||Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
|(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and bastardization of classic Unix|
June 3, 2005 in VoicesAs the U of C increasingly tries to shed its image as the place "Where Fun Goes To Die," the admissions pool consists more and more of students who can be counted on to get out of the library and into frat parties. As such, there are a growing number of first-years who, for lack of a better word, can be called slackers. These students are taking a bit of a risk in giving Chicago a shot. They may know how to get the party started, but they've got to get past the Core to make sure they're still around to keep it going.
Chris Morran, comic, author, and self-proclaimed "noted ne'er-do-work," tries to show them the way with his new work Hardly Working at College: The Overachieving Underperformer's Guide to Graduating Without Cracking a Book. His satirical guide to higher education offers practical advice on how to get as little out of school as you can while still managing to stay in.
Morran splits the student body into three types of scholars: overachievers, underperformers, and the overachieving underperformers. While his discussions of the foibles of the dropout-bound underperformer and the idealized overachieving underperformers will provide some smiles, it's the image of the overachiever that provides the book with its heart. His description is a dead-on portrait of That Guy, down to the suit and tie on the illustration. Morran goes on to ruthlessly mock these blazered study nerds for the next 160 pages. This joyfully condescending attitude towards the suckers who actually show up to class having done the reading, as contrasted with their craftier, party-hardy brethren, is how the book gets you interested. The author brings substantial insight to the table, hoping that putting these unspoken truths of student life in print will earn him some surprised laughs.
His hopes are realized, as page after page calls up fond memories of extensions finagled and papers recycled. Morran knows the drill on how to survive an elite college education and avoid the psych ward in the process, and it shines through brightly in Hardly Working. Mike Pisiak's illustrations provide a major boost to the book in this respect, tying the text together with familiar images of the sudden jump in attendance that all-or-nothing final exams classes receive during the final study session.
The same insight that earns snickers with its solemn recounting of the pros and cons of sleeping through early-morning classes also earns the book a spot on the required reading list for incoming first-years. Why? Because Hardly Working actually contains some useful tips on how to succeed in academia without really trying. Dedicated slackers will find themselves nodding sagely as they read Morran's advice on lecture hall seating (close enough to be visible, but not so close that the prof can tell you're not taking notes so much as checking your Facebook account) and escaping the consequences of tardiness (straightforward humility, or the more daring good-natured ribbing). His tips on how best to get a great recommendation are legitimately worth a review the next time you have an internship or grad school application coming up. Time and time again, readers of Hardly Working will find themselves either saying "Hey, that's me!" or "I'm totally trying that during finals!"
Some chapters are not quite up to that standard. At times, the readers will find themselves moved to send the author suggestions of their own to replace some of his more nonsensical instructions. In particular, Morran's tactics for borrowing someone's notes and ducking out from under the burden of doing lab work stray from the realism that gives Hardly Working its bite. His discussion of how to explain an absence from class is more recognizable, but will likely leave Chicago readers with the firm impression that the University of Virginia, Morran's alma mater, is a far different place from the home of the Maroons. The book also loses steam towards the end, as the final section on post-graduate options lacks the "trust me, I've been there" charm of earlier chapters.
Despite these flaws, this one is worth a long, hard look. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Morran has crafted a chuckle-worthy addition to the library of "how-to" guidebooks college students find foisted upon them by parents and high school counselors. Unlike some of the others, this one might actually come down off the shelf once or twice a quarter. Whether it's just used to relieve stress or to mindlessly survive the Life of the Mind is up to the reader.
Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers : Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy
War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotes : Somerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose Bierce : Bernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes
Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law
Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds : Larry Wall : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOS : Programming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC development : Scripting Languages : Perl history : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history
The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-Month : How to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite
Most popular humor pages:
Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor
The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D
Copyright © 1996-2020 by Softpanorama Society. www.softpanorama.org was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.
This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...
|You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site|
Last modified: March 12, 2019