The following began life as a comment on Charles’s blog, but I thought it was worth reproducing here:
That reminds me – I’ve been reading Novalyne Price Ellis’s memoir One Who Walked Alone, and just came across the following incident (p. 183) from her days as a high school speech coach:
I bawled out one of Mary’s judges because she caused Mary to get third. The dumb woman! I told her Mary should have had first place because she was by far the best in the senior girls finals! The woman opened her mouth and said, “Well, I guess you can blame me for that. The other two judges wanted to give her first place, and I talked them out of it.”
I controlled an impulse to slap her, for she was bigger than I was. With icicles hanging on every syllable, I asked her why she’d done it.
“Your girl was too perfect, and that’s what I objected to,” she said haughtily, moving her big black purse on her fat stomach. “I want to know that they’re just high school students saying a memorized oration that somebody else wrote. Your girl sounded as if the words were her very own! I want them to make mistakes and be just exactly what they are – high school students. I think, young lady, you trained your girl too well. You wouldn’t let her make mistakes ….”
(The Randians used to have a “Horror File” for stuff like this.)