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Topic: OFF TOPIC: English Majors: Roadblocks to STEM-Based Prosperity!
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 12, 2013 8:11 PM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
OFF TOPIC: English Majors: Roadblocks to STEM-Based Prosperity!
Posted: Aug 12, 2013 12:46 PM
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Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post
"English Majors: Roadblocks to STEM-Based Prosperity!" [Hake (2013)].
The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: According to the National Governors Association webpage
"Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) Education" at
<>: "STEM education for all students is linked
to our nation's future prosperity . . . . . GOVERNORS ARE IN A UNIQUE
. ." [My CAPS.]

Governors are also in a unique position to deter English Majors (EMs)
from blocking STEM-Based Prosperity. Governors need to take immediate
steps to (a) outlaw offerings of the English Major in state
universities; and (b) counter pro-EM propaganda by English professors
- for example, Matz's "Dear Garrison" at <>, a
counter to Garrison Keillor's EM-belittling jokes, and Edmundson's
"The Ideal English Major" at <>. Edmundson went
over the top with: "All students - and I mean all - ought to think
seriously about majoring in English."

The late John Atherton (1986) - see <> - in his
brilliant "Confessions of an English Poetry Eater" at
<> has relayed the tragic testimony of Joseph
Priestly Galileo (JPG), whose potential as a STEM superstar was
demolished by closet English major "B." JPG's transcript reads in

"It was in my 22nd year that the horrible incident occurred. I had
spent an idle and debauched evening at the home of B. . . . . .
Suddenly B remarked, 'Joseph, have you ever seen a copy of T.H.
Huxley's 'On a piece of chalk?' . . . . . . 'You see, Joseph, he
said, as the poison on the pages worked its way with me, 'how can it
be so bad if it gives so much delight? You must visit me more often.
Perhaps,' he lowered his voice and bent close to my ear, 'perhaps I
may let you read a novel.' When I drew back in alarm, he understood
that he had gone too far. . . . . .When [my father] heard that I had
sniffed the sulphur of metaphor, [he] at once confined me to the
laboratory with a copy of "Principia Mathematica." But the damage had
been done. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If my story can be a
warning to susceptible scientists, I will rest more easily. Remember,
not a scintilla of metaphor can be allowed to touch the minds of our
youth. We must stamp our ruthlessly any trace of the terrible traffic
in tropes. Alliteration! The horror, the horror! Nurse, please, a
couplet, for I am fading fast."

To access the complete 13 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <>
Academia: <>
Blog: <>
GooglePlus: <>
Google Scholar: <>
Twitter: <>
Facebook: <>
LinkedIn: <>

"As for me, my senses have been completely shattered by contemporary
poetry. There is no known cure."
- Joseph Priestly Galileo as quoted by John Atherton (1986)

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 30 July 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. "English Majors: Roadblocks to STEM-Based
Prosperity!" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
<>. Post of 11 Aug 2013 10:46:17-0400 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
distributed to various discussion lists and are on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for

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