Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome to Fall 2016

Sure, some of you are harder working and are already teaching. Sure, some of you would not be caught dead teaching in tacky August.

Yet, for a large number of academics, this week sees the start of the fall semester. (And, yes, you poor quarter system proffies never get a break. Everyone is crying for you.)

But, I'm off track.

College Misery is in its 6th year as a dying and inconsequential blog (we've always been inconsequential and dying...and small) and we are happy to welcome new correspondents. If you have stories and tales about the misery of college proffie life, we'd love to share them with our readers.

Over in the sidebar are two links, the top one - with the green envelope icon - will allow you to write a post the way you want it to appear on the site. (Make sure to include a user name / pseudonym at the bottom.) It goes into a queue where the moderator will check it for formatting and post it within a few hours.

The second link further down to the RGM (Real Goddamned Moderator) sends a direct message to me. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Grad students recognized as workers

Driving home from beginning-of-the-year meetings, I heard this news on NPR:

NLRB: Graduate Students at Private Universities May Unionize

If I heard the NPR story (which I don't see online yet) correctly, the ruling also applies to undergraduate student workers.

I don't know all the ins and outs, but I think this is probably good news, since it seems likely to reduce opportunities and incentives for exploiting grad student labor -- perhaps not by much, but maybe at least a bit?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I won't post another of these, but this is shameful. I've found pages and pages of this.... From Nick. Sorry.

Cancelled Class Blues

I know we've discussed this before, and my memory is that some people were annoyed that this page made a thing out of professor cancellations. But, although I'm nowhere near perfect, I tend to meet my classes all semester long.


First Day VidShizzle. Cancelled.

Regardless of what folks think, the vidshizzles are always made with a healthy portion of love. I was a lousy college student, and thank God I didn't have the YouTube capabilities of today's students. I can't imagine the idiocy I would have posted.

But as I often do for this site, I was going to stitch together a few funny and inane "first day of college" videos today to post. The first ones were great, kids lost, kids mad about walking 3 minutes to class, etc. Then I found 2 back to back that broke my heart. Two freshmen in their dorm rooms crying, seriously upset about being away from home, feeling lonely and lost.

It broke my heart. I spent a few sleepless weepy nights back in the 70s in my undergrad days, and it was nothing to laugh about then or now.

I start classes on Thursday, and today's little wake up call has served to remind me how young the modern student is, how fragile. Not all, of course. There will be fuckups and loudmouths and entitled brats like always.

But there will be some who are frightened and fragile, and I'm going to do my best to help them.

- Cal

Monday, August 22, 2016

I. Can't. Even. Olympic Recap: ENG 1101, 9:30 am.

It is not in my nature to rag on students, but in my first class today:

1: oh my god did you see the Olympics?
2: yes it was so much fun. But where were those other countries from?
1: what do you mean?
2: like which countries were those other countries from?
1: which ones?
2: the ones that weren't America.
1: all over. Did you see those women that looked like men?

And then I passed out the syllabus.