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Source: (consider it) Thread: Trigger Warnings
Golden Key
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# 1468

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Huia--

quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
In addition to things he considered improper, Bowdler deleted all mention of God. [Ultra confused]

There is a line in "Romeo and Juliet" where he changed, "She is with God." to "She sleeps in the churchyard."

I can't imagine why he did this.

Moo

Possibly because she committed suicide and therefore wasn't (in his opinion) fit for heaven.

Interesting though, because I understood that historically suicides were buried outside the churchyard.

I wonder...

Just now, I was looking up the possibility that Ophelia was pregnant. (I recently saw an episode of "Midsomer Murders", where Cully was playing Ophelia. She handed a rue bouquet to someone, then said "and rue for me, too". In herbal medicine, rue can be used as an abortifacient, among other things, so pregnant women aren't ever supposed to use it. Unless, of course...)

So I did a search, and I'm hardly the only one to notice Ophelia's rue line in the play. I just skimmed the list of hits. Rue is frequently mentioned, and some think some of the other herbs mentioned could be combined for the same effect.

Maybe that's also why Hamlet told her "get thee to a nunnery", which I understand *can* be a reference to a brothel.

And I also came across the idea that Juliet was pregnant.

I don't know what the official, common, or privately-among-women attitudes towards pregnancy outside of marriage, and abortion of that pregnancy.

I don't know if or how that might figure in with ideas about the women's fate.

Perhaps they might have been thought of as "more sinned against than sinning"? One hit suggested Hamlet might have raped Ophelia. From what I remember of him, that seems unlikely.

FwIW, YMMV.

[ 27. October 2017, 07:53: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Moo--

quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
In addition to things he considered improper, Bowdler deleted all mention of God. [Ultra confused]

There is a line in "Romeo and Juliet" where he changed, "She is with God." to "She sleeps in the churchyard."

I can't imagine why he did this.


Maybe he didn't believe that people went directly to Heaven? Some think that the dead actually do *sleep*, until they're called upon.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Moo

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# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
In addition to things he considered improper, Bowdler deleted all mention of God. [Ultra confused]

There is a line in "Romeo and Juliet" where he changed, "She is with God." to "She sleeps in the churchyard."

I can't imagine why he did this.


Maybe he didn't believe that people went directly to Heaven? Some think that the dead actually do *sleep*, until they're called upon.
I thought Bowdler was just putting out an edition of Shakespeare suitable for reading in the family circle. I didn't think he was correcting it for Christian doctrine.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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andras
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The wonderful thing about poor old Bowdler was that he missed the really filthy stuff, presumably because it went right over his head.

And the line about Playing the strumpet in my bed is from Cymbeline, not Othello. But yes, Bowdler did change it as noted.

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
Adrian Plass

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Brenda Clough
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Now I want it to be "She sleeps with the fishes."

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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argona
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I wrote a short story about an incestuous father. Nothing explicit, till he was made clear at the very end, though a reader might easily have seen the reality. When I read it at a writers’ group I wondered if I should say something first, but I knew everyone well and in the event, didn’t. Nobody seemed to have a problem with it, but can I presume they really didn’t? I don’t know.

Later, I submitted that story to a reading event who didn’t use it, though they had accepted everything I’d given them before. But then it was a strong event that time, some great stories and you can’t win them all.

I’m with LilBuddha on this, in the middle but not sure where that is. Trigger warnings for an event which will nonetheless happen seem ok but when that can slip so easily into censorship, as with no-platforming, there’s a worry.

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
For example, Prince Hamlet is portrayed both as a righteous Christian, AND as a wannabe vigilante seeking eye-for-an-eye vengeance on his uncle.

Actually the one thing Hamlet was NOT depicted as, is a wannabe vigilante seeking eye-for-eye vengeance on his uncle. He machinates to make his uncle feel guilty. But never does anything at all toward killing him. That's the heart of the play -- why the hell doesn't he act? Why doesn't he try to kill his uncle? He never does kill him, or plot to.
Lewis described him as "a man given a task by a ghost." which puts him neatly into the dilemma of "is this a real and truthful ghost, so I should do what it says? or is it a damned spirit impersonating Dad, and for me to obey it would be plain murder?" Thus the testing with the play-within-a-play, and so forth. "A ghost told me to do it" is pretty thin grounds for regicide.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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mousethief

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Well and good, but where in the play is Hamlet depicted as someone seeking to kill his uncle? I don't see it.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Well and good, but where in the play is Hamlet depicted as someone seeking to kill his uncle? I don't see it.

I believe in the scene where Claudius is supposedly praying, Hamlet verbally states that he is going to kill him, but then elects not to, as he thinks that murdering him during prayer will send his soul to heaven.

I guess you could read this as anti-vengeance, since Hamlet is so desperate to maximize his uncle's suffering, he passes on the opporunity to act. But I think we're still meant to think that Hamlet screwed up by not killing Clauidius, especially when it is then revealed that Cllaudius would have gone to hell anyway(as he was not really praying).

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Doc Tor
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Isn't it at the end of Act 1, when the Ghost reveals itself as Hamlet's father and tells the prince that Claudius murdered him, that Hamlet vows vengeance?

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Forward the New Republic

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Lamb Chopped
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The closest he gets to that actual form of words is this:

HAMLET
Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.

Which comes BEFORE the ghost's retelling, not after it.

Hamlet does say after the ghost encounter that he's off to pray--which suggests some qualms.

As for when he does finally determine to kill Claudius, he seems to be decided at this point, in Act V, after he returns from his abortive trip to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, having discovered Claudius' letter instructing the English to kill Hamlet. He retells the matter to Horatio, who replies:

HORATIO
Why, what a king is this!
HAMLET
Does it not, think'st thee, stand me now upon--
He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother,
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such cozenage--is't not perfect conscience,
To quit him with this arm? and is't not to be damn'd,
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?

Very shortly afterward comes the swordfight where everybody dies and Hamlet does in fact kill Claudius. There seems not to have been any earlier opportunity between the two passages.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Well and good, but where in the play is Hamlet depicted as someone seeking to kill his uncle? I don't see it.

How about Act III, Scene IV? Hamlet kills Polonius while mistaking him for Claudius.

(Remember, kids - make sure you know who's behind the tapestry before you stab!)

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saysay

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Don't let me interrupt the Hamlet tangent, but I tend to agree with the authors of this Atlantic article, including their suggestion that universities should discourage trigger warnings.

I both have PTSD and have worked in university settings (in the US) where I have seen trigger warnings seemingly used by students to discourage discussions that make them uncomfortable (because who is really comfortable with all discussions of all the horrible things that happen in the world?) while not doing much to help students who actually have PTSD. They also have a way of expanding, such that once implemented students sometimes start requesting them for every possible thing that might upset someone (contains depiction of disordered eating, body shaming, disability, heteronormativity, etc.)

Even the increase in awareness of the existence of PTSD (and its symptoms) comes with benefits but also costs. On the one hand, there has been an increase in the number of people who apologize to me in grocery stores and libraries after my exaggerated startle reflex displays itself (and who then ask if I'm military). But, as people were saying about the increase in the numbers of people claiming a gluten allergy when they simply have a gluten-free preference, there seems to have been a decrease in the number of people willing to provide the accommodations I sometimes (but rarely) need and request. (Because they provided a trigger warning that was completely useless to me and somehow know what PTSD involves better than I do? Because they're sick of students and others avoiding work with the excuse of the week? Who knows).

On a personal level, I didn't need trigger warnings for any of my classes. As others have said, my actual triggers are so bizarre and personal (and frequently involve sights, smells, sounds, etc.) that it would be impossible for someone who doesn't know me well to even guess what they are. I tended to know when a book was likely to contain references to violence or sexual assault before I read them (who doesn't know Shakespearean tragedies contain violence?). And when I was in school all books were read before class, such that if I had an issue with any of the material, I could use my coping strategies at home without interrupting the class. I did walk out of one event (which wasn't a class/lecture, but a fiction reading by a guest speaker) but not because of the material presented, but the way the speaker was acting. Doing so involved a confrontation with him, and doing what I needed to do involved telling all of the people in the room information that I would rather not have revealed about myself to a bunch of strangers, but that could have been avoided if people would just let others leave situations they find uncomfortable (particularly if they're there voluntarily).

I tend to be more supportive of trigger warnings for visual materials such as movies or plays. IME those are more difficult for people to block out than words on a page, they are more likely to contain some of the sights, sounds, and actions that act as triggers for certain people, and they are (IME) watched during a class/performance/whatever, where people can be both surprised by the material and where they can find it difficult to employ their coping strategies. But I'm aware that I may be generalizing too much from my own experience.

I wouldn't want to deny any professor the right to use trigger warnings, especially if they have taught a particular class before and know that the material is extremely difficult for some students. However, I do think the expectation that they be provided is ridiculous and not to be encouraged. I also know any number of people (mostly but not exclusively military) who are fairly pissed off at this point that their illness is being used by others as an excuse to squash dissent and avoid topics that they believe need to be discussed.

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"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Lecturer gives some context as to the reality of this story

--------------------
arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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I don't know. If you're attending a university course, and the course outline is provided, along with the reading list, assignment list, and you do you due diligence as a student to review things before class and lecture, and tutorials or labs if they are part of the course, you should be prepared to discuss the content without babysitting. If you haven't done your homework on the class, whose fault might it be?

I don't agree with avoidance, but I do agree with preparation. Which is what we did in the past. I'm not going to discuss my etiology, but I react very strongly to information about interpersonal aggression, but I will be damned if I'm going to let past trauma (nor current) stop me from addressing issues. If you require trigger warnings perhaps you want to seek some counselling of psychological therapy?

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Stetson
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No Prophet wrote:

quote:
I don't know. If you're attending a university course, and the course outline is provided, along with the reading list, assignment list, and you do you due diligence as a student to review things before class and lecture, and tutorials or labs if they are part of the course, you should be prepared to discuss the content without babysitting. If you haven't done your homework on the class, whose fault might it be?

Granted, I was a pretty slack student in university, but I don't recall reviewing or previewing most of the material before formally studying it, unless it was something I was independently interested it.

When I saw, for example, that my American Literature class had Miss Lonelyhearts on the syllabus, I didn't rush off to read a summary of it to find out what I was in for(and thus could have been possibly traumatized by the descriptions of anti-homosexual violence in public washrooms, had that been an issue for me.)

I'd assume most students had preview habits similar to mine in this regard. That said, yes, if a particular student is someone who worries about being upset by unpleasant topics on the reading list, he or she CAN use the syllabus in the manner you suggest.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Golden Key
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Sometimes, professors will fill a course with very depressing and disturbing novels, one right after another, without a thought as to the possible/probable effect on students--who are often in emotional distress, anyway.

And, sometimes, students can find reasonably polite ways of saying "WTH were you thinking? We are becoming depressed, unto suicidal thoughts!" that get through to the professors, who express total cluelessness and shock.

And, sometimes, the professors are wise enough to revise and rearrange the current course.

And all the students say "Amen".

--Epistle to the Professorate, 3:16

(And yes, it's true.)

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Stetson
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^ If reading a series of depressing novels is enough to give you thoughts of suicide, I think maybe your problems go considerably beyond the reading list, and would be better dealt with by consulting a therapist, not by asking for the syllabus to be purged or re-arranged.

That said, I can see an aesthetic case for spacing out depressing novels, as it be kind of monotonous to read the same mental-outlook book after book. I'd say the same thing about books that are inordinately cheerful.

Though that suggestion might be a problem in courses arranged according to historical chronology.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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It was a wide-spread reaction, in a large class. Unremitting doom and gloom, with no breaks between books/films. Only reason that changed is because students spoke up. Together. In class. Producing shocked reactions from profs. They were thinking purely in terms of "ok, we need to cover this, and will ask that", rather than considering that students might actually have human reactions to the stories.

College students are often emotionally fragile, even if they don't look it--particularly those living on campus. Being away from home; new circumstances; new rules; trying to figure out everything from What To Do With The Rest Of Their Lives, to how to pay for texts *this* term, to dealing with a stranger as roommate, to not realizing that certain combinations of courses will so overload them that they'll need to drop a couple; etc. Lots of college kids have meltdowns of one type or another, or suicide attempts. Some drop out--for a while, at least--and go home.

That's before the actual content of any one class.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I don't know. If you're attending a university course, and the course outline is provided, along with the reading list, assignment list, and you do you due diligence as a student to review things before class and lecture, and tutorials or labs if they are part of the course, you should be prepared to discuss the content without babysitting. If you haven't done your homework on the class, whose fault might it be?

Homework which could involve reading the Lecture List. Which is where the trigger warning was placed. So I don't really understand the problem.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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The problem is thatbif I don't put some sort of warning and students react, am I blamed? I don't teach at univ any more; I think I might ask a complaining student and dept head some fairly pointed questions about expectations at univ levels. How is that univ teachers get calls and emails from parents of 20+ year olds these days?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The problem is thatbif I don't put some sort of warning and students react, am I blamed? I don't teach at univ any more; I think I might ask a complaining student and dept head some fairly pointed questions about expectations at univ levels. How is that univ teachers get calls and emails from parents of 20+ year olds these days?

I doubt it. My child's university has pointedly stated that they don't deal with communications from parents unless the student has specifically stated that they want a parent to be an advocate for a good reason.

I don't understand why it is a tough concept that a lecturer maybe recognises that a particular lecture is covering some difficult ground and that there might be students who need to be made aware of that.

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arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I don't think it is, but I also do not agree with any requirement to provide such warnings. It's one of those nice things to do, but mustn't be required.

I am remembering lecturing and discussing in seminar/tutorials with students re ritual and sexual abuse, Greek literature and myth, among other things. Maybe we were insensitive back then, but we'd be raised in a one TV channel universe which broadcast nightly southeast Asia bombings and mutilated bodies, race violence by cops, the FLQ and briefly tanks in Canadian streets, riots etc. We seemed to be immersed in violence back then in real life. Is it different today? Though we had a better music soundtrack.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Granted, I was a pretty slack student in university, but I don't recall reviewing or previewing most of the material before formally studying it, unless it was something I was independently interested it. [/QB]

No doubt.

But if you're an especially trigger-y person, you ought to be aware of it, and take reasonable self-help steps like googling "Lonelyhearts/synopsis".

If you're not easily triggered by anything, you can go on your merry way without such extra steps.

As the years go by and I recover from my PTSD, I find less and less need to google. Though I find that just knowing something nasty is going to occur in the film/play/book etc. is often enough to keep me from freaking out. I knew it was coming, and can handle it fine.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
It was a wide-spread reaction, in a large class. Unremitting doom and gloom, with no breaks between books/films. Only reason that changed is because students spoke up. Together. In class. Producing shocked reactions from profs. They were thinking purely in terms of "ok, we need to cover this, and will ask that", rather than considering that students might actually have human reactions to the stories.

College students are often emotionally fragile, even if they don't look it--particularly those living on campus. Being away from home; new circumstances; new rules; trying to figure out everything from What To Do With The Rest Of Their Lives, to how to pay for texts *this* term, to dealing with a stranger as roommate, to not realizing that certain combinations of courses will so overload them that they'll need to drop a couple; etc. Lots of college kids have meltdowns of one type or another, or suicide attempts. Some drop out--for a while, at least--and go home.

That's before the actual content of any one class.

I think my university years might have been a little different from that of the people you know.

Yeah, I went through a couple of periods of stress and depression myself, even visited the doctor about it. But I'm pretty sure that was never reflected in my reaction to the curriculum. And, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I ever heard another student, however encumbered with dark moods, complain about that either.

If anything, the students I knew had a HIGHER capacity for black humour and acerbic irony than likely prevailed in the general population. And I tend to think this would be true of university students as a whole. The comics-section of campus papers are usually notorious for absolutely pulverizing the boundaries of good taste, for example.

And aren't things like Southpark(with jokes about everything from pedophilia to Nazism) aimed primarily at people in their twenties?

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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lilBuddha
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University students, just like real people, are varied. And internally inconsistent.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
How is that univ teachers get calls and emails from parents of 20+ year olds these days?

Nobody I know has had calls from parents checking up on their (adult) children, although they all have possibly apocryphal stories about it happening to someone they know.

(I have a couple of friends at a local college which has a few high school kids taking a course or two. They do speak to the parents, but children who are currently enrolled in high school aren't in quite the same situation.)

On the other hand, lots of people have stories about parents of new students haunting the campus for the first couple of weeks in order to "help" their child settle in.

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Just because I tripped over this (David Mitchell apologising for being a part of the original furore), the lecturer who included the trigger warning responds. The trigger warning was specifically about a lecture discussing the portrayal of rape in media, including in Titus Andronicus. The intention was to forensically examine rape and its portrayal and he thought anyone who had been raped or assaulted might need to be forewarned.

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