rayiner wrote: dresden doll wrote: sbalive wrote:
Aeroplane wrote:I certainly do not consider the level of difficulty of a person's UG coursework to be any determinant of that person's intelligence, potential, work ethic, or anything else.
Really, when you think about it... grades do reflect intelligence, potential, work ethic, to some extent, but the degree of difficulty doesn't tell you anything other than maybe a little bit about someone who deliberately wants to challenge themselves. But, a lot of it comes down to interests. If you're really interested in what you learn in marketing classes, why should you take advanced differential geometry just to prove your intelligence or work ethic?
That's just the point. I've got years of physics, chemistry, biology and what have you behind me and all I can say is that they pretty much bored me to fucking tears (with the exception of biology and certain parts of math like trigonometry or logarithms). I didn't pick my majors because I couldn't hack it outside the lib arts domain (in fact, I did well in all my science courses) but because they interested me. Lots of judgments tend to be passed about lib arts majors around here, and while I've generally stayed out of them all, I gotta say I don't appreciate them too much.
FWIW, I wasn't trying to diminish the achievement of people like you that were top of their class in liberal arts programs. My point, while callously-made, was simply that someone coming from a liberal arts background really has no standing to criticize the qualifications of someone coming from an engineering background. A 3.1 at a rigorous engineering school is a solid GPA. It's above the median almost anywhere, and will get you into a decent graduate school. A 3.1 in a liberal arts, on the other hand, is in most places well below the median. Ergo, gatorlion's criticism of aeroplane was not just classless and unwarranted, but fundamentally ignorant. Nobody who pulls a 3.1 at a solid engineering school and then goes into a good MS program can justly be accused of not taking their studies seriously!
Also, to be entirely fair here, while I certainly do go off on liberal arts majors now and then, there are also lots of liberal arts majors who post tripe like "if you just show up to class you will pull a 3.3+". Coming from a program where that would've been top of the class, that peeves me...
1) In no way do I mean to denigrate engineering majors for taking upon themselves a rigorous courseload. Some of my best friends are engineers. However, they managed GPAs above 3.1.
2) Regarding graduate school, I believe we are experiencing a miscommunication. I did not mean to suggest that someone with a 3.1 GPA in engineering could not earn acceptance into an engineering
graduate program. I was referring to graduate programs in social sciences, humanities, and policy. I am fully aware that when applying to graduate programs in engineering, applicants will be judged on an entirely different scale than they would if they were to apply to other types of graduate programs.
3) My criticism of Aeroplane, while admittedly harsh, stems from the de facto insistence that he/she wants to pursue a career in legal academia with an undergraduate GPA of 3.1 in any
field. Such an assertion is highly presumptuous. I think you would be hard pressed to find law professors at any law school who had a 3.1 GPA in engineering in undergrad. Law professors are more likely to be the top students from any
discipline. In this sense, grade inflation of liberal arts major aside, a 3.1 GPA as an engineering student does not automatically ring "top of the class." Basically, I am asking Aeroplane to give law professors a little more credit for their achievement. The assumption that he/she can waltz into legal academia with a 3.1 GPA in any field is simply naive.
4) Attacking me based on my number of TLS posts? Seriously? By that logic, 1,000 irrational, babbling posts would trump one person's well-thought out contribution.
5) I only really flew off the handle when the rigor of my minor was questioned (nice ad hominem, btw). I felt the need to justify what I had done as an undergraduate because clearly my criticism of Aeroplane warranted an unsubstantiated attack of my minor. Even if geography is assumed to be the underwater basket-weaving of the social sciences, I felt that I had a right to give evidence of the discipline's rigor according to natural science standards, which should be unnecessary. In brief, it's not like it was communications or "family, youth, and community sciences."
6) When backed into a corner, I will defend myself and the social sciences on charges of ease and grade inflation. While I would not dispute the fact that earning a 3.3 GPA in the social sciences or humanities is not equivalent to performing at that numerical level in the natural sciences or engineering, achieving a high GPA in any
discipline requires some measure of skill and talent.
7) There is also some selection bias in the field of law. Many who are intrigued by law have their training in fields relating to textual analysis of some kind or another (i.e. the most common majors of law school students are political science, english, and history). Unless an engineering major took substantial coursework in the dreaded liberal arts, he/she would likely be at a strategic disadvantage in a setting where the art of words and persuasion do not invoke the need to employ calculations or measurements. More bluntly, anyone who spent 4 (or in the case of engineering 5) years crunching numbers (accounting majors are not exempt from this criticism either) cannot be said to have been adequately prepared for schooling that involves rigorous argument and public speaking. I would also like to point out that of the current supreme court justices, who I think we can all agree (even if we don't agree with their opinions) are all brilliant minds and tremendous legal scholars, not a single one majored in the natural sciences or engineering. Just sayin'.
Thanks to dresden doll for coming into my corner.