Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post-Turkey Shake-Down

Everything went wonderfully during T-giving. Medieval Pop and Medieval Aunt #2 came for dinner and we cooked all the traditionals - turkey was *really* good.

Except now we have to eat the thing for the next week. This is what I hate about having turkey for Thanksgiving.

Only ONE MORE WEEK of classes starting tomorrow (*angels sing JOY!*) - I'm grading the last dregs of papers - if I don't get them back on Wednesday and instead give them back after their exam next Monday, is this a bad thing? A demi-sin or a minor peccadillo?

One of my very good friends here at the Dream Academy - the one who got me into the Activity - did not get tenure. She found out the week before Thanksgiving. I feel horrible and I can only imagine how bad she feels. This wasn't entirely unexpected, but you always have hope, ya know?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Please Don't Drop Me...."

As I mentioned once before, my students are truly normal and good for the most part - there haven't been many "classic" stories over this semester.


There is one for whom the ability to weave together narrative threads of bullshit has become an art form. Around midterm time, I received a huge email address to me and the student's other professors. And this did it for me from the get-go - don't you hate it when a student sends a pleading, let me tell you my life story email to ALL their professors? Anyway, apparently this student had gotten it into his head that one or many of his profs had notified his parents that he wasn't doing adequately in his classes. Now, he was making a D in mine, but it's against school policy for us to discuss a student with anyone else - including their parents. So, he writes this tome to all of us and the basic gist of it is that he wants us to lie to his parents and tell them that he was passing his classes. An excerpt:

I am on the verge of being dropped from one of my classes and my parents fear that I shall make a mess of things as I have in High school, but between you and I, if I may be so bold to include you all, I have no intention of continuing the perpetual failure that was my high school transcript. But I digress...I have small aspirations. I dream of teaching English and/or History in a local university while residing happily in my near-campus apartment. Returning home for any amount of time is not an option.

So that I might appeal to you as a sentient and feeling human being I shall tell you a small bit about myself. I do not wish to boast, but I am in fact very intelligent. No lie, I have an IQ of 132...I don't want to get too haughty, and pardon the language, but writing is my shit. If I get pulled from school things start to get a little shaky. The balance of the universe will falter under the wrath of my father and mother. I may in fact die.

This e-mail is not a long appeal for sympathy begging for mercy, nay it is much more. This e-mail is a plea; a promise. This e-mail is a venture into a brave new world of education I have only recently woken up to...I would be much obliged if you were compelled to spare the defiled soul of a young lad gone astray.

After all of this, I still told him he was making a D and he emailed back that he thought that was "disappointing." I told him that he should be disappointed in himself, not in my reply.

Now, of course, this kid missed way too many classes and I eventually dropped him. But he wasn't taking no for an answer:

Please Professor MW, I really need this class. I have rededicated myself to the best of my ability. I fell down an elevator trying to get to classes this morning...I will keep showing up to your class until the end of the semester. If you deem that my work in your class has not rectified any inadequacies I showed before than fail me. Give me an F. If I do, if I prove to you that I understand this course is more than a privilege; that it is your baby, that you are the goddess and creator of all that is good and divine about this literature, then I challenge you to give me less than a C. I shall prove my worth. I am not one to give up. If I had not been dragged back to my dorm by my roommate and my RA this morning after blacking out and spitting out blood and bile, by god I would have been sitting in your classroom this morning.

Isn't it amazing how students can be full of shit, pleading, condescending, and vaguely threatening all at the same time?

I still dropped his ass...

Friday, November 21, 2008


I intend to post about a hilarious student tomorrow (hee, hee...the dangles before you), but right now I have to get ready for a performance of The Hobby.

But first, I wanted to say thanks for your comments on my last post - thanks for being righteously indignant along with me!

My band of ninja warriors will infiltrate each member of that committee's house and put coal in all stockings this holiday.

And will replace all their sugar with salt.

And the nasty punk who wrote that comment?

Nair in place of shampoo...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Black November

I'm having a black, black f*cking month. It's a dark, narsty semester, but this month is particularly dark. So dark that I constantly feel like the Angel of Death. I'm looking around for a sack-cloth jacket. Bad things happening, despair, unhappiness, general pissiness...

Today I found out that a third version of an internal grant proposal - in which I had, in all of the various proposal incarnations responded conscientiously to each bit of "criticism" the readers had - was rejected again. For a friend in another department, she was funded for a third time, despite the fact that the application instructions state in bold lettering that if anyone has been funded in the last 5 years, they will go to the bottom of the pile.

The readers "report" said AND I QUOTE:
"This project is frivolous."
Point me to the booze....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Random Bits of Fluff

God, it's been a while since I've posted! I've been keeping up with the blogs of others, though! Here's what's been up:

1) The Election - canvassed for Obama the weekend before, watched with baited breath and a bunch of friends on Tuesday. And today, I found out that I'll be joining my family at the Inauguration in January! Not with a special seat or anything, but Medieval Cousin and family live in Northern VA, so Medieval Pop, two Medieval Aunts, and assorted Medieval Cousins and accoutrements will be meeting up there and taking the metro into D.C. for the festivities. I was at the first Clinton Inauguration and it was amazing - Maya Angelou read...what a great time! So, on Jan 20, I'll be there and then I'll drive back early the next day to be here for my first afternoon class!

2) The Job Market - bites my ass. At least one - maybe two - jobs I've applied for have canceled their search. Two other schools have sent out dossier requests, but not to me (WTF, dudes? And damn you to hell, addictive job wiki...). AND a super-fine job at Slightly More Distant Neighboring Univ. that TD had expressly been asked to apply for and for which his advisor was pushing him guessed it: canceled. F*ckers. I know, I know, it's happening everywhere...TD is applying here at the Dream Academy - they don't have a position exactly in his field, but there's a good chance they won't be able to fill the 2 positions they do have with the exact people, and if they don't fill the line, chances are they won't get it back with budget cuts the way they are. SO, he might still be able to get a position here. I just feel like I need to get one outside offer to leverage here a bit more. No pressure.

If the job market bites my ass, why isn't it any smaller?

3) Thyroidally-Challenged Furball #1 - is going to get nuked soon with that radioactive gunk. He's having bad side effects to the meds and he's almost as tough to medicate as his sister, Furball "Fuzzy-Buns" #2. So, we're going to pony-up the loot and get it done soon, hopefully next week!

4) Grading - too much grading...waaaaay too much grading.

5) Work - what's that? I finished reading the 3 primary texts for my new chapter. But that's about it so far.