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I have been posting updates on my blog about the progress of my thesis. I recently posted that I was done with it and that it had been passed on to the second reader for final review. I then mentioned that I had a 3.9 GPA for my MA program and if I did well on my thesis, I should graduate with honors. Yesterday I got this comment to that post, the italics are my additions:
kind of embarrassed for youHis screen handle0 email@example.com Submitted on 2011/03/29 at 23:36Bragging about a 3.9 GPA for a master?s degree in history at ?American Military University? is akin to bragging about being on the commandant?s list at Air Force cook?s AIT then did a ?tour? in Kabul for 3 months while you?re at a VFW get-together with combat vets present. You?re really proud of it, seem like a nice guy and all but everyone around is sort of cringing in embarrassment for you. Brutally awkward for everyone except the guy speaking/bragging.Compete to get into a worthy academic program, deal with full-time rigorous interaction with academics and peers and then put yourself out there when you do well.Bragging about a 3.9 GPA for a master's degree in history at "American Military University" is akin to bragging about being on the commandant's list at Air Force cook's AIT then did a "tour" in Kabul for 3 months while you're at a VFW get-together with combat vets present. You're really proud of it, seem like a nice guy and all but everyone around is sort of cringing in embarrassment for you. Brutally awkward for everyone except the guy speaking/bragging.Compete to get into a worthy academic program, deal with full-time rigorous interaction with academics and peers and then put yourself out there when you do well.
The comment is not public because I have my blog set such that I have to approve everybody?s initial comment. I am wondering if I should allow it to post and then respond or just ignore it. It kind of angers me because I worked hard to get my degree; AMU is no pushover school by any means. I also wonder what possesses people to do these kinds of drive-by attacks. I especially like the fact that he posted anonymously; I have already composed a caustic, profane reply in my head. This comment is the perfect example to me of the ivory tower attitude of people who had the luxury of attending a brick and mortar school.Additionally, my blog, http://www.military-history.us is not super high traffic. I average about 25-30 visits a day. Mostly from the US, but from all over the world as well; the guy that posted used a proxy server in the US to post.Since I trust all the regulars on this board?s judgment, I am throwing a question out to you. Should I let this publish and respond or just delete it and ignore it? My inclination is to ignore it and take the high road of not responding to idiotic criticism of this type.PhidippidesKeymaster
Well, first off, I think it was good that you held onto it before deciding what to do. I know I would be pretty darn upset if I received something like that. Who in the world is this guy, who knows almost nothing about you, to lecture you and rip on your education? If I were you, I would respond (otherwise it might gnaw on you inside), but I wouldn't respond in any kind of crude way. Rather, I might post it in another blog post (rather than in the comments), but with my own views about why I am annoyed by condescending attitudes within academia in general. There are so many things to say in response to someone who snipes from the sidelines like that, and so it may be difficult to write something which hits the nail on the head without resorting to personal attacks. However, I think you can do it.Incidentally, I read your post and I really don't interpret what you said to have been "bragging" at all.
I didn't think I was bragging either. I too, went back and re-read what I originally posted. I think I am going to sit on this for a day or so and then come up with a response. I really like your idea of incorporating it into a separate post all by itself, I will probably do that.
I think posting a separate blog topic about it is a good idea too.
I am putting together a blog post in response. Unfortunately, the cretin that wrote it input a bogus email or one that Google shut down as far as I can tell.NotchParticipant
Everyone online has opinions.What matters is how you feel about it all. You know who you are, what you have done and what you are about, not some anonymous person looking to stir up an argument.Some would say because of the college I go to that I am not really getting a degree. Whatever. I work two jobs, have a family and find time to do homework and write papers AND go to class twice a week. Do I really care what ANYONE thinks what my degree will be worth? Nope. THey can take a long walk off a short pier, because *I* know what was involved in it. I'm not looking for accolades. I am looking to myself for personal accomplishment.Anyway, in regards to your anonymous cretin, let it go.. isn't even worth the trouble... Or I would even allow the comment and leave the reply "That is your opinion, and you are welcome to it. Have a nice day."
I think I am going to do a combination, I will delete the comment from the intial post and then write a separate post about it. Who knows, maybe I will start a discussion. I too, have worked and went to school and think I have reason to be proud of achieving my educational goals. I got a degree for myself, not for anyone else.Here is the post I have come up with. Can you guys tell me what you think? Should I put it up or just let sleeping dogs lie? It is just that the comment eats me up.
A week ago I posted an update on where I am at in writing my thesis. The original post is here: The Actual Writing of a Thesis-Part 9. It essentially said that I was done with it and that it had been passed on to the second reader for final review. I then mentioned that I had a 3.9 GPA for my MA program and if I did well on my thesis, I should graduate with honors. Because of the settings on my blog, the comments are not visible automatically unless the poster has a previously approved comment already. I have to approve comments from initial posters. I get too much spam, otherwise the blog would be full of ads for anything from vitamins to penis enlargement.Yesterday I got this comment to my thesis update post:
kind of embarrassed for you0 firstname.lastname@example.orgSubmitted on 2011/03/29 at 23:36Bragging about a 3.9 GPA for a master?s degree in history at ?American Military University? is akin to bragging about being on the commandant?s list at Air Force cook?s AIT then did a ?tour? in Kabul for 3 months while you?re at a VFW get-together with combat vets present. You?re really proud of it, seem like a nice guy and all but everyone around is sort of cringing in embarrassment for you. Brutally awkward for everyone except the guy speaking/bragging.Compete to get into a worthy academic program, deal with full-time rigorous interaction with academics and peers and then put yourself out there when you do well.
My first reaction upon seeing the post was anger, who the hell is this guy to be down on the quality of my education. He does not even have the courage to identify himself or explain his qualifications in any way. So where does he get off being embarrassed for me? I busted my ass to get a degree while serving in the US Military doing my part to defend idiots like this guy?s right to spout off. My next thought is that I would love to meet him in the proverbial dark alley, and then I realized that that was the reaction he probably hoped to provoke.Let?s analyze this comment piece by piece. Take American Military University, it is a regionally and nationally accredited university with highly qualified instructors. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association and nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. My Main Thesis professor was Dr. John Chappo, and the second reader for my thesis was Dr. Steven Kreis. Every instructor I had while working towards my MA had a Ph.D. I fail to see how this school can be denigrated on either its accreditation or the qualifications of its professors.
Compete to get into a worthy academic program, deal with full-time rigorous interaction with academics and peers and then put yourself out there when you do well.
This sentence takes the cake, he obviously does not know what he is talking about. Apparently he subscribes to the academic snobbery that unless I went to a bricks and mortar school I did not learn anything. I did not get 4+ years of frat parties in college. Instead, I worked a full-time job and deployed to combat as a combat arms soldier in a heavy cavalry squadron while going to school. I will not characterize my time in combat as being some kind of spec-ops type but I did not stay inside the FOB the entire year either. I have done my share of raids and seen my share of IEDs. I would bet that the poster here has not; perhaps he is the Air Force cook.In the end, I just do not understand the mentality of a person that would post such a drive-by attack on somebody they do not know. As an old farm saying goes ?that is the same type of person that would rape your dog and kick your trash can over.? I am not embarrassed for myself, but I do have a little pity for someone whose life is so empty they have nothing better to do than randomly attack people on the internet anonymously, they are the worst kind of internet troll.
I think you should leave his comment, but don't reply to it. Instead, post something about the qualifications of online academics. (perhaps you could mention how many prestigious universities offer online grad degrees) and just completely demolish his or anyone else's view who think online degrees are inferior to brick & mortars.If you want to repond to him, or just make it a general challenge to your readers, tell him to name 5 (or if you're feeling bold enough, go with 2) other colleges or universities (outside of military academies) that are "better" than AMU for military history.PhidippidesKeymaster
I didn't see anything in the guy's comment about his denigration of AMU in that it is an “online program”. Perhaps he meant that, but he didn't say it. So I don't know that you need to go that route of defending it in that regard.The real thing that really gets me about what they guy said was along the lines of what Notch said. Few people probably know the personal, intimate reasons why you are getting a Masters in history, what you are planning to do with it, or the joy you get from studying. I'm guessing the guy does not know your personal finances, your availability to study at a school stateside, or your commitment to your family (all of which comes into play when choosing a program). So for some random person to come by and deem your life decisions "embarrassing" because they do not measure up in his opinion (in a rather mocking way) is very much out of place and presumes far too much. If getting a degree is only about "prestige", then people not attending Ivies or similar schools are simply "wasting their time". But if getting a degree is about achieving a certain level of academic rigor, learning, personal fulfillment, etc., then no one can judge that except for the person involved. I don't think you need to spend much time defending the academics of your school. Of course, programs such as Harvard, Columbia, etc. are going to be much more academically "prestigious" than other programs. But this hardly means that the other programs are academically "worthless". You were taught by PhDs, who know the rigor of academic life. Your school is accredited by nationally-recognized bodies. That should really be the end of defending your program. I will say this - if you can let it go, then do it. But if you think it will be on your mind too much and you need to get some thoughts off your chest, then responding is worth it. If I were writing a response post I would probably focus on some different themes, but that's just me. In the end, I don't know that the guy will come back to read what you wrote, but maybe he will.
The actual writing of the response post let the steam out for me. I do not think I will post it, I will keep it as a draft though. As for the original comment, I am going to delete it and then forget about it unless and until the guy shows back up. I have decided he posted something like that to get a rise out of me and I will not sink low enough to give home the gratification of a response. The short of it is, I have decided to take the high road. Let me meet him on the street and know it though, then it would probably be a different story.
Let me know if you need backup.Vulture6Participant
Patrick – here's my take…As mentioned above, he doesn't know anything about you, your situation, your studies, or the quality of your work.Second, he doesn't know anything about the rigor at AMU.Third, forget the accreditation thing as part of your argument - accreditation is the price of admission. Instead, point out that APUS (American Military University's parent - the actual accredited institution for those readers who aren't that familiar with AMU) was the first fully online school to receive the Sloan Consortium's award for best practices in online education (2009). There is a pretty impressive list of brick and mortar schools who have received Sloan awards in the past (and an even more impressive list of brick and mortar schools with online programs who HAVE NOT been recognized by Sloan, ever)! APUS (AMU) also won back-to-back awards from Sloan (2009 & 2010) for effective practices in learning outcomes assessment (that's actually measuring what students learn). (Sloan C is made up of some 1500 schools, by the way.) (http://www.apus.edu/news-events/news/2010/07-21-10-sloan.htm)(http://www.apus.edu/news-events/news/2009/092909_APUS_Wins_Sloan_C_Honors.htm)(http://sloanconsortium.org/awards_excellence_recipients)(http://sloanconsortium.org/effective_practices/using-community-inquiry-framework-survey-multi-level-institutional-evaluation-an)(http://sloanconsortium.org/effective_practices/semantic-mapping-learning-assets)For someone pontificating about academic quality and rigor, I'm embarrassed for him for his level of ignorance. What level of research has he conducted? How has he measured academic rigor at AMU and what schools did he compare the results with? What are the facts that back up his statements? You know, I learned somewhere along my academic journey that I needed to have facts to back up my statementsAnyone can find the information that I listed in my third point above with about 15 minutes of research on the Internet.DonaldBakerParticipant
I'm late seeing this thread. Patrick I am so sorry somebody posted such hateful garbage on your site. Everyone here that knows you can tell you are a top notch scholar and have served your country with highest distinction. That person, whoever he is, is a fool and is to be pitied. I would not delete his comments because that would be censorship. I would fire back a volley of my own and put him in his place. You have the credentials to do that, and nobody here would think it out of the way if you did so. My curiosity is what motivated him to write such a thing in the first place?
I was initially angered and outraged by the post but have since cooled off. The initial poster was a troll and obviously posting out of vicious ignorance. What I will do is post a response simply asking if I detect a note of envy. I will not get into a long-drawn out post defending my school, I don't think I need to be on the defensive. If anything he needs to defends his position. As vulture points out above, a few minutes of internet research will show that AMU is not a diploma mill.this is my response:
I do not need anyone to be embarrassed for me, I am justifiably proud of my achievement. Your drive-by only displays your own ignorance. Or do I detect a note of envy that I have achieved something you have not?WallyParticipant
Well said and kinder than the A-hole deserves.