Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dear Dr. Stommel. Fuck You.

Dr. Stommel,

Fuck you. No, seriously. FUCK YOU.

Why don't you get down off of your high horse and join us down here in the trenches. Maybe then your views wouldn't be so skewed by your rose-colored Division of Continuing Studies glasses. I guess when your students are 2- or 3-day-at-a-time lifelong learners, you can afford to be innovative, you can afford to be experimental with your courses, you can go without giving grades.

Try teaching Freshman Composition to 30 mouthbreathers day in and day out, those that need to be dragged kicking and screaming toward having a critical thought on anything. Try teaching 4 of those sections each term. Or even better. Come down here to Peoria and teach my 3 sections of Prealgebra at CC of the State of Denial. Let's see how your gumdrop unicorn ass deals with the overwhelming apathy of students that have decided early in life that they "can't do" math, when they really mean that they don't want to think about something other than their social media presence for more than two seconds at a time. Come down here and tell me that I'm an awful professor and an awful person because I have to vent about the student(s) that can't be bothered to bring a pencil to class for an exam (sorry bucko, my exams are pencil and paper, not on the computer), students that can't be bothered to put their phones down for two seconds to read their syllabus then complain when they don't follow the rules and have points deducted for it, saying that they didn't know the rules. Then go to the site that shall not be named and commit what is effectively slander because I didn't understand their speshullness.

Then, come down here and listed to the obvious pride in my voice when I tell you that in 10 years of teaching these Prealgebra sections, some 1500+ students, I have been able to inspire 4 students enough for them to become math majors. That may not seem like a lot to you, but when you consider that 50+% of the students that begin at the Prealgebra level or lower don't earn an Associate's degree, let alone a Bachelor's, this is something that I will continue to be proud of for the rest of my career. By the way, all four have earned their degrees in math and are gainfully employed. I wish that I could inspire more in that way, and I try to every day. However, it's difficult when the first thought of most at that level is when they can get their next social media fix.

You see Pretentious Ass Clown (can I call you Pretentious Ass Clown), venting is what keeps me from going batshit crazy wondering if I made the right choices in life. It's what keeps me from drinking more than I already do to forget the agony of apathy in my classrooms.

I've spent way too much time on this. I guess I'll conclude with . . .

FUCK YOU. Fuck you and the unicorn you rode in on. Fuck you with the unicorn you rode in on.

PfP

P.S.: Fuck you.



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This post appeared earlier as a comment, but after some suggestions from readers, the RGM has given it some space on the page.

63 comments:

  1. I am horrified at the vulgarity aimed at a professional educator. I refuse to believe that this inconsequential collection of cranks and buffoons share Dr. Stommel's profession and mine.

    You should all be ashamed. I'm making a note of the abusive nature of this page and its attacks on Higher Ed. Disgusting.

    Pat from Peoria and the rest of you, FUCK YOU!

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Dude, if you are going to sock puppet you need to make sure that your various posts don't all link back to the same blogger account. It's clear that you are a failure at trolling and the international brotherhood of trolls would be well rid of you. I refuse to believe that such an inconsequential collection of sock puppets shares my profession.

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    3. And I'm now wondering a bit about the identity of ColoradoProf, whose profile first appeared on Sunday, and to which profile most of the sockpuppets on this thread that don't link to Stommel's profile link.

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    4. Dear Dedicated Professional: By all means, make a note. Write a terse letter. In fact, compose a lengthy memo! Let's see if that does fuck-all for you. While you're at it, why don't you devote even a fraction of that shade to higher admin, and state and federal gov'ts with their ass-clown and Big Education approach to funding higher education, that plays no small part in explaining the multitude of brain-dead idiots that populate the student body of colleges and universities, and the sledgehammering of uni departmental budgets (with resources to teaching usually being the first to go, and resources to admin and admin salaries being the very, very last thing to go).

      Also, seriously, if you're going to start off by being "horrified" at the vulgarity and abuse of a post, why the fuck would you end your own post with a "FUCK YOU!" ? I'll simply shake my head and laugh at your post, rather than spend even a second thinking it is in any way credible.

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    5. Before I got distracted by the sock-puppetry, I, too, was wondering where that note was going -- on our permanent records?

      I'm also distressed by the fact that none of the JS identities/sock puppets seem to have responded to the 90% or so of PfP's post that wasn't composed of "fuck you" or "assclown" -- like, for instance, paragraphs 3, 4, and most of 5, which so eloquently describe what the majority of college professors in the U.S. contend with every day, and how at least some of them cope.

      I can't help wondering how Stommel would respond if an angry student begun and ended a long harangue by cussing him out, but inserted an equally eloquent description of the difficulties he faced in between. I assume, from what Stommel has told us about how he treats students, that he'd be understanding, overlook the profanity, and pay attention to the substance. Doesn't a fellow professor (a fellow, dare I say it, dedicated professional) deserve similar respect?

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    1. My personal mission is to earn a living by educating the folks who come through my institution and take the courses that I teach. If I find some of the students appalling and feel the need to vent my frustration at their behavior, then I will do so. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my academic work after this little brain-break. Buh-bye.

      And don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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    2. We spend just as much time belittling useless colleagues. You're just a rich vein of raw material.

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    3. So you missed my post from yesterday, wherein I belittled no fewer than three of my students?

      Or you're just nobly choosing to ignore them. Good for you.

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    4. Oh come on, you're such a huge target. Not even you, draped in your self-righteousness, can believe we're publicly belittling students. Student behavior, yes. It's deplorable across the country, and how do I know, because for 10 years this site (and its originator, Rate Your Students) has provided a chronicle of that behavior.

      20 million hits over those years. We're not as popular as any decent blog about DIY car repair or Academics With Cats, but the evidence is in that some professors in the country need this space.

      Every once in a while someone like you comes across our radar and it's so incredibly galling to be schooled by someone so out of touch.

      The last moderator of RYS, Compound Cal, someone who this page's mods have called on for help over the years, published a nice piece about the first iteration of the page that might give you a clearer sense of things. You can read it here.

      But then, for goodness sake, get back to being right about everything, and/or grading.

      Terry Porter
      current moderator (The RGM - Real Goddamned Moderator)

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    6. Wacky! John from Phoenix links to a really interesting profile.

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    7. Earnest and self-righteous obliviousness are kind of adorable when viewed from the correct angle, John from Phoenix. Sock-puppetry, on the other hand, is kind of pathetic. You have a shitload of eager acolytes out there. If you want to get someone to agree with you in the comments section over here, just mobilize some of them. I'm sure they'll oblige.

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    8. Indeed. Dr. Stommel, Jesse -- please; you're free to disagree with us. You're also very free to show your contempt for all we represent by ignoring us (though you might want to read that link to Cal's piece first. Although it may not be apparent at first, we're a pretty dedicated, if eccentric, bunch of educators, with a considerable amount of experience among us, and a considerable willingness to support newbies as well).

      But if you're going to participate in this space (and you're welcome to, really; I think we could have some interesting conversations), you have to follow the rules, and they include using only one moniker.

      Besides, the sock-puppeting above is just silly, and seriously undermines your credibility. It's also pretty boring. If you're going to sock-puppet, have the decency (until the RGM catches you and deletes your comments) to get into a blazing row with yourself. It's much more entertaining.

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    9. Hell, Cassandra, I can get into a blazing row with myself without using multiple monikers. I'm such an asshole.

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    10. It's a talent (and sometimes a useful one for an academic. Entertains the students, if nothing else).

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    11. I think the trick with good sock puppetry is, if you are agreeing with yourself, it had better be a joke.

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    12. Oh, and Dr. Stommel has distracted us from nothing.

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    13. Except, perhaps, grading. I suspect the enthusiasm some of us have brought to the exchange is directly proportional to the amount of grading on our plates. At least that's true for me.

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    14. You're right. I turned on the laptop to do some more grading. I'm making yet another spreadsheet and checking it twice to ensure that my students have been assigned all the points they earned, so that their financial aid and applications to pre-professional school aren't put into jeopardy, etc. Because I hate them and want to do nothing but shame them.

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    16. Hello again. To be clear, nobody sees the IP addresses except for the Real Goddamned Moderator, and that's me. Many community members noted that the other names who wrote in support of you defaulted to your Google/Blogger profile. I know of no way that can be spoofed, but you know, I was grading all day, so I didn't look it up.

      I do give you credit for transparency. This blog has existed for 10 years, and at different times we've taken a fair amount of heat from folks who never see beyond some of the obvious elements of the page. I can't help that. I was never around during the first iteration, and I only recently took over the page full time in the past months.

      But our community is pseudonymous, and for new folks it's a very welcome thing. There are a handful of folks - Compound Cal is one - who everyone knows, but calling him or others by their real names feels odd.

      It's a rich pageant of misery, and I know personally that countless faculty members who feel disenfranchised by higher ed find a home here and welcoming hearts.

      I don't ask anyone outside of the community to understand or agree with it. But I know it helps because I've been told countless times from grad students to adjuncts to t-t and tenured folks.

      Again, I don't think we rate or denigrate students at all. It's behavior, and a kind of behavior that this community sees in their own colleges.

      I would love to extend to you an invitation to be a part of an open online chat one day at a time we could agree on. I've had scores of emails today saying things like, "What the fuck do you think he means when he says..." Maybe you'd take that opportunity to chat about those things.

      Terry P.
      The RGM

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    18. I would if I could, but both Independent Scholar and John from Phoenix above in this thread default to your Blogger profile. They wrote glowingly of your professionalism. I didn't notice the profiles but several readers did and asked me to invoke one of our few rules - no multiple monikers, no spoofing addresses, etc.

      If there's some way someone could do that to fool me, I don't know what it is. In fact I've just tried now to give myself a different profile address, but if I'm logged in under my own user name, I can't make it use or direct to another profile. Perhaps there's a trick I don't know.

      I'd prove you right if I could. I would have dealt with it already if I could.

      For context, we have a longtime troll in Oregon who has sock-puppeted here for years. He comes and goes, but he gets discovered in much the same manner.

      If our blog is not for you, and if you truly understand what we do, and not just what you think we do, then it's just not a place you'd be happy anyway.

      I meant when I said I give you credit for your transparency in talking about higher ed.

      Terry P.

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    20. I, too, will not be staying around. It's irresponsible for you not to have better security on your website.

      And I stand by earlier comments.

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    21. Don't tell me we're going to have another KinK-style IP kerfuffle (FYI, Jesse, that's not nearly as titillating as it sounds -- just a reference to an old acquaintance of the blog who sends posts and then denies doing so, leaving only the possibility that -- yes -- someone has stolen her password, and apparently also her IP address. Well, there's also the possibility that she's lying. Or out of touch with reality. We've never figured out which. But she also writes very enthusiastically about her students and how wonderful she thinks they are and vice versa, so you also have that in common.)

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    22. I don't know enough about the technology behind this, but I do not understand why anyone ELSE would write supporting remarks about Stommel under names we've NEVER seen before, that are linked to his profile. What is gained from that?

      As Terry said. This is not the place for Stommel. If you read even a little about him, you'll see his teaching privilege is simply different from most of the folks who traffic these pages. If Cal or Terry put up Stommel's Dear Chronicle piece on April 1st - one of our great days around here - I'd think it would even oustrip the great Martin Bell episode from how many years back.

      Dr. Stommel, your concerns are not the same as most of the people whose discussions I've come to be a part of at this site.

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    25. For reference for anyone keeping up on this, the IPs for 3 different Blogger logins and two emails addresses that contacted me with supporting remarks about the subject of this 2 day nightmare are both in Madison, more of them from a Safari browser on an OS X machine, and slightly fewer from a Firefox browser on an OS X machine.

      I don't believe I'm giving anything away because Stommel is not pseudonymous and we know where he teaches.

      Both of these logins use the same ISP, Chater Communications. Comments and email generated from Independent Scholar, Dedicated Professional, John from Phoenix, and Colorado Prof all link to these two logins.

      And finally, and I hate to do this, but it's on his fucking vita. Stommel is a grad of U of .. wait for it ... you won't believe it ... oh, yes you will, of course you will ... Colorado.

      Tip your waitresses and your bartenders. I'll be here the rest of the week.

      Go Buffs.

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    26. All my comments will now be deleted. Good luck running more people off your forum.

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    27. PS. I suspect that the person impersonating me will also delete their comments. Fun place you've all got here.

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    28. Thus spake blogger profile # 00874034447778322667, whoever that is. That profile has been used by someone claiming to be alternatively Jesse Stommel and Colorado Prof. The latter has also used profile # 13330402271110129564, which has been shared by a poster claiming to be Indpendent Scholar. I can see all this just by hovering over the posters' names with my mouse.

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    29. They're stommeltroopers.

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  4. Hi all. Two different ISPs have been generating a number of emails and comments. Ones that are clearly breaking the multiple moniker rule will be deleted, as per this disgraceful blog's policies. Some I can't however because we'd lose too many replies from community members.

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  5. Hell, I say leave up the mults. In fact, put them on the main page. An academic must have a dedication to truth, and this shithead has made it clear that he's willing to lie to make a point.

    Now that, that disgusts me, more than the word "fuck" ever could. I take my commitment to truth and knowledge very, very seriously (and that's one reason students annoy me sometimes -- because they don't, and they don't respect that I do). It's clear that Stommel doesn't respect the truth (or, for that matter, reality -- that, however, tends to be self-correcting).

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  6. Oh my god I'm tired of him already.

    In other news, Hamilton OH has won the best tasting water award or something. We're keeping it clean in the OH!!

    http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/butler-county/hamilton/hamilton-wins-top-tap-water-prize-at-wva-tasting-contest

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    1. Congratulations! No fracking in your neighborhood yet, huh?

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    2. My neighbourhood is already pretty fracked up.

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    3. Water in Athens, Ohio is better. ;P

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  7. I'll add: much of the venting comes from the unrealistic expectations put on by administrators. You know, a kid with a 17 on their math ACT is probably not going to be able to learn quantum mechanics, no matter how cool he thinks Stephen Hawking is. So don't get all upset when this kid flunks out.

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  8. I'll add: I'll be sad when Dr. Jesse eventually goes away, in the same way late-night comedians were sad when George W. Bush's presidency came to an end; he just makes it so damn easy...

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    2. Stommel, I'd love to hear your take on the research that supports the idea that laptops are distracting and detrimental to learning. I'd also like to see you respond substantively to some of the frustrations of teaching, not with fuzzylovey poetry about how you've had a thousand students and they've all been awesome, but with actual, real discussion of the causes of some of this frustrating behavior. I'd love that, but I'm not holding my breath. I suspect all we'll get are more sock puppets, and then ridiculous denials. Aren't you supposedly an expert on the internet? I revealed your clever ruse by . . . clicking on the name of one of your sock puppets, which took me directly to your profile. So . . . yeah. Expertise.

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  9. SOCK PUPPETING! I can't believe I missed this!

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  10. "Ass clown" has entered my vocabulary. Where does the big red nose go?

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    1. I think the composite sketch at this point involves a figure seated on a high white horse, wearing some hybrid of a knight's armor and a clown costume, with a sock on each hand (a bit slippery for holding the lance, I'd think, but so it goes). The big red nose, presumably, is placed more or less where my parents placed the cottonball on my footie pajamas when they dressed me as a bunny for my second Halloween.

      At this point, I'm feeling a bit remorseful for having driven someone with professional social-media credentials to something as unprofessional as transparent sock-puppeting. On the other hand (perhaps channeling that two-year-old self), he did start it by climbing up on that high horse and taking potshots (add a slingshot somewhere) at how others cope with their jobs (and then repeatedly failing to climb/back down when called on his own privilege). It's probably time to move on, and it would definitely be the better part of wisdom on his part to ignore us completely (and quite possibly vice versa). But I sorta hope that he adopts another, better-cloaked identity, and comes over to join the conversation now and then. He might learn something from us, and vice versa. Conversation is always good; shouting past each other isn't (but I don't think that's what Pat was doing; in fact, I think (s)he was replying very eloquently directly to Jesse's assumptions. Unfortunately, it takes two to have a conversation, and all Jesse offered in return was insult for insult, without the substance in between. Productive conversations can, on occasion, be heated and/or profane, but they can't consist only of insults/profanities).

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    2. I don't think you drove anybody to sockpuppetry any more than I drove students to cheat and/or plagiarize.

      Character is revealed in what one does when one thinks one can get away with it.

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    3. Oh, I wasn't taking all the credit myself, just part of the collective credit.

      But I agree. And that was a really unimpressive, and revealing, reaction.

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    4. PG - I was unaware of "ass clown" until I saw Office Space. Specifically, this scene:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7DdyChR8JU

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    5. Google the first episode of "Tripping the Rift" Most certainly NSFW!!!!!

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  11. Ogre is right, CC. And thanks for an indelible mental image of the clown.

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    1. Well, you asked the question. I just had to (or at least did) answer it.

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  12. I, too, will not be staying around. It's irresponsible for you not to have better security on your website.

    And I stand by earlier comments.

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