Monday, May 16, 2016

I nearly pissed my pants laughing. CM Post #6000.

A friend emailed me this morning and told me I needed to read this CrampicleVita article because zhe wrote one of the comments beneath it.

So often, I still think, "Wow! You're famous! You got published in the paper! How exciting!"  (Next thing I know, I'll be clipping articles from the paper and snailmailing them to my grandchildren who will throw them away without reading them.) So, anyway, I read the article (or essay or column or op-ed or whatever it's called now).

I remember reading the Crampicle when I was a student.  I thought they were a pretty important paper.  But things have really gone downhill there. Even more than what I remember.  The article (or whatever it's called) is condescending blather or maddeningly useless or some variation of such adjectives.

Are their writers serious? They remind me of that proffie-blogger mocked by CM awhile back.  What was his name? Strudel? It was something like "Strudel".  He was writing crazy pedagogy stuff from on high, I think. It makes me think that all administrator/educator experts are just smart 12-year-old kids who were instructed to write like adults--and then some publisher slaps an adult's photo on the gibberish and publishes it.  What horse crap.

But I'd kind of like to invite those commenters to CM.  They're almost good enough to fit in here.

Sincerely,
Southern Bubba, PhD

14 comments:

  1. Strudel is a great name for him (although a strudel is more palatable than J. Strudel).

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    1. I was thinking it was either Strudel or Falafel.

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  2. What a useless article! But the comments after the article are very good and worth reading--just skim the article and then read the comments.

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  3. In case anyone was wondering how two Assistant Deans of Adjunct Faculty Support fill their days...

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    1. You mean they fill their days writing lists of patently obvious things while playing down that they are only furthering a corrupt system?

      I'd far prefer that they would think of ways they could eliminate their own jobs. If they did that, there would be any number of other positions they could fill. For instance, instead of Assistant Deans of Arranging the Deck Chairs, they could be Assistant Deans of Steering Clear of the Iceberg.

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    2. But for some reason we're not supposed to talk about "steering clear of the iceberg" out loud.

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    3. Indeed. The only possibly-surprising thing is that there are administrators with the word "adjunct" in their titles. 'Twould never happen at a 4-year school, not because there aren't many, many adjuncts, but because nobody is allowed to admit that there are many, many adjuncts (excuse me, "established professionals sharing their expertise" -- at the 100/200-level, with 5-6 sections at a time on 2-3 campuses).

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  4. I made comments like those, once, and Stella accused me of playing the victim.

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    1. Good for you putting aside real and imagined sleights.

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  5. I was first made aware of this article by someone in my Twitter feed who goes by @ass_deans and who remarked of it, "Like politics, there is no need for satire in academics." I started reading the article and thought I might well be reading The Onion, so I did as Jaime suggested and skipped to the comments. And then, midweek, my life turned into a parody and I forgot about the article.

    Thanks for bringing it here, Bubba. It's rich.

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    1. Sadly, @ass_deans is all too right about both politics and academics at the present moment.

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  6. The strudel's name was Jesse Stommel, Bubba, and he was cognizant of our gleeful pile-on, enough for him to post comments to this august forum, with predicable results. He was a good one, right up there with Kalamazoo Katie. On his current web page, above all else he calls himself a "pedagogue": Mencken used that word to describe a type of teacher, not kindly. On his LinkedIn page, he calls himself a "digital pedagogue."

    The article reminded me of my time giving shows at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where an assistant manager told me "your work is its own reward!" Chicago, IL is a great place to learn what it's like to be economically exploited, and I gave my first-ever college class there on Halley's Comet, "some years ago - never mind how long precisely - " although a good astronomer could date it exactly. I got $25 per class at CoD. The class was a big hit, the person I spoke to on the phone seemed disappointed I couldn't afford to hold another one. Isn't it funny how institutions seem to have memories?

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    1. I kinda like Strudel as a way to refer to that individual -- less googleable (well, until this comment thread associated the two. Oh, well).

      I actually had occasion to occupy the same room as Strudel, who is apparently in high demand as a keynote speaker, this year. He seems a bit more normal in person (and I suspect is in a better place professionally than when we first encountered him), but he does still seem to be very much into the emotional aspects of the teacher/student bond (and, at least on the occasion I saw, was gently reminded by another speaker that there are various ways to be a good teacher, some of them a bit more reserved/distant than the model he favors).

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  7. That's impressive. It's really hard to believe that someone (let alone two someones) wrote those two first paragraphs with a straight face. I guess we all live in our own little bubbles, and I'm sure I'm just as oblivious on some subjects, but yikes.

    Glad to see they got substantial pushback in the comments.

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