[Milton-L] Re: Oh, he's an undergraduate.

John Staines jdstaines at gmail.com
Mon Dec 20 12:32:33 EST 2010


Dear friends,

I am more a reader than a regular contributor to the list, but given the
exchanges of the past week, I thought it important to draw attention to
Julia Walker's astute observation.  I am often annoyed that some of the
regular contributors to this list seem to forget that not all the list
members are Milton scholars.  Sirrah's posturing and defensiveness were at
times disgusting (to borrow his word), but I wonder whether the discussion
might have gone in a more productive direction had the initial replies to
his postings been more like the responses I would expect a skilled teacher
to give to an undergraduate.  After all, his underlying claim, that Milton
was a heretic, should hardly be surprising to anyone who has read Milton
scholarship for the past few decades, yet no one took any time to point out
the existence of that scholarship (as one or two other members observed,
though they were unfortunately too late to change the course of the
exchange).

Here's my suggestion:  Before you jump all over an uninformed comment,
please take 30 seconds to run a database check to see whether or not the
offending statement was made by a published Milton scholar.  If you find
that he or she is not an academic, please don't attack the post in the same
way that you might attack a poorly argued paper at Murfreesboro.  Either
ignore it, or, if you are so inclined, enter into a respectful dialogue with
a student.

Best wishes for the holiday,

John Staines
Associate Professor
Department of English
John Jay College
The City University of New York



On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 11:49 AM, <milton-l-request at lists.richmond.edu>wrote:

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>   1. Re: One post per day? (Julia Walker)
>   2. Re: One post per day? (John Leonard)
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> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 11:48:12 -0500
> From: Julia Walker <walker at geneseo.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] One post per day?
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
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> At coffee with colleagues this morning I was recounting some of the more
> immaculately inappropriate emails from yesterday and one guy said, "Oh, he's
> an undergraduate?"
>
> Well, yes, in a way.  Cynthia hits the nail admirably:  " I have
> encountered undergraduates like that, and they are difficult to convince
> that while you can have your own opinions, you can't have your own facts. "
>
> And what do we do for such undergrads?  We teach them.  The list is a
> teaching tool in many ways and -- always assuming he wants to take the
> course -- I hope that we _all_ will apply that filter, you know, the "would
> you say that in the classroom?" filter.
>
> as promised, once today,
>
> Trespassers jmW
>
>
> On Dec 20, 2010, at 11:25 AM, Gilliatt, Cynthia Ann - gilliaca wrote:
>
>
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