The sins of academics and students

Cover of Times Higher, from their site.The current edition of Times Higher Education (I can’t get used to this odd title, I keep wanting to add “Supplement“; but it was dropped some time ago, so I must resist the temptation) has articles on the temptations that academics and students find hard to resist.

First, the academics:

The seven deadly sins of the academy

… The inward-looking, incestuous atmosphere of university life has long made it a breeding ground for some of the canonical deadly sins. … It would not be hard to draw up a list of traditional academic deadly sins on the basis of such examples. But how many have survived in today’s academy …? Which have disappeared? And, assuming goodwill hasn’t broken out on all sides, what have they been replaced by?

Modernisation and a huge expansion of the sector have brought fresh air into even the stuffiest quadrangles. So, if people in general are subject to avarice, envy, gluttony, pride, lust, sloth and wrath, what are the vices particularly prominent on campuses and in common rooms now? …

The answer, it seems, is:

  • Sartorial Inelegance (this matter is always in the eye of the beholder, especially if my tie is too loud);
  • Procrastination (this post is evidence that I occasionally succumb, though elsewhere in the THE there is an article advising academics to blog, so really, I’m working, honestly, I am …);
  • Snobbery (this will, no doubt, be presumed against me, based on where I work, so I’ll just move swiftly on, waving at the riff-raff [add insulting link to taste here] as I go);
  • Lust (no comment; does the Fifth Amendment apply in cyber-space?);
  • Arrogance (oops, see my Kingsfield post);
  • Complacency (I’ve never seen any need to worry – the recession isn’t going to have an impact on the public service, right?);
  • Pedantry (oops, see my Fulsome Pedantry post).

By way of balance, there is also an article about students’ sins (one of which, at least, has detained me here in the past):

Mind your manners, not the phone, please

Students’ use of mobiles tops the list of uncivil teaching disruptions … They turn up late without doing the required reading and then they sit chatting to their friends, texting or looking bored. Just when you thought you finally had everyone’s full attention, a mobile phone rings, and students start packing up their things 15 minutes before the end of the session. If this sounds familiar, it is because these are among the most common examples of student “incivility” in university lecture and seminar rooms, according to a new study. …

Enough said.

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