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15 September 2008 @ 07:16 am
Performance enhancing

Thanx to Chronicle
Hilaryocean_state on September 17th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
I was diagnosed with ADHD (to no one's surprise) pretty much as soon as I had health care as an adult, which was in 2005. I do think that the medication I was prescribed helped with symptoms, but I never gave it much of a chance because the appetite-suppressing side effect was unbearable. And I would like to be slimmer and could stand to lose some weight. But ADHD meds made choking down the least bit of food agonizing, and I felt constantly light-headed from the starvation regime they imposed.

Perhaps it would have abated with time, who knows. After another year's gap in health care I had my medical records forwarded to my current doctor, but I'm too embarrassed and hesitant to resume drug treatment for ADHD. I'm ashamed to be stamped with the big Screwed Up In the Head label, and frankly I wonder if medication is even the most appropriate course of treatment.

If only I was less easily shamed, I could be raking in the dough on the black market!
Marionweofodthignen on September 28th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Interesting . . . as someone who taught in colleges for almost 20 years, and someone who managed to get through 7 years of very pressurized and underslept high school without even pain killers (and I had friends who were chewed up by various cogs) . . . I find this makes sense to me in sad ways. However, I see a commentator pointing to grade inflation and blaming the students' social lives. Frankly, grade inflation has been a concern at selective colleges since at least the 1920s. The fact is, the basis of assessment keeps shifting, as does the curriculum and the type of performance sought. (The ability to pick out researchers' names and the exact turns of phrase used in the textbook on a multiple-choice exam has eclipsed the ability to write a cogent essay, and the grade given to an essay that displays understanding rather than regurgitating the textbook in bullet-points has plummeted, to name two phenomena I'm particularly aware of.) Sheer raw time put in is more important these days: lab time, class discussion time, simply attending. And the points about employment are if anything understated. Already in the 1970s I knew Cornell undergrads who worked two jobs. And this is now a culture of pill-poppers. If indeed it ever wasn't.

It's a pity really, because going to college used to be liberating as well as educational; in fact the universities were founded by students. But as I am sure is central to this chap's book on how universities work these days, it's become a chore. I encountered more and more students who hated it, and the examples of people who've got out of it and done the better for it are multiplying. . . . While I've encountered dozens of people online who should have gone to college--they love to learn, they are passionate about ideas and books, they prefer subjects that require a research library, university kinds of instructors, or other stuff the academy has and the local public library doesn't even in the internet age--and can't, and/or got chewed up by what college has become. The misuse of Ritalin is a symptom of a system that's hurting more and more young people.