Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's Sunday. Go Fucking Crazzy With This Open Post.


39 comments:

  1. I wish I knew something true to write. Even just one thing.

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    1. "I have bourbon. Drunk in a Midnight Choir does not."

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  2. Apropos of Nothing-In-Particular, I'd like to posit a special place in Hell for administrators who trot out the tired old folk-wisdom that we can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sails. What they inevitably mean is something along the lines of "My mind is made up. I don't give a shit what you think. So there's nothing you can do but take it."

    In the corner of Hades I picture, they are forced for all eternity to claw their way off a lee shore (sailor speak for fighting upwind against being blown towards jagged rocks and/or pounding surf which are downwind of you). Preferably in a cold and pitch-black, driving rain.

    And all the while demons perch on the taff-rail chanting "Adjust your Sai..ayls!" in lilting "Warriors-come-out-and-play" sort of screech.

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  3. If a student has no mathematical chance of passing a class even if he/she scored perfectly on the final, do you go ahead and grade his/her final anyway?

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    1. Yes, but write "YOU ARE FUCKED" on the second to last page.

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    2. Yes, because this type of student is likely to contest the grade and ask to see the graded final. It's easier and quicker to grade it with the others than to get back into the mindset after the break.

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  4. Hey, how 'bout the student who came to my last office hour last week with 20 minutes to go?
    He had actually been attending my classes while I've been talking about the differences between earlier and later forms for devotional poetry of Hamster Weavers (good), but then he states that he doesn't really understand these poems, which I have been explicating, line by line, for weeks. He responds to my question "Haven't you been taking notes?" with "Not so much."

    Right. So I'm supposed to re-teach all of this stuff in 20 minutes before my next class. Nope.
    A big old glass of nope.

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    1. I had a student show up with a USB drive asking to copy all of my presentations onto her USB. Hah!

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  5. Dick Tingle said:

    I will not get the Yaro party,
    but there are many good friends,
    who will repair with me to a bar.

    And I can't get that out of my mind. What he describes is a normal professional situation. I don't have one; and each job search season I skip makes it less likely I ever will.

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    1. I hear you. Oh, there are people from other departments that might take me to the bar, but no one from the old chainsaw department. They won't even use their chainsaws with me -- their saws stopped working years ago...

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    2. Sounds like time for a job search (Peter) and a turn toward interdisciplinarity (D. Chainsaw). How are the folks in the axe and/or handsaw departments?

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  6. I'm in a really weird place right now. I turned in my dissertation to my committee, so I can't work on that. I've applied to a few jobs, but I'm waiting on them, too. I've got proposals out for articles and book chapters, but those are in the waiting stages, too. I'm starting to actually experience anxiety from having nothing to do. About the only thing saving me is the stack of history and lit. crit. books I've piled up over the last few years that I hadn't had time to read. Also Bioshock and Bioshock 2.

    I know, I know, cry me a river, but after so many years of school, suddenly having no papers due and nothing to study for is really strange.

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    1. Sounds like the perfect time to take a week or two off and travel. And don't worry; this stasis period will end much sooner than you'd like it to.

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    2. It's difficult to turn off that adrenalized feeling that there must be something you should be doing. But what a lovely, exciting time you're in right now...everything is on someone else, not you. Treat yourself to something special.

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    3. I agree. Relax and enjoy this opportunity. Regardless of what happens next, you'll wish you had taken advantage of it.

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    4. Everyone told me to prepare for this when I finished my diss, but it never happened then... but it does happen now occasionally on a weekend when I have nothing to grade or read because I'm caught up. I find myself looking for something professional to do. Then I remind myself that I need to just unwind. So I do. I trundle off into the woods for an hour with no destination in mind except to come home before dark.

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    5. Generally, I'm enjoying it, but I do get that nagging "but surely there's SOMETHING I should be doing. I'm such a SLACKER" feeling. :)

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    6. Congratulations on being in the home stretch (or what sounds like the home stretch) on the diss. Downtime *is* an adjustment when you've been so focused on the diss for so long, and the anxiety of the job market (and not, perhaps, being entirely done) no doubt play a role. So, yes, enjoy the hiatus as much as you can, but don't feel weird about it's feeling weird. That's normal.

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    7. Netflix. Bingewatching. That is all.
      (And congratulations!!!!!!!)

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    8. @Cass: Thanks!
      @drunk: I've been working my way through my queue, which has built up quite as alarmingly as my to-be-read pile. Right now I'm watching The 4400. :)

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    9. Congratulations, SW! I agree with Cassandra that it's normal to feel weird. There are lots of great-sounding movies out right now, and with your free schedule, you can catch the cheapo matinees.

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  7. I'm not wishing anyone "good luck" on their final exams. Luck don't deserve that!

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  8. This is the worst part of the year for me. My seasonal depression kicks in, students whine, colleagues act like assholes, administrators act like -- blech. I'm too damn low on neurotransmitters to come up with a suitable simile.

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    1. Hugs. This time of year, someone should rent dogs, those all-purpose antidepressants. And some of my friends swear by those SAD lights (often on sale at Costco this time of year, if you can stand the crowds and the buzz).

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    2. I have minor social anxiety issues so I hardly go outside if I can help it, and I've found that sunlamps are a lifesaver.

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    3. I've never tried the sunlamps, but I swear by my light-based alarm, especially at this time of year. Mine is a stand-alone reverse-dimmer unit that slowly turns on a lamp, but there are others which include the lamp. I still use a sound alarm as backup, but the light alarm makes for a much more gentle waking experience, especially if I aim to wake toward the end of a 90-minute sleep cycle, and I wake up in a lighted room, which feels more like waking in a more pleasant season.

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  9. One more class on Monday before finals start. Four more essays to mark today. 14 emails explaining their lives and asking for re-writes, do-overs, extra credit or better explanations. Four classes last Winter; only two classes this Winter. 98% - the odds I would take another job if there was one around. 0% - the amount of empathy I have right now for anybody or anything. 100% - the chance of me having a beverage after marking four more essays.

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  10. Does anyone else get pre-printed birthday or Christmas cards from their president? We get one during the month of our birthdays and another for Christmas. They're printed ahead of time ("wishing you a happy birthday") and our names are on labels that are slapped onto the envelope and put through campus mail. It seems like a vast waste of time and money for something so meaningless. I would rather NOT get any card than this empty gesture from a person whose student worker likely processed my card.

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    1. "It was just before dawn
      One miserable morning in black 'forty four.
      When the forward commander
      Was told to sit tight
      When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
      And the Generals gave thanks
      As the other ranks held back
      The enemy tanks for a while.
      And the Anzio bridgehead
      Was held for the price
      Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

      And kind old King George
      Sent Mother a note
      When he heard that father was gone.
      It was, I recall,
      In the form of a scroll,
      With gold leaf adorned,
      And I found it one day
      In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
      And my eyes still grow damp to remember
      His Majesty signed
      With his own rubber stamp."

      - "When the Tigers Broke Free" by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd

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    2. Hah--that's perfect! I want mine in the form of a gold-leaf adorned scroll. :)

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    3. My favorite song from The Wall.

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  11. For those who are also marking this weekend: http://memegenerator.net/instance/42300179?urlName=Inigo-Montoya&browsingOrder=Popular&browsingTimeSpan=AllTime

    Feel free to reply with real-life examples. ;)

    Best,

    DiaMC

    PS: The Great Bourbon Shortage of 2013 continues. Much more of this, and I'm asking Bubba to send that horse of his up here, St. Bernard style.

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    1. What? Is this Princess Bride Weekend? Inconceivable!

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  12. Vocal Vinnie, a few weeks back, tried to sabotage my evaluations with a four-paragraph rant and eight classmates who said I'm arrogant and beastly and that I discourage any and all student participation and refuse to answer questions outside of class. Now the statistics are in from all 130 evaluations for the semester. Ninety percent said the classroom atmosphere was supportive and open to questions. The # 1 comment? Variations on "Proffie G's class is really hard, but she's very supportive and available to help students." One student (in Vinnie's class) added, "My classmates are idiots."

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    1. Ah. I've always, without exception, had the "My classmates are idiots" comments in a class with a preponderance of assholes. It doesn't help at the time, but it is nice to see late on.

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  13. The weather outside is miserable. I got ready to leave my office at 1:30 this morning, and realized I had missed my window before the ice arrived. I had a student meeting at 8am, and decided to just stay and get stuff done. Granted, I didn't stay specifically for this student meeting, but it did factor into my decision.

    Everybody knows the outcome. The student didn't show up. Let's chant in unison: "Never care more about their learning than they do".

    Wanna take bets on whether she'll ask for an extension?

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  14. I came to say the same thing. "Never care more about their learning that they do." But I am calculating grades and I see a student that would have passed the class, if they had simply turned in a missing assignment. I care about that. They don't seem to care at all. I can't even take my own advice!

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