Athena Tells It Like It Is

That’s right. Quadrate your own equation, if you please.

(Note: I’m aware “quadrate” is not a verb. It’s a funny, involving words. Thank you for your concern.)

Now, she might help you with your math, so that you can learn how to do it yourself from that point forward. Because she’s cool like that. And you know what they say: Do someone’s math, and their homework is done for one day. Teach them how to do math, and the universe isn’t a big unknowable ball of superstitious fear anymore. Or something like that. I may have garbled the specifics.

And yes, Athena wore it to school today.

If you’d like the shirt for the math-positive young women you know, you may buy it, no surprise, from the fabulous nerds at ThinkGeek. And if you’re thinking that this shirt may be a laudable correction for this particular piece of crap, you may be correct. This is evidenced by the text on the t-shirt page which reads, “You know what we’re too pretty for? Putting up with anti-intellectualism.” That’s for damn sure. Good on ThinkGeek.

84 Comments on “Athena Tells It Like It Is”

  1. El Guapo – Sunny New York – Went surfing in a hurricane. Now I'm looking for the next thing to do, and a soundtrack to go with it....
    El Guapo

    “this particular piece of crap”
    You’re too generous.

  2. Jeanne – I'm a reader, a writer, a mother, a wife, an ailurophile, a Writing Center Director, and a PhD in English Literature (specializing in Rhetoric and Composition and literature of the Eighteenth Century).

    I would buy a shirt that said “I’m too pretty to put up with anti-intellectualism” for my daughter.

  3. Hi John,
    If Athena is that good at math, maybe she should look into tutoring the less gifted students? Might be more interesting and lucrative than the baby-sitting jobs most kids get at her age,

  4. What is sad is that the anti-intellectualism seems to be having a far greater impact on boys than on girls these days. While math and science scores for girls has been going up boy’s scores are declining. There is a lot of pressure on boys to not be too smart and there does not seem to be the sort of campaign needed to reverse this trend for them.

    Glad to see Athena is not afraid of her brain!

  5. It is sad in 2011 that there is still marketing groups that think it is ‘funny’ to endorse archaic gender stereotypes. Not that I ever thought JC Penny was the purveyor of equality or anything like that, but I also felt big companies knew enough to move away from that thinking.

    All that to say, I like the T-Shirt and glad Athena enjoys math.

  6. The more you post about that kid, the more I hope to keep my own kid’s quirkiness — whatever that may turn out to be — alive and healthy well into her teens. (She’s only just rising three, so it’ll be awhile.) I really appreciate the way your Athena-posts help keep this at the top of my mind!

  7. I needed the one that said “Write you OWN book review/history paper” in high school.

  8. @Clarence,
    A cynical part of me says, “someone has to work at MickeyD’s and drive our trucks” then the intellectual side of me says “If we all got smart enough, no one would have to do either of those jobs”

    Maybe Athena will figure that out for us or help the person who will do their math homework.

  9. @Rick: Intelligent, educated people can work at MickeyD’s and drive trucks. You see the darndest people win tens of thousands of dollars on Jeopardy. There are reasons to take unglamorous jobs other than lack of qualification for anything “better.”

    Lawrence Block once noted that he never took a “real” job after college because he didn’t want to get too used to a higher standard of living that would get in the way of focusing on writing.

    When I was in high school, MickeyD’s was a common part-time job for students. We should note my high-school was a well-respected college prep school that had (and still has) a 98% college-attendance rate, with a 95% college-graduation rate.

    My father worked his way through law school as an elevator operator and oil-tank cleaner.

    But aside from the issue of smart people doing nonintellectual jobs, the fact is that not everyone needs or wants to have an intellectual job. If we want non-intellectuals to respect the perspective of intellectuals, we should in return have respect for those who do the necessary nonintellectual jobs. This should not be a world of Morlocks and Eloi.

    I don’t expect you intended to sound like a classist nitwit. Please double-check your internal assumptions.

  10. I think we’ve fairly well established that a person’s employment is not necessarily correlative to his or her intellectual abilities. Let’s take it as read moving forward.

  11. Hope she doesn’t get in trouble for it. I’ve heard horror stories of kids being suspended on acct. of shirts like this. Granted, this one’s not nearly provocative enough, but I’m pretty sure someone could & will take offense at the implications of it.

  12. I guess that would depend on whether the school administrators feel like the ACLU hasn’t had enough to do lately and wants to give the organization a very mild workout.

    Admittedly, I’d be tempted to get that other shirt for my son for the humor value. But then I don’t think the bozos who developed or sold it deserve any money. Repeated kicks in the jimmy, yes, but not money.

  13. If you do someone’s math homework, they pass for a day. If you teach them math, they can understand what’s fucked up about the economy for the rest of their life.

  14. Clear2grey:

    Leaving aside my daughter’s probable reaction to such a thing, the school administrators would then have to deal with me and my wife. And that would not make them happy, I suspect.

    However, as I know the administrators in this case (it’s a small community), I am not expecting any such response. They, as well as Athena’s teachers, have been encouraging to her.

  15. Also, school admin coming down on a student for a shirt that essentially says “I won’t help you cheat”? That’d be an additional level of stupid.

  16. My wife is being lambasted by parents for not “doing their homework” for their kids, her students.
    Aside from gender issues, I think there is a general intellectual dishonesty that is being transmitted to our kids, which this tee addresses well … I’d like to see it for guys, too ….

  17. The Quadrates were a quiet, thoughtful people with a propensity for symbolic expression and elliptical commentary. One Quadrate, a particularly calculating young man, iterated a theme seen many a time over the years, and plotted a course towards a new life, that of a traveling salesman.

  18. Bearpaw: I worked at a grocery store for a number of years. As a part of that job, every couple of years I had to go in for TABC (TX Alcoholic Beverage Commission) recertification. This consisted of three hours of lecture, followed by one hour to test us on what we’d learned from the lecture. My boss (not to mention my fellow employees) was very annoyed with me when I wouldn’t let everyone cheat off my paper “so that we can all get home faster!”

    Paul Atlan: A teacher named Christine Pelton made the news a few years ago. She was a HS science teacher who made it very clear to her students at the beginning of the school year that cheating of any sort would not be tolerated, and would result in an automatic zero. A sizable portion of her graduating seniors ignored this, and chose to plagiarize large chunks of their final research paper. As she’d promised, she gave them all zeroes. While the school district backed her initially, so many parents complained that “little Junior will never make it into (Ivy League school) with that on his record!” that they caved and told her if she didn’t “fix her mistake” that she’d be fired. When she went public, and it made the national news, she had job offers pouring in from across the country.

  19. As a long-ago math and computer science tutor, I am so pleased by Athena’s attitude (and her parents’.) Would that there were more like you.

  20. I love the geeky t-shirts for kids. My 15 year-old and his bestie have the one that says “No, I will not fix your computer.”, and they tend to wear them to school on the same day. He and she are collectively referred to as “The IT Kids”.

  21. I worked my way through college as a roofer and was in the best shape of my life. What I wouldn’t trade to be 20 again or, at least, have my 20 y.o. body again. Sigh.

  22. I love that shirt. I’d get one for myself if white weren’t the only option.

    I am also still mildly bitter about my own experiences with the rampant anti-intellectual mindset people tend to try to force on girls and women. I hate it when people act like the reason there aren’t more girls and women involved in math and science is because of lack of interest instead of being regularly and actively discouraged from pursuing those fields.

    My senior year in high school (2001-2002), I signed up to take a computing course. When reviewing my intended schedule, my high school counselor pulled me from that class and put me in home-ec because he thought that I should take something “more useful”. Seriously. With that stupid baby-doll that would cry and you’d have to put a key in it to make it shut up and everything. My parents put up a fuss, and the school eventually let me drop the home-ec class but didn’t let me enroll in the computer class I originally wanted to take. Their idea of a “compromise” was to let me have a free study period during that time slot. Later, when I went to college intending to major in computer science, and one of my courses was the standard introduction to programming. On the very first freaking day of classes, some of the guys who were also taking a class very loudly placed bets on how long the small number of women in the class would last before we dropped or changed majors.

    I did eventually change my major, in large part because the attitude several of my classmates had towards women, both in the field and in general, was sickening and disheartening. What is more frustrating is that even today, when I share these stories as examples of the discrimination women face, I’m told that I am at least partially if not wholly at fault because I chose to change my major and if I were really interested in the field, I would have stuck with it anyway. Because somehow not wanting to face either open harassment or passive scorn every single day of my life makes me weak or something. But I had better stop before this becomes even more of a tl:dr rant.

  23. Actually, I’m curious – does J.C. Penney get any points back for pulling the shirt from sale once they were advised that people had an issue with the shirt? I mean, yes, they lose points for putting the shirt out there for sale in the first place, but what do y’all think of their response?

  24. Grendel-Chan, they don’t get any points back as far as I’m concerned. Upper management was too sexist or clueless to realize the shirt was in poor taste BEFORE it went on sale? Pulling it from sale is just recognizing the tsunami of outcry pouring down on your head…

  25. I suspect that when J.C. Penny ‘finds out what happened’ they will discover that someone thought that they could sell some shirts, and they probably have plenty of customers who would think that the T-shirt is cute. I wouldn’t be too astonished if they did sell a few and that they are now removing the item because it isn’t a big mover and it has attracted unwanted attention.

    Is a ‘victory’ in this situation getting the shirt pulled, or in getting would-be buyers to wonder if buying one is such a good idea.

  26. One wonders how much of it was a carefully orchestrated Penney’s PR campaign, on the premise that any publicity is good, regardless of how stupid and/or tasteless.

  27. All through college, when I’d tell people who I didn’t know that I was majoring in math, they’d almost invariably respond, “Oh, you’re going to be a teacher?” No, I’d think. No, I’m not. I don’t have anything against the teaching profession, but I do have a problem with people assuming that woman majoring in math *only* go on to teach. Luckily, none of my teachers/professors or parents subscribed to this bias, so the decision to become a (female!) actuary never seemed like that big of a deal.

    And John, I don’t know if you were paying attention before the SFcontario opening ceremony, but I was responsible for the “don’t diss math” discussion going on behind you, haha.

  28. When I saw the shirt at Think-Geek I guess I didn’t have a “that totally rocks” reaction. It doesn’t seem to me like it’s really a response to the J.C. Penny shirt. Does it really say “I can do math and I value math”?

  29. I love Thinkgeek. A while back they got some complaints about the fact that they were only offering the women’s designs in baby-doll tees, and they responded by changing that. As someone who looks awful in a baby-doll, that made me happy.

    Athena is adorable, and that shirt is great.

  30. Athena, thank you for helping out at school. In today’s world it’s good to hear of people helping others out.

    And John, thanks for the link; I’ve blogged about the shirt and I hope it spreads word around.

  31. Awesome!
    Go Athena and math girls everywhere!

    (And FWIW, “quadrate,” is a verb according to the New Oxford American Dictionary — it lists it as archaic, but perhaps it’s time for a quadratic revival.)

  32. @ Sara J.: I got the exact same question–I hadn’t connected it to gender bias, though; I always thought it was because many people don’t really understand what you do with any degree that isn’t career-oriented. Then again, I wonder if dudes get the same question.

    @ verbranden: I’ve heard so many of these things about CS departments that I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible to file a Title IX complaint against CS departments who don’t tell their more egregious male students to STFU, although it’d be a really high bar to pass to get to court.* (Sexist professors, OTOH, are totally asking for a Title IX suit.)

    *According to Davis v. Monroe Cty Board of Ed, “[US Department of Education] funding recipients are properly held liable in damages only where they are deliberately indifferent to sexual harassment, of which they have actual knowledge, that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.”

  33. kellybarnhill – The Middle West – Writer. Teacher. Mom. One-man-band. Author of IRON HEARTED VIOLET and THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK. My new novel is called THE WITCH'S BOY. It comes out in 2014.

    My daughter SO NEEDS that t-shirt! She’s a seventh grade math whiz, and is the only girl in her group – and the boys are always asking her to tell them the answers on their questions. Bullshit boys and their bullshit requests. I think wearing a sign might save her a lot of time.

  34. The on-going amazing Scalzi story is watching his life, his family.
    I saw the other day that Athena has had a blog for the last million years. I wonder WHERE she got the idea from? I have suggested to friends that they do the same thing for their kids. Get them WRITING. If only a little bit. Hmmmmmm Maybe I should go write in my blog.

  35. @ Maureen: You’re right; maybe I’m seeing a bias where there is none. But these were generally older people, and I feel like they could have thought of something else–statistics, accounting, engineering…

  36. Awesome shirt.

    I was lucky that I didn’t get any guff for being a huge tomboy geek in high school and college. My unfortunate experiences with sexism and gender roles started when I was having difficulty finding a position after postdoctoral training. I was dumbstruck by the number of men and women faculty members who responded to my concerns with a dismissive “Well, maybe you should start a family.” It was incredibly disappointing to see how many of my colleagues ultimately fell back on the man-career, woman-family viewpoint. Would they have helped more if I had been a man? I’ll never know.

  37. I tried to take a programming for non-CS majors class at UT around 2003 or so. On the first day of class, the professor made a huge deal about how happy they were to have girls in the class, how important it was to support girls in computer science, and how they had a special TA just for the girls. I dropped it immediately. Maybe I should have been more pleased that they were trying, and it sounds better than what verbranden dealt with. But I didn’t want to be treated like a girl who, strangely, was interested in computer science. I’d like to kick bytes and take names on my own terms, thanks.

  38. @Sara J. (and Maureen): It was probably a combination of assumptions. I was an English major, and I got the “so you’re going to teach” question, too. On the other hand, teaching, particularly at the elementary and (slightly less so) secondary school level, is still often assumed to be largely a female profession, if no longer the only female profession–so the assumption that any young woman in college (no matter the major) is planning on a career in teaching is still definitely sexist. On the third hand, I think that there has been some improvement: when I was having the Talk with my HS guidance counselor, the assumptions were “teacher” or “nurse.” If I was interested in the life sciences, I was going to become a nurse. If I was interested in–well, pretty much anything else–I was going to become a teacher. Since I was actually interested in becoming a teacher, it took me far longer than it should have to realize how wrong that was . . .

  39. @Sandflake: Ouch. Yeah, that. I once had a job interviewer ask me, apparently seriously, “Why should we hire you, since you’re probably going to get pregnant and leave the profession in a a few years?” (Note: I wasn’t married at the time, and he’d literally just met me.) To be fair, I thought his fellow interviewers were going to have apoplexy when he came out with that, but still.

  40. Sara J. if I met a man who told me he was majoring in physics, my next question would probably be if he planned to be an academic. So I would probably ask “do you plan to teach” rather than “will you be a teacher” as the first doesn’t assume elementary/secondary education. With math it would probably be my second question after “what kind of math?”, as in “applied math? or does your school count computer science as math?”. It has a lot to do with curiosity about what Maureen calls non-career-oriented degrees.

    Now perhaps if I assumed secondary teacher instead of post-secondary, perhaps that might indicate a bit of bias, though all of my math teachers after pre-algebra have been men. It really is, in my opinion, a fairly natural question to ask students regardless of sex.

    Engineers generally major in engineering and at least in some schools accountants are business majors.

  41. I’m a female Sysadmin with a Math minor (I majored in Information Science). More girls need to consider the math and sciences! I’m glad that Athena is rockin’ this t-shirt. I hope she sticks with it.

  42. Mary, you certainly win for bluntest interviewer! I’m routinely asked if I’m married and if I have children. I think the interviewers do so in an attempt to get to know their candidates and give the appearance of being less formal, and I’m sure in most cases the questions are innocent enough. I also think (or hope!) that men are asked these questions just as frequently. However, it does make me pause and wonder how much family status (or lack thereof) influences the interviewer’s opinion.

  43. Which only leaves the question of why the typography is so strange. The t and H just don’t belong together, and worse than that, WILL looks all caps, but not does not – which makes the stress very strange. Surely there’s no implication that maths nerds can’t be font geeks too…?

  44. I’m still amused by the number of people who tentatively ask if I wear mine because I’m Asian. Mostly they’re earnest, but my hackles go up when anyone starts any sentence with “I’m not racist but…”

  45. I would buy a shirt that said “I’m too pretty to put up with anti-intellectualism” for me! And I’d wear it to teach in!

  46. @verbranden
    Sorry, I dont understand this. my undergrad degree is in physics and a minor in comp sci.
    We had a TINY number of women in all my classes. It was the 80s, long before political correctness. We never harassed the students. We did make fun of people who never showed up and then showed up the last day and asked for help. We were SHOCKED at the woman who was never in class, never did the projects and still passed the class. There is ONLY one way that she passed.

    So, why did you change majors again? Students were harassing you? Um, ignore them, report them, stab them, ignore them, complain to the teacher, dean, president of the school, EVERYONE? Instead you quit and ran?

    Yes, I do not understand this. What you described, sounds like what happened to everyone in high school who wasn’t one of the popular people. What I remember of the women in geek classes is that they got a lot of attention. (This was especially true of women in engineering schools, 9:1 male:female ratios does that.)

    I find it so strange that you only got negative treatment.

  47. @Maureen – re: title IX lawsuits
    Interesting idea! This stuff STILL goes on in this day and age? Really? And women still put up with it?
    Make a scene, get the details, hell, record what’s happening on your phone or laptop, take the evidence to the dean and state “this will be fixed NOW or you will get sued and I will win”

    I knew a ton of geeks when I was in school, male and female. None of the women would have put up with this. Maybe it was going to a school in a big city. Maybe I just have assertive female friends.

    Should people have to deal with this? no. Should you be forced to fight for what is right? no. But if you don’t, who will?

  48. That’s the beauty of English, John. Quadrate CAN be a verb. Anything in English can be. For those of you who can’t handle that, stop speaking my wonderfully flexible and ever-evolving language, you linguistic luddites!

  49. I wish I was a girl who is good at math :( I think I may actually suffer from mild dyscalculia.

  50. I am a beautiful women with a degree in math and getting my masters in statistics (maybe phd afterwards)… anybody who thinks pretty girls don’t do math should go visit their local university’s stats department.

  51. @Peter – here’s a concept: if you know that institutional discrimination is wrong, how about YOU pitch in and help fight against it, instead of sitting on the sidelines and telling the victims they just need to fight harder? Or are you enjoying your privileges too much to want to have a hand in dismantling them?

  52. @Peter, in the event that you decide to take Sheila up on her challenge: You could, for instance, call your old CS department and say “Hey, I’ve heard that in recent years some women have dropped out of CS programs because of peer harassment. Do women drop out of our program at a higher rate than men?”

    FWIW, Peter, not everyone’s up for conflict. I would’ve been, but that’s probably as a result of being tutored in algebra among six pubescent boys by a high school senior dudebro who thought “feminist” was an insult, among other influences in my formative years. The fact that my geometry teacher made us all research and write mini-reports on a variety of famous mathematicians (including most of the female mathematicians of note, IIRC) may have also contributed.

    I think that we need to establish a) a culture of “fuck the haters” and b) the idea that men who are threatened by women succeeding in their field are pathetic losers who should transfer to an easier field. (The identity of this field depends upon the identity of the original field in a sort of “rival fields” way.) Also, a “History of Computer Science” mandatory class for CS majors, to be taken in their first semester/trimester/quarter, might be helpful, both to help the female minority feel like they belong and to remind the more retrograde dudebros that hey, your field was invented by a chick and revolutionized by a gay dude.

  53. @Sheila – I am confused. I didnt think that I was dumping on the victims. My privileges? LOL. I dont understand this. I have hired more female programmers than male programmers in my day. My first boss in the field was a woman.

    “not everyone is up for conflict”
    Sure fine, but, unless the victims bring the behaviors to the attention of the school, how are those specific problems going to be addressed? As much as I do to help right the wrongs, it also took me many years to learn to stop trying to help people who are not willing to help themselves.

    Maybe my question was truly naive, why would someone leave a degree program which they were interested in? Why would someone back down when someone moved them from a class they wanted to home ec?? (shudder)

    I do like the “fuck the haters” thing. I have started shunning as many haters as I can.
    As to what I can do to help, why do you assume that I dont already do many things to help?
    From taking in a terminally ill, abuse victim friend when she made nowhere to live; to most of my donations going to planned parenthood and homeless shelters; to voting to keep women’s hard won rights legal.

    So there is an infinite number of things which could be done to help and I do what I can already.

    But the question still stands, is the ONLY reason that someone changed majors is that they wanted to avoid conflict?? Rather than help improve the system?

  54. You are making a ridiculous number of assumptions about my life based on the very small amount of information I provided. All I wrote was a brief summary on two incidents of discrimination I faced, not an autobiography. Obviously, there’s a lot of information I left out, such as actions I took and the results thereof, that I didn’t include because it wasn’t relevant and I didn’t want to hijack the discussion from “general discussion about problems women face in math and science” and focus too much on my own personal experiences. You seem to be under the impression that I heard some guys saying something mean about me once, and then instantly turned around and enrolled in a different degree program. I was in the CS department for a year and a half. Eventually, it became unbearable, and I switched. The fault here does not lie with me.

    As far as the privilege discussion goes, it is remarkably clear however, that you don’t understand how you benefit from your male privilege. You lack the necessary experience that comes as a result of being a woman to truly understand the discrimination we face, thus, you turn around the blame us when eventually we get sick of putting up with shit and remove ourselves from a toxic environment because get this, no one in charge gives a fuck if women are uncomfortable because of peer harassment.

    We can complain until we’re blue in the face, but we’re told to just suck it up, or just to ignore it and it will go away, or that we need to learn to take a joke, or that we’re just being “emotional”, or we’re just frigid bitches, or “are you on your period lol?”. These are messages that society is constantly sending to women and girls every single day of lives. And you know what? It gets old. Fast. This is so much more than mere “conflict aversion”. In addition to this, even attempting to break out of these thinking patterns is very, very difficult, especially when you’ve not even realized what has been done to you. Not to mention that it’s totally not our job to police men’s behavior. It is completely understandable that after putting up with all that crap, someone might choose to not add a demanding personal crusade of social justice on top of an already challenging degree program. Lord knows I’ve not been mansplained too enough in my life already.

  55. Yes! :D Athena, you rock! Here’s wishing math is one of many things you’ll keep having fun with and discovering new cool things about, for all your long life.

    (Yes, seeing this nice photo with this nice T-shirt did brighten up my morning. Thank you.)

  56. Lovely T-shirt! (I could’ve used one as a teenager saying “No, I will not correct your English homework for you” – trials and tribulations of being the semi-native-speaker in an EFL class!)

    On the “are women doing maths/science more likely to be told they ought to become teachers” front, I’ve actually had someone just *assume* I was going to become a teacher. You know, random conversation with someone I met travelling where I mentioned I was doing a maths PhD, response was along the lines of “Oh! Great, we need more women in maths teaching!” Er, where exactly did you get the idea I want to become a teacher? It’s definitely not the first thing I’d assume someone doing a PhD is going for, and it’s only part of my career goals insofar as academia involves teaching.

  57. Speaking of sexism and anti-intellectualism, I would really love your perspective on a “science fiction” story that Nature, one of the most well-known science publications, published, entitled “Womanspace.” The journal, Nature, seems to be doubling down on its message rather than apologizing.

  58. @verbranden, I can empathise in a manner. I face similar discrimination on the basis of my race in my profession. I’ve had to Anglicise my name on resumes to get basic responses (same jobs, different name). I’ve sat through an insulting ‘English Test’ that I later found out was at the discretion of the interviewer and disproportionately applied to anyone called Nguyen. I’ve also had face-to-face meetings where people have mentioned I ‘speak English well for an Asian’.

    It is extraordinarily difficult to report this behaviour, crippling career-wise (considering the small network of like-minded employers) and since typically I’m not in a position of influence, does more harm than good.

    @Peter Cibulskis, For verbranden, it isn’t just resisting the harassment, it’s clawing her way to equality. Now imagine being vigilant about that every day and having to fight that battle constantly.

    Your privilege, as it were, are the choices you are presented over someone who is equally capable but systemically disadvantaged. It isn’t directly your fault, doesn’t require your consent and it’s nice that you seek to address it. But to imply that any victim should fight harder occupies dubious moral territory.

    Prejudice and it’s good friend discrimination aren’t always overt (such as the case with indirect discrimination). They’re also insidious, freakishly common and aren’t always easy to recognise. As an example, it’s not uncommon for female professionals lose skills when they go on maternity leave (yeah, it’s a choice, but not one they should have to weigh since species propagation is a pretty vital function of society) and no effort being made to address it. In the end this disadvantages their careers and financial position. Why? Their needs are not yet catered to.

    A white, anglo, heterosexual male is so used to being catered to that it’s easy for him to see the lack of catering as an imbalance. Put an interracial homosexual romance into “Transformers 15: Optimus Gets An Oil Change” and wait for the explosion of rage. Yeah, Bay would be catering to what he thinks are his demographic, but this demographic shows how deep discrimination is into our foundation.

  59. But the question still stands, is the ONLY reason that someone changed majors is that they wanted to avoid conflict?

    For “conflict”, read “an ongoing, probably lifetime sea of bullshit that may or may not change, and if it does, not significantly enough to make a difference.”

    It’s very easy to tell other people to go in and Change the System when you’re not the one actually having to work twice as hard to be thought half as good.

  60. @verbranden, I shouldn’t have implied that you weren’t up for conflict; the fact that you fought your high school proved that you were. I apologize.

    What I should have said is that very few people are up for years of conflict and everyone in their department/tribe/high school hating them. Those of us who can do so are remarkable human beings and, if famous enough, occasionally get awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. Those of us who like to believe that we *could* do so, but either have never had the opportunity to do so, or have missed such an opportunity and regret it, often end up becoming lawyers.

  61. Peter @ 8:03 … I’ve been luck to know two women (and a handful of guys, including me) who’ve done such things. The class was required, they were not allowed to test out, and they had each taught the class content under a different name in a different school. Could it have been yours was equally bright and/or experienced?

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