Friday, January 25, 2013

A Ridiculously Sloppy, Incomplete, Fueled by Rice Krispie Bar, History of This Blog, Which is Going to Die Soon Anyway, But What the Hell, I Mean What Else Do I Have to Do Besides Changing People's Fonts.

In the beginning there was the RYS (Rate Your Students), a blog started by "The Professor" on November 3, 2005. It was a slow grower. "The Professor" handed off moderating duties when it got busy. Lots of national press. From 2008-2010 Compound Cal joined as a moderator, and was the last man standing when he shut the place down on May 28th, 2010. (Famously, Cal wrote a great piece for the Chronicle that provides RYS-specific history.)

A number of RYS readers approached Cal about keeping that page alive, but he did not want the name to continue. Fab Sun (aka Fabio Sunshine, I'm not shitting you) got the nod, and started on June 24th, 2010.

What differs the most between the pages are that comments are turned on at CM, allowing us to flail madly, get off track, insult each other, and (more than occasionally) raise the roof on good ideas, and that CM "correspondents" can post directly to the page, bypassing the assured ruination by a moderator, who only judges, who only glares, who'd never let you have any fun! There are 100 correspondent spots available through the ridiculously stupid Blogger software. New community members can send a note to Leslie K., the current moderator - and ball busting bitch, according to some email - and if there is room, she'll dole out the special privilege.

A number of conceits exist with the community, some that come from RYS, and some that are all our own.

  • The blog is run at a "compound" somewhere. In the RYS days, it was a desert location, filled with ravenous wolves, barbed wire, tar pits, and townie redheads. CM started in a shed on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but it moved fairly recently to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where the large cache of compound guns causes less suspicion.
  • There's always a hookah, but past RYS "personality" Compound Cash is likely to steal your weed.
  • The page is dying. It's always dying. We're always teetering on extinction, and we like it.
  • Everything on here is written by 4 people. We're lonely. We have cats instead of families. We hit refresh all day to inflate our page counts. We make millions on the ads. 
  • The graphics suck.
  • The moderator always is fucking things up, changing fonts, blurring images, capriciously picking and choosing who gets to have a voice. Fab, the original CM moderator, got dissed for being a dick-swinger, and then other days, for being too much of a woman.
  • There have been other moderators since Fab. Leslie K. (that's me, motherfuckas) took over for a bit, but got sick of the bullshit attacks of some trolls. Fab did it again. Terry P. took over as Gordon Presto, the baldest of all moderators. The moniker "RGM," or Real Goddamned Moderator got used for a bit to depersonalize the position, and to rob the power-mad moderator of "her" power. Leslie K. is the current moderator. 
  • Compound Cal continues to counsel the page. He's responsible for about 80% of the shitty graphics. He makes vidshizzles (videos) that he cobbles together from trolling YouTube for silly college student shenanigans.
  • There was Yaro. Read this. Or this. Or this. Or this.
  • There have been some trolls who like to fuck with us. One in particular wants us to shut down because of the damage we're doing to the academy. He's a dick. Multiple trolls tell us that we bar them because they're "telling the truth."
  • The boys who have run the page have a big thing for Yvonne Strahovski. (Some of the girls, too.)
  • Thirstys are questions. The Big Thirsty started on Thursdays, the big Thursday question. There are rules about Thirstys, and lots of wiseasses like to tweak the poor moderator by making up new ones, or posting a Big Thirsty on a day other than Thursday. That shit's not right. Cal takes those fuckers down when he sees them, and writes me long, torturous emails about it.
  • Since moving to Utah we've really tried to get this alpaca business going, but Wicked Walter from Waxahachie keeps shooting them to make jerky, and the rest all run away.
  • There is a duck. The duck was popularized in CM lore by Terry P. It's often evoked to change the topic, defuse a tense situation, or because it's such a good looking fucking duck.
  • People write the moderator of the page to complain. All. The. Fucking. Time. When the moderator cannot take anymore, she puts up "Real Goddamned Mail," a favorite feature of the page. It's supposed to make the perpetrators feel bad, but it never seems to!
  • Everyone drinks.
For the shit I've missed, check the comments, because I'm sure folks will fill in the gaps, or make up some shit just to piss Cal off!


  1. I can't believe I opened this blog before checking the NYT. And my school's inclement weather policy is telling me I should stay home today, so I'll have time to click on the links. Just coffee before sundown, though.

    Yvonne who? (I had to look.)

    This is good, should go between the glossary and the rules.

  2. I was not mentioned in the history. I QUIT. Find someone else to make those waffles everyone seems to like.

    Fucking ingrates.

  3. There's not enough about me in the history. I quit. Get your own meth from now on.

  4. I quit,
    thought I knew you better,
    but no mention of my poems,
    or of Greta's.

  5. This is so great, Les. Thanks for doing it. I'm sorry I missed your email last night about contributing to it, but you did a far better job than I would have. You know how womanly I am about committing anything to a final form!

    But, alas, I quit as well, because there was no graphic of me in the piece, and you had several to choose from. One. Two. Three.

  6. Thank you Leslie! Even though I know most of the story, it's fun to see it all in one place.

    I'd think we sound pretty crazy to an outsider!

    And wait, I quit, too. Not one mention of me or my shorts. (Oh god, I've become such a Kardashian.)

  7. I'm no longer active on the page as a poster of commenter, but I do read it once a week or so. What a strange place to visit, but I love it.

    I miss Yaro's polite and gentlemanly manner. He even sent me a "chaste" kiss across the wires. That was my high point.

    Leslie K, Fab, Cal, Terry, you all have my undying respect for keeping the page alive, even when at times it seems to have teetered on the brink. I, like so many others, think it's a valuable space.

  8. Fueled by Rice Krispie bars? What the what?

    Great job on the history, Leslie K., but there's not nearly enough about what a genius I am, or anything at all specifically about Tim (Not Jim) and the original "anonymous." I'm not quitting, but you're fired.

    Can I fire you? Isn't it my page, too? Will you use this in Real Goddamned Mail? Will you give me back my mushrooms? Will you quit stealing my brown rice pasta?

    Can you tell Cal to wash his sheets? Can you tell Strelnikov that target practice ENDS at 10 pm.

    Fuck, it's cold in Ogden. And why is everyone so white?

  9. All the comments above were written by the same person.

    The page is dying.

    You're welcome.

    1. The same person may have written all of the other comments, but I wrote anonymous's. And Darla wrote mine.

      And I fucking quit because Leslie never mentioned Stella.

  10. I'm very new here as well, and though I don't think I'll comment much, I really appreciate the history of the page. It's extraordinary. I had never heard of Rate Your Students but I read all of the Ring of Distinction links this morning and found them unsettling and wonderful. I found this page on Twitter and it's a real godsend. I teach at a small Christian college on the west coast and I need colleagues like you to keep me sane. Thank you Leslie and all the rest.

    1. "unsettling and wonderful"

      I like that.

  11. I have to come around more often.

  12. Thanks for this. I still want a Comic Sans option, though. Or else I quit.

    (Keep up the good work!)

  13. That ad with Manti Teo cracks me up.

    As does this history. Nice job.

    1. Will, I tried to delete it with Ad Block before I realized it was part of the page! So great.

  14. I'm out, too, since apparently misery is confined to instruction and the classroom.

  15. Wise choice not to mention K***e from K*******o.

  16. Leslie K plagiarized everything she wrote in this post. She and I had not discussed this but I would have written something similar if she had only asked. My version would have a different style - less clever and with lots more grammatical mistakes. Had I sent it to her, she would have smartly discarded everything that I had spent so much time writing and done the whole thing herself. It would have been identical to this version, including the exclusion of my name as coauthor.

    This is so typical of bog moderators. I'm going to the Chronicle right now to tell them everything. Well, not everything. Just the stuff that makes me look like a victim.

    1. I thought you were dead. Or a chemist.

      Leslie K

  17. I quit because of the nepotism between Leslie K and Peter K.

  18. This is the first post from CM that I've showed a colleague. HE KNEW THE PAGE AND ALWAYS READS IT. I knew he was cool.

    Great job.

  19. Just doing my duty for CM: drinking, hitting refresh, and replying via the several dozen sock-puppet accounts I have.

  20. Sorry to be so late in submitting my resignation. I'll think up a reason later; it's the end of the first week of school, and I'm fried.

    Is there any roast alpaca left? Or at least a Rice Krispie treat?

  21. One addition (before I quit for good; really, I'm going!):

    Strelnikov is what we in the literary-critical profession call a persona. He's also a very useful device for identifying the overly literal-minded (and/or those who haven't fulfilled their core literature requirement, or weren't paying attention when they did). Nobody has actually reported him to the authorities and/or served a subpoena on the RGMs demanding his name (at least not so far as I know), but it's bound to happen one of these days. He has, however, staged one brief CM coup, taking over the blog and then -- presumably under extreme duress, or perhaps after coming down from whatever he was high on -- denying any knowledge of the event (the cover story is that Cal and Fab, who apparently don't want to admit how vulnerable the Compound actually is, cooked up the Great Strelnikov Takeover as a prank. We know better).

    Readers also have difficulty recognizing other literary devices in frequent use on the blog, e.g. hyperbole.

    Frog and Toad (aka the late Marcia Brady) is often willing to point out such mistakes (as are some of the others of us with training as literary critics, even if we teach nothing but endless sections of comp these days, which accounts for at least part of our misery).

  22. The word "bourbon" does not appear anywhere in this history.
    I quit too.
    (The page. Not the bourbon.)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.