Tuesday, September 25, 2007

hater in the house.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

First realization after transferring: some things remain constant.

Case in point? Pretentious students.

I know, I know, big surprise, right? But some of my peers are real students (in the British definition of the word).

In my globalization class, there's a kid who just loves himself. From what I gather, he's a transfer student as well--except he's convinced he's got it all figured out. He takes the teacher to task over minor things that don't really matter, and during the opening week of class, he told the teacher to "keep it interesting...because I'm thinking about dropping this class".

Get over yourself, kid. The teacher is an adjunct, and he works at a think-tank (The Pacific Council)...I mean, it just doesn't get more real than that. We've actually read some of the professor's work in my other classes, so you can tell that he actually knows his material.

Regardless, the kid called me out tonight, which I wasn't going to have. We were talking about the Navigation Act (in Britain during imperialist times--times when "the sun never set on the British Empire"), and I mentioned that America had one today about how it was a big issue during last year's Congressional election in Hawaii.

I said the eventual winner, Daniel Akaka, was elected because he was a long-time incumbent but because he also favored protectionism (and not allowing in boats with foreign bottoms). I went on to say that Akaka is one of the most inefficient senators in America.

The kid proceeded to raise his hand, laughed at me, and said "I bet there are more inefficient senators".

I told him to pull up the internet and look it up on Time's website. He said that he was sure that I was mistaken.

Well, anyway, here it is. Akaka denies it, of course, but what can you do? I feel like printing out the articles for the kid--but what's the point? I think he knew I was right as well--he left class early, and the teacher just looked at him funny.

This is my problem--these kids are absolute tools. They're convinced that they know absolutely everything and that they're incredibly brilliant--and aren't afraid to say stupid things that couldn't be further from the truth. Their opinion is their gospel--and they wholeheartedly believe it to be truth.

This monopoly on speech prevents the class from having a healthy discourse. The professor opens the floor up for discussion a lot--but this kid just blurbs out random things and "corrections" that steer the class from actually discussing the issue at hand. No one wants to talk when they feel that an egotistical fact-checker is going to wrongfully call them out on a mundane detail. I pay just as much tuition as he does--why shouldn't I get my chance to talk, unencumbered? If he would have argued with me about the Marine Merchant/Jones Act, great! But no, he just made a stupid point because, well, OBVIOUSLY, he knows everything about politics and has the last say. Because, OBVIOUSLY, he analyzes the way that every senator votes in Congress on every bill and made a rankings chart. DUH!

You may know a lot, sir, but I believe I know a lot more about my state than you do. Just shut the hell up sometimes so that we can all learn something other than your damn opinion.


(Full disclosure: I got into a fight with Daniel Inouye's grandson when I was 8. Inouye is Hawaii's senior Senator--he's the only original member of any state delegation still in Congress, having been elected Hawaii's first congressman upon its statehood in 1959. You thought your state liked incumbents, huh?

Long story short--my family had a reunion on the Big Island. We were staying at the Mauna Lani, and his grandson tried to steal my cousin's water wings. I yelled at the kid, who said that he was going to tell his grandfather. I told him that I didn't care--and, later on, an uncle told me that his "grandfather" that was sitting pool side was the Senator...though I had no idea what that meant at the time.

So, yeah, I know my Senators.)