Friday, July 21, 2006

Lurv Me'sa Meme

I can't seem to find time to formulate a coherent post on all the things annoying me, so I'll do the minor meme form instead. I've seen it at Anastasia's among others.

1. Grammatical pet peeve:
"[modifier] unique." People. "Unique" is one of a kind. You can't be "very" one of a kind. That's like being a little bit pregnant.

2. Household pet peeve:
Hm. This one's harder. Of course, I'm not the one who takes care of the household.

3. Arts & Entertainment pet peeve:
Okay, it's been done to death I'm sure, but I am so very sick of women being sticks. (That might be a little stronger than a peeve...)

4. Liturgical pet peeve:
I'm not religious, so I can't really have one.

5. Wild card:
I was going to devote a single entry to this before I saw this meme: poorly designed restrooms. Is it really so hard to get faucets that hang over the sink, so you don't bang your hands on the back trying to wash them? Bonus: automatic-turn-off faucets that don't stay on long enough to rinse your hands.

Bonus: Things that I do that become other people's pet peeves?
As I said, I don't take care of the household, so I'm sure there's a whole list there. I think I might go on too long when I talk. I can't think of any others. (That's not to say I don't think I have any other faults, just that I can't think of any that cause others merely peevish reactions.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Is anyone else as pissed off as I am about the New York Times article "Small Colleges, Short of Men, Embrace Football"? (It's here, but I think it requires a membership.) I had to stop reading after this quote:

"I could have started a spiffy new major of study, spent a lot of money on lab equipment and hired a few new high-powered professors," [JoAnne Bolye, president of Seton Hill University, a 123-year-old former women's institution] said. "I might have gotten 25 more students for that. And I couldn't have counted on that major still being popular in 15 years.

"Instead, I started a football team, brought in hundreds of paying students, added a vibrant piece to our campus life and broadened our recognition factor. And in the long history of American higher education, one thing you can count on is football's longevity. Football is here to stay."

Yes. Because so many of those football players pay to go to school. And so many of the alumni who now will give money, give money for the school in general instead of earmarked for the sports. And because paying students are the most important thing, not providing a quality education...

Oh, why am I even trying.

I know why I'm trying. Because my institution pours enormous amounts of money into sports -- football, primarily, but others as well -- while the academic departments scramble to find enough money to pay instructors.

Not professors. Not even fucking TAs. Instructors. Adjuncts who get paid, at most, a couple thousand bucks per course.

Crankyness does not even begin to cover it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV"

So, first, I have to apologize again. I just looked at my email, & discovered there were a couple/few/several comments I never acknowledged because, um, I forgot to look to see if there were any. So thanks for stopping by, everyone!
(No, really. I will get the hang of this blogging thing eventually.)
I'm not a writer. I can't craft elegant jewels of analogies or pitch-perfect responses to idiotic states of the world, or even just a quick, coherent note to the internet (I am so not telling you how long I spend on these entries).
I was reading a biography of a figure who is tangentially related to my area. My mother gave it to me; I don't read biographies, but she thought I might find it interesting. And I would have, except for the Oh My God What Kind Of Crap Is This Writing. Two examples:
- "[Person of note] had brilliant arguments against [something {ceresina's} not very happy about either] [but we authors are going to completely not mention a single one]" I mean, come on: even I know you're supposed to show, not tell.
- "[Brilliant theories] flourished in the nutrient-poor soil of [Big Repressed Country]" I... I... I... What?
How is it that these people get published?
On the other hand:
Yesterday, I received an e-mail response from a professor who's in charge of a particular area of funding. The complete e-mail, from saluation to sign-off read:
"That is an accurate description of the position."
And you know what? That makes me so happy. I usually find him very intimidating, but this e-mail somehow just humanizes him for me. I know that is just about a complete reversal of what should be, but -- there it is.
*Sigh* I guess I can't avoid my unhappy students anymore. I wish I could've made them all happy...