Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In which the pond does it again with a repetitive by rote Donners ...

The pond understands ...

Even if Donners was briefly at the top of the reptile Oz commentariat this day, all things must pass and being top of the commentariat world is no insulation against a deep sense of ennui and boredom

There are many other choices, such as Troy talking Donald treason, and Dame Groan moaning in her usual way ...

It's okay to want to skip class, especially a doddering Donners class ... the pond understands.

Why not head off to the Netherlanders, on YouTube here, English subtitles version, ingratiating themselves with the Donald in a sickening display of pandering ... (oh okay a Dutch friend sent it along, and it's what passes for good-hearted humour in the land of the Bolter's genes).

Why not head off to The New Yorker here to get your prep in order and your bug out in good shape?

There's a lot more juicy stuff if you follow the link - it's outside the paywall for the moment - and there's New Zealand jokes, and it explains why the pond cheerfully forks over hard cash to the magazine.

Still here?

You've been let out of class ... you're supposed to be running wild, singing with Alice Cooper that school's out for ever, or screeching about Another Brick in the Wall ...

Oh well, never mind, the pond is pleased that there are a few studious swots of the Bunter and Molesworth kind that really like to do their homework.

The pond is inclined to the What Katy Did At School theory of study ... (Project Gutenberg here).

One of these was that the school was to dine three times a week on pudding and bread and butter. Mrs. Nipson had a theory,—very convenient and economical for herself, but highly distasteful to her scholars,—that it was injurious for young people to eat meat every day in hot weather. 
The puddings were made of batter, with a sprinkling of blackberries or raisins. Now, rising at six, and studying four hours and a half on a light breakfast, has wonderful effect on the appetite, as all who have tried it will testify. The poor girls would go down to dinner as hungry as wolves, and eye the large, pale slices on their plates with a wrath and dismay which I cannot describe. Very thick the slices were, and there was plenty of thin, sugared sauce to eat with them, and plenty of bread and butter; but, somehow, the whole was unsatisfying, and the hungry girls would go upstairs almost as ravenous as when they came down. The second-table-ites were always hanging over the balusters to receive them, and when to the demand, "What did you have for dinner?" "Pudding!" was answered, a low groan would run from one to another, and a general gloom seemed to drop down and envelop the party.

Still here, with three Katy books to read?

Oh okay, the pond has given every excuse and means by which to wag class. Let the cane fall where it may ...

Now the great thing about this is that the pond doesn't say anything.

Doddering Donners has said it all before, but so deep is he into rote learning and memorisation and repetition, he clearly thinks that the more he says it, the more it will become so ...

And what's the bet the Catholic education system will be mentioned again outsmarting everyone at every turn?

Oh yes,  never mind the source of the data, and the apples and oranges methodology, and now with both doddering Donners and the onion muncher discarded, and the irrelevancy quotient cranked up to 11, readers of the reptile Oz  have to suffer constant waves of hectoring advice...

It's the usual Catholic blather about politically correct, while the doofus never pauses to contemplate or reflect on the notion of politically correct Catholicism and the crazy, culturally weird, transubstantiation curriculum ...

Oh and there's another clue concerning the dead weight of history, and the pettifogging pedantry of the 1950s, with Matthew Arnold dropped into the mix ...

For anyone interested, they can discover Matthew Arnold and his wretched career in schools by Greg Hunting it here - keen sideburns, wot wot, who knew they had hipsters in Queen Victoria's daybut don't take the pond's mockery of Arnold as a tedious old school inspector bore as some kind of personal grudge, a result of having suffered endlessly from forced endless reading of his stuff ...

Take the opinion of that great pontificating pompous Harold Bloom at Arnold's wiki -  expert Greg Hunters can find find Bloom flaying him here ...

"Whatever his achievement as a critic of literature, society or religion, his work as a poet may not merit the reputation it has continued to hold in the twentieth century. Arnold is, at his best, a very good, but highly derivative poet, unlike Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins, Swinburne and Rossetti, all of whom individualized their voices." 

Yes, like a lot of rote learners and dodderers, he was okay at swotting, and replication and regurgitation, but he wasn't the best ...

"Whatever his achievement as a critic of literature, society, or religion, his work as a poet may not merit the reputation it has continued to hold in the twentieth century. Arnold is, at his best, a very good but highly derivative poet.... As with Tennyson, Hopkins, and Rossetti, Arnold's dominant precursor was Keats, but this is an unhappy puzzle, since Arnold (unlike the others) professed not to admire Keats greatly, while writing his own elegiac poems in a diction, meter, imagistic procedure, that are embarrassingly close to Keats."

It might help explain why doddering Donners has dropped rote learning off his list of educational musts  this day...

Now just to confirm what a dull, repetitive boy the Donners is, the pond has aggregated these recent sign-off pars from Donners' recent dashing pieces ... and would like the class to vote on which gobbet they prefer ...

Ah, rote learning and memorisation, which it seems this day has been replaced by a more market-driven model ... is there no end to Donners' subtle set of pedagogical variations?

A good effort, but then there's item B, featuring this classic catch ...

And the formula requires that three gobbets must be given to the class before a choice is made, so here is gobbet C ...

Well it's clear enough - the last gobbet is the winner by a country mile, and no correspondence will be considered ... the pond won't allow any of this free-roaming carry on, the teacher's decision is final ...

The pond only offered the notion of choice, so that finally a Catholic mental rigidity might be rigorously enforced ...

And now, because contemplating the doddering Donners is the slow road to madness, why not take the quick road with the pond?

Thanks to a reader - yes, the pond follows the links supplied - the pond was reminded of the art of George Grosz, and its timeless applicability to current events ...

It's going to be a great year for the Godwin's Law swear jar ... the pond might get a trip to anywhere but the United States out of it ...


  1. Dorothy - the dog botherer's MO seems to have taken off.


    This man only assaulted female dogs, however.

  2. https://pasisahlberg.com/a-conversation-on-lessons-from-finland/

    1. An excellent article, thanks Anony. Unfortunately, I do not expect that the rote thinkers such as Donners would ever read Pasi Sahlberg's wise, and experienced, pronouncements - or, if they did, would understand a word of it.

      The whole unhealthy absorption of so-called educators (eg Donners) with artificial, and eminently gameable, "tests" such as PISA and TIMSS is reminiscent of the corrupted use of the Binet-Simon scale by the likes of Lewis Terman.

      It is just so easy, and so ridiculous, to concentrate on reducing students and their education achievements to a single number whether that be a TIMSS/PISA score or a (Terman) Stanford-Binet "IQ" score. But if I had to apply an "IQ Test" to Donners, I would suggest that such insensible reductionism is all he can understand (and it can be learned by rote, too).

  3. Given Donners' dedication to high standards of teaching, shouldn't he be given six of the best when he falls short of his own requirements? While it's set in Scandinavia, "Beowulf" isn't a "Norse legend" but an Old English poem.

    As for advocating that students learning about Queen Boadicea, that's the story of an uppity woman leading a revolt against lawful authority, burning London and finally, when the whole exercise fails, killing herself. Is Donners actually advocating that students draw inspiration from tales of violent revolution, wanton destruction and self harm?

    He also fails to indicate whether the older spelling / pronunciation of "BO-dah-CEE-ah" should be replaced by the now commonly used Boudica ("BOO-dee-kaa"); surely, in Donner's world, only one can be correct?

    100 lines, Mr Donnelly, and stay behind to clean the blackboards!

    1. Good points, Anony, but I invite you to consider how tenuous Donner's grip on reason must be if he thinks the Iliad is a source of valuable life lessons.

  4. Yes for a thoroughly politically incorrect examination of "catholic" his-story I thoroughly recommend the book The Criminal History of the Papacy by Tony Bushby.
    And of course such sordid doings are still very much standard practice as explained in footnoted detail by David Yallop in his book The Dark Heart of JPII's Vatican, and as to be found by doing a search on the topic The Vatican and World Politics.

  5. Hi Dorothy,

    thank you for the link to the New Yorker article - a slightly worrying read.

    Interesting to see how a lot of the preppers were from Silicon Valley and I wondered if they had fallen into the trap of being in an echo chamber and that they were having their fears reflected and reinforced back to them.

    A while ago I thought about buying one of those combination torch/radios which you can charge up by either wind-up or solar as I thought it might be useful during the storm season. I did some searches on Amazon (a site I rarely use) to see what was available. A mistake!

    Whenever I log into the Amazon site now my suggested purchases are for things like; A Mini Survival Tin, Water Purification Tablets, Survival Matches and The Ultimate Preppers Guide.

    Bloody algorithms.


    1. " the preppers ... were having their fears reflected and reinforced back to them."

      Not so much their fears, I think DW, as their heartfelt desires. Oh, to be the big, tough survivor in a destroyed world ! If you can keep your life when all about you are losing theirs ... and you can even blame it on them.

    2. Hi GB,

      I totally agree, that their overweening sense of superiority is why they could see themselves as heroic figures in a dystopian future but that would actually make for a great comedy.

      Can you imagine a bunch of internet nerds, hedge fund trustees, a load of gun nuts and a large number of disgruntled pilots (with or without families) all shoved into a concrete bunker and hope that this will be the future of humanity?

      I doubt it would last a month.

      Actually I think there might be a book in that.


    3. "...internet nerds, hedge fund trustees, a load of gun nuts and a large number of disgruntled pilots..."

      Throw in hairdressers and telephone sanitisers, DiddyWrote, and you just about have Douglas Adams' B-Ark.


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