Un mois est passé

Three times a week the Aixois are able to find Le Grande Marché in the center of the city. People set up stands there and sell a variety of quality goods (books, jewelery, clothes, food, music, etc). My personal favorite is the stand that sells paella. I also like to get peaches there sometimes, since they’re cheap and always very good. I even got some books there too, some short ones in French so I could learn things and practice reading French at the same time.
My French class on Fridays usually involves spending 1 hour in town at a restaurant or café and speaking French with each other and with the owner or workers there. I lucked out and got the best French professor in the whole program, who has lessons planned out but lets us ask questions ad infinitum so we can learn whatever we’re having trouble with or want to know how to say. She told us that she loves teaching college students, since she finds children impossible to control. The same is true of me, thinking back to German School

Last Wednesday I went to a lecture given by a Vietnamese professor who’s in the IAU program to study French and go on academic excursions. The lecture was about global employment, and what potential employers like to see in a candidate. For example, posting things on the internet that contain bad grammar can be detrimental. Showing an interest in politics or world affairs can be helpful, but your particular opinions are generally not relevant. It’s worse for a woman to post “inappropriate material” in the form of bad grammar, vitriolic messages, or photographs, but the usual offenders are male. She talked a lot about differences for men and women in the modern workplace, and at one point I asked what she thought about the huge proportional increase of women in colleges (and therefore decrease in men), and what this says about Western education. She pointed out that this is mostly true in liberal arts schools, and said that overall she hopes that workplaces will be more equal in the future, with the help of new legislation.

Please start a heated debate in the comments below about gender issues, the use of social media in evaluating potential employees, and the importance of the Oxford comma….




5 thoughts on “Un mois est passé

  1. I am sure your mother, Ayn Rand, and I might agree that there are times when the Oxford comma enhances confusion rather than clarity. Stay platonic friends with it…

  2. Yesterday my art professor, a group of students, and I had a discussion about how the program can better serve students. At the end he asked us what we’re reading. So I answered: “Ayn Rand’s “Philosophy: Who Needs It”, and he said: “You’re reading that crap?!” But at least he was glad I was reading something.

  3. John, you can’t write something like “the huge proportional increase of women in colleges (and therefore decrease in men), and what this says about Western education” and then not tell us what YOU think it means.

    Ayn Rand? Really??

  4. I don’t claim to be an “objectivist” or any kind of follower of Ayn Rand. But I find her thoughts interesting.

    As for the question I posed, I guess now I can’t avoid it! I think instead of looking at what kinds of people get hired, if we were logical our instinct would be to ask what the cause is, instead of using conventional morality as a scapegoat for what we don’t like. The speaker (who I should mention is an intelligent and pleasant person) alluded to innate psychology as a reason for why men get hired more often than women (as well as why tall men get hired more often than short men), but focused mostly on the goal of total equality in hiring.

    I think that that school in the Western world, at least through university, has become a passive process. You show up, you obey the syllabus, you write your papers, you take your exams. In general, I find that this works out better for women.

    My theory is that if policies and mindsets continue to change to try and put more women in the workplace, and achieve the coveted 1:1 sex ratio, it will severely undercut male creativity and innovation. Meanwhile, males and females will (generally) choose different jobs anyway based on biological brain differences (i.e. engineers and nurses). How do we know that progressive policies won’t result in liberal arts schools becoming 90% female? Maybe it doesn’t matter much

    I had 2 more questions that I didn’t have time to ask:

    1. Won’t compulsory diversity in the workplace cause problems? If I’m a patient in a hospital, do I really want a foreigner changing my IV?

    2. Could the increased potential for lawsuits by female employees be a significant factor in the hiring process?

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