Friday, November 15, 2013

You thought THAT was mean?

To the student who burst into tears and blurted out, "You're so mean," when I said, "I won't check grammar since you can get that taken care of at the Writing Lab, but I'm happy to look at your overall argument to see if it makes logical sense," thanks for reminding me that I did, indeed, make the right choice in limiting myself to working with "adults."

To the colleague who ranted about the fact that the chair of the Rank and Tenure committee was "mean" when she told him that he needs to submit only scholarship from his time here at this institution, are you fucking kidding me? That wasn't MEAN; that was a kindness, because otherwise, your whole portfolio would have been discounted and the real mean people would have pointed and laughed.

To the Administrator who told me that I should have been kinder to the student who surreptitiously pulled out his mini-iPad to "check the weather" in the middle of a tri-term exam, you are an idiot. I caught him straight-up cheating and he then lied about what he was doing and lied to you about the fact that I "made a big stink." I quietly asked him to put away his device after taking a screenshot of what he was looking at and emailing it to me as evidence, and you want me to be 'kinder' by having to put together another exam and let him take that version? Hell, no! I reserve the right to "be mean" in this case.

To my friends who aren't in academia. You thought it was mean of me for not showing up to your Friday night Fall Festival party that lasted eight hours. I'm sorry, but you get together every Friday night for some event or other and I attend those when I can. I had 85 exams and 85 essays to grade this weekend. I was being kind by not showing; had  I come, I would have drunk all the booze and left you with a sad, dry party.


  1. I like that mailing-a-screenshot trick. Too bad it didn't have a more appreciative audience with the Administrator.

    And hurrah for boundaries in general (with both students and friends, as necessary).

    I don't know what to make of the colleague up for tenure, except to suggest that that's what happens when the sort of candidate Dr. Amelia describes a couple of posts up somehow slips through and gets hired (charms that Administrator with an apparent soft spot for snowflakes, perhaps?).

    1. Thanks! Boundaries are not always easy.

      I think the colleague is worried about not having enough "scholarship," but yeah, makes one wish he would have behaved that way during the interview process so we could have nixed him then.

  2. If they want to know what MEAN looks like, point them to me. I'll have my staple gun ready!

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


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