So we toil on, trying to make sense of assignments too modest in scope to accomodate any genuine research, and I am consistently getting my best marks for assignments I can barely complete, due to my almost complete ignorance of the matter. If I knew more, I would breach the word limit, the clarity would suffer, and so on and so forth.
I am not sure when this happened, but few seem to notice that, somewhere along the way to breadth degrees, education-as-acquisition-of-knowledge has been substituted with education-as-role-playing. We don our robes and pretend we’re academic, writing our pretend-academic assignments and giving our pretend-academic talks and going on pretend-field-trips on which we do pretend-measuring and then pretend-calculations with partial data, and come up with pretend-results that serve for pretend-findings. It’s all so very sad, when it isn’t utterly infuriating.