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Monday, June 19, 2017

Teacher cheat sheet

Every year around this time, schoolteachers have to fill out their report cards. And school administrations put a lot of pressure on them to put a positive spin on those reports. (Administrators don't want to be bothered with disgruntled parents.)

Here's a guide for all those teachers on how to put a positive spin on various personality types. Like much of life, it's all about euphemism.

ADD, ADHD: Say he is exuberant, energetic, and lively. He has a lot of life force, and manages to stay interested in many things at the same time. He is active, dynamic, spirited, bouncy, ebullient, and tireless.

A bully: Say he is a strong presence in the classroom, forceful, and socially dominant. He has a strong will, and the other children look up to him. He is assertive, and knows what he wants, and strives to get it.

A crybaby: He is sensitive, caring, and very aware of what's going on around him. He is socially perceptive, appreciates others' feelings, and is in tune with his own feelings.

Dumb: He moves along at his own pace, and eventually catches on to everything. He enjoys learning on his own. He is making good progress, and taking some amazing steps forward.

Autistic: He has an original view of the world, and marches to his own drummer. He offers a refreshing change of pace from the run of the mill children. He enjoys his own sense of humor, and has amazing focus when he puts his mind to something.

This should also be a guide for the parents of young children: if you hear any of the above expressions, be aware they may be euphemisms.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your humorous take on the life of a teacher.

Once upon a time a student was afraid to visit his teacher with his parents. Nowadays it is the opposite, the teacher is afraid of a visit by their students', parents in tow. How times have changed. Really disgusting how parents don't want to face facts, depriving their kids of corrective feedback.

Sherie

John Craig said...

Sherie --
Thank you.

Yes, our society has gotten incredibly self-indulgent. It's a cliche that all parents think their children are geniuses, but now there seems to be a price to be paid for anyone who contradicts that.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Your descriptions of various personality types is right on the money.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Thank you Birdie.

Dave Moriarty said...

I recall attending 8th grade graduations. in these a teacher was obliged to offer a comment to the crowd about each kid. by the time we got to the D's I could see the interpret the code :

Samuel is an independent thinker who will carve his own way in the future:
translated : This kid is likely to be a serial killer unless he is caught early . the animals already run when he approaches

Julie is a young student with an aptitude for fashion. She adjusts readily to changes and will be and will force in the fashion world.
Translated: this kid is a going to bankrupt three or four husbands before she is through and will try for more


John Craig said...

Dave --
Ha! Very good.

Anonymous said...

Autism has a lower case meaning. Something that is "autistic" (from greek "autos" made into latin "autismus" then English "austism") means a shutting away, to have oneself clouded or partially severed from outside forces. (Eugene Blueler first coined the term to describe many of his psychiatric patients with various disorders, he described his psychotic patients as having absolute (lower case) "autismus" where all contact with the outside is lost)

Asperger used the terms when he noticed his patients were cut off to some degree from the outside world but not enough for psychosis, and and were drawn to autistic (lower case) thinking (thoughts originating without outside influence, suggestion, or input). A state of (lower case) autistic mindsickness but not enough loss of contact for psychosis. Kanner also referred to his patients as displaying "autistic aloneless" before referring to it as a "disorder of autism", and we now have decades later the phrase
"Autism Spectrum Disorder".

If we really understood just what the word originally meant, then society would have a more accurate view of exactly what the condition is instead of so many inaccurate portrayals.
Especially pride groups, they can say "Autism is my life and I am proud" because nobody knows what that word is. It never crosses anyone's mind to look at the origin of that word.

If they said something closer to the Chinese version which contains a directly translated literal phrasing of Blueler's pseudo-Latin "autismus" and said
"Selfshutting mindsickness is my life and I am proud" people would burst out laughing at how stupid the sentence is. But the other sentence is still really stupid anyway, nobody can find out without looking up the origin of the damn word "autism".

-Ga

Anonymous said...

The point is that "Autism" is a euphemism itself since society has forgotten what the word literally means. The Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans do a pretty good job though of choosing to directly translate it.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
I agree with you completely about what the word means and how the Chinese have a more forthright description. But I think you may overestimate how many people the neurodiversity movement has actually influenced. I've heard from people via this blog, but know no one personally, who thinks of autism as anything but a handicap. (And the main reason I've heard from autistic advocates on this blog is because my original post on Aspergers from 2011 got linked on one or two of their sites and they decided to express their outrage at my honest description of what the syndrome entails.)

I also don't see "autism" as being THAT much of a euphemism. While I agree that the Chinese have a more descriptive term, when you think about it, "auto" usually connotes something apart. Something that's automatic is something that goes on its own, without outside influence. An automobile is transportation you drive yourself. An autodidact is some who has taught himself. None of these other words have negative connotations, but they do express something that is not dissimilar in spirit to autism.

Anonymous said...

I did have one not so well experience with an American psychiatrist, he did the "many people with autism are talented!" thing with me when I was really down. When I saw a new one in Hong Kong, she said "Okay, let's see how we can work on your problems" and she has helped me tremendously.

Maybe not outright influence, but not taking it seriously enough is a problem. And many American professionals probably I've seen are too soft, they respect their patients rights to treat their handicap as anything but one just for autism, it is the exception, they would never give this preferential treatment to any other disorder or problem, they have to go along with it lest they get their inbox filled with hate mail.

This is not how a professional treats should treat a person, it is their job to outright say "you have a problem!" or more likely "I need to help you work on this". Imagine a doctor having to appease a person who is a member of some smoking rights movement. They would never outright get him on nicotine patches, an adult patient would only talk about "treating side effects" the way pride groups only want "comorbities" to be treated but no drug or treatment to directly target the autism ever given.

Some of the greatest progress now in finding better drugs or treatments is pushed forward by the parents of severely autistic patients. And people on the lower end who are capable of communication usually state how much they hate having autism more often than those on the higher end.

I even saw a story on reddit of a guy who dressed up as santa claus for a group home for retarded people, people with autism, and people with genetic disorders, etc, and he left in tears since so many of them kept asking him "I just want to be normal" for Christmas. Nobody hears them ever, do they get any Tedx talks or newsweek articles? Entire dinners held in their honor?

Their influence is subtle, it's not society shaking but still noticeable here and there. It's an annoying rash, not a fullblown cancer. (Yet). But it is part of this (upper case) "Leftist" mindset plaguing the west.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
Agree about the "nonjudgmental" Leftist mindset plaguing the West, though I don't blame that american psychiatrist for trying to cheer you up by talking about the many talented people who've had Aspergers (of which there have been many, though not so many as the advocates like to claim).

Also, don't think that autism is the only abnormality that gets preferential, euphemistic treatment these days. Look at the transgenders. that has always reenlisted as a mental illness in the DSM, but we were all supposed to celebrate how wonderful it was when Bruce Jenner turned into Caitlyn Jenner. In fact, practically every sexual disorder except pedophilia and rape are celebrated these days.

Some of this is just good manners, the way we're told when we're young not to stare at someone with a physical abnormality; but of course it's been taken way too far in the West, and now people with various disorders are somehow assumed to be morally superior. The only people whom it's safe to disparage are white heterosexual males.

Anonymous said...

But it is more autism and transgenderedism the conditions are getting preferential treatment. If it were people with either or those, well at least for the former, then that psychiatrist wouldn't keep insisting despite me disagreeing, if he was giving me preferential treatment because of my autism he would do whatever he can to agree with me. Identity politics are not, they are about whatever is annexed to a person, not the person who has it. The minority everyone needs to give more attention to is the individual.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
"Identity politics are not, they are about whatever is annexed to a person, not the person who has it."

Unless the person is famous, like Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, in which case he is celebrated for his dysphoria. There are other cases where the person is celebrated in part for that, such as RuPaul, and a couple of transvestite stage acts. At the very least, the trans aspect of their personalities is part of their schtick.

Anonymous said...

During my early twenties, I worked two summers as a day camp counselor. The parents always enjoyed receiving the written descriptions of their kids. The kids were fun, enjoyable to be around. We weren't in an academic setting, but we interacted with different personality types. Just always a good mix of kids.

- birdie



John Craig said...

Birdie --
I suspect that away from academic settings it's easier to see the best in everyone.

At camp, "fun-loving" means fun-loving. In school, fun-loving = lousy grades.

Anonymous said...

Those angry 150 comments, notice something interesting?
I have begun to notice this sort of mass group attack stuff by these pride warriors is almost always in response to anything that goes after autism itself. The truth I keep realizing is that they were offended because you wrote as if ASD were a disorder, which everyone with an ounce of common sense knows.

If someone says "lets take all autistic children and throw them in a pit full of rabid weasels" you would hear uproar...from parents and loved ones of those children, but nothing from the pride warriors.

On the other hand, this commercial that was pulled after tons of protest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UgLnWJFGHQ
Got them angry, they attacked it. They said it was offensive. Now, the first assumption is that it was offensive since it tried to get people to donate their money to this organization by using scary music and bring up painful issues to just get their bucks (it was based of a radio series on polio in the 50s). But as I dug deeper, the entire cause of the uproar among the internet autistic community was..... because it made autism itself look bad. No words about autistic people from them, just autism.

Those angry replies were not from people who felt offended as individuals, they felt their precious little mindsickness was under attack.

It's the same with other weird movements like gay pride (not to be confused with gay rights), fat acceptance, or radical feminism. The most precious thing to them, using the example of gay pride (the kind you find in obscene parades) is gayness itself, not gay people themselves.

It's a group egocentricism yet with some reversed inverted egotisticalism where they don't care about their own personal self, they devote their energy to the "-ness" of whatever the group is centered on.

And it pisses me off, if these pride groups succeed, I fear I will be pulled along them with no choice. To use an example, look at the "safe spaces" in universities, deliberate segregation of living dorms for minorities. Imagine you are a black guy who is living in a dorm with plenty of white people, asians, hispanics, some other black people, but then a bunch of knuckleheads come along disruptively protesting for "safe spaces" and the university has to cave in, then you find yourself obliged to move into these minority dorms, and if you don't, you are labeled an uncle tom. That's what I fear.

And I can't stand many autistic people, I can't find any sympathy from them or have any sympathy to give them since I am at odds with them, too few of them are not pessimistic and grim about the whole thing like I am. I can't relate to their quirky bubbly stupid optimism, those stupid smiles they have about life and being "different" when I prefer to sulk and smoked cigarettes (I quit though), yeah I am all self pitying but anything is better than being one of those goddamn hipster genderfluid postmodernist neurodivergent autism scholar whatever people.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
I suspect the "pitiful of rabid weasels" suggestion might draw an angry comment or two from the pride warriors.

"Group egocentrism" is a great phrase, quite descriptive, and could be applied to other interest groups as well. (Think in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, even occupation.)

I identify completely with your comments about not being able to relate to "bubbly stupid optimism," I've felt that way about a lot of people all my life.....but I often suspect that those people are better off than someone like me, who's doggedly pessimistic. I often think, their emotional dials got set to "Happy" early on, and they can no more break away from that set point for any length of time than I can break away from my "Grim" set point.

Anonymous said...

There are four divisions in a typical cast in fiction.
The realist
The pessimist
the optimist
the apathetic

I vote for realist being best, I want to be one, and on an intellectual level I sort of am, but it's what a pessimist often calls himself if he is in denial. We all know people who fit into one of these categories or switch between them based on their mood and situation.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
I must be one of those pessimists who's in denial, because I see myself as a realist too.

Anonymous said...

There is one more thing about Autism I just need to vent, no need for a lengthy reply.
I hate the term "Aspergers", because it escapes the word "Autism" conveniently and I really hate Hans Asperger or at least the effect of what he has done.

He was not a hero nor a saint, he had some of his patients spared because they could be put to work, the rest were liquidated. Actual heroes like a German archbishop who ran a psychiatric hospital and protected his patients and more are forgotten while this guy is now revered. Now, pol pot could say 2+2 could be correct and still be a bastard. But Asperger was full of crap on many levels.

He outright stated only males could get the condition, if he had a female patients, he claimed it was just encephalitis or a brain injury after birth and that it could only happen in their teens, but it still wasn't true autism. He was an opportunist who wanted to get a paper published to appease the nazis and improve his standing so he also threw in nazi pseudoscience here and there in his works.

He thought it was a personality disorder instead of being biological, his patients were sometimes not autistic but brain damaged or had inflammation who he touted as samples for his published papers since they can resemble autistic people sometimes, his methods for educating them were crappy, they mostly made little progress while Leo Kanner's patients who had fullblown autism made more significant improvements. Obviously to Asperger, it was something passed down, but to his credit he acknowledged it was 100% heritable like skin color, but still he simplified it as being as complex as diabetes is.

You'd be surprised how many people think only males get Autism or that it's entirely a self contained disorder, they think there are no complicated interactions or areas we don't understand, that there may be multiple causes and autism is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms like a broken leg, a hundred things could lead to a broken leg. But to Asperger and the modern masses "that's just how they are, they are all like that, nothing complex going on, stupid genetics". Like the only reason autism still exists is because there are inbred clans of autistic people pumping more of them out. Okay, where are the clans of gay people have heterosexual sex pumping out more gay people? It never crosses anyone's damn mind.

Leo Kanner, an an Austrian Jewish immigrant to America, already wrote about autism years earlier and made none of these mistakes. He has had his name besmirched and the claim he said that autism was caused by poor parenting is a myth, that came from someone else in the 60s. He understood that it wasn't something passed down perfectly like skin color, he noticed the complexity of it's inheritance sometimes going dormant, sometimes popping up, birth conditions playing a role in chance or severity, much more, he was more agnostic about the matter. Oh, and he saved the lives of some of his Jewish colleagues too. He is now vilified or forgotten.

He looked at the roots of the behaviour differences and figured out the causes, such as a need for sameness or autistic (lower case) thinking. He eased them out of their illness. Asperger just thought they were acting like that because they wanted to, that they had to be their autism, a belief held by neurodiversity movements.

He along with John Calvin, Al-Zarqawi, Vladimir Lenin, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Chiang Kai Shek, Mao Zedong, and Ferdinand Marcos, and more are on my big list of people who royally screwed up the progress of our world one way or another.

-Ga

Anonymous said...

"*Not 100% inheritable like skin color..."

a correction.

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
Are you including Cheney because of Iraq?

Anonymous said...

Also Muhammed, not just for Islam (I don't know if Islam or Muslims are the problem, but I am beginning to suspect the latter due to the following) for Arabicization of entire populations. The Iraqi people are not true Arabs, they spoke Aramaic centuries ago, the Egyptians still have a significant genetic relation to the Ancient Egyptians, the North Africans are Berbers, a modern day "Arab" outside of the peninsula isn't truly Arab the same way a Bedouin nomad is. Similar with modern Jewish people, sure there is some intermixing and their dna can be traced to the middle east but there is heavy intermixing, but at least they separate themselves into groups like Ashekenazi and Sephardic or Ethiopian. There isn't a pan-Jewishism either, there is Zionism, but thats all meeting up in one place, not turning a bunch of places into a gigantic caliphate at least.

One of the things Ataturk did was de-arabize Turkey to help secularize and modernize something being undone by Islamization or badly disfigured by Neo-Ottomanism, (reviving Turkish domination over the Arabs) he had the language purged of many arabic words and switched to the western alphabet, he strengthened the Turkish roots of the country. This helped tone down Islamic influence for a time. I suppose Iran did the same thing, going back to their true Persian roots and culture (and they still do a decent job with the food though, you should try Persian food sometime) but then the Islamic revolution happened. The Shah was a bastard, I don't doubt that, but the new regime is worse.

Of course there is the paradox of the more secular Ba'athism of Saddam Hussein and other historical dictators which advocated more Pan-Arabism and ethnic nationalism, yet that's a different kind of tyranny. But maybe if each non-Arabic peninsula country in the middle east got back to their true roots, things would get better, or there would be more wars over ethnic reasons than religous denomination (Sunni vs Shia). I don't know, I just don't like the smell of this enforced ethnicization mixed with one particular religion.

Catholicism spread in Europe without everyone forced to identify as Roman. And the opposite, claiming arbitrary ethnic differences on a whim like the Macedonians or Moldovans, or the distinction between Serbs and Croats (although Croats seem to be Germanic people who Slavic culture, but this means they ironically would have actually integrated centuries ago but denied they had which is the other way round of many Muslim immigrants to Europe, seems ridiculous too now that I think about it.

I just don't know how to phrase it all. But I don't like this artificial Arabness. Had Mohammed sent missionaries like Christians did instead of conquering country after country, maybe history would turn out differently. We would have more unique countries content to be left alone instead of one big horde.

-Ga

Anonymous said...

I blame him for the increase of governmental power and rise of crony capitalism (AKA Socialism run by corporations). This gigantic recession also furthered by him, which started with the Bill Clinton administration, who I think Hillary was really in control of. I also don't wish to argue whether we should have invaded Iraq or not, but it happened, and if you were going to do it, you may as well win or have a better plan on what to do after.

To me George Bush is badly ridiculed in my opinion, he wasn't really powerful or scheming, or he did a good job of hiding it behind his silliness and I was fooled. Since I feel Dick Cheney was running things, the disaster in Iraq I feel falls on him. Not whether we invaded or not, but the fact it wasn't a successful if it was gonna happen.

Maybe I am wrong, I am a young guy whose source of info is online. Do you have any knowledge I might be missing out on?

-Ga

John Craig said...

Ga --
I wouldn't dump crony capitalism all in Cheney's lap. I'm sure he had a hand in getting Halliburton those no bid contracts in Iraq, buttoner than that, I know of nothing he was personally responsible. (Which isn't to say he didn't do more.) But crony capitalism existed long before Cheney and if anything, Obama was worse, rewarding his donors with Solyndra, which wasn't even viable, and rewarding the unions as best he could.

There's certainly been a lot of talk about how Cheney was the power behind the scenes in the Bush administration. I don't know, but i think some of this was simply due to the way he came across, as a much more forceful and malevolent guy than George W. Did that reflect the reality behind the scenes? I don't know.