Friday, November 11, 2016

Responding to the Provost

It is Friday evening and I am calming down a little after talking to Gyorgyi and writing my email to the Provost. Dear Interim Provost Scartelli, I am very concerned about the email you sent out. It seems to be saying that we have to respect all opinions from our students: “As an institution not only of higher learning, but as a model of principle, ethics, and civil discourse, we have an opportunity to guide constructive dialog, express and listen to all opinions and ideas, and ultimately exemplify these core practices of truly educated individuals.” Do you mean that a student who makes fun of a physically handicapped person (like our president elect) or mocks a woman’s menstrual cycle (like our president elect) or questions the objectivity of an American judge because of his Mexican heritage (like our president elect), or calls women “pigs” (like our president elect), or maintains that if a man is a star he can grab a woman’s “pussy” and grope her (like our president elect), that this student has a right to speak out in class and be listened to. Wouldn’t that student be breaking many rules about student behavior? Wouldn’t I be breaking rules to allow such opinions to be expressed? Evil shouldn’t be debated; it should be fought against. Look what happened in Germany just before World War II. Sincerely, Dr. Justin Askins Professor of English I am still unable to look at news programs yet, and the sports channels are also discussing the election. I had a very good morning, doing half my exercises then using the snake to clear out my kitchen drain and putting everything back together (I had taken apart the trap but it wasn’t clogged). Then I took a hike down to the gate, and fixed the bed in the back of the truck, got both trays ready in my greenhouse, got rid of the old soaker hose and the two old trays, cleaned up the inside of the house, did another equalization of the batteries (7, 1270, 4, 1250, 1, 1235, very good indeed). I also cut some of the fallen trees by the tractor barn with the sawzall. Very good morning. At about 2 I left to play golf (47, 48), then went to Panda Express for an early dinner, took a nap, then went to Dick’s but the golf guy thought my grips were still good for at least another 6 months. I then headed to Tech for a 45 minute bike ride, and then off to Starbucks for tea and an egg and cheese English muffin. I forwarded my email to Gyorgyi, Kelly and my kayak friend.

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