Monday, December 31, 2012

Yes, We Twitter. Or Somebody Does. Twitter's Stupid.


I don't know how it works. Some longtime reader puts shits/twits up.

You have to type @collegemisery I think.

Or not. Somebody asked me to do this post.
If Twitter helps us kill the site,
I'm all for it.

Leslie K

[+]

PS: This was the blog's 3600th post.
What a fucking anticlimactic moment.


77 comments:

  1. I am a longtime reader of the page. I beg you to shut it down at the year's end.

    It's an embarrassment to the profession. You do more harm than good, and the page - a novelty at the beginning - is no longer relevant.

    The point has been made - college faculty are dismayed at the entitlement and lack of rigor among students.

    Why not face these challenges in the real world, instead of through your anonymous sniping and kvetching?

    I respect your need to "vent," but you must see that your project has overstayed its welcome.

    Please, shut down College Misery today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you thought this page was ever relevant, you're way off course.

      Delete
    2. This always happens when we stir the twitter pot.

      Delete
    3. Norm,

      This page is not for you, or for others to see.

      I mean, they can look in if they want to.

      It's a place to vent, and to share vicariously in the suffering of others. To know we are not in this alone.

      So it will stay, and you may go.

      Delete
  2. Norma----go away.

    We snipe and kvetch because we like to. It is all still quite relevant to us!

    And of course we are also facing these challenges in the real world all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I respect your point of view, but I don't want to let this drop. I think your page poisons academia. I hate to admit it has any power at all, but I've overheard colleagues talk about it, and it's the kind of colleagues you can imagine: disenchanted, bored, angry. What good does it to do complain on this blog.

    I never see anything on here about professionals actually doing something to fix the profession. You snipe and kvetch INSTEAD of doing anything worthwhile.

    And while most of you seem to be junior college or adjunct faculty, surely a few of you must have full time jobs and could actually impact academia in real and important ways.

    I know there are problems with the profession. But I choose to work on real world solutions.

    I think this blog STOPS and retards our improvement. Please, moderators, use the year end to shut the page down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You assume that since you read us complaining here, that we don't do anything else. Do you think a police officer doesn't protect people during his shift if he complains about his job to his friends on Facebook? I can't speak for anybody else but I do what I can to improve the small square of academia that I inhabit. I also post and comment here.

      If you are joking, you got me. That was a really well-written parody.

      Delete
    2. I think this is probably the most active group of professionals I know. Compared to the complacent smiling wankers on my campus, people on here are actively researching, keeping abreast with current trends and important movements in Education. They're intelligent, snarky, and are the most conscientious bunch I know. Norm from Napa clearly doesn't read regularly enough to see that people here actually DO THEIR JOBS, and that we hold others, including students and administrators, to that standard, as well.

      Delete
    3. We snipe and kvetch so that it gets out of our systems. Then we go to class and help our students succeed. If you leave all that poison in your system, it comes out in unintended ways. Venting is a necessity.

      Delete
  4. Embarrassment to the profession?

    What, a blog that reads like a typical conversation between colleagues (when there are no students around)?

    A happy new year to the moderators, even the grumpy ones.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Indeed. An embarrassment. You must realize parents and students see this page. It's shocking to them, the level of anger on here.

    For us, it's just "venting;" I've even done it myself. You'd recognize my screen name.

    But, usually adults grow up, recognize that there are hardships in any life, and we get about the business. I ask again, what are you doing IN THE REAL WORLD to solve these problems that so many of us complain about futilely here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norm,

      In grading your comments I found several issues we covered in class.

      - You use single words and short phrases punctuated as complete sentences. Those are called fragments and are not acceptable.
      - You start sentences with conjunctions. At this level that is not permitted.
      - You ask questions. Questions do not prove an argument.
      - You have phrases in all caps. Please consult your text as that is not even allowed in a text message.
      - You offer a thesis that is not logical and try to prove it with opinions which cannot be verified. Consult the text regarding logos, ethos, and pathos.


      Norm, your writing and logic are far below needed expectations at this level. In answer to one of your questions about what I'm doing in the real word: I fail those who write like you.

      Delete
    2. Come on, Sarcastic Bastard. What a small, small intellect you must have to resort to such a childish response. You're not even addressing my concern.

      Okay, I've used some informal style in my comments on a FUCKING BLOG! You've ensnared me. You're a genius. I. Tell. You. A Genius!

      Until you can address my real concern, that this page is an embarrassment to the profession, I'll grade your fearful and petty comment with a D.

      Delete
    3. Norm, there are websites devoted to providing employees of all professions an area to vent. This is no different or any more special than the others.

      Frankly, if a parent or students is shocked by stuff on this site, they haven't been looking around the internet much. Though I'll admit that the poorly rendered graphics can be a little jarring at first.

      Delete
  6. I had a miserable time while I was an instructor at a tech college and quit over 10 years ago. I've found that this website and its predecessor, RYS, reassuring because I found out that I wasn't alone in what I experienced.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, my students and their parents are constantly expressing their shock to me about College Misery. Are you kidding me?

    "And while most of you seem to be junior college or adjunct faculty, surely a few of you must have full time jobs and could actually impact academia in real and important ways."

    Wow, and the rest of us can't impact academia in real and important ways? Especially given the creep of academic bureaucratization?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil, meet me in the faculty lounge and let's toast to being off the hook! We're not "real" faculty, so this isn't our problem.

      Delete
  8. Norm, you're preaching to the wrong congregation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. so apparently Norm can work for "real world solutions" and still read/comment on CM, but for the rest of us, reading and commenting on CM is proof that we are NOT looking for "real world solutions." OK, got it..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Middle Age and Morose. You make an excellent point. I was an active member here for a while. I, too, found a visceral thrill by denouncing and mocking my students.

    But, like most childish things, it got old for me pretty quickly.

    I was embarrassed myself for being so small.

    I decided to focus instead on real world solutions, at least for my own campus. I can't solve the academy's problems, but if I speak up in public, not anonymously or pseudonymously on a website, I can effect the lives and philosophy of my own college, at least my own department.

    I'm saying the blog moderators should raise a call about that. Let's quit hiding on this website and turn our frustration - because I know it's real - toward a forum where we can actually have an impact. Nothing said here solves anything.

    Shut it down. Go to your faculty lounge instead and holler, cry, scream, etc.

    I'm with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And by having this site, we see that you are with us. How can a faculty member paid through yearly contracts build up the courage to scream in the faculty lounge without knowing that there are others with similar feelings? In fact, that professor might feel so isolated that he quits the profession because he believes his troubles must be his fault, not the result of a flawed system of academia.

      When you know that there are others out there with similar problems, or even worse ones, you are emboldened to step up and make changes. Getting that message out is one thing that College Misery does.

      But mainly it just cuts into my cat blogging time.

      Delete
    2. We don't have a faculty lounge.

      Delete
  12. See, nothing good ever happens when we start posting on Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has nothing to do with Twitter. I don't have a Twitter. I agree with the image that Twitter is stupid.

      I've been here since the early days.

      Delete
    2. Why are you so afraid to reveal the name you typically use?

      Delete
  13. Wow, Norm has a faculty lounge. I wish I had access to a faculty lounge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a faculty lounge, and I DO actively kvetch on my campus. Just because Norm doesn't see it, doesn't mean it's not happening.

      Norm, you remind me of someone who lost ten pounds and now wants everyone in the world to do the same. Oh, or of a militant vegan.

      Delete
  14. ". . .if I speak up in public, not anonymously or pseudonymously on a website, I can effect the lives and philosophy of my own college, at least my own department."

    You're a snowflake with injured self-esteem masquerading as a professor, who would know the difference between affect and effect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, well spotted. Affect, effect. Stunned me. I admit that I used the wrong word there; I am humbly chagrined. Or is two Ns? Like it matters.

      But please, if you want to debate the issue, do that. If you just want to spend New Year's Eve correcting usage, then you truly are a stooge.

      Delete
  15. Parents and students should be shocked by what they read here, not because we academics are so disgustingly disenchanted, but because today's students and their helicopter parents need a serious dose of reality. They need to hear that they're not the center of the Universe. Students need to understand--and understand right quick--that they are not the clients, that instead they are students, young adults (or not-so-young adults) responsible for their own education.

    If parents and students are shocked by what they read here, they have it coming. Many parents willingly participate in the decline of public education by sending their children to charter schools or undermining their children's teachers on a regular basis. Many parents and students actively contribute to the ongoing decline of civility in the world, in the U.S. particularly.

    Students today come to colleges and universities without the smallest clue that the professors with whom they are dealing are human beings and highly trained professionals in their fields. If parents and students don't like what they read here, they are free to enact positive changes in higher education, like the return of the notion that students must learn and that teachers can and should set the rules in a college classroom.

    I am sick to death of being told that I need to coddle students (and sometimes their parents) even more than I already do. I had a student email me on Christmas Day--Christmas tea-partying Day!--to ask about the requirements for a class I'm teaching next semester. Is there any better way to send a message to your professor that you consider him or her at your constant and ever disposal?

    Eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves. If people don't want to hear what others are saying about them, then they shouldn't listen. If they do make the mistake of listening (reading, in our case) and they hear something they don't like, they should think about why it's being said--and said repeatedly.

    Good heavens. Like Phil, I have no faculty lounge. I do have CM, though, and I intend to keep gathering at this virtual water cooler and commenting whenever I feel the need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXACTLY! When I talk with parents and friends or colleagues about what REALLY goes on with my students. they're always in disbelief and are shocked that students are so entitled and uneducated. By and large, the ONLY response I get is, "Wow, why do you put up with students like that? They'd be fired in my industry." NEVER does anyone say, "Oh, why are you complaining about it?"

      Delete
    2. It makes me feel like Clarence Oddbody telling George Bailey, "You're going to see a lot of things you don't like here..."

      Delete
    3. "Parents and students should be shocked by what they read here, not because we academics are so disgustingly disenchanted, but because today's students and their helicopter parents need a serious dose of reality. They need to hear that they're not the center of the Universe. Students need to understand--and understand right quick--that they are not the clients, that instead they are students, young adults (or not-so-young adults) responsible for their own education."

      The parents fucked up, the kids fucked up, we were fucked up in getting rid of the USSR....the only solution is two-fold: everybody under 30 retakes highschool in Germany, and I (and my men) rebuild the Soviet Union. With any luck, Spain will have a red flag in 20 years. And the average American will be able to speak German both in dialect and Hochdeutch.

      Delete
  16. I sincerely ask the moderators to respond to my request. Engaging with the usage police above is a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The moderators are getting ready for tonight's drinking by getting drunk. Do try in one-two weeks. Bring beer.

      Delete
    2. Then for Christ's sake, Norm, send them an email.

      Delete
    3. Yo! Norm! Since Ben, Greta, and the others have done such an articulate job of reasoning with you and you just won't listen, my efforts are unlikely to improve on this much, so I'll just add that your mom eats dead barnyard animals for breakfast. As of spring semester, I'll be the goddamn chair of the physics department again, facing a new dean full of edu-babble and open disdain for our sorely underappreciated contingent faculty. Is that real enough for you?

      Jeez Louise, next thing you'll want is for us to give up drinking...

      Delete
    4. P.S. to Norm: you ought to be ashamed of how out of touch with reality you are.

      Delete
    5. Oh hell. Norm is a long time reader and has written to me before concerning this same issue. He's not "honest_prof," by the way.

      Norm. The page will stay up and change and grow as it does, by its contributors.

      None of us would be involved if we thought it was hurting the profession. You might try not reading it.

      Leslie K.

      Delete
    6. As Froderick has clearly violated the rules of the page, I ask that his comment be redacted.

      Thank you.

      Delete
    7. Or else you're going to take your bat and ball and go home, right?

      Delete
    8. There's no reason to be so mean about it. I got an email from Leslie K and she's heard my thoughts and tells me that they will be considered along with thoughts from other readers.

      This is acceptable to me. I just don't know why you and others had to be so dismissive. You must know - somewhere inside - that you're doing the wrong thing with this page. Why is it that you're all so afraid to recognize, admit, and then act on the truth.

      I am satisfied that my voice has been heard, and I wish you all a happy new year.

      And your students, who are my main concern in all of this.

      Delete
    9. More seriously: this should also apply to all comments disparaging contingent and juco faculty, without whom my department certainly couldn't manage.

      Delete
  17. Norm, I'll apply the rules of misery as is relevant and appropriate. Your comment is noted.

    And, to reply to a handful of emails, while I can't provide proof that Norm actually is a prof, he has always corresponded with the site using a verified faculty email address from a small college in the northeast.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Um, Norm? Unless your mom is a vegan, or otherwise never eats bacon or ham, every word I'be written here is true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frod: Wonderful. I must remember that non-insulting insult.

      Leslie: Hang in there. Happy New Year.

      Norm: The rules of misery include not posting under multiple pseudonyms.

      More to the point, CM provides much more than a safe place to vent. Often we help young colleagues to navigate the job market and college politics on the way to tenure. Sometimes we provide timely advice that may keep isolated colleagues safer from dangerous students. Sometimes we have moving tributes to the tenderness of our charges (Cal's vidshizzles at the start of semesters) and their sometimes sincere efforts to grasp our disciplines. Why do you think we revere Yaro?

      Delete
    2. Frod, that's what I thought too ... "eats dead barnyard animals", indeed. Made me seriously re-think about what I had for breakfast this morning, which up until I read this thread I had thoroughly enjoyed eating...

      Delete
  19. Norm, if you gave ONE compelling reason for stopping this blog, I'd listen, but your arguments are unsubstantiated and less than convincing. Your assumptions that people who complain about something online don't also actively work for change is seriously flawed.

    In addition, the idea that complaining aloud in the faculty lounge will lead to change is also flawed.

    Moreover, who is embarrassed by this? You? If you're not part of this community, why would you be embarrassed?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wait, which one of the Oxford Four is Norm again?

    Maybe if we all just say "in the real world" often enough...

    ReplyDelete
  21. My non-academic neighbors down here would smile politely and whisper out of the sides of their mouths, "Norm found Jesus."

    ReplyDelete
  22. The has been hilarious reading; the regulars versus a troll with brains.

    If there wasn't a Rate Your Students or College Misery, there would be an underground newsletter/shitlist/samizdat like it, either folded within copies of the Chron or on thumbdrives which would go from person to person. Blogging makes all that shit SO much easier. BTW, if I knew where Norm worked, I'd glue his office keyhole shut.

    DEATH TO TROLLS!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CM existed in a form, prior to the Internet. It just took 4 to 6 weeks for the moderator to receive and process each post and comment, then make it available in typed form at his house for anybody to look at, if they knew his address.

      Delete
  23. I want to thank Norm for reminding me why I love CM. The suggestion that we retire it makes me realize how much I value the page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You retire this site, and I take up a hobby of liquidating college football teams.

      The mascots too.

      Delete
    2. Why do you have to wait until the site is liquidated? It seems a worthy project, which needs no excuse.

      Delete
    3. The Thawing of CM: How Incoherent English Proffies (Garnished with Non Sequiturs) Were Cooked Up, Defrosted, and/or Liquified in a Soviet Blender

      Delete
    4. I am offering a grant of $4000 to support the necessary research for creating this project. Of course, that $4000 is paid in Soviet-era rubles, but still...

      Delete
    5. Aha! I've unmasked him! Strelnikov is Margaret Soltan in CM disguise.

      Delete
  24. Norm, just because you don't like something doesn't mean that it has to be banned. This is typical Tea Party behavior.

    I also read nursing, doctor and EMI blogs. Talk about black humor! This blog is all about what we deal with before the snowflakes get out into "The Real World" where they generally get even worse.

    Parents and students reading this particular blog don't think that we're even talking about THEM.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Norm is a douche. Why don't people just NOT read the effing blog? I don't go over to where Norm knits cat pillows and knock the needles out of his hands.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Basically, what everybody but Norm said up there.^^^ Norm, I do understand your concern at a time when the profession is increasingly beleaguered, and I'm not sure CM is the right water cooler for all academics (or even all academics of good will). But for some of us, the opportunity to wander in, confirm that the emperor really is naked, get and give some advice for dealing with the folks who insist he's not, then head off again to fight the good fight is invaluable. For others -- well, Darla's advice immediately above looks pretty good to me. I suspect the same is true for students and parents: some will understand (and maybe even learn something); some won't; I don't think this place is going to revolutionize anyone's view of the profession in either direction.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Norm, it's my birthday. Give me a present and be quiet now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy birthday, F&T. It's good to see you around these parts.

      Delete
    2. Happy birthday (yesterday) F&T. Happy unbirthday today!

      Delete
    3. Happy Birthday and welcome back, Froad! (Not to be confused with Frod.)

      Delete
    4. A very merry unbirthday to you, F&T.

      Delete
    5. I was waiting for you to say something Frog and Toad. I hope you had a Happy Birthday!

      Delete
  28. Now that Norm seems to be gone, I am going to step up and defend teh Twitter.

    Confession: I love Twitter. I have recommended it (probably multiple times) to all of my colleagues and friends. I find it an incredibly useful tool to keep up with developments in my field, and to make/strengthen contacts with active, global members of my academic community.

    However, appropriately enough, CM and Twitter require the same general attitude: STAY AWAY if you don't feel like you're getting something out of it, or if you suspect it's aimed an an audience whose sensibility you Do. Not. Share.

    Some of the same kvetching we do here is echoed on Twitter (to brilliant and/or hilarious effect), if you look in the right places. As for trolls, they're the scourge of the Interwebz no matter what the platform -- and the smartest of the smart will dismiss them with the kind of aplomb this very comment thread so amply illustrates!

    In short: Whoever is responsible for the Twitter account, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. I especially love the carefully culled retweets from real students...few things are better than using their own words to prove our misery isn't all in our heads!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Today I was talking with my niece, Melly (I've written about her on here!) about her job at a fine eating establishment, where she just got promoted. Although Melly is a huge snowflake at college, she is an absolutely top notch person at her job. They love her. The customers love her. She needs to quit college so she can be a full time floor manager and make more than I do. It would suit her, at least right now it would.

    She was entertaining the whole family with the ways she and her boss (the owner of said fine eating establishment) make fun of the customers. Apparentely they have all kinds of innocuous sounding code words and phrases do to it. It was hilarious!

    I am sure those customers absolutely would be shocked that chic Melly, who treats each and every one of them like gold, and the bossy, classy owner, who does as well, make fun of them when they get obnoxious and drunk and rude and entitled. They pay a lot of money to go there and be catered to and get drunk and act obnoxious and rude and entitled. But come on----when people are treated like dirt and it is their job to be kind and considerate and accomodating and helpful anyway, they have to let off the steam somehow, don't they? I don't blame Melly one bit for making fun of those clowns----no matter how much they pay to eat there!

    That's the same way it is here, Norm. (sorry I called you Norma above.) Except as Cassandra pointed out, we work with people who won't even ADMIT that the customers/students are obnoxious. We NEED to come somewhere where people say YES, THE EMPEROR IS NUDE GOSHDARNIT (that mild, much toned down version of a swear was for YOU Maybelle, if you are out there today! Sorry I am such a guttergums!).

    So really, REALLY. If we offend you, don't come on here anymore. But don't judge us, and don't assume we are not productive members of academia. You know not of what you speak, if you assume that.

    And I'd have more respect for you, seriously, if you used the sign in name you say we'd all recognize. Because the fact that you don't indicates you would like to keep coming on here as one of us----so maybe you need this too, after all?

    ReplyDelete