Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If It's Tuesday, Hiram Must Be Baffled, No, Really, I MUST Be, Or There Will Be No "If It's Tuesday" Column, Which Absolutely Nobody Wants Anyway.

  • School's out.
  • For summer.
  • School's out.
  • For ever.
  • School's been blown to pieces.
  • School's out completely.
  • Turned grades in.
  • Campus is so lovely as it empties.
  • My colleagues teach summer school. I would rather eat poison.
  • I could make more money. I'd be unhappier.
  • Wife votes for less money.
  • Lawn needs mow.
  • Hair needs cut.
  • What's on telebishion?
  • Don't know these young people on TV.
  • When did I become the age of famous people's dads?
  • Shiver in my spine as I think of how much energy I had 25 years ago.
  • Ten years ago.
  • Last year.
  • My wife is a kinder person than I am.
  • It evens out, I say.
  • I like being a college professor in the off-season.
  • Why is my forehead twitching? Is it a brain disease?
  • Will it stop me from mowing the lawn?
  • Going back to school in September?
  • Does anyone listen to Green Day anymore?
  • There was a day that my Green Day bumper sticker got comments from students.
  • Not anymore.
  • Fucking kids.


  1. I still listen to Green Day, Hiram. So does my partner.

    Enjoy the first blush of summer. The lawn can wait.

  2. Thanks for the grins, Hiram.

    I, too, sometimes feel better about my profession when I'm not actually in session. I never feel worse about it than when I'm at the national meat market/conference. Then I just wish I was a CPA or something.

    And, summer teaching and the money thing. I agree. When I was younger I worked every summer and felt shitty ALL year.

    A wealth of topics in your "stream."

  3. I like your comments on aging. I know I FEEL the same age I've been for years, but I start to look around and it seems like KIDS are everywhere, not just students anymore, but working in the world, on TV as the news anchors. One KID is my Dean.

    They aren't all Doogie Howser wunderkinds, either. Time is passing and I've not been keeping up. Are these lines in my face? Ugh.

    1. I've got the same problem, except most of them are as bad as the students I used to teach: brainless, self-important smart-alecks.

      Oddly, I don't ever remember being that dumb when I was their age.

    2. Oh, I do. Twenty-somethings are idiots. I was. I mean, I thought I was hot shit, but I wasn't. Fucking kids.

    3. When I was in my early 20s, I was a rookie with a brand-new B. Sc. in engineering. I certainly didn't behave like a know-it-all on the job, unlike how many people of a similar age are nowadays. I knew better than that. I had to be very careful with what I did because there could have been devastating consequences beyond just losing my job. People could have been hurt or killed if I'd been careless.

      Socially, I did my share of clowning around, though it was a long way from the "Animal House" behaviour I see displayed by many of the younger tenants in my apartment complex.

  4. I used to have a good response to students when they would ask what music I listened to. There were always a few "modern" bands I knew and it was always stupefying that I knew them.

    Not so much the last ten years or so. If I know the music my students listen to, I only know it to mock it.

    Old, Hiram. It's all old. Do the lawn. Cut the hair. Hang on to the wife. Enjoy the ride. It's our only hope, brother.

    1. I listen mainly to classical and opera, which was almost totally over the heads of my students. I guess that made me an elitist, which certain people at my institution openly detested.

  5. Not in session my campus looks like a small corner of heaven. In session, not so much.

    As for aging, my latest adminiflake is 10 years younger than me - and I'm not even old!!!

    And finally, I love the Tuesday posts, Hiram. Enjoy your summer, and kudos to the wife for voting the way she does.

  6. I remember that Dookie blew my mind, and I wore out the CD. Yes, I actually wore *out* a CD.

    Happy times.

  7. Amen on aging. And teaching during the summer, though I'm going to do it anyway, since "less money" isn't an option if I want to keep a roof over my head. Unfortunately, a lawn (or, rather, a garden; I'm that annoying neighbor who ruins the "look" of the neighborhood by making the whole front yard a garden, or a prairie, or a woodland, or whatever is appropriate to local conditions) doesn't come with said roof. I really miss it at this time of year, and the community garden plot isn't an entirely satisfactory substitute. But I generally agree with the "no summer teaching" philosophy; summer provides a much-needed period of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation, and allows time for research and writing. Not teaching regularly in summer also means that the option of doing so (or doing other paid work in summer) remains available should financial exigencies arise. It scares me a bit to depend on summer teaching for income, especially since said teaching isn't guaranteed. Fortunately, the course I teach most is required, and therefore in demand. The students (especially the ones who already flunked it once) tend to be grumpy, but they're available.

    That said, my assignment is in the mid-summer term this year, so I'm looking forward to 5 weeks or so of recuperation and work once classes are over and grades are in. That's soon. Very, very soon.

    Enjoy your well-earned summer rest, Hiram. And say "hi" to the wife.

  8. Swim more, run more, work out more
    Lose weight.
    Yes, the effing lawn.
    Grad students need papers to read
    Travel, too much of it.
    Foreign, domestic, foreign
    Visit parents, visit sister
    Spend more time with sweetie
    Go kayak fishing with sweetie
    Finish woodworking project with sweetie
    Do very very bad things with sweetie

    Write trivial short paper
    Just to keep adminiwolves at bay
    Embarrass adminiflakes

    Drink more, sleep more, read more

    Wer sich kein Haus gebaut hat
    Baut sich keines mehr
    Und wird in den Alleen, hin und her
    unruhig wandern wenn die Blaetter treiben

    Or something like that, It's Herbst (not summer)
    But I like in den Alleen unruhig wandern
    Very very much

    Maybe move, long distance
    Tired just thinking about it

    1. "Spend more time with sweetie
      Go kayak fishing with sweetie
      Finish woodworking project with sweetie
      Do very very bad things with sweetie"

      Sounds like a recipe for a perfect marriage.

    2. Indeed PG, we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. But not married: I've tried that twice already, and it didn't work out...

  9. Good stuff, Hiram. The only reason I recognize the people on TV is that I'm hopelessly addicted to celebrity gossip sites. Oh, and my research involves pop culture. But really the first reason.

  10. You know you're old when you don't recognize the host or the band on Saturday Night Live.

    1. I'm so old that I don't even remember the last time I watched SNL. It was over 20 years ago, long after the original cast of Belushi, Ackroyd, et. al. had left. I don't recall that the last show I saw was all that funny.

      Thank goodness for channels such as TCM.

  11. That Beloit College list that comes out every year gets more and more depressing.

    That said, when I referenced the Cure's "Killing an Arab" while teaching _The Stranger_, there were still a few kids in the room who got it. For the rest, I posted the video to our LMS, and left it at that.

    I used to stay up on pop culture, to be better able to "relate" to the little darlin's. But I can't bear what passes for pop "culture" these days (reality TV just grinds my gears), so I've pretty much stopped trying. About the closest I get is reading the occasional Gawker story that pops up on FB.


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