1. Lame Spec  

    The PBK editorial is clearly written by pissy humanities students who assume that they're just as smart as the top Physics majors and Math majors at Columbia. Listen, it's EASY to do well in humanities classes. Profs for Quant classes give out A+'s as a way of distinguishing between the best in a large class. Outstanding humanities students are identified in other ways, such as by being asked to write an essay for the Lit-Hum competition, or do some extra work w/ a professor, which should make them candidates for PBK anyway. And - whisper it - but often the kids who do best in the Core classes are the Econ/Math/Physics majors.

  2. hmm...  

    anyone know why varsity athletes aren't allowed to talk to spec?

  3. Plus  

    It's not necessarily easy to do well in Humanities classes. I, for one, never received an A+ in a Core class, despite consistently receiving A+'s throughout the semester on several occasions and participating extensively in class. That said, it's likewise extremely difficult to receive an A+ in a math/physics class. Sure, an A+ is guaranteed (with very few exceptions) if you significantly outperform all of the other students in your class on the exams, but this is no easy feat. The assertion that the math and physics programs provide easy grades clearly spawns from ignorance.

  4. photo  

    Incidentally, this photo ranks among the most disgusting I've ever seen on Bwog. Great job, people.

  5. Humanities  

    kids getting the same honors as "quantitative" people is a bit ridiculous, to be frank. I'm no shining example, but I'll use myself anyway, so everyone else has someone concrete at whom to hurl their insults. I'm an engineer, and I'll readily admit that I have far from a perfect GPA; some of my quant classes are HARD. That being said, I've regarded every humanities class I've taken as a complete joke -- whether core classes or advanced foreign language, those were, by far, the easiest A's I've received in my Columbia education.
    This article made it sound like professors hand out A+'s left and right to anyone who gets above mean on a midterm. If you don't believe me, take a class and see for yourself -- getting an A+ in a sufficiently advanced course is EXTREMELY difficult. Frankly, anyone who can get it deserves recognition above and beyond any LA major who can pump out a prompted essay, no matter how flowery their language or compelling their thesis.
    As for the Harvard claim -- when 50% of the class gets "honors," they cease to be honors at all. In fact, they bear such a name precisely because they are reserved for the few and the best among us.

  6. But  

    You humanities and quantitative majors have it easy! Try majoring in Bwog commenting. Only the few are randomly chosen to be a "favorite comment," while the others work ceaselessly for any type of recognition. This is an outrage! I must go forth and rabble till I can rabble no more!

  7. well  

    Perhaps the spec is right...but there is a way to tell.

    What we need is a standard measure for students, like a standard exam. Three tests pop to mind, the GRE, the LSAT, and the GMAT.

    GRE: physics majors have the highest average scores (verbal + quantitative)

    GMAT: physics majors perform the best, followed by engineering

    LSAT: physics/math majors have the highest average score

    I should also point out that if you aggregate the scores, and include average starting salary, the top performers are physics, math, and economics; coincidentally exactly the three majors complained about in the article.

    Are these tests biased or something, just like GPAs?

    combined, gmat, average salary

    p. 379!nieswia.pdf

    p. 17

  8. or...  

    How about everyone quits the long-suffering masturbatory attitudes about GPAs, honors, and highest starting salary, and people study what they like and find interesting?

  9. 12 again  

    Also, when your Bwog comments need a works cited section, it's time to step back and reflect.

    • haha  

      touche! but to be fair, at least i plagiarized a spec message posting.

    • Word  

      The first moron's implication that science majors are smarter aside, he doesn't at all take into account that humanities majors are choosing to major in something they love or are genuinely interested in, not that they're avoiding a science major. Please, leave the SEAS insecurity complexes (because that's where it usually comes from) and grandiose claims about being smarter than CC students or humanity majors at home. If I was forced to say something, I love my engineer friends, but the ones in my core classes were as dumb as and had the reasoning capabilities of a sack of hair.

      • The First Moron  

        is in CC, so there's no complex. (PBK is only given to CC majors, FYI). Listen, I'm not the one whining about how the system must be flawed, because I'm not getting A+'s in my humanities classes. The article suggests that the average humanities major is just as smart as the average physics major, and so that must mean the PBK induction system is flawed, because fewer humanities majors are nominated. That is a retarded claim to base an editorial on without any kind of evidence.

        I don't want to hear about your engineer friends. Tell me about your Math friends and Physics friends, or your Econ+some major friends, and tell me if the average Comparative Literature major is smarter than they are. Guess what majors/minors the 2 Rhodes from this year had in common.

  10. ok fine  

    But that has nothing to do with anything. Science and/or math majors can love their majors as well and be smarter( or not). What's your point? Frankly 'but we love our major' is the CC version of the SEAS 'but we are smarter' complex.

  11. DHI  

    My main complaint with the article is that it seems a little backwards. Grading policies shouldn't be based around whether those grade points help people get the top few spots, they should be based on accurately reflecting performance in a class. It's easier to show clear separation in a quantitative class, so an easier A+, possibly with a harder A, seems like a reasonable result of good grading.

    As a non-physics major, I'll also probably agree that physics majors are on average smarter students. Norman Christ's physics class was the hardest class I ever took at Columbia. Doing well in that class requires a lot of intelligence and a lot of work, not just any pretty good combination of the two like many classes here.

    But there's dumb people and smart people, interesting people and boring people in every major, so whatever. Study what you want.

  12. qua hum. student  

    Yay to philosophy for holding a fair 'second' behind the quantitative humanities.

  13. anon

    So after all that fuss, who are this fall's PBK's?

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