Sunday, April 24, 2011

Professor Deeply Hurt by Student's Evaluation

APRIL 2, 1996 | ISSUE 29•12
The Onion
Leon Rothberg, Ph.D., a 58-year-old professor of English Literature at Ohio State University, was shocked and saddened Monday after receiving a sub-par mid-semester evaluation from freshman student Chad Berner. The circles labeled 4 and 5 on the Scan-Tron form were predominantly filled in, placing Rothberg’s teaching skill in the “below average” to “poor” range.
Enlarge ImageEnglish professor Dr. Leon Rothberg, though hurt by evaluations that pointed out the little globule of spit that sometimes forms between his lips, was most upset at being called "totally lame" in one freshman's write-in comments.
Although the evaluation has deeply hurt Rothberg’s feelings, Berner defended his judgment at a press conference yesterday.
“That class is totally boring,” said Berner, one of 342 students in Rothberg’s introductory English 161 class. “When I go, I have to read the school paper to keep from falling asleep. One of my brothers does a comic strip called ‘The Booze Brothers.’ It’s awesome.”
The poor rating has left Rothberg, a Rhodes Scholar, distraught and doubting his ability to teach effectively at the university level.
“Maybe I’m just no good at this job,” said Rothberg, recipient of the 1993 Jean-Foucault Lacan award from the University of Chicago for his paper on public/private feminist deconstructive discourse in the early narratives of Catherine of Siena. “Chad’s right. I am totally boring.”


  1. Why are there only articles up this weekend?

  2. Oh, Kimmie, who cares? This one is hilarious. Post something yourself.

  3. CM Moderator Deeply Hurt by Commenter Whining

    The Moderator of College Misery, a popular blog among discontented professors, has taken the amount of whining in blog comments deeply personally. "I'm particularly wounded by the negative comments from people who never post anything," s/he reported in an e-mail. "These people are the meat of the project, what makes CM great. No blog can function without a committed group of non-posters, and making them happy is my number one priority, more important, even, than my seven adjunct jobs, three kids, and volunteer work. I'm getting paid 7 billion dollars a year to run this blog, and posting links to cover up the lack of posts by readers is an important part of my job description. I feel devastated when lurkers and occasional visitors find the content unworthy." One commenter, Kandy of the Kallikack Kandies, responded: "It's a terrible blog. I read it every day, but who can be bothered to contribute or comment more than once in a blue moon? I can bitch about the blog and still make my nail appointment."

  4. Frog and Toad for the win on both comments. Yes, the Onion article was lovely.

  5. When I asked for posting rights I was told there were 100 already and some on a waiting list.

    I could not prove that, however, because so few people post. This weekend the only posts came from the moderator (plus one other).

    I'd love to post but with 100 people already in place, I'd expect more content.

    I enjoy the page anyway, so mock away. I feel as though I can express my discontent.

  6. There are currently 96 community members with posting rights. We have space for more posting members. Email me if you'd like a login.

  7. Yeah, Kimmie--I mean, it's not like they have anything ELSE to do; as evidenced by the Onion article, they all worked up their lame-assed "stand-up" routines back in, like, the NINETEEN SEVENTIES, so they really oughta be able to bloviate a little harder and longer all up in here. I'm with you, sister.

    Bobbie of the BOOBINGTON Bobbies

    P.S., Kim--can you trade shifts with me at the Mustache Ranch next Thursday? I got a test in my night class, so I probably oughta show up.

  8. I hate to weigh in on this as I DON'T have the time to be a poster and do it regularly, but I've long doubted that there are actually 96 or 100 registered posters, because there simply isn't enough content to support that. The rate of posts we have the past couple of months means that 96 posters would post ONCE a MONTH. Why would you even be a part of a blog if that's all you were contributing?

    I haven't done a count, but if there are 15 active posters I'd fall over.

    Most of what I read come from the Moderator, although there are sometimes other people's names on it.

  9. Yeah, and you'd think the enormous posting bonuses would persuade people to do it more often. I know I was getting $5000 per when I was a regular member, and I bet Angry Archie was getting a lot more. I'm just kicking myself now that I didn't take advantage of it more often. It's not as if I had anything else to do.

  10. I don't think the moderator should be allowed to post. He can't stay objective if he's providing half the content.

    And Merely Academic, if posting is so hard, then why keep the blog up at all?

  11. Richard Singleton, sweetheart,

    96 posters x 1 post a month = about 3 posts a day. I don't know about you, but I don't have time to read more than 3 posts a day anyway. Perhaps you have more free time. 3 posts a day looks like a pretty good rate to me. So, 1 post a month per contributor.

    As for "why have a blog at all?" - well, because it's fun, and people like to read it and comment occasionally? What else would it be for? If you refuse to read any blog that has fewer than 40 posts a day, of course, you will be disappointed, and should go read The Chronicle.

  12. And once again we're off.

  13. Frog and Toad, apologize for being a jerk.

    One comment sufficed. Two is an attack.

    It's funny how the biggest jerks on here are always the ones with the inappropriately snarky comments when someone has a minor complaint.

  14. I preferred the earlier blog title. This one is too dark.

  15. I agree with the pusher. The contrast between the light backgroun and the very dark header makes the page quite unattractive. I'd recommend trying to draft someone from the pool of posters who has some graphic arts experience because the page often looks uninviting.

  16. well, this IS finals season, so I imagine a lot of us are a bit busy to write a full posting for the time being....

    If you're not happy I am sure Fab Sun will refund your full subscription price!


  18. I am dying for someone to say:

    "If you don't actually RUN the blog, you don't get a say on the design."

    I love this page and I like how it changes looks from time to time. I'd bet that Fab or leslie or whoever enjoys doing that, so let them. Shut the fuck up otherwise.

  19. Hey, Happy Easter everyone! Jesus loves you! Shove some spiral-sliced ham in your faces! Bite the ears off a chocolate bunny! Lick some hot cross buns! There must be some Easter sports extravaganza which everyone can happily enjoy, no?

  20. Thank you, Lisette and Terry. I enjoy reading the site every day. I hardly even notice the format of the page. If it's readable, I'm happy.

    Also, thank you also to the person or persons who moderate and run the blog. Keep up the good work.

    To those who don't like the way the site is run, no one is forcing you to read it. If I see something I don't agree with I go on to the next item. Getting bent out of shape over something that's posted here doesn't change anything. Opinions vary.

  21. When one bitches or praises the page and its design, it's incorrect to cite either me or Leslie K. Thanks.

  22. @Merely: If you're getting only $5k per post, then you really should renegotiate your contract ASAP. It hurts the rest of us when you accept such a low amount. Next thing you know, CM will be farming the whole operation out to adjuncts. I hear some of them are getting paid a mere $1750 per post (with no benefits).

  23. Damn, I had no idea! I think we need full disclosure of posting bonuses, immediately.

    I think the background would be better with many pink fluffy bunnies, and little clouds. Also there should be a link to free chocolate.

  24. We'd have more to post if 1) our posting bonus was actually paid on time (dear Fab Sun, we need to chat), 2) our minions/students were less unanoying, or 3) we weren't begging for sweet (re)death to come and take us, freeing us from all this end-of-semester Hellishness.

    We'd also like to start a betting pool: how many of the above whiners come from the same (or related) IP address(es)? Yeah, we think the page design's shit. It's part of the charm—if it were good, then we'd start bitching.

  25. What makes me mad is that you're all Liberal folkies who are responsible for shit like this:

  26. @aperture

    Froderick has been a regular correspondent for 3 years (here and at RYS). I can't think of a better friend to this community over all this time.

    His insight, collegiality, and humor have been among the brightest parts of these blogs.

    CM Moderator

  27. "Aperture Labs" is an organization from a video game called Portal, which is extremely popular among us college students but a little too modern for most proffies. Just throwin' that out there.

  28. @Aperture: a time-tested approach to entering any group with which one is unfamiliar is to listen a lot and say little for some time, then gradually join the conversation, noting what kind of feedback one gets and adjusting one's approach accordingly.

    Just sayin'

  29. @aperture

    Your first appearance on here was ugly. You made fun of someone's life work, someone who's earned his bones on this and the blog that preceded it.

    Your comments in the other thread had nothing to do with opening a discussion. It's disingenuous to suggest it, frankly.

    What the moderator of this blog has stated consistently is that sniping between community members is not tolerated very widely or for very long. We aim our displeasure at the profession, the flakes, the colleagues, but NOT at community members. That's how this blog works.

    If it's not for you, then there are many other locations where you can be the voice of what qualifies as a decent telescope in your world.

  30. Everyone says "@aperture" but there is no such entry here.

    For what it's worth:
    a) I came here to post this article, and I rarely post articles. But the onion, she is a beautiful paper, no?

    b) If you go over the people who have posted in the past 14 days, you get about 25 different names. If you think about it, 96 people would equal about a single-monthly post. But because we only see some of these names about once a month, they don't stick.

    c) I know our jobs lend us towards critique, but can't we all just lay off a little? Frankly, it's rather repetitive and unimaginative to attack the unknown bits about the site.

    Finally, the design has never really bothered me. In the end, it's always just Blogger with a picture in the background. So why bitch?

  31. IN FACT:

    In the last fourteen days, we have had no fewer than 28 different names (29 if you count Fab Sun and College Misery as two people, which I think we should, since it's clear that there are more than one moderator sharing this pain in the ass duty).

    The weekends are dominated by moderator posts, as I'm sure the moderators take a break from their busy week to clean things up on the blog and the rest of us take the weekends off away from online research/teaching/blogging duties and get some fracken sunshine.

    Looking at this list of names (I thought about typing them up, but that is time-consuming) it's pretty impressive what a large group we have here.

    Hear hear for CM. Boo to the nay-sayers.

  32. Thanks for crunching some numbers Monkey...

  33. Number-crunching, funky Monkey.
    Yes, yes, y'all.

  34. is the design going to get fixed or not? You should change the background picture to something more attractive. The blog title should be darker and include some pictures. I'd also like you to make the text in the replies a slightly different shade of gray. In addition, the sidebar should be 0.01 millimeters wider.

    Finally, the font is too boring. Change it to something nicer, like comic sans.

  35. The_Myth, if Kimmie would like an apology, she is a big girl and can ask for one, but she said "mock away." Meanwhile, calling someone a jerk is, well, not making your point particularly credibly.

    Froggie of the Froggington Froggies (who generally loves Kimmie, for her name and other things, but is really tired of posts about how nobody ever posts, and comments about how lame the blog is. Tiresome material).

  36. Yet again, I missed all the "fun" that comes from our favorite assnon/"honest" prof/hairy aperture...For the record I have nevwer ONCE been witness to the sort of drama he/it has sometimes engendered. Damn.

    And my previous post was meant as a bit of mockery: forgive me if my humor went astray; I'm reading Ms. Fey's masterwork, BOSSYPANTS, and it is influencing my timing and nuance.

    For the record, I am not now, nor ever have been "on the pole." But in retirement, I am definitely thinking of opening a place called The Mustache Ranch.


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