Sunday, November 24, 2013

Open Thread Sunday. Get Whatever Shit Is On Your Mind Out Into the Open. A Poorly Rendered and Blurry Graphic Is There, Not as A Guide Or a Totem. Just Because Fucking Cal Made It One Day, and I Don't Want Him to Think I'm An Unappreciative Boob. GO CRAZY. OPEN THREAD! GO. I MEAN NOW. GO AHEAD.


50 comments:

  1. I am tired of being told that my job is to process units of tuition-fee-paying flesh. I am tired of an administration that thinks the function of the university is to support the administration and create more administrators, and year after year rapes more money out of the teaching budget to pay more administrators while we lose staff, and classes, and are flogged because our enrollments mysteriously go down. I am tired of administrators bloviating sanctimonious horseshit while refusing to pay us what every fucking other university in the country pays its faculty, or even discuss making our benefits anything close to hwat ever other fucking university in the fucking country includes in the contract for its faculty. I am tired of being treated like the shit administrators scrape off the soles of their Manolos. If I won a lottery I would quit. But I have a family to support so I will keep my head down, and hold my nose, and stay off campus as much as I can. But I am fucking enraged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. reapes more money out?
      Sorry, Sunday morning grading papers sucks.

      Delete
  2. I do not understand why writing cover letters sounds so much like begging to me. I hate having to do it. I realize that this irrational, and that there's nothing wrong with wanting applicants to include a personal missive describing why they'd be good for the job. Hell, when I was in the private sector, sometimes the cover letter on an application was the best way we had to avoid the real nutters. So I get why they do it. But why do I hate it so much? What's my deal, man?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel your pain. I've never been the kind of person who can brag about myself, and the cover letter is the hardest part of my application packet.

      Delete
    2. I HATE writing cover letters. They make me feel so very cheap and like I am begging them to read my shit. Okay I am begging them to read my shit!

      Delete
    3. Ever notice that if you leave the "c" out of faculty, and it spells "faulty"?

      Once, as a struggling young postdoc, just after I sent an application I looked at the original file of the cover letter, and realized that it read:

      "Dear Chair,

      "I wish to apply for the open faulty position..."

      Naturally, it went right through the spelling checker. Oddly enough, I wasn't asked for an interview.

      Delete
  3. On my mind? How to translate "The beatings will continue...." into adminispeak....

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm one course overload...but also filling in for a colleague who is out for the rest of the term. It's a 120 person lecture and they are going to end up missing about half of the term, and 75% of the grading. Just found out that pay will be a "sub" rate, or in other words, shit.

    That was followed up by a passive aggressive colleague who is attempting to alter much department policy because he got mad that his precious event was scheduled at the same time as another colleagues. Of course, had he bothered to attend the meeting at which all of this was discussed a year ago, he'd not have gotten angry, caused a war amongst the staff, and utterly wasted our time.

    And then there is the administrator, who responded to my critical email with "did anyone BOTHER to tell me to come?" ... as if I (a peon) am responsible for telling the administrators what to do. Talk about some fucked up sado-masochistic circle of pain - The administrators supervise us but apparently we have to supervise them simultaneously. Who has time for that? Not me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. The drama hinges on the fact that people apparently are supposed to be reachable at all times, and respond instantly. It feels good to be old, so old that I don't text, and my prepaid cell is for road emergencies only.

      Delete
    2. I want to tell Steve the hot Plumber to run for his life!!!!

      Delete
    3. Seems to me like the bullet dodging goes both ways. Texting an ex-boyfriend while on a 'date'? While that sort of stuff was technologically impossible when I was young and dating, I'm still with it enough to understand that that shit ain't cool.

      Delete
    4. The setup sounds like the last episode of "Cheers" when Rebecca Howe fell for Tom Berenger even though he was "just a plumber" and not Robin Colcord-rich.

      Delete
  6. Yes, Leslie, I got your IM, as well!

    But, KK is a national treasure. Funny stuff. Can you imagine knowing her and getting in her blog?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fuck, this is a nutty bunch. I've spent this weekend at a small out-of-town conference with decent, funny, humane proffies. It's been like a pleasant, warm bath amidst the hellish Antarctica that is higher education.

    ReplyDelete
  8. After the latest exam, I asked all the students to pull out their calendars and we went through the rest of the semester. I highlighted the review days and announced the location and time of the final exam. I am ready!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did something similar, and also posted the calendar on Blackboard. Got three emails this weekend asking if we had class this Tuesday before Thanksgiving.....so far.

      Delete
  9. I postponed my sabbatical semester because another colleague had to take the entire year off to deal with a personal crisis and someone had to cover their administrative duties, for the students' sake.

    My new head of department now says that postponing is the same as forfeiting, and I must reapply for a leave along with everyone else under his new policy. Under his new policy, I don't qualify for a leave...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cripes, sounds like someone is in desperate need of a Strelnikov-quality form of punishment.

      Delete
    2. If you want my services, write:

      Address: пер. Луков, 8, Moscow, Russia, 107045
      Phone:+7 495 232-58-30

      Delete
    3. That's just fucked up and not fair. I'd use Streli's services if I were you.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like a breach of contract. Take your paper trail to the union.

      Delete
    5. We have a policy that states that if we postpone our sabbatical at the university's request we get it as soon as possible and it doesn't affect our later study leave schedule. I am sorry to hear that your university doesn't have such a policy. But it's entirely possible that it does have such a policy, in which case,go over this scum bastard's head.

      Delete
    6. If ever there was a case for going over your chair's head, this is it. Honey draws more flies than vinegar, so it would go down better to calmly and pleasantly point out that a lot the administrative workload etc functions because of collegiality, and this sort of nonsense just trainwrecks the quasi 'social contract' so many faculty members enter into when taking on additional things that are not specifically required as a part of their job.

      Delete
  10. If we're all so damn smart in academia, why can't we create an environment (at least one, somewhere that's real!) where the students learn, the faculty are supported by administration, and all the bills get paid? Is this really too much to ask for? Isn't this what everyone wants? Why do all parties involved pull out the heavy artillery and repeatedly shoot themselves (or each other) in the feet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Short answer: Because not all of these groups benefit in the same way from these outcomes and don't even agree on how to measure the outcomes.

      Delete
  11. It's Sunday effing morning, so why are the builders hard at work building a house across the street? Empty lot to McMansion in four short weekends, clearly a family job for the padrinho. I think I'll call a city inspector tomorrow.

    I've written the perfect test, which my students will take tomorrow. Actually, I still have to go to the campus to make copies, since yesterday was football (stay away) and I'm not stupid enough to go fight for time in front of the copier on Monday. I hope the thing is not jammed.

    The grade distribution will be unremarkable (I'll make it so.) And still some disgruntled loser of a student getting a D or F will grace my RMP page with a new comment (happens every time). The positive comments stay up for a couple of days, then are systematically deleted. My RMP page is being "managed" by one of my "colleagues", or a student minion. Why can't they be sued for posting factually incorrect crap that affects my career?

    Why is this provost still around? Or this chancellor, for that matter? Why can't they just be hired out, respectively retire, presto? I have wild dreams of mobilizing the Senate to a vote of no-confidence (so many cases to base it on), or the AAUP to put this place on their shame list. The latter probably much easier.

    Why is this starting to sound like a Kimmie post?

    I'm overdue for a sabbatical, but rather than reapply to mousey asskissing assistant provost, I'll just arrange for a paid visit and go on LWOP. With a paid sabbatical I'd have to come back for a year Arranging such things requires cover letters. I hate them too, why can't I just send my vita?

    And then there's math, the real thing. A respite from all this nonsense. I can't wait to retire so I can do the real work. My colleagues at more prestigious places aren't intrinsically more competent, they just don't have to deal with teaching crap; at those places they understand that teaching people what they don't want to/can't learn is absurd, and distribute the misery uniformly and quietly among themselves, so that each gets just a little of it. Not here.

    Enough! Time for more coffee and the paper. Thanks for the chance to post an uncensored rant.




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It's Sunday effing morning, so why are the builders hard at work building a house across the street? Empty lot to McMansion in four short weekends, clearly a family job for the padrinho. I think I'll call a city inspector tomorrow."

      That's how they build houses now in non-union Amerika; after the foundation is poured and hardened, the carpenters, roofers, plumbers, glaziers, and drywall installers are in there until they get the job done or the builder runs out of money. And did you notice who makes up the crew? Hispanic labor, many of whom would be considered guest workers in Europe but are "illegals" here. Do they complain? Hell no! They are sending remittances to the village they came from and are glad to work on the Day of Rest; they will confess their sins when they get back to the village priest in two or three years.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. That's exactly right. A "job" is what one does to pay the bills, so "liking" it is secondary, icing in the cake. It used to be that academia was special, in being the kind of job that left us enough time to work on what we like, with just enough disposable income to not have to worry too much. Not anymore; now it's just like any other crappy job, except for paying much less in relation to the depth of training required. Really, much better to sell one's soul to quantitative finance and help the robber barons for a few years, then retire young and to something real.

      Delete
  13. Isn't 15 letters of recommendation just a tad too many letters to be asking of a professor? I kid you not: one of our graduates just sent me a list of 15 schools he wants me to send personalized letters to on his behalf. He was a good students, but really? I'm not spending my Thanksgiving Break personalizing 15 (!) letters to different programs. My ONE glowing letter should suffice for all of them, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!

      "To Whom it May Concern:

      "Mr. Good Student has shown himself worthy of pursuing a graduate degree. You may want to admit him on the condition that he learns to be considerate of professors' holiday weekend time.

      "Yours,

      The Contemplative Cynic."

      Delete
    2. Saw a story once about a proffie who was asked by a very lazy student to write a letter of recommendation to a potential employer.

      For some reason, the proffie didn't want to deny the request or torpedo the snowflake's dreams, so he finally said in the letter, "You will be truly fortunate if you can get him to work for you."

      Delete
    3. I once damned a smart-but-flaky physics major with the following faint praise: "Has many qualities of the young Albert Einstein."

      Delete
  14. It is Grey Cup Sunday here in Canuckistan! Don't expect much input from proffies who are football fans here in the Great White North.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, and for the love of Christ, if the job ad states that the closing date for accepting applications is 15 November, don't spend $35 overnight couriering a package postmarked 16 November, that shit's going in the garbage and you just wasted a bunch of your hard earned cash.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Open Thread Sunday! Fantastic idea!

    I wish my emotionally brittle, thin-skinned, burned-out colleague would just retire already.

    I hope that Vocal Vinnie, my tightly wound, passive-agressive, grade-grubbing, entitled, patronizing student, will squeak by with a C so I don't have to see him ever ever again. Especially since lately he has been sharing information about where he lives in my town, apparently fishing for where I live there.

    I'm glad that my compulsive quest to keep personal info about my family off the web is paying off. A Google selfie showed me yesterday that Vocal Vinnie won't be able to find my address (easily).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those paid services that promise to find phone numbers, addresses and criminal records probably have my address, I guess. But I'm not going to pay to find out. Also, I hate to be reminded about my criminal record.

      Delete
    2. PG, please remember that whatever you have in mind for dealing with Vocal Vinnie might add to that criminal record.

      Delete
    3. You might well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

      Delete
    4. > Also, I hate to be reminded about my criminal record.

      Well, it serves you right, for getting involved with Goldfinger!

      Delete
  17. > What if they don't have the requisite body part to staple to the floor?

    A hand or a foot will do, in a pinch.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's the Monday of Thanksgiving break. I finally got some decent sleep this weekend. Family hasn't arrived yet and gradeschoolers are still in session. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this may be the best chance all semester to get laid.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I gave an open-note quiz last week. I SAW folks writing the stuff down as I was writing and illustrating it on the whiteboard-in lots of different colors. Half of one of my classes failed. What the Hell were they writing down?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they were copying notes for some other class that they missed

      Delete
    2. Wait. They were supposed to go back and read that shit?

      Delete