Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Katie from Kalamazoo. The Legend. The Myth.


27 minutes after I posted the recent note from "Katie from Kalamazoo," an academic blogger wrote to me (from the nearly identical IP address at a public uni in the Midwest) that she did not want to be associated with our site, and that she had not sent the post. She asked me to take it down, which I have done. (This post does appear on this blogger's own site as well, but she is pseudonymous there, with no connection to her real world academic life.)

There are a number of factors that complicate this, including the fact that I've been contacted by this person before about other such posts, and that someone who identified herself as this academic blogger AND as Katie, has contacted me from the same IP address at the same university.

Perhaps I'm just a dupe, but until I can prove otherwise, I think it's fair to take down the post.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Many RYS/CM readers know who Katie actually is, and are readers of her blog. But no one is more confused than me concerning this.

At one end of the spectrum I'm being played by Katie - who actually IS this other academic blogger. At the other end - maybe more likely now - someone at her own school knows who she is and is tweaking her.

Regardless, over the years, "Katie" has been a favorite among RYS/CM readers, and - I'm guessing - will continue in that role.


  1. Please do not mine my blog for your content. I would appreciate it if you would take this post down immediately. Thanks a bunch!

  2. wow, it is plagiarized! (assuming of course that Katie and Reassigned are different people)


  3. Wow. I've been enjoying "Reassigned Time" for some time, but hadn't made the connection (or not) with Katie. Now, like F&T, I'm confused, especially since Dr. Crazy sounds way too sane to pull a stunt like pretending that a colleague is plagiarizing her. But somebody is apparently acting crazy (and has *way* too much time on hir hands, which doesn't sound like Dr. Crazy either).

    My head hurts. I think I'll go back to paying less attention to academia (at least the part that includes interacting, even virtually, with people) and more to summer (or at least research and writing).

  4. I sympathize with Fab (and the rest of you) over "Katie."

    Here's what I can say with certainty:

    "Katie from Kalamazoo" was a bit of a regular on RYS during my time as moderator there (3+ years). I knew early on that she also wrote a well known academic blog (which I believe she's connected to for the first time in her comment above.)

    Reassigned Time is a well known academic blog written by Dr. Crazy; she previously blogged on a blog that I think was actually called "The Chronicles of Dr. Crazy."

    And Dr. Crazy is, of course, a real academic at a uni roughly in the middle of the country. And while many RYS readers knew "Katie" and Crazy were the same person (there were numerous posts that appeared in similar form on both her page and ours), not many knew her real world identity.

    I made all connections one day when a complaint "Katie" sent to me came direct from her Dr. Crazy account, and then - hours later - the thread continued with an email she apparently sent inadvertently from an account of a real academic at a real school.

    From that time on, I only ever got mail from Dr. Crazy, but it always had the same IP subset, leading to a certain building and server on the campus of her university.

    A better person than me will one day post all the "Katie" material, but I would occasionally get something for RYS from "Katie," and then it'd be pulled back - often after some nasty comments appeared in posts in later days. "Katie" has always disliked RYS, and it appears CM, too. Her posts have always had some key elements: self-aggrandizement, love of befriending students, and disdain for our complaining about the profession.

    And at times I got notes from the identical IP address saying that someone had sock-puppeted her stuff, how dare we plagiarize her, etc.

    I wrote to her a few times and tried to sort it out, but was always unsuccessful.

    I think that she's not so unusual; she has an online presence that is complex and in part connected to her real life world. I mean, Dr. Crazy writes about herself, her college, her colleagues, etc. But I also believe that she created the "Katie" character to work out some ideas on other issues in the academy that she wanted wider feedback on. (Her comments section is among the most fawning I've ever seen on any blog anywhere.) To her credit, and it's just my theory, I think she tested "Katie" and her ideas out on a very large and challenging audience of academics (RYSWorld), and at times she got stung and retreated.

    I mean, "Katie" has posted on CM and left the page a couple of times in the year or so Fab has been running this site! Today's actions can't be a huge surprise to him or any other regular.

    But, I'd say cut her some slack. The IP address stuff Fab has discovered does complicate things. But if "Katie" doesn't want her stuff up, then he's right to take it down. (I'm assuming the last time she let go of her posting rights.)

    Regardless, I sort of like her, although she is certainly a maddening character at times.

  5. If Katie did not exist, it would be necessary to invent her.

    Life's been a real pain in my ass today but this made it better. I always enjoy disliking Katie. On top of that, I can take heart in knowing that I'm not dealing with all this shit that Fab is handling.

    We've had our turn at dealing with sockpuppets and multiple accounts at CM but a fake "Katie" takes the cake. If it's a copycat, it's really well done. Not only does the writer create posts to maximize the number of people who are pissed off but apparently does so with the intention of annoying the author of Reassignedtime. The time and energy put into this charade, not to mention the resulting CM/RYS posts, are impressive.