At my college we have COMP 150, a required course that is supposed to teach us how to “join scholarly discourse groups.”
Don’t worry, I don’t understand what that means either. I think they wanted us to learn how to write professionally-- citing sources, supporting arguments, and so on. These are very valuable skills for college students to have.
I wound up getting a C- for the course because I didn’t “add anything important to the scholarly discussion of the course material,” or something along those lines. I think the real reason I got a C- was because I disagreed with the course material and wrote strong, well-researched papers refuting it. I was the only one in the class to do so and the only one who got a C or lower.
I confronted the professor about it and pointed out in the course description that the course was supposed to teach us to “think independently and take our own side in a professional manner.” I argued that they couldn’t expect everyone to agree with the course material, especially when it was so controversial (it concerned native american rights).
I got nowhere. When I left the professor’s office, I was convinced that I was supposed to learn how to think independently while agreeing with the course material on all points!
When I filled out the course evaluation form after finals, I wrote that “this course taught me that students are not supposed to question anything the professor tells them. It also taught me that no matter how professionally I write, I will never be taken seriously by a professor as long as I am a student. In short, it taught me everything that the course description said it would not teach me.” Everyone else in the class wrote glowing reviews.
I don’t have an evil side. Just a really, really apathetic one.