Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Oh Why," With Kimmie.

  • Oh why do we even break for Thanksgiving this year? We come back for 3 more classes after that. My students always go completely asleep after all that turkey, and I never get them back on track before the final.
  • Oh why did I agree to write this foreword for this book. I don't know the authors very well, and just because I know the subject matter doesn't mean I know what to say before their book, which, I must admit, is not one I would write at all. Do I write the foreword to their book, or the one to a book I would have written? Do I have to say something nice? Does it have to be long? I asked the authors, "How long?" And they said, "Oh whatever." Whatever? You mean if I gave you 80 pages you'd use it? Oh why didn't I say I was busy?
  • Oh why am I trying to save my student Stupid Steve from himself? He's done nearly nothing to convince me that he deserves to stay in the class, but I keep adding alternate assignments to a growing list of things he hasn't done. I don't think he could do these alternate assignments in two semesters. I've begged him to drop. I've offered to let him in a class next semester. But he keeps doggedly insisting he's just right there, ready to get going. I mean, he won't pass unless he does an incredible job, and I can't make him drop. But is he waiting me out?
  • Why did Hiram drive his Dean to Cincinnati? Was it punishment? Did he go to the conference, too? What did they have for lunch? Is Cincinnati nice? 
  • Oh why am I so curious about all the CM people? Why are they so much more interesting than my own colleagues? Can't we all start a school somewhere so we can be friends? (If Darla would be there, I'd be in! How's her baby? No updates? A new mom in the middle of the semester isn't busy, right?
  • Why can't I get this song out of my head?
  • Oh why do I have to be the designated lesbian AND designated woman in my department? I get asked questions that would not be appropriate in any workplace on the planet, and nobody seems to think it's odd.
  • Why does my career fuck up my love life and not the other way around?


  1. 1) Ditto Thanksgiving.
    2) Make it short and pithy and full of mystery.
    3) Because you're nice. He doesn't deserve you; don't do anything you wouldn't like a colleague to do.
    4) I was invited along because I have an old grad school chum at the college in Cincinnati. I'm not really interested in the topic of the meeting, but it was free lunch!
    5) I find myself more and more curious the more time passes. Some community members I want to be my friends; some I just want to be able to identify through a peephole so I can bar the door!
    6) Am I too unhip if I've not heard that song before? It is catchy.
    7) You shouldn't have to be. Fuck 'em. Just play dumb next time they ask you.
    8) This is sorrowful. One of the great happinesses in my life is having a great spouse. She's the right temperament to balance my insanity. When careers and love get in each other's way it is certainly sad. Good luck!

    1. Re #6. Not going to click the link. If I do, it'll be stuck in my head too. So nope. Not going to take the bait.

  2. Oh, Love! I had some love misadventures during my early years in grad school and forward. Of course love is messy for all, not just academics. Hang in there, Kimmie.

  3. I don't give alternate assignments/extra credit. Why should I do more work when the student chose not to? Flunk Stupid Steve and get it over with.

  4. Good turkey gravy makes every Thanksgiving-related hassle worth it.

    Begin writing a normal, bland forward, then, after half a page of this, begin writing a review of the book. Pan it. Explain how you would have written a much better book. Question their understanding of the subject matter, selection of topics and the authors' pose on the back of the dust jacket. Make fun of their names. Just to see if they read the whole thing.

    Stupid Steve probably needs to maintain a certain number of credit hours to keep his student loan money or keep his mom and dad off his back.

    I've heard the chili is good.

    Your colleagues might be interesting, if they could speak anonymously. That would be an interesting experience - conduct a department meeting online with everybody commenting anonymously.

    Wow, I haven't listened to Liz Phair in a long time. That's a good song and very different from her earlier stuff. Is this song an exception or does she have more recent songs like this?

    Next time they ask a question, tell them that online porn explains everything they need to know about women and lesbians. Obviously, that's not true but they won't ask again.

    Because so many faculty love their work.

    1. Ben - Liz has changed her style quite a bit from "Exile in Guyville" and "Whip-Smart" (though she was already heading toward a more pop-rock sound in the latter), but both her eponymous album and whitechocolatespaceegg are good additions to her over-all body of work.

      You want a real ear-worm, though, check out Tegan and Sara's "Closer." Especially the video. I suspect most CMers are at the right age for the 80s nostalgia appeal of it.

    2. As a fellow Canadian, I was so pleased to discover Tegan and Sara just this year. I've since gone back to get all their early stuff, but the current record Heartthrob plays in my car once a week at least.

  5. Ah, Kimmie, you are definitely not a 'designated' anything on this blog. I love you because you ask such great questions so poetically.

    And Steve isn't going to pass unless you simply give him that gift. Just accept that and move on. Let him move that rock on his own (see Sunday's RYS Flashback).

    1. Aw, shit. I meant that in a good way (the "designated" comment), but then I thought it might be interpreted to mean something else.

  6. hopefully if he went to Cincy he had some good Cincinnati-style chili! Yum!

  7. One of Liz's best albums, though it's more pop-py than her earlier post-punk stuff. I recommend her whole catalog.

    Ahem. Sorry about that. My discipline was showing through a bit.

    I fully support the idea of CMU. As for nosy colleagues, if you're the only source of information, relish the epistemic monopoly. Tell them ANYTHING. ANYTHING YOU WANT. HOW WILL THEY KNOW IT'S ALL LIES? MWAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Re: love life - OKCupid. Worked for me. (This was not a paid testimonial)

  8. I, too, wondered why Hiram drove his dean to Cincinnati. Also, I noticed your new pic ... I hope you didn't change it because of my remark the other day. I am sorry. :( Can we be friends? I like your posts!

  9. It's too bad that your career fucks up your love life, but trust me, the other way around is worse. It's just plain embarrassing.