Sunday, November 23, 2014

UVa Closes Frats. Who's Next?

This morning the Inter-Fraternity Council announced that all University fraternities have voluntarily suspended social activities this weekend. This is an important first step, but our challenges will extend beyond this weekend. Beginning immediately, I am suspending all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9th, ahead of the beginning of our spring semester. In the intervening period we will assemble groups of students, faculty, alumni, and other concerned parties to discuss our next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence on Grounds. On Tuesday, the Board of Visitors will meet to discuss the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault as well as the specific, recent allegations.

More from President Sullivan.

The original Rolling Stone investigation.



Late Saturday night 100s of students and proffies marched to the Phi Kappa Psi house.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Titties. Am I Doomed?" Raquel in the Redwoods is Reeling.

I just wrote an impassioned email to all 100 of my writing students about the importance of titling essays with something more than "Sports" or "Essay Two" or "Essay Two: Sports."

I did some impassioned stuff about how the title of an essay is the first thing a reader sees, and how that title could be evocative and informational, actually create interest in the text. Actually drive readers into that first paragraph, which is, really, all we can hope for.

I felt good. I felt strong. The class had not been great about this topic, and with our biggest essay coming up I wanted them to really consider my suggestions.

Of course I titled this group email "Titties."

scantily-clad students but we have to pretend it's not distracting. from programming patty.

Our dormitories are in the same building as the classrooms, so we're used to seeing students attending class in flannel pyjamas. But I just saw a young woman emerge from a classroom in a flimsy spaghetti-strap tank top and tiny French knickers, along with fuzzy bedroom slippers. Belly button exposed. No bra and the nips plainly visible. Butt cheeks hanging out because the shorts were so short (like tap pants, if you know what those are).

How can this not be distracting to others, especially men? But I am not allowed to say that publicly, because the official line here at my university is that if men are distracted by half-clad women, that’s their problem for being such perverts. However let’s leave aside the Pollyannish expectation that 18-year-old boys will not ogle bare female flesh. What about respect? Respect for your classmates, for your professor, for the institution itself – how bout respect for the very process of learning, for the luxury of spending four years dedicated to edifying yourself – a luxury that few of our grandparents were afforded?

I can live with the flannel pyjamas, even the slippers, but not a flimsy tank top that looks like it’d slide right off if she sneezed, or skimpy satin shorts that would reveal all if she bent down to pick up a pencil. But due to the climate here at Politcally Correct U, I cannot even say that sexy skimpy pyjamas are inappropriate for class. That would make me part of the oppressive rape culture victim blaming patriarchy. So I just have to pretend like that’s perfectly normal, legitimate fashion choice for a 2:00 p.m. history class.

ChrryBlstr Sends This In. There Has to Be Better Uses for $150.

The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, a predatory open-access journal, has accepted for publication the marvelously titled paper "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List."

According to Scholarly Open Access, researchers David Mazières and Eddie Kohler first prepared the manuscript in 2005, to protest spam conference invitations. The paper – which can be read in its entirety here – is superbly summarized by its title, although its two figures do help reify some of its more abstract points.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Public Service Announcement


Hello?  Is this thing on?

[brief squawk of feedback]


May I have your attention please.

Now that the semester is drawing to a close, several of you have asked me how you should prepare for the upcoming final.  
At this stage, there are essentially two possibilities...

Either you've paid attention in class, 
kept up with the coursework, 
and you know the material...

[draws breath]

Or ya Tea Partying didn't
and ya Tea Partying don't!

That is all


Next Semester Is Two Months Away. Why Is Troublesome Trisha Emailing Me Before I've Been Able to Get My Post Fall Semester Drink On?

Yesterday, I received an email from Troublesome Trisha, who is getting married (yay!) and will miss the first week of next semester (yay!) for her honeymoon (yay!). 

She wants to know if she can submit any work for the first week of classes the week before the semester begins. 

Yes, the title of this post is nearly as long as the post itself. 


Breaking News.

Adjunct faculty: We are the 76.4 percent
from the Burlington Free Press

In the past 25 years, there has been a dramatic shift in higher education. In 1990, most college courses were taught by full-time, tenured faculty. In 2014, the majority of college courses are taught by part-time, "contingent" faculty, who now make up 76.4 percent of all college professors nationwide.

Many people outside academia assume that with the title "professor" comes a decent salary and benefits. After all, college professors have played by the rules, worked hard, taken on those student loans, gotten those advanced degrees and (as the saying goes) "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" into a respected profession.

Unfortunately, for adjunct faculty, this is not the case at all. Instead, teaching the maximum allowed course load of three courses per semester, my annual after-tax income is under $20,000.

The Rest.

The Rarely Used Douchebag Thirsty, From Academic Charlotte Anne

I have a snowflake; we shall call him Douchey Don. The other day in class Douchey Don asked me for “my opinion” on altruism in hamsters. I tried to explain to Douchey that I rarely give my opinion in class, but rather I try to present data and research from the field. In an effort to try to get these particular snowflakes to think like scientists, I asked Don what his hypothesis would be. He refused to participate and reiterated again his desire for my opinion, since I was the expert (of course he said this in a snide and condescending tone).

 So I ignored him and opened it up to the rest of the class. I got several hypotheses, and then we discussed the RESEARCH on hamster altruism, completely irrespective of my opinion. Douchey Don didn’t understand and arrogantly huffed out of the room whilst mumbling some nonsense about me not answering his question.

Q: Why is it that the tea-partying douchebag snowflakes think that anything professors say in front of the classroom is “opinion” as opposed to, oh, I don’t fucking know, facts, data, or theory from major researchers in the field?