Why Did You Quit?

I get asked that a lot, re: my academic “career,” such as it was.  The short answer is: It wasn’t fun anymore.

Academia was never my main gig.  I had a “real” job throughout that paid the bills, but since that “real” job was ad libitum I could teach a regular schedule — I wasn’t confined to night classes, adult education, etc. (though I taught those; over the years I’ve taught pretty much everything that doesn’t require math).  I taught because I love teaching, because it’s socially necessary, and because it was an interesting insight into the upcoming generation(s).

None of those are true anymore.

It’s not that kids today are mal-educated, woefully ignorant, and wouldn’t know serious academic work if it bit them on the ass.  Those are all true, of course, but that’s the way it has always been — I have no doubt Plato said the same thing about Aristotle (and Socrates no doubt said it about Plato).  In my experience, the rueful phrase “back when I was in college” first escapes your lips approximately 36 hours into graduate school.

It’s not the quantity of ignorance, then, but the quality.  Generation Snowflake really are New Soviet Men.  If you’ve read about life under Stalin, especially, you’ll know what I’m talking about — at once invincibly self-righteous and cringingly subservient, modern students come across like junior volunteer commissars.  If they don’t already know it, it’s by definition not worth knowing… and you’re an asshole — to be avoided, undermined, ignored, or (very, very grudgingly) tolerated, as the situation dictates — for trying to make them “learn” something new.

They’re not sociopaths, exactly, but that’s close enough to what they are that we’ll go with it.  For instance: They have no problem asking you to move due dates, even for big things like midterm exams, if it inconveniences them.  And just them — the rest of the class should still have to take the exam on Friday; it’s just that she, Suzy Snowflake, has a big sorority function that weekend that she really needs to prepare for, so she should be allowed to take it Monday.  Nor do they have a problem with lying on spec, just to see if you’ll bite.  Tell Suzy no, she still has to take the exam on Friday like everyone else, and there’s a decent chance you’ll be getting a “dead Grandma” email from her over the weekend — my Grandma died suddenly this Friday, I had to go home for the funeral, I’m so broken up, I’m free to take the makeup exam on Monday.

No, I’m not joking, and yes, you can check Suzy Snowflake’s social media and find pictures of her downing shots at the big sorority do Saturday night.  And yes, she knows those pictures are out there; Generation Snowflake regards the concept of “online privacy” like your cat thinks about calculus.  It’s just that hey, maybe you won’t check.  Worth a shot, right?  If anyone should be upset it’s her, for making her feel bad by doubting her story.  She’ll saunter into class on Monday like nothing happened…. because to her, nothing did.  She threw a Hail Mary, it got intercepted, oh well, what’s new in the Netflix queue?

Faced with that, any attempt at education is like King Canute ordering back the tides.  It’s excruciatingly pointless, and that’s why I quit.  Life’s too short to spend raging against the inevitable.


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22 thoughts on “Why Did You Quit?

  1. MBlanc46

    If what you say is the case—I’ve no reason to doubt it, as I have little contact with people you ger than middle age—then John Derbyshire is right, we really are doomed.

  2. Henry

    This is spot on, and I feel great to know it. I am 4 semesters deep into my undergrad, the students are far worse than my private high school classmates in all regards, likewise with the aptitude of professors compared with my high school teachers. You don’t even need to be here to know that students are complaining nonstop about having classes during these snowstorms (I am on the East Coast).
    Enjoy the weather!

    1. Severian Post author

      That’s the one thing that really bugs me, and why I delayed quitting for far longer than I should have — it’s honestly not the students’ fault. As much as I gripe about them — and I mean every word — very few of them do it consciously. Growing up as they did, in the schools they attended, in the cultural cesspit that is The Current Year, asking them to be anything other than JV Kommissars is asking for more maturity than one has a right to ask out of any teenager….

      That said, “fighting the good fight” only ever ends one way, especially as I had to maintain my cover — for every kid who figured out I was a secret shitlord (and there were a few), there were hundreds, probably thousands, who thought I was just a standard issue ivory-tower leftist. If 99% of them even remembered taking my class two semesters after the final, much less learning anything, I’d be shocked.

      As I said, eventually you realize you’re King Canute, ordering the tides back. That realization gives you ulcers pretty damn fast. So I quit.

      Stay warm up there — if it helps, it should warm you up to realize that in just this one case, people in DC and the Ivy League are getting exactly what the proles out in Flyover Country are getting.

  3. Frip

    1. Every line was the typically effortlessly funny Severian. It’s that easy flowing, seeming effortlessness that makes your posts/this blog so easy to take for granted. I see other blogs with 100 to 200 comments per posts. Basic b*tch humor and style like that blogger you linked to the other day. Yet 222 comments. It’s baffling and frustrating. No need to respond. We’ve been through this before.

    2. On contemporary students: “at once invincibly self-righteous and cringingly subservient.” I was in some forum argument with younger people the other day and came away wishing I could come up with a definition of what they were like. Your line is perfect.

    3. On students lying to teachers or wanting test rescheduled. Like others my age or older, we didn’t like lying. One time I did miss a huge exam because I didn’t realize what day it was on, and I didn’t come to class the day of the test. (I was very in the clouds. Not because drink or drugs). So the next day the class met, I went up to the professor after class and told him exactly that. “I forgot what day the exam was on. Can I still take it?” He said no. I said, “ok”, nodded politely and walked away.

    I didn’t say “OK, couldn’t hurt to ask, haha”. “Or I have a condition.” Because I wasn’t scamming or being fresh, and also would hate if someone thought I was using a health issue as a weasely lie tactic. I was a good student in his class and participated more than most. I still don’t think such a request is that out of line. I was a good student and he pretty much ruined my grade in that class because he was a stickler for test dates. Big exams have a huge imact on your final grade. Kids now days probably abuse that sort of request, like you say, and have ruined it for everyone.

    1. MBlanc46

      Frip: I guess it’s up to us to reference Rotten Chestnuts at Zman’s or Steve Sailer’s. There are quite a few people at those places who would appreciate the fare that’s on offer here.

      1. Severian Post author

        The comment thing is easy to explain — you have to register and log in. Very few people want to do that, especially in Our Thing — can you blame them? Having few commenters, who all have skin in the game, give the whole thing a lot more of a “seminar” feel in my opinion — we’re just hashing stuff out, not rolling each other’s dice or building a cult of personality.

        The Z Man very graciously put Rotten Chestnuts among his “A List” fans. That’s about the best publicity there is. If there’s a specific article y’all want to reference in a specific context, feel free, but please don’t feel like you have to beat the drum on our account. (Plus, Z Man is the only guy I know who has more than 15 readers and didn’t let it go to his head. Seems like everyone else has a really robust cult of personality going, or is an honest-to-god professional blogger… both of which fates I, for one, want to avoid like the plague).

        1. Frip

          I don’t know…I could be wrong, but it seems every D-Right blog I check out requires me to login before I comment. But, yeah, I don’t know why I care about your popularity. I guess it’s just instinctual. Like when you’re a teenager and discover a great but obscure group. You run around telling all your friends “oh my god have you heard this band Severian?! They’re awesome! How come they’re not even on the radio!” You’re R.E.M. in 1983.

        2. P_Ang

          I started reading a while back but I couldn’t really place the date. I actually started reading RC after reading Sev’s comments on House of Eratosthenes. I read HoE…(uh oh, better stop using THAT one) after reading a few articles of Morgan’s on RWN. I tried reading Zman, but there are way too many shitlords over there that are too quick to eat their own for the sin of disagreeing, and I’ve seen the libs do that too many times offer my own thoughts for dissection.

          1. Frip

            P_Ang, I can’t relate to your comment. It doesn’t really get to me if others disparage my comments or even hate me. In male-dominated forums, that’s just how it goes. hah. Example: The other day I posted on a forum to get help with a problem I was having with my Italian scooter. One of the responses was from a guy who was apparently disgusted that I needed help with such a simple mechanical issue: “You’re fucking pathetic and worthless. Kill yourself on this scooter.”

        3. MBlanc46

          The logging in is a pain in the backside, all right. That said, the comment procedure at unz.com is also a pain in the backside. It’s about even. Re Z Man: I’m pretty sure that I got here through his link. Those of us who’ve made the journey are perhaps obligated to help others come over. You’re perhaps a bit too esoteric for the mean Z Man reader, but for the more extreme noticers, you’re right in wheelhouse. And with respect to technical issues, you have to enter the stupid code to comment there. Another wash.

  4. Maus

    Just a quick note to let Severian et al. know that I felt compelled to overcome my distaste for registering to comment so that I too could express my gratitude for his erudite commentary. I found my way here via Zman, whom I found via Sailer at Unz. Lurker no more…

  5. Maus

    My brief foray as an university adjunct lecturer of upper division students quickly revealed that the vast majority couldn’t care less about the subject matter. They simply want the credential and won’t tolerate any expectation that they show mastery of it. It took all the joy out of teaching.

  6. Pickle Rick

    And just think about this for your nightmare generator- their classmates have become the officer corps of our armed forces. That means when the next foreign war happens with a actual nation state instead of Muslim savages in the hills, it’s going to make Bataan look like a beach party.

    Or they’ll turn on us in Civil War Two- The Redneckoning.

    1. Severian Post author

      I’ve made that point a dozen times, to anyone who will listen. The commentariat at Z Man, for instance, seem convinced that Civil War 2.0 will be over before it starts, because “our side has the army, the police, and all the guns.”

      To which I always point out that even though you, sir, are no doubt a living god with your civilian-model AR-15, and no doubt would’ve been kicked out of SEAL Team 6 for being too much of a badass had you bothered to apply, BUT: They have tanks. And air support. And satellites. And drones. And — this is the important part — THEY are all fucking Millennials. You think they’ll be constrained by something as petty as “principle”? Your hormonal cat lady tank commanderette with the Gender Studies degree would go Tiananmen Square on your ass for just looking at her funny; If you’re between her and a Starbucks frappucino and her blood sugar’s low, she’ll call in a fucking air strike.

      Our brave new Gays, Girls, and Trannies armed forces wouldn’t last five minutes against a real army, but they’ll be just aces, I assure you, at crowd control back home.

      1. WOPR

        That’s why I’m baffled about Schlichter’s thinking on this. He should know better. Sure Lefty’s are congregated into cities. The major ones are all on the coasts. Mr. AR-15 isn’t stopping the ships from strolling into the harbor.

        Next, any area that acts up will suddenly have a ton of diversity visited upon them, Meanwhile a nice proportion of the population is shipped to some desolate area where sadly food and shelter haven’t arrived yet. Don’t worry though, the NPC Kommisar is working hard to fix that issue. Know though that the diversity imports appreciate you giving up your property to rectify past wrongs.

        Civil War 2 would make the first one seem like a nice, kind affair with barely any bloodshed.

        1. rwc1963

          Any white that lets himself be rounded up in the upcoming civil war is a dead white. Seriously if it gets to that point, it’s better go out fighting and take as many of the vibrants and their white bosses as you can. Take out the power grid and put the f**kers io the dark. Make them choose between protecting their families or enforcing the edicts of some terminally insane black woman.

          Because what comes at the end of the boxcar ride is a nightmare. My mother who experienced the Nazi box car ride could have told you what awaited you. And BTW the Nazis will look like humanitarians compared to our white hating masters.

      2. Pickle Rick

        Too many people in Our Thing are convinced they’re Patrick Swayze and his Wolverines in the original “Red Dawn”-
        They don’t understand Civil War 2 is going to look like Northern Ireland and the Ukrainian Holomodor combined.

        1. rwc1963

          Our infrastructure is very fragile. Break enough of it(which isn’t hard) and our cities become charnal houses in under a week. Violence in the cities will keep truckers from delivering food and fuel which in turn will make things worse and well you get the picture. It’s made worse that most of our cities are composed of low IQ vibrants who are used to just taking other peoples property and goods.

          The best we can do is contain them and let them prey on each other.

          Don’t think for a moment the cops are going to do riot control in cities that are mostly 3rd world savages if things get bad. They will not, especially given that their political leadership will sell them out to the vibrants the first chance they get. The cops aren’t stupid, they know the score. They really can’t touch vibrants without it destroying their career.

          In short the elites are fooling themselves if they think they keep control if whites get uppity in a serious way or if there is a serious economic crisis. If this was 1960 or even 1970 America it would be possible. Not today. Our military is a shadow of what it once was, our leadership across the board are idiots and fanatics. The police are far too few to be useful and many urban departments are badly compromised by idiot and minority leadership that will order them to stand down rather than enforcing the law against their fellow brownskins.

      3. P_Ang

        Well, there’s always the ones that are sure, like some southern redneck told me (sorry to any INTELLIGENT southern rednecks), that he could sneak up behind me across golf course and put a knife in me before I could fire a shot.
        However, there IS always hope, despite the fact things change so rapidly no-one can be certain. When I was in the military, there was no chance that there wouldn’t be groups that would hesitate to fire on American civilians, and despite Obama’s purges of conservatives and pro-Americans, I still believe there have to be some remaining.
        Part Deux, the dye-witches and soyboys break down in everyday interactions. “Ugh, I need crayons and stuffed toys, when you killed that shitlord I got blood in my latte!” While steamrolling granny and the grandkids for the crime of having European ancestors would be easy enough for them, there is ALSO no chance some will not break down when their side suffers scratches on their newly painted pink-n’-rainbow APCs.
        Lastly, while there are plenty of BSers on “our side”, there are also skilled individuals that have no problem living in the spaces made pure and holy by their side’s Agenda 21. Plenty of groups in the past have made use of “no-mans-lands” to launch guerilla raids and wear down the will to fight. Spartans, Warsaw resistance, Vietcong…
        I’m not saying it’s a long shot, I’m just trying to make a point that it’s not hopeless, and it’s actually detrimental to talk like it’s hopeless. Just let the AR-15 god and the Knife!Lord! have their dreams, and they may still be around to provide suppressing fire or be a warm body for cannon fodder while we make a run into the forbidden zone.

        1. Severian Post author

          I’m not saying it’s hopeless. After all, our army right now is at least 75% GGT (Gays, Girls, and Trannies) and a bunch of Afghani goatherds with castoff Soviet crap are kicking their asses from here to Kashmir. Hell, they kicked the asses of our 2003 army, in which (I’m told) you could still find one or two staff officers that weren’t wearing silk panties underneath their BDUs. In fact, those same Afghani goatherds — often literally the same ones — beat the shit out of the Soviets, who, whatever else you might say about them, did NOT screw around with gender-benders in their military.

          So yeah, the “real life” Wolverines will no doubt come into existence, and they can certainly do major damage. They might even “win.” But that’s not the point.

          THIS is the point: Any situation in which you have “real life” Wolverines out there battling the fa-aaabulous fightin’ hairdressers of the GGT army will be horrible beyond imagining. The key words in “Afghani goatherds are kicking our asses” are “Afghani goatherds.” To get to “Afghani goatherd” levels of successful resistance, you must first have Afghanistan and goatherds. That’s what I’m trying to get at. The run-up to the real-life Wolverines will entail turning America into Afghanistan, and American White people into goatherds.

          Think about that for a second, and you’ll see why I say any alternative short of genocide is preferable.

          1. Pickle Rick

            Pow. That’s it right there. The reason the north finally gave up on “Reconstruction” in 1876 was that there were enough Southern men willing to do violence, Afghanistan style. Contrary to the DR3 morons, the old Klan wasn’t created by the Democratic Party, it was created by extremely pissed off Confederate Army vets who were still young enough to kick ass and stripped of voting privileges (being Rebels on parole).

            Our obese, porn and opioid riddled underclass that relies on the government teat isn’t in any condition to make the South rise again. They let the enemy destroy the literal monuments to their ancestors and shrug helplessly as they get their fat asses into a mobility scooter to shop at Walmart with their daughters mulatto kids.

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