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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 3, 2001
Latest update: April 3, 2001
E-Mailjeannecurran@habermas.org

In Which We Can All Focus

by Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata
Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata. April 2001.
"Fair Use" encouraged.

Disrespect produces an affective response. We are angy when we feel that we have been discrespected. William Oliver, in the Violent Social World of Black Men, gives disrespect as one of the triggers in violence in the local bar scene. Oliver looks for the causes of anger at this level, but makes the unstated assumption that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the act of disrespect and the violence. Someone made a play for his girlfriend, therefore he responds by fighting. In a bar scene this may be realistic. But in everyday interpersonal relationships, in the "real world," the anger builds. Hal Pepinsky. Read30.htm.

On Monday, April 2, 2001, Keyana Woolen wrote:

Hello, jeanne! Keyana Woolen here!

I JUST WANTED TO VOICE MY CONCERNS ABOUT OUR DISCUSSION IN CLASS ON THURSDAY; ON THE STUDENTS IN YOUR CRIMINOLOGY CLASS AND THE TYPE OF BEHAVIOR THAT THEY WERE ENGAGING IN. I REALLY WAS ALARMED TO HEAR THAT A GROUP OF COLLEGE STUDENTS WOULD BEHAVE IN SUCH A JUVENILE MANNER. I MEAN, COME ON GUYS, THIS IS COLLEGE NOT HIGH SCHOOL AND I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT BY NOW YOU WOULD HAVE LEARNED THE PROPER ETIQUETTE THAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AT THIS LEVEL. YOU ARE CONSIDERED ADULTS, THEREFORE YOU SHOULD ACT LIKE ADULTS AND PRACTICE THE RESPECT FOR OTHERS THAT I KNOW WAS TAUGHT TO YOU EARLY ON IN LIFE. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME TO SCHOOL AND KNOW WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU. IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN'T HANDLE BEING IN AN ADULT SETTING THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD RE-THINK WHY YOU'RE HERE AND POSSIBLY THINK ABOUT MAKING SOME ALTERATIONS UNTIL YOU ARE READY FOR THE ADULT WORLD. I MEAN AFTER ALL, COLLEGE IS A PRIVILEGE NOT A RIGHT, AND NOT EVERYONE IS PRIVILEGED TO BE HERE. ! SO GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!! NO ONE HAS TIME TO MONITOR YOU OR BABYSIT YOU FOR THAT MATTER. SOME OF US HAVE PAID OUR MONEY TO BE HERE AND LEARN, SO IF THE INSTRUCTOR HAS TO UTILIZE OUR CLASS TIME REPRIMANDING YOU, THEN IT TAKES AWAY FROM OUR LEARNING. SO MY ADVICE TO YOU IS: IF YOU CAN'T FUNCTION IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE AREN'T RULES OF CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR PRINTED ON THE WALL IN THE CLASSROOMS AND THERE AREN'T INSTRUCTORS MONITORING YOUR ATTENDANCE AND SO FORTH, THEN YOU MIGHT NEED TO RETURN TO GRAMMAR SCHOOL WHERE SUCH STRUCTURE IS ADMINISTERED AND IMPLEMENTED!!!!!!!!!!!

On Tuesday, April 3, 2001, jeanne responded:

Keyana, I left this in all caps until you let me know whether you intended that heavy emphasis, or the keyboard just happened to be set on caps. Now there's an example of recognizing that what it reads like may not be what was actually meant. In e-mail the all caps is considered equivalent to shouting. So when you guys use caps, be sure to let me know what you intend.

I read and reread this message, looking for the various types of attitude persuasion. These were what I saw, and I didn't intersperse my comments, because I wanted to let you scan the message the same way I did, free of comments.

  1. Recognizing the validity of classroom management needs.

    You indicated that you were writing to support my position of insisting that the classroom remain quiet and undisturbed, that we may concentrate on fairly complex issues. That is good technique. Beginning by finding a point of agreement. I actually began my diatribe by insisting that since the material we were discussing was difficult both you and I need to concentrate effectively. And my concentration was broken at least four times in one class by the same group. Both you and I, Keyana, are making the unstated assumption, that intense concentration is appropriate to an upper division college class, and is consonant with our goals there.

  2. Cumulative anger expressed

    At the same time that you are offering support, I sense a "between the lines" connotation that there is some suppressed anger over many past interruptions in many classes.

    Just look at the paragraph overall. It comes tumbling out, in one fell swoop, no breaks, and all in capitals! Now you can see why I asked about the caps. The visual presentation of even words on paper acts interdependently with the message of those very words. . .

  3. School's complicity in disturbing classes. The trucks and their noises. The halls which encourage disturbances. The inconvenience of nowhere to sit, so students gather outside the classroom, chattering. Even UCLAW has trouble with this. Quiet should be posted at all times, not just exam times! Librairies do it. So should our classrooms. Quiet is respect for the learning of others.



    I have to break off now to get to class. But we'll continue this discussion. . . jeanne