Saturday, April 27, 2013

RBOC: Still freaking teaching edition

  • Some of my students have begun coming to class barefoot.  I'm accustomed to seeing people take off their shoes during class for comfort's sake, but these people aren't even bringing shoes with them.  We're still getting early-morning temperatures in the upper 30s here in Cornstate.  Why are people doing this?  Is this a thing now?
  • I'll give the barefoot people this much, though: they at least look better than all of those guys who walk around wearing this.
    (Photo credit: Ryan Dunn)
    I cannot see this combination without thinking of poverty.  This looks like an outfit scrounged from the free bin at the Salvation Army.  Awful.
  • In my cold/allergy-induced haze*, I completed flubbed my grading calculations for the test I just gave, and included only 80 points of regular credit instead of 100.  (I meant to make the last question worth double the others, and I just fucking forgot to do it.)  There were some hard questions in there that I anticipated would bedevil a lot of students, so I was relatively generous with the extra credit section.  Now at least half of the little buggers have test scores breaking 100, which will only encourage them to screw around more instead of buckling down and studying for the final.  I FUCKING HATE BEING SICK.
  • Speaking of which, I went to my allergist yesterday, and on their recommendation, I picked up a Neti Pot.  So far, I'm not sure this isn't some practical joke at my expense.  All I'm doing is drowning myself in salty, phlegmy water*** while feeling certain that someone is watching me and laughing as they say, "I can't believe that asshole fell for it!"
  • A pseudology colleague of mine at another school just walked away from a good tenure-track job.  Zi is now in training for a completely different line of work.  Part of me is impressed that zi knows hirself well enough to recognize that academia is not for hir, and is willing to change course so drastically.  Another part of me is sad that I may not get to see many publications from hir, since zi is brilliant and was, by all accounts, an up-and-coming star.  Another part of me is just annoyed that the person who walks away from a job we're all killing ourselves to get is the one who has already been so blessed professionally.  And a small and very petty part of me is relieved that at least one colleague genuinely better than I am is permanently off the job market.  I'm not proud of this feeling, but it's the truth.
  • My Saturday afternoon has been devoted to a load of laundry, a Neti-drowning episode, and about six hours of grading.  I think I'm going to postpone my next dose of decongestant and head to the bar for a beer.  Sigh.
*I can't figure out if this is a cold as I first thought, or a serious allergy attack.  I'm starting to suspect the latter, since a huge build-up of mucus throughout my poor head is really the only symptom**.  Well, that and exhaustion and fuzzy thinking as a result of all the oxygen I'm not getting and the feeling of congestion from blocked sinuses.  
**I know, you really wanted to know that, right?
***See above.


  1. My reaction whenever someone leaves academia is, "Hurrah! Another job opening!" I am waiting for local Shakespeareans to die for the same reason. Not really. Well, kind of. Okay, yeah, I am.

    I tried the squirt bottle version of the netti pot and as weird as it is, it helped me. My allergies have been especially bad lately. It doesn't help that this is the worst time of the year for our job and it so happens to correspond with the worst time of the year for allergies. Meh.

  2. As far as the neti pot goes, I got the kind that is more of a squeeze bottle, which I use when I have a sinus infection. It does help the burning/itching/baseball to the head feeling, but only for a short time. But you have to be careful about bending over right after you use it. You're also supposed to be using boiled/sterile water because apparently some people have got the brain-eating amoeba by using regular water and a neti pot. (I don't do this, as there are plenty of other places those people could have gotten that, and there has to be something f*cked up with their immune system for them to have gotten it, as most people don't.)