Suck It Up, Cupcake!

Listen sweetie, in the real world, there’s math. It pays the bills. If you flunk math and drop out of your math classes, you fail. Or, you sue the school.

You know, because they totally owe you that degree. You’re special because you’ve got a virtual cornucopia of disabilities.

Valdez’s disabilities include Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyscalculia, which is a mathematics learning disability, her attorney, Donald Harris, said Tuesday.

I’ve got a prescription for that. Take a big ol’ dose of BGP* followed by some GOY** and call me never.

Oh but she’s just misunderstood.  I mean the school isn’t even willing to work with her.

Barbara Vail, Rocky Mountain’s interim academic vice president, said the college values Valdez as a student, takes seriously its obligations to provide access for students with disabilities, and is doing everything it can to help her graduate.

She said the attorney representing the college, W. Anderson Forsythe, plans to file a request to delay the lawsuit while they work out a solution in which Valdez would be tutored by associate math professor Robyn Cummins, who is trained in teaching people with disabilities.

“We’re very serious that a degree from Rocky means something,” she said.

The school has offered Valdez extended time on exams, permission to record lectures, free tutoring and note taking, and to substitute the second of the two required math classes with a course on logic, Forsythe wrote in a court filing Monday.

I see, they just aren’t coddling hard enough. Methinks the logic course may be a tad challenging for this wayward scholar.

It’s just so very unfair. I mean, math is HARD. And completely useless to an artist!

Harris questioned the usefulness of the math courses for Valdez’s career plans of becoming a graphic artist.

“Nobody will say these general education classes are essential to a degree in art,” he said.

I bet your helicopter parents are so very proud.

Listen, I know you’ve been told all of your life that you’re a special snowflake, and I’m sure it’s all very true. You know what the guy that signs the checks doesn’t need? Special snowflakes.

Here’s a cold, hard truth about the world. Very few graphic artists make a living from their art. Very few artists of any kind can make money off of it. Art comes out of a passion and must be a thing you can’t not do whether it comes with a paycheck or not.

I majored in music***. You know what pays the bills? Math.

(HT to Instinct who seems to enjoy watching the smoke dance out my ears)

*Big Girl Panties

***Get Over Yourself

***That alone should qualify as a learning disability. 


28 thoughts on “Suck It Up, Cupcake!”

  1. Hey, I’m just trying to make sure you have things to write about. 🙂

    I’m an artist too , fine arts and animation. My wife is a painter, guess what we both use a lot if in our work – MATH! Not just to do the books, but to give a pricing quote or to see if the money offered.for a project is with the time and materials we have to invest. (T*hourly rate)+material cost = x

    Wow, that looks a lot like math right there.

    Hope that ‘artist’ enjoys flipping burgers

  2. “Harris questioned the usefulness of the math courses for Valdez’s career plans of becoming a graphic artist.”

    *facepalm* Most of us stopped using the “I’m not going to need that skill anyway” argument sometime during high school.

  3. “Harris questioned the usefulness of the math courses for Valdez’s career plans of becoming a graphic artist.”

    I question the use of my History of Music’s usefulness to my Mathematics degree or my subsequent career as a computer programmer and mathematical modeler. I also question it’s value as at the time I played multiple musical instruments and probably knew more coming into the class than most did leaving it.

    I question the use of my philosophy classes to the same.

    I really question the retarded “interdisciplinary” course in eco-propagandascience that other used as a science course (despite the lack of math).

    Hell, I could arguably question my physics courses in terms of my use of physics, although they helped my problem solving skills as much as my math and computer science classes did. They were probably better at helping learn to isolate the relevant items from a mass of data. Certainly the physics discipline of “draw a picture” (which admittedly my engineer father hounded me about long before college) has proven invaluable.

    Yet all of these (and this story) get to my biggest beef when I was in college.

    Everyone had to have a broad base in classes from multiple disciplines. I actually get that. So I have two semesters of economics, two of literature, four of history, three of sciences with lab, two of sciences without, and so on.

    Each of those classes could be counted to a major in the field: economics, English, history, and so on.

    However, when non-STEM or economics people came over to my side of the house to get their math requirement (all of those people were taking calculus) we have to make up a BS “math” course with no really computation or logical derivation for them. It’s one reason I’ve had a superior attitude towards most non-STEM majors. I proved I can do introductory level work in their field and they refused to even try in mine.

    That said, there is one thing on offer that is supportable in theory (although details could scrub it):

    ” to substitute the second of the two required math classes with a course on logic”

    A rigorous logic course, IMNSHO, is a valid mathematics course. In fact, at many universities symbolic logic classes carry dual course numbers in mathematics and philosophy. I think the typical student would be better served by a course in formal logic, symbolic logic, or discrete mathematics instead of the “college algebra” they usually use or even calculus which as much a tool than a way of thinking…the later courses in real analysis (where you get to prove a lot of calculus) are more the thinking side of analysis. Engineers and physicists need the tool as do applied mathematicians. Learning it you do learn a lot of how to think and structure though but if you don’t need the tool I think you’re better off learning a more structured field of math.

    1. I would also add that the entire point of a REAL college degree is to show that you are a well rounded individual. That’s the whole point, to be knowledgeable in various areas – a renaissance man (or woman) if you will.

      If all you want to do is graphic design, then just take those classes and build a portfolio. Most shops don’t care what your piece of paper says in the art world, they want to see what you can do.

      1. ^This.

        Let’s not forget that STEM is what used to be sneered at as “trade school”. A college degree used to mean more than just trade school, now it’s just an extra four years of high school with legal keg parties for the last year or two.

      2. To be completely fair here (and not commenting in particular on the young lady in question), in a lot of colleges these days “well rounded” individual is “chose from a preselected and curated list of courses the college insists you should take”. When I was going, I had a full list of “well rounded” courses that I wanted to take along with my Major courses. The problem was, the school had already decided that people in my major should take x courses from this department, y from this one, z from another one and p & q from a third. Given that in order for me to graduate in 4 years, following that schedule meant minimum 15 hours / semester plus summer school, I pretty much didn’t have any additional time to take the courses that I actually wanted to take. So while I had planned (before I got there) to take a foreign language, to take some over seas history courses, and to dabble in some other things, I instead took such wonderful courses as “Introduction to Writing Complete Sentences in English”, “Public Speaking for People Who Never Gave a Presentation in High School”, “Listen to This Teacher Lecture About the East African Fuzzy Crab that She Has Been Researching for the Last 10 Years and Call it Marine Biology 101”, and my personal favorite “PE 101: Running and Situps for People who Apparently Failed Kindergarten”. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to substitute any of those courses for something more interesting because nothing I wanted to take was on the “approved electives” list and therefore would not have made me well rounded enough.

  4. Wow. Maybe lil’ snowflake has a career ahead of her….planning frivolous lawsuits? Lemme tell you about disabilities, sweetie…I’m dyslexic (wear out the backspace key on my keyboards) and anosmic, yet still managed to finish the 3rd hardest school in the US back in the early 90’s. The US Navy managed to leisurely fit a 2-year degree in nuclear engineering from MIT into a 6-month course, with tests that consisted of one question per legal-sized sheet of paper (with the answer filling the rest, no cheetsheets or anything). And I absolutely SUCK at math, too. Here’s the thing about disabilities…you can let them define YOU, or you can define THEM. I know quite a few people who are getting on/ahead with their lives despite disabilities. I respect these folk to no end. And I also know people who flaunt their disabilities to the world and demand special concessions. These types do not have my sympathy, they do not have my empathy. They have my pity. Get over yourself, get over your disabilities, and start doing things for yourself. Or get back to your parents’ basement and get out of the way of the rest of us.

    1. Ah, nuclear power school…those were the days.

      After the Navy, and especially nuke school, university didn’t seem that hard. While the extra decade of maturity over my first time helped I think the pace of nuke school and prototype make college seem leisurely.

      Although I wish I’d had time to enjoy more of Orlando.

      Strange aside: all the old nuke school buildings in Orlando are gone…the whole base is gone except for part of the RIP building which is a public rec building and the old QM school tower which is abandoned. Where nuke school stood is condos and the nuke field ‘A’ school building site now hows an elementary school (although not the same building).

      1. They tried to get me to go nuke when I joined, waived a signing bonus under my nose. All I could thing was “Most of the nuke navy is subs. Subs go under for a long time.”

        Went AQ, Aviation Fire Control – still have no idea how a Q got in there, and played on a flight deck for four years. But same thing, college was a snap compared to A school and the fleet.

        1. I got to know Excedrin and Mt. Dew really, REALLY well in Nuke school. Haven’t gone to college simply because I still have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing in life, although I’ve got a couple of thoughts about some classes from a local community college. Once the job situation/funds stabilize, of course.

          Wife, kiddo and I went back to Orlando a couple of years ago to introduce the munchkin to Disney, and I thought about trying to find the old NTC site, but didn’t get around to it. Still have mixed emotions about that whole time in my life, on one hand I’m glad I did it, since I can look back and say that, despite everything, I *did* actually make it through (if they knew then what I know now, I’d probably be denied entry into the program for both of the reasons listed in my op), but it was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done.

          It was the bonuses and BS stories told by my recruiter, plus a complete lack of direction that led me to being talked into the Nuke program. If I had it to do over again, I’d either talk to the Marine recruiters, or go for Photographers’ Mate. The most fun I ever had in the Navy was as Ship’s Photographer (no standing in formation at parade-rest for 2+ hours in dress whites in the Hawaii heat/humidity!!!! I got to wander around and take pictures of the change-of-command ceremony!).

  5. College prof here. While I’m generally okay with “reasonable” accommodations (e.g., a quiet testing room for someone with documented ADD), one semester I had a student that had the multiple-accommodations thing. And who eventually decided that another one they needed was to be able to hand stuff in late, because they “had no sense of time.” (No idea how that can possibly work in the working world)

    And they got an admin to go along with them. So I had to accept late work from them the second half of the semester. The worst thing was that “no sense of time” meant this person made appointments with me, failed to show up, then showed up at some random time when I was in class or otherwise not available, and believed it was my fault for “not being available.” I was frankly afraid it would lead to a reprimand or even being fired (thank goodness, it did not). But at times profs do feel very helpless in this – we’re told to do stuff we don’t want to do, that we should not have to do.

    I agree that there are probably some students the universities should be allowed to say, “Sorry, we don’t want your money” to, in the name of reducing frustration to other students in the classes (this student was also kind of disruptive in class) and also wear and tear on the profs. (I was diagnosed with hypertension not too long after that and I wonder if it was a contributing factor in my developing it….)

      1. Had a teacher in college who didn’t have to strangle. His death stare made many precious snowflakes drop out.

        The biggest smile I ever saw him have was when he found out he could give an F+ as a grade. It counted as a passing grade for GPA but you would still have to re-take the class because you failed. The + was just enough so that when you did retake it, it wouldn’t help your GPA at all.

        He was one of my favorite teachers.

    1. I believe I’m with you. “No sense of time”? Not to be too cynical, but y’know what fixes that? A watch with an alarm. Several, if it’s REALLY bad.

      Or, go new age: get a cell phone that supports multiple alarms (even “dumb” ones do these days; mine does).

      It’s my firm opinion that there are very few “disabilities” that can’t be overcome by engineering a good system to work within. My son has pretty bad ADD, but he’s almost normal with a medium-dose of medication (not Ritalin) and a consistent schedule (the schedule is a MUCH bigger factor and benefit than you’d think). He’s even happy to do his homework! I have friends and family with dyslexia – honest-to-goodness officially-diagnosed dyslexia – who have varying tricks (systems) they do in their own heads, and you usually can’t tell they have any disability at all.

      Conversely, I have other friends with less severe disabilities who have been coddled, told their whole lives they can’t do stuff like normal people. Any guesses how that turned out? Yeah. They don’t even try. This is my shocked face.

      What this girl is showing is an excellent example of the entitlement mentality portrayed by far too many people – especially young people. They’ve been given extra chances and extra accommodations their whole lives, and now they’re incapable of succeeding, or even functioning, without them.

      The bigger problem, though, is how the folks who’ve developed their “systems” are viewed by society. They get painted with the same brush, no matter how functional or successful they make themselves. Every person I know with dyslexia doesn’t talk about it; they don’t want to deal with the stigma, and realistically they shouldn’t have to. They’ve overcome it.

      Forgive my rant. People like this girl irk the heck out of me. 🙂

      1. It’s my firm opinion that there are very few “disabilities” that can’t be overcome by engineering a good system to work within.

        I’m sorry, but I have technophobia and organization deficiency disorder. :p

      2. Oh, they had a watch with an alarm. They “forgot” to set it on several occasions.

        I just…when they told me that they “needed” a makeup lab because they missed the previous one because they forgot to set the alarm on their watch and therefore forgot to come to class, I just stood there and looked at them, totally defeated. I mean, what do you say to someone when you want to say “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” but you know they will cry foul to their favorite administrator?

        We also had a student who regularly threatened to sue the university over everything. I was warned of her because she was signed up for my class, but God be praised, she decided to drop before the semester started.

  6. The college should have just handed her the degree when she enrolled and trusted that she’d fulfill the requirements for it in the next few years on an honor basis. Hey, it seems to be the way they hand out the Nobel Peace Prize these days, so why not a four-year scrip from Podunk U?

  7. When we “Graphics-Guys” were working on the pixel-level display graphics for the NTSC (never twice the same color) on-screen TV guide, it helped to be slightly fluent in teh Maths, but I failed pre-calculuc twice…

  8. If there’s a disorder that causes an irresistible compulsion to give ‘special little snowflakes’ the paddling they so obviously lacked growing up, I’m pretty sure I suffer from it…!! 🙄

  9. Poor thing. I could pity her, really, because she has such a long, hard road ahead of her. Life is very hard when you’re willfully stupid, and blind to all the opportunities that could have been. She’ll be robbed of her triumphs and all her fears will whisper to her night and day, as she watches other people pass by her without demanding accommodations. Envy will rot her soul, and no matter how she’s performed to what the system says it wants, she’ll never get ahead. Like feminists who get more and more shrill as they realize they have lost their beauty, their chance at children, at family, and at love – she is doomed to shrinking choices and begging from bureaucracies if she doesn’t change her mind and her ways.

    I wouldn’t hire her, but I’d pity her.

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