Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Big Thirsty From Fab.

Do something fun. Read some of the archives, especially from 2010 and 2011. Scroll down to the comments and look at the names. Some will be familiar, and some will not.

Most of all what I see are old familiar names I've not seen around here for more than a year.

Q: Where do they go? What do they not find at CM that causes them not to return or to take part? Have you ever left CM for a time? Why? Why did you come back? Is there something transient about an academic's attachment to this blog? When the venting is over, is there any reason to stay?

31 comments:

  1. I do leave occasionally, when the posts begin to contribute to my feelings of despair. Students will be arbitrarily mean and vindictive or lazy and blame-y. Career prospects are hopeless. Chairs and Deans are insane.

    But inevitably, a student does something hilariously awful and I have to share with CM. And invariably I begin running through the weeks I missed, and I laugh so much that I end up coming back.

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  2. You mean, the venting could be over?

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  3. What BB said. I have left, too, but largely for reasons of "I'm not available to check the place." I find that I don't have to vent much; other people on the blog beat me to it, or have stories so much worse than mine that I begin to feel grateful.

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    1. As to why I visit... some of it is the funny. But there's also a strong undercurrent of good advice flowing here.

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  4. I love the misery, truly. In an article I wrote for the Chronicle at the end of Rate Your Students' life, I said something I still feel today:

    "I worried that the blog was getting to me. I still got jolts of excitement from its humor and crude, inventive, abusive prose. But I started to carry others' pain and anger into my own life and my own classrooms. My students morphed into the students I read about in the mail each morning. I suspected that each would try to fool me, each would do something blogworthy."

    I'm so grateful that Fab (and others who offered) started this page, to carry on some of the traditions of RYS. But I admit I sometimes avert my eyes for a bit. Like AM says above, when the despair starts to creep into your own life, it's probably a good thing to watch one of those idiotic vidshizzles where the kids seem happy, are dancing, or trying on clothes. A college can be a terrific place. But I'm glad we have a space to come and vent. And Ben, the venting could be over. But it never will.

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  5. Fab, if you shut down the site and weld the doors shut on the compound tomorrow, I will be glad that it had all happened. I might wonder if it had all been just a dream. A dream is good while it happens, and then you wake up. It's been a fun ride for me. Meaningful. Kind of like attending AA in the basement of the Catholic church around the corner, but sneaking a flask of bourbon in. Sometimes CM seems like the only island of sanity in an ocean of fucktard academic diarrhea, but sometimes it seems a little fucked up. So that's it. If you shut the thing down, please know that CM was appreciated. I don't go to funerals or farewell parties. Much love.

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    1. Bubba, I'm not shutting the site down. In fact now that Leslie K runs it, she decides that sort of thing - and gets to pick where we order Chinese from.

      I know I have this reputation for being super worried about the health of the site, and was just wondering if any one had insight about whether this kind of tomfoolery might have a shelf life of some kind.

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  6. I left after one post here (Where Were You), and a couple at RYS (including one that made it into the archive), because I had the desire to teach hammered hard as a master's student (and I really don't like research).

    So I enjoy looking, but....I only dabbled my toes in your world, and then left, beacuse I knew it would end in heartbreak and misery. And at the end of the day, I did not want to deal with it.

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  7. Months ago, someone posted about "the others," the people who read (every day!) but don't take part.

    That's me. Along with gawker and deadspin, I check collegemisery every single morning. I love it. It makes my own teaching better simply because I see I'm not alone.

    For my own reasons, I choose not to post or comment, but I would be lost without the page. there is no shelflife on angst, misery, or ennui. (See, I know my shit.)

    shout outs to Cal, Ben, Cassandra, and Stella, my favorites...

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  8. I have never left. If I go on vacation or to a conference, I go back and read all the posts that I have missed. It is just that great. Love you all!

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  9. the compound locations stink. (Oxford Ohio then this heckhole in UTAH?!?) and I feel sorry for the alpacas. And the duck keeps eating other people's food in the fridge even though it's PLAINLY MARKED! But yeah, I enjoy it and check it a couple times a day...

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  10. If by "go," you mean the day or two absence from the site I have to periodically take because I'm so busy with my job, then I go away regularly during the busy times, but otherwise, I haven't left since I found this haven of a community. I love this blog. Thank you to everyone who is insane enough to run it! May you never wear pants!

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  11. Hey, I'm new here. But I've been on other internet discussion sites, and it's normal for people to come, play for a while and disappear. Whatever it is they get out of it, it runs its course. The other thing that happens is that for the diehard old-timers it is like a private party.

    (There are probably a gazillion papers about "internet social dynamics" somewhere; as somebody once said, high school is the universal model.)

    But the reason for the blog itself--venting about irrationality and absurdity in higher ed--is not going anywhere; in fact it's getting worse, so CM will get more popular all the time.

    So, for the benefit of the new people, how about a sticky with the basics? Like, WTF is a "big thirsty"? Who are the mods? If Fab Sun is a founder, are there others? Who can post without emailing the mods? What's hazing like in this sorority?

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    1. Welcome, Peter K. Check out the CM Glossary 2.0 below the giant "Email yer Misery" badge button thingie at the top. Your question about a thirsty is answered there (along with other vocab). Leslie K is the moderator right now, but others have moderated the page (it's a thankless job, so makes sense that they need a break from stalking the trolls and keeping us in line; I'd rather teach, any day!). You can get posting rights by emailing the moderator and asking for posting rights after an extensive groveling period wherein you compliment and/or piss off everyone on the page in one drunken night of excessive commenting. As far as hazing goes, it never ends... never.

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    2. Thanks, Contemplative, I do feel welcome. I had looked in the glossary before, but missed "thirsty" somehow. Amazing that this can work with just one mod.

      I'm a contemplative cynical terrible meanie prof myself, but these are unfortunately all taken.

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    3. Thanks, CC. Peter, I'll post a bit more background today in a brief post. It's easy for me to forget new folks occasionally come around and would benefit from some history.

      Leslie K

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  12. I'm still here, but today I am being driven batshit loco by multiple fucktards simultaneously! Number 1 is my fucktarded gradflake: I should have posted to Bubba's thread, although what I really should do is drop-kick him into next Tuesday. Number 2 is the fucktarded undergrad whining that I "don't serve his needs," but won't go away. Number 3 is the fucktarded plant ops guy who tells me he can't reduce the temperature in my office from 80 degrees without making the offices on either side of me into meat lockers. Honestly, every time I deal with these people, I feel like I'm in the movie Caddyshack.

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  13. I don't comment often, but I read daily. I suppose part of it is that I'm still in some ways looking in from the outside, being a first year grad student who won't begin teaching until next fall. I like to read here to steel myself for later, though.

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  14. I still have CM in my RSS reader, and drop in to read comments now and then.

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  15. I was an RYS reader for years and have read CM from the beginning. I'm one of the early CM posters under a different moniker. I mostly commented, and got slammed a lot for my last post, which deserved it, which is why it was my last post for 18+ months. Also, I got outed, which is why eventually I asked for and received dispensation to begin anew as Proffie Galore.

    Like others, sometimes I forswear the Misery in order to spend quality time feeling optimistic and/or getting actual work done. Sometimes I'm too busy with family life (as in the last few weeks). But like a true addict, I always come back for the laughs and destruction.

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  16. from Wylodmayer

    I am ashamed to say I rage-quit once. I had made a post in reply to Raul from Russelville, but took it down shortly after because I thought it sounded high-handed. When I learned that other members had liked it and hoped I'd repost it, I put it back up, but was almost immediately called out for being 'arrogant' by someone - I forget who. I'm not even sure he was a regular. Anyway, I was feeling particularly immature and thin-skinned that day, so I not only took the post down but also withdrew from the list of registered posters. I feel particularly silly about this since I've been around (under one name or another) since RYS.

    I blame the snowflakes. Somehow.

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    1. It's always a good idea to blame the snowflakes. LOL. I am sure it somehow traces back to them, anyway.

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  17. I earned this moniker back during the RYS days after posting a particularly epic student story that involved a pond, a car in the pond, and a backpack in the car that had the student's only copy of a paper in it, along with a dead aunt who really wasn't dead. I read RYS daily, and I also read CM almost every day, but I only comment on occasion, mostly due to time constraints. Sometimes, the misery can get to be a bit too much, so I'll skip a day or two, but I always come back.

    A shout-out to all my fellow old-timers, and a welcome to all of you new readers! <3

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  18. I read, don't comment much anymore. I used to be very active, but it's not a super-friendly place for women's issues, which I sometimes bring up. And it isn't pretty. So now I mostly lurk.

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  19. We can leave? WTF. Why did Cash chain me to the desk?

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  20. I often take breaks because the casual sexism really gets to me...and, as clichéd as this sounds, it's not my fucking job to teach you.
    We do a good thing here, but that shit? Just no.

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  21. Hey Middle Aged and Morose: Heckhole in Utah? Hey dude, this is where I actually work. It's not my ideal geographic location, but I love, love, love my colleagues, my students, and my job. I come and I go because of people like the person who denigrates where I live, honestly. I have my dream job. I would never have imagined living here, but I couldn't be happier in a job. Frankly, people would be lucky to have the job I have. I comment occasionally but I can't summon up misery. My grandmother (my hero) taught me to be happy where I am. I've taught other places, I've had other jobs. Here in the "heckhole" I get to do exactly what I want. And I am so damn busy I don't have time for complaining.

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    1. I hear you. But to be fair to MAM, who is awfully reasonable most of the time, this blog's previous location was a sore point, so I think MAM's just devoted to giving us some shit about wherever the fictional compound exists.

      One of the most well known writers on this page has written quite glowingly about his summer cabin in the Beehive State, and there is at least one former mod with a history with Utah, and he often waxes profound about its beauty.

      Welcome to the page.

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    2. Thanks for the welcome but I am far from new. I've been reading since the demise of RYS. I know of and admire Yaro (hope his Mountain get away is in our mountains). The posts I have little issue with. The comments often turn to crap. Misogyny or belittling other posters (which... it is the internet, you know? I guess I would hope from more from academics). I hate mountains. I hate snow. I love my job. So I deal. I feel so very lucky to have ended up here.

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