|Posted left in memory of Ben...|
But when the tweeter feed came under the Misery banner, I felt a momentary pause. My Twitter handle - and my name here - is part of my real world name. And even though I don't plan on announcing that I'm twitting or reading twits, I had a tiny twinge in my stomach.
Would my colleagues understand? I don't think so. My students? I don't actually care. My Dean? No way.
So I made a new Twizzler handle and now am happily following Kimmie's re-twits.
Q: Was it shame I felt? Are we pseudonymous casually, or as a matter of keeping a grim hold on our jobs? What would befall us if we said at the next faculty meeting, "I'm miserable, and here's my evidence, 24 posts on College Misery! Take that, you Kool-Aid drinking bastards"?
It could be a completely reasonable reaction to the way many people can't (or perhaps worse, wont) take things in context or bring a modicum of empathy to understanding the why of what we do here.ReplyDelete
Remember those late-night episodes of The Prisoner? The poignant thing about anonymity is that one can only lose it once.ReplyDelete
A1) Possibly, but I think probably not.ReplyDelete
A2) I fear how what I do here taken out of context would be used against me, but mostly I'm trying to protect the feelings of my colleagues and students. I don't actually hate them or wish them any ill will (or if I ever do, the feeling passes quickly). I just want them to do better. I want them to stop fucking up. I want those same things for myself, too. If we could all do those things, we'd all be better off.
Also, I don't want my colleagues thinking that I am gauging our every interaction as possible fodder for these pages, and I don't want to be thinking that they may be thinking that.
A3) A few colleagues would think it's funny. A few would take it personally, and I'd have to explain that I don't actually hate them or wish them any ill will etc. as I mentioned in A2. I would probably come under fire for having violated my joint's social media policy, as my real name is tied quite closely to the uni's in a readily googleable way, and the powers that be would assume that since they now know who I am here, then everybody else must as well. Overall I doubt that showing anybody at my joint what I've written here would have enough constructive effect to make it worth doing. And in retrospect, that makes me fucking miserable.
What I can say is that my work here (if you could call it that) and what I learn from others here have allowed me to hone my approach in real life.
Overall I doubt that showing anybody at my joint what I've written here would have enough constructive effect to make it worth doing. And in retrospect, that makes me fucking miserable.Delete
But it's a long game.
You're right: it's a long game. It is inevitable that the boulder occasionally slips downslope; the trick is to keep one's eye on the peak, and just keep rolling the rock towards it.Delete
Pseudonyms are fragile in this interwoven social network. Identities that you think are separate can end up interacting through no fault of your own. And anytime you use an identity on someone else's website, you risk exposure.ReplyDelete
Given the humorlessness of academia, and the difficulty in getting people to talk about fundamental problems (elsewhere: CM's great!), a carefully protected pseudonym is just good practice.
Yes to Jonathan. My own colleagues are humorless about much of this material. I have shared the occasional post of "this blog I sometimes read" and all anyone ever can see is that it's about academics whining. "Why don't they get another job," I've heard as advice in response.Delete
And I don't get it. I simply have come to believe - and it was Cal who taught me this - that those of us in this community (and others) are just wired differently. (Cal would say wired better).
well, we're certainly wired tighter...Delete
If I got outed and it went public and affected the reputation of my institution, I could get fired for contributing to this blog. If I am outed and nobody cares, then no worries. Our Christian SLAC is one with a president who wants to pretend that everyone and everything is "blessed by God" and is, therefore, perfect. If any note of dissension arises AND IS MADE PUBLIC, it must be because the individual complaining has not sipped of the Kool Aid, but must be in league with the devil. I exaggerate only slightly here. But this forum gives me a much-needed place to vent where I would dare not in the hallowed halls of my institution.ReplyDelete
Well, there's an argument for Calvinism if I ever heard one (much more emphasis on the fallenness of all things human in comparison to God's intentions for us and the world). I'm not sure I'd call this blog Calvinist, but if one squints the right way. . . .perhaps? It certainly fits with MA&M's "wired tighter" description.Delete
I'm pretty sure I have colleagues who read here, at least occasionally, and I suspect that some of them may recognize (or think they recognize) me. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that neither I nor my misery am/is unique, so it's also entirely possible that somebody else's colleague, at some other school entirely, is convinced that that colleague is me. I'll settle for deniability, and lack of google connections between Cassandra and my real-life identity/university employer (all the more so because I'm not tenured).ReplyDelete
I do worry a bit about google's capacity to make connections among email identities, and its eagerness to connect people up on google plus et al. I don't think my real-life self will be letting Cassandra play with the smartphone anytime soon.