Friday, October 30, 2015

Thus the Misery Endeth.


My apologies to the final readers of the blog.

I spent some real money this week to get a more precise traffic count of the page, and it's clear to me from monitoring CM for 5 years that our reach is not sufficient to maintain the page anymore. The page has been dying - oh, it's been dying for 10 years - as of late, and I don't think the enterprise should continue in this format.

Many of you have written and urged me to keep it going during other periodic lulls, and I can't tell you how much that has weighed on me and encouraged me to push on. But I hit a wall this morning.

I know this place and RYS have been havens for so many of us with common appreciations of our profession, but those discussions will have to continue elsewhere.

To the folks who have worked on the page, and the readers, oh the readers who have supported it, thank you. RYS started almost 10 years ago. CM started more than 5 years ago. It's been my honor to be a part of an ongoing conversation that deserves more attention and care than it has ever gotten here or anywhere.

Courage, everybody.

Your pal,
Fab Sun

66 comments:

  1. My heart is breaking......

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  2. Trick? or Treat?

    Long live RYS.
    Long live CM.
    Long live the mods.

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  3. Don't do it, I tell ya!! I don't think I can last another 2.5 years until I'm able to retire. We might not say it um ever, but we LOVE you!

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  4. Good! You were always just a useless and tiny cadre of juco hacks and whiners anyway. How about just being better at your job? Anyone ever try that?

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    1. Oh, God, you're such the fucking problem in every conceivable way. I won't miss this.

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    2. Kimmie of the Kensington KimmiesOctober 30, 2015 at 11:16 AM

      I'm with Hiram...

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    3. Indeed! Some people are just assholes. I won't miss having to deal with such illogical haters.

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    4. I think this anonymous is just playing the part of the many and varied anonymi we've had over the years. At least I hope so (if not, anon, you've got a problem, and you're going to have to find another place to project your anxieties, hostilities, et al. Like Hiram, Kimmie, Cynic et al., I consider that an upside).

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    5. Yes, Anonymous, I tried being better at my job...and it was incredible.
      Textbooks magically became affordable, adjuncts were well-looked after, everyone had healthcare and benefits, and there were no shootings on campus.

      I don't know what you teach, but I hope it's not logic.

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  5. Wicked Walter frm WaxahachieOctober 30, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    I loved you all along.

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    1. You wait until now, Walt? I just pulled some Foghat up on my Spotify in your honor: "I want you to love me baby, 'til my lips turn cherry red."

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  6. Your achievement is remarkable, Fab. Don't let the end of the blog take any of that away from you. You are my friend, and I appreciate what you've done more than you can know.

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  7. Thank you to all of the writers and readers over the years. I was such a wet blanket this past semester, and STILL am in career crisis, but this page - and my small part - always brought me such pleasure. Thanks to Fab, Cal, Leslie as well...especially...for friendship and collegiality.

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    1. All the best, Hiram. You'll find a way to the other end of the tunnel, I'm sure. May whatever you find there be wonderful.

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  8. Kimmie of the Kensington KimmiesOctober 30, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Love, love, loved it... To those readers, no matter the number, keep the misery alive!

    Closed the Twitter in honor of all of this. We did what we could, I think. I had heartbreak last year in personal live, but found a new partner for my off-campus escapades, and she breaks me out of my normal habits and routines. I'm doing more in the world, paying less attention to the worry of my career.

    I don't know if that's what Hiram or any of us need, but it's been helping me.

    I love you all!

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  9. Poor Fab. I know this has killed him. He's such a sweet and generous guy and I couldn't love him more.

    I, too, was honored to work on the page. 99% of my experience was positive, and I still have contact with a few folks I met through here...including the lovely Darla (and little Jake), who I am so grateful for.

    I think I stopped coming around because my own adventure in the profession took too much of my time. I completed a major hurdle, just sold a book, and am as content with my own life as much as I have been in many years. Like, Kimmie, I'm turning more and more outside of the classroom (AND THE FUCKING FACULTY LOUNGE) for the love and respect and kindness that any human deserves.

    I never wanted my job to be just a job...but for me at least, it has helped.

    Don't let it eat you up, Fab. You did right by all of us, all of the time.

    XOXO
    Les

    PS: Cal, go fuck yourself, just for old time's sake...and say hi to the missus...she's the only reason I was ever your friend...LOL

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  10. Thank you Fab, Cal, and everyone who worked so hard to keep the lights on. I will miss my daily CM check-in, and I wish everyone here the best. Much love.

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  11. Quitters. Afraid they have been found out as pretenders and wannabes.

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  12. I once dreamed of being a Professor because I thought teaching would be great, but I ultimately decided against grad school. Kudos to those who enjoy teaching, but reading this site has convinced me that putting up with the youth today just isn't worth it.

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  13. I'll raise a toast in your honour tonight. The site, in its various incarnations, was always a balm for my soul. It's a tough job being a prof these days. Peace to all.

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  14. Oh, well.

    Given how moderate this place actually is, and how many real problems have been substantively addressed here, I still don't understand the lack of attention/participation.

    Many thanks for the oppotrunity to play along. If you're on twitter, I'm @jondresner, officially.

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  15. I was just thinking as I clicked over to this page that CM is the first blog I check every day.

    :-(

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  16. I agree with all the positive comments above. I struggled my first years in academia and this place made it possible for me to have bravery and courage in my dealings with the damn flakes. I'll even miss the VidShizeos!

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  17. I've loved this community for 7 years, but the last two years of work have sucked my time and energy (I became chair when our chair quit on us midway through the year), so it's been tough to keep up and contribute, and I am sad about that. I will always respect and love this community. It has been a haven, a source of comfort, a place where I knew that I could vent and encourage others while finding support and humor. I appreciate everyone who has worked for ten years go keep it active.

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  18. Kimmie has given up the Tweeter. Cal and I debated leaving it open, but decided to shutter it. We don't want the @CollegeMisery to be co-opted by someone else, though, so we'll likely empty it and keep it there as a dead link. I mean, I'm packing boxes and Cal is just dealing with the computer B.S. Bastard.

    Hey, can anyone get to Oilmont in time with a pickup truck?

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    1. Sorry, I never had a pickup (and, much as I love you, am unwilling to incur the consequences of stealing one), and I gave up my enormous old station wagon after it dropped pieces of its frame all over the road just about the time I got my only raise in the life of CM (at least it was a good one).* I'm now driving a compact car.

      *See? you should have shut the place down years ago. Or maybe you did shut it down around that time, but the compound was in Ohio or Utah or somewhere. I've never been able to keep track. I just set up my computer and get back to work.

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  19. There are even people visiting RYS today...haha. Maybe I should start it up again...........

    Spoiler space......





    Are you kidding?

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  20. Sometimes you've just got to call it. Many, many thanks, Fab and Leslie and Cal and Terry and Ben (even though you're not reading) and all (including whoever I'm forgetting; I know I'm forgetting someone). And much love to all who have participated over the years (far too numerous to list). As I said a few days ago, this place has made the periodic miseries of the last 5 years considerably less miserable for me. At least I knew I wasn't crazy (i.e. seeing problems that no one else could see). That helped. And as Cal said a few days ago, I think more people in more places these days are seeing (or admitting to seeing) the problems, though solutions sometimes seem as far off as ever. Still, if they exist, I suspect they're out there in the real world, either in networking with people we actually know (even virtually; anonymity/pseudonymity does have its limitations), or, as Kim and Leslie (and Ben a few months ago) have suggested, in engaging more fully with the non-work aspects of life. Maybe a bit of both.

    I'll miss you all, and wonder from time to time how you're doing. That last will be the hardest part, but I wonder about many people who simply stopped showing up here, too, so it's not like keeping the blog open would solve that. So best wishes to all, and keep the faith (i.e. when you suspect the emperor (Dean, president, provost, edupreneur) is naked, even if no one around you is willing to say so out loud, (s)he probably is).

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    1. As always, Cassandra, you've said it better than anyone...

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    2. Mmm hmm. Will miss you all, and will particularly miss the sanity-check (although our current chair has managed something no other has, causing pretty much every member of the department to agree that some things are just nutty, so...)

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  21. Thanks so much to Fab and Cal and Leslie. This place has offered me so much comfort and sanity. Just knowing that all of you are out there helps so much. My students and my colleagues just make it hard to get out of bed. But over the years, this community reassured me that I wasn't the problem. Standards mattered. Degrees should be worth something. We really are teaching college rather than working as glorified babysitters.

    Thanks for that.

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  22. Cal set up a free bulletin board (linked under the header). Some regulars wanted the option of reconnecting in some way with RYS/CM pals, and the board might make that possible.

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    1. Just as I was typing that the hardest part would be not knowing how people were doing, in fact. Thanks, Cal!

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    2. Kimmie reports you don't have to login at the board, but do need to enter a name and ANY email address...

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    3. And you can't swear, at least not "excessively." That part will be interesting.

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  23. I will miss it. Like Frankie Bow, I usually check this blog first, and several times a day. Sorry I never had much to write--I always enjoyed reading, though!

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  24. I've checked this blog daily for years - I started back with RYS. That's where I got my name. I am too much of a chicken to comment much but I read every post and every comment. Beaker Ben, Hiram, and Cassandra are my idols.

    I appreciate the work that the RGMs have had to put into the page over the years but I am crushed at the prospect of not having this page to turn to during my class breaks.

    Miss you already.

    Always yours,
    Nancy

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  25. I'm sorry to see this happen, but I know things were winding down and, quite frankly, some of it's my own fault for not contributing lately. I will miss you all! (Especially Cassandra, but also Bubba and Chepiltepin (sp?) and Hiram and...

    Not to mention those who are already gone: Ben and Walter and Bipolar Beth and Bitchy Bear and Frog & Toad. Especially Froad.

    I'm gonna spend Thanksgiving recovering from surgery and compiling my contribution to the CM favorite posts list. Bye, all.

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  26. Won't somebody please think of the duck? (and the alpacas of course). Why didn't the site have more reach? More impact? This profession reminds me of the old joke about how many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

    I'm going to miss you all, and I'll be around at the bulletin board from time to time to check in. I can't even remember when I first started reading back in the RYS days (I do remember the gumdrop unicorn bruhaha). Getting my first comment posted on RYS felt like the pinnacle of my publishing career. Over the years, this has come to feel more like a community than a set of blog posts. Cal, Fab, Leslie, Terry and all the other RGM's (even Compound Cash!), you've hosted one hell of a good party.

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  27. Thank you, everyone. The days will definitely be harder to bear now.

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  28. We who are about to die salute you!
    Thanks for the long run, everyone. I hope that I will wake someday to find a new incarnation of CM/RYS. But I know from similar experience that it's a bunch of work, and that it can be hard to find time to do something like this, given the other responsibilities of a collegiate miserian. I will miss all your voices. I will miss hearing about your fingers in the dike holding back a reservoir of bullshit in higher education.
    I bow.

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  29. There's no reason to say you're sorry for how CM ended. Like a good party, things have to wind down sometime. Beyond my own family and close friends, There are a gazillion websites and lots of people chose this one to be the first and last page they check each day. They chose this site, Fab, the site that you made and the site that you kept alive for five years. FIVE FUCKING YEARS. On the internet, that's like ... well, it's a long damn time.

    Of course, I fully agree with everybody's comments about the awesome contributors to the page. We did a damn fine job, folks. I'll never again be a part of anything this good.

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    1. As has often been the case, Ben says it best.

      I hope I'll be a part of something this good again, but CM is something I will treasure until my end.

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  30. I'll miss the blog. I've been lurking and occasionally whinging since the place opened as RYS all those years ago -- roughly a year after I returned to teaching from industry work. After being relegated to less than part-time work at the same time I got hit with breast cancer (related? maybe, but I think truly the administration doesn't care at all about faculty as people), I'm moving on -- doing some writing and coding freelance. Hell, even microtask slave wages pay as much as adjuncting part time. (At least the cancer is gone/at bay -- not considered cured for 10 years, but looking very good.)

    The site helped so much with letting me know that the weirdness of modern universities and students wasn't me and wasn't unique to my location. I'm sure that it helped others, too. Most of the time, it provided an interesting read and the occasional delight. It's possible that the bastards have won, which is why so many good people are tired and frustrated. I don't like to think that, but I'm trying to jump in the career lifeboat and row quickly.

    Thanks for the good times, the occasional fights, and the effort that it took to maintain the blog (if anyone deserves an A for trying really hard, it's our patient moderators).

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  31. I know I'm not exactly on old hand nor a regular poster here, but I was sad during the hiatus last year and I'm sad again.

    There are just so many posters here who are clearly keeping every available digit in a hole in the dike, and I am inspired and enlightened by them every time the substantive material hereabouts passes into a realm that affects me.

    So I'll pour a whiskey and raise it out of respect for the site's passing. And another to honor its eventual return, phoenix-like, from the ashes of academia. Mayhaps under a different name (again).

    If one of your gallant ladies and gents takes it upon yourself to reboot this project be sure to spread the news around. I'll find my way back to you the fold.

    Aufweiderhören.

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  32. Thank you for the comments and emails. What a lovely community. Whiners, of course. Cranks. But lovely all the same.

    Les, I'm not kidding, sent me balloons.

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  33. I have never posted, commented, or bugged the RGM, but I've been on RYS and CM since 2006, all of my teaching career. You are my heroes and I'll never forget what I learned here. Shout out to Cynic, Cassandra, Walter, Hiram, Fab, Cal, Archie, Terry, Ben, and Kimmie.

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  34. Truly sad to see this, but totally understand the need for measurable returns.
    I still remember the January morning in 2008 when I discovered RYS...and read the whole archive in one sitting. 15 years as an adjunct, and RYS and CM together have been the best resource in helping me keep perspective on the strangeness of academia and the behavior of students.

    Thanks to all...sorry I wasn't present here more.

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  35. Everyone here has meant more to me than I can say - for your humor and your smarts. I chose to leave my university, and am feeling my way through reconstructing my life. It wasn't an easy decision, but I think it was the right one. And coming here, during some of the most difficult of times, let me know I was not alone. And that, my friends, has meant the world to me. (formerly AcadeManiac)

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  36. Last year was the first of my third "act" as a lowly adjunct at a public university I'd tutored through grad school and thought I knew what to expect in the classroom but boy, was I wrong. The stories you all generously shared helped me see that I wasn't the only one who was dealing with crazy classroom shenigans and taught me valuable lessons on how to deal with troublesome (and troubled) students and administrators. And Yaro's stories - I saved those for the worst days, the days when I wondered why the heck I was working for little more than minimum wage after seven years of college, because the amazing Yaro reminded me of how wonderful teaching could and should be.

    Thank you, thank you all.

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  37. Dammit, dammit, dammit. This blog has been one of my go-to reads for the past...seven years. Wow. From my start as an adjunct through my tenure-track position, it's been there for me. I feel a bit lost now that it's going away. And a twinge guilty, too, as I've mostly lurked instead of posting actively. Still, this virtual water cooler gave me the feeling that I was part of a community of like-minded folks, even if we're mostly anonmymous/anonymized and snarking from the shadows. And, via some back-channel communication a few years back, I was delighted to find out that one of y'all in The Great Unnamed is faculty at my alma mater; knowing that fact does me good, even if I don't know who you are. Thanks for the bile, the venting, the gripes, the headaches, and the hilarity, everybody. I loved every moment.

    Oh, and by the way, I will hereby claim invention of the RYS/AWC/CM "hamster-fur weaving" trope. You're welcome. :-)

    Bye.

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  38. Even though I never wrote, I checked in every day. I loved all of the contributors, Yaro most of all. This is breaking my heart.

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  39. Yep. I read it all the time. Sad to see it go.

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  40. I learned more here than I did in graduate school. It's obvious that people like Yaro taught all of us well. But every regular gave remarkable lessons about the profession constantly. Some of Hiram's ideas I incorporated into my own teaching, and saw a huge difference. And something Fab said really resonates. Courage. It's what we need in the profession. And I found it here all the time. Bless all of you, and good luck to us all.

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  41. This blog closing was just icing on the cake of shit that was my week. Naturally, I am stove-in and unmoored by the news. Though tomorrow may bring a renewed sense of optimism, tonight I excuse my drinking and my numbness, in no particular order.

    Fair thee well, all. I am the better for having met you.

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  42. Hey--this damn blog has saved me a few times. You have no idea, do you? You all have saved me before.

    Look, my salary as an adjunct is less than my monthly student loan bill. I teach college but my own kids won't be able to attend. I never finished my Ph.D., so I feel like a fraud as it is. And I have very little real power in the classroom.

    I'm a good teacher. Funny, too. But some days have been really, really hard. I have spent many late nights and early mornings fighting off anxiety attacks with the help of the voices here. I've woken up at 2 am with a tightness in my chest and have turned to RYS more times than I can count. I don't know where to go next.

    I've never contributed (see the above imposter syndrome problems), but I've used this page as a tool. I have not always agreed with everything I have read, but everything I have read has made me think. What I have learned here has had a direct impact on my attitude towards my teaching. My professional life fucking sucks--and yes, I'm mostly to blame--but you all challenged me, whether you were aware of it or not, to get in there and teach anyway. You wouldn't let my feeling sorry for myself impact my students.

    Did you know that you did all that? You did--all of you.

    Not sure where I am going to go at 2 am when anxiety hardens my lungs to granite. But I'll take suggestions.

    This is bad news.

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  43. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Not again! I need this. I depended on your experiences and realities. I always felt hung out to dry in my adjunct teaching. I had hoped to feel "community" on campus but THIS was the only place I actually felt it.

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  44. I'm not even an academic, strictly speaking, and I checked in here every single morning. (My husband is the tenured proffie in the house; I'm an editor for a university press.) I've often wondered, over the nearly 40 years since I finished my BA, whether I should have gone on to a doctorate and attempted a teaching career, but this site confirmed it once and for all: I could never, in a million years, do what you guys do and put up with what you guys put up with. I'm so happy to have learned from all of you.

    Who's collecting nominations for favorite posts? Mine is the one entitled "The Purpose of the Test," dated Thursday 7 May 2015. It still makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.

    Thanks, everyone,
    Penny

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  45. RYS and CM got me through tenure, the slightly shaky start to kid #2's life, and I got more from you guys than I did from my doctoral cohort.
    Learned a lot about writing from Contingent Cassandra and Frankie Bow, so so much about many things from OPH and Prof Chiltepin, and the work all the mods put in made me (I hope) a better teacher and person. Love you all, and will never forget you.

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