming from based on you knowing their background and the culture they are from. . ...........

Oops. Well, there you go. I just learned something just by being here on the forum. Just like Aikido. Violence is in the intent. The person reacting to the actions of someone really has to know the basis for those actions. That is why we must train to not react with extreme prejudice when someone seems to attack us. A true attack will often be easy to spot but not all seemingly threatening approaches are attacks that should be dealt with extremely. Aikido allows us to stay safe yet not have to react extremely. We can take back our techniques because the person isn't dead.

I guess, in this forum, we just have to be a little more understanding about we react to someone, both as respondent and commentator. We have to read well to understand if it really is an attack or if the person uses a linguistic approach with which we are unfamiliar. We also have to understand based on our understaning of the individuals' cultures. The way people say things is often a product of their cultural upbringing. Not all seemingly harsh ways of saying things are attacks.

My two and a half cents.

Rock
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:25 PM   #47
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

I was just going to say... I think it's pretty much the same as training in the dojo: even in the most safety- concious of dojo, sometimes people will get hurt. If you try to eliminate that completely, your training will be paralysed. Some people can't handle this, and they choose to leave. Some people like hurting others intentionally, and they get asked to leave. The rest recognises that accidents happen, and don't take it personally. I think a discussion forum is exactly the same in this regard. Anyway, so I agree completely, it's in the intent.

I got to thinking about something else just now: not responding to a perceived attack is hard, but it's also hard to be the perceived attacker. I think it even takes more strength sometimes.

kvaak
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:25 PM   #48
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Respecting Sensei

In a dojo, when we see thoughtlessness, it's appropriate to step in, and help out. I perceived thoughtlessness here, so I spoke up. And, no offense Brad, but your perception has little to nothing to do with how I act when I see something as an issue.

I was called to expound on a comment I had made and I obliged. It turned into a very helpful discussion for me, and according to others, them as well. BTW, thank you to all those who are participating here...

About the intent of attacks topic, I'm gonna start a new thread about this so as not to further hijack this one...

Last edited by sunny liberti : 11-30-2004 at 08:31 PM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:44 PM   #49
Bradence
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Point taken Sunny. Although these types of issues can often be frustrating it's true that they can just as often be enlightening. No offence taken, I think the conversation was helpful for everyone.

Brad(ence)
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:09 PM   #50
Bradence
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Re: Respecting Sensei

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
I understood from your early post that you yourself did not think your approach was "superior", but I think this is a matter of words: 'adequate for your own purposes' is what you no doubt thought, but 'superior' is how I would have understood it, had I been your professor.
I don't think I would characterize it as "adequate for my own purposes," I would think of it more like, adequate for the purposes of post secondary education. Maybe that's just nitpicking, but I truly feel that I'm not pitting my interpretation against my professors. I would liken it to a Dojo which doesn't require a minimum amount of hours for a kyu test (if one existed). If person A has 60 hours of instruction and person B has none and yet they perform the same at the test does person A really know more? It's certainly likely that A does, but it isn't a given.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
The second issue you raised is that not attending class meant automatic failure, but I think I made clear in my earlier post that this would be an issue here only if a professor chose to ignore the five absences rule,
I understand what you mean here, but I was referring to the principle rather than the practicality. I suppose the most apt question is, why is there a policy of failing a person after five absences? This reminds me of a story of my first year History professor. She told me that when she was in her teens she used to read historical novels. She liked the non-fiction ones because she liked the idea that they actually happened. Once she got into university she found that she was well-versed in the areas she was interested in already so she challenged the courses. She kept on challenging them until she got to the final course for her degree when the committee realized she had never actually taken a class. So they forced her to sit through the last three month course without challenging it. I'm not sure if you would call this self-instructing, but whatever the case she knew the material well enough to get a degree without ever sitting through a single lecture.

Obviously this is an extreme case and it is certainly a far cry from what I experienced, but I think it illustrates the point nicely. This was an able and intelligent woman who didn't need the lecture in order to understand the material. I suppose my point is that attending class shouldn't be the important point at all, understanding the material well enough to satisfy the institution's requirements should be all that's necessary.

Thank you for your excellent replies thus far Mr. Goldsbury I can't wait for the response.

Brad(ence)
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