A Q for the college grads

What does it mean when they say "... he graduated with *honors* from .....".
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Don wrote:

Simply put, it means that his or her coursework (usually) or extra-curricular activities (sometimes) or a combination of both was noticed by an admin somewhere who in turn bestowed some 'honor' on them. That 'honor' could be anything from the word 'honor' on a database, to some other form of academic/athletic recognition, to a scholarship.
Of course the system is wide open to gaming and corruption - involving 'incompletes', specifically designed curricula intended to be easy ("kinesiology," "American studies"), and of course biased admins. Above all there's the general worthlessness that "graduating with honors" has for anything other than graduate school or more academic degrees.
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"Adam Weiss"> wrote

So, graduating with honors doesn't seem to be as highly regarded amongst the *educated* masses as the lowly masses like me that aren't familiar with that stuff. What prompted this question was an article I was reading on an Indiana senator, in his bio it said he graduated with honors from......such and such university. It sort of looks like that if you simply graduate you do so with honors. Kinda like being awarded the *Marksman* badge in the army.
**When qualifying with a weapon in the army there are 3 categories, going from low to high: Marksman, Sharpshooter and Expert. http://tinyurl.com/6335q EVERYBODY is at least a Marksman, even if your hands are amputated, if you know what I mean, and that seemed to be about 75% of the people when I was in. Amazingly, the same sort of thing was true with drivers licenses. Of the 300+ people in my Company only about 5 of us had drivers licenses and I was one of them, so I moved to the head of the class. What I find laughable is when I see in the media a reference to the idea that todays army is so well educated and trained. Please. I saw the writing on the wall when I ETS'd from Ft Campbell in 78'. Any REAL soldier from the past will shake his head in absolute disgust when he sees video on the toob about soldiers in Iraq. Frankly, I'm surprised that more of them aren't killing each other. They call that fratricide ya know, and the biggest incident of fratricide during Desert Storm was my old unit, Delta Company, 54th Engineer Battalion, 130th Brigade based in Wildflecken Germany, attached to the 75th Ranger Battalion (Cold Steel) in Bad Tolz. Man, they went downhill. Thats right, one squad swooped another squad in the middle of the night with Bradleys and wiped out everybody. Over and out..................
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Don wrote:
<<snipped>>

"Over and out" - I'm finished what I'm saying and I'll shut up now.
"Above and beyond" - More than was expected.
"Over" = "higher than" = "above."
"Out" - to pass through a boundary and leave an environment.
"Beyond" - to have gone past a boundary.
Interesting how similar the words in the two phrases are. And yet when put together as they are, their meanings are drastically different.
It suggests a gestalt in writing. The sum of the parts is greater than each part itself. Were there no gestalt in writing, then the two sentences would be the same or similar in meaning.
So with that let's design a building.....
THAT my friends is what is taught in the prestigious architecture schools these days. Maybe you can understand my somewhat cynical view of "graduating with honors."
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over - I've stopped this set of talking and am handing the talking privilege to you and await your resply
out - I am breaking off contact now.
over and out - I await your response over a non-existent connection

firetruck
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Don wrote:

I'd first change the professors around somewhat. Instead of a bulk of them being theoretists with little or no practical experience and only a few of them being practicing architects, I'd make it the opposite. If I were in control, there would be a few theoretists on the faculty teaching theory seminars and architectural criticism, but the majority of the faculty - the ones teaching studios - would be licensed practicing architects.
Most of all, I'd fight the fact that, in my experience, architecture schools are too often islands unto themselves - isolated from other university departments. I'd strengthen existing and establish new links between the architecture school and other departments. Some studios might be held in conjunction with real-estate development courses in the business school (they already do this in some schools). Structures courses might actually be first year structural engineering courses - held in that department. And there could be courses in the engineering schools that provide engineering students with experience in developing buildings while simultaneously providing service to architecture students. Imagine if architecture students in 3rd year graduate or 4th or 5th year undergrad studios could call on and work with civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering students the same way practicing architects call on civil, mechanical, electrical, and other engineers.
The linkages wouldn't necessarily be to other academic departments. Most universities employ architects in their facilities and engineering departments. These architects are the university's representative in dealing with outside architects hired to construct buildings on campus, and they often design smaller projects on campus - new classrooms or office suites in existing buildings. I can't speak to other schools, but at Rice University there is a HUGE rift between these campus architects and the architecture school. That's a rift I'd work hard to close.
My goal in restructuring architecture schools - in removing architectural theoretists from architecture school faculties and replacing them with practicing architects; in establishing mutally beneficial linkages between architecture schools and other departments in the university - would be to bring architecture schools more closely in-line with the profession of architecture, in terms of what skills they endow students with and in terms of how they prepare students for a place in the profession.
Anyway, this is a long post. It's getting late. I'm outta here.
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.......... ...Inborn human desires are a nuisance to those with utopian and totalitarian visions, which often amount to the same thing. What stands in the way of most utopias is not pestilence and drought but human behavior. So utopians have to think of ways to control behavior, and when propaganda doesn't do the trick, more emphatic techniques are tried.
.......... ...The Marxist utopians of the twentieth century, as we saw, needed a tabula rasa free of selfishness and family ties and used totalitarian measures to scrape the tablets clean or start over with new ones.
.......... ...As Bertolt Brecht said of the East German government, << If the people did not do better the government would dismiss the people and elect a new one.>>
.......... ...Political philosophers and historians who have recently << reflected on our ravaged century,>> such as Isaiah Berlin, Kenneth Minogue, Robert Conquest, Jonathan Glover, James Scott, and Daniel Chirot, have pointed to utopian dreams as a major cause of twentieth-century nightmares.
.......... ...For that matter, Wordsworth's revolutionary France, << thrilled with joy >> while human nature was << born again, >> turned out to be no picnic either.
.......... ...It's not just behaviorists and Stalinists who forgot that a denial of human nature may have costs in freedom and happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!............... ...
--
Ahmed Ouahi, Architect
Best Regards!
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Don wrote:

I had hoped the term "experienced" would be implied in what I wrote.
But to add to your notion of 'apprenticeship' - architecture school could be and should be a 'pre-apprenticeship' of sorts - giving students a familiarity with the skills they need to begin their apprenticeship, and giving students a familiarity with the way a project goes from words said in a meeting to a building inhabited by people.
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With some schools the definition of "/w Honours" means that the student took a heavier concentration of courses in his particular major using his/her electives to take a more specific selection. It may very well involve a thesis course, research papers, etc. It doesn't necessarily mean having a high GPA although it may mean that you have to have a <higher minimum> GPA than a graduate of a standard program and a <higher minimum>average in your CORE classes.
The terns "/w Distinction" and "/w Great Distinction" are terms used for students who achieved Excellence and Outstanding Excellence in their particular programs.
It is quite possible to graduate "/w Great Honours" as well where the definition combines the two previous.
Your mileage may vary. :-) (This is from a guy who never got higher than a 3.0 GPA!)
************************************************************ Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, 'Oh my God...I could be eating a slow learner.' -- Lynda Montgomery
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