I’m nearly at the end of a year-long journey of getting my son with his unusual skills placed in a good post-high school program. Nothing is totally settled yet, so I can’t completely relax. But we’re nearly there. And I feel like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders. I feel like I’m on vacation. More on this later, if I don’t sign a NDA.
I drove to the running trails and then my iPhone ran out of power. I refuse to run without my trashy Spotify soundtrack flowing through my earphones. So, I drove back home. By the time that I finish my post, my iPhone should be powered up.
Americans are more likely to live in areas that are richer or poorer than the regional norms. The middle-class neighborhood is shrinking.
Megan McArdle writes about how she deals with online trolls.
Academics are quitting. Some because of woke crap. Others because they want to work elsewhere. Could be because their salaries have actually gone down.
Cooking: I made chicken and pineapple tacos with a cilantro/avocado spread this weekend. Actually, we made it twice, because we had two parties. Steve did chicken his own way, but the pineapple and the avocado spread were from this recipe. Home-run recipe.
Shopping: During the week, I’m wearing shorts and t-shirts. Weekends are for hippy dresses.
Adventure: On Saturday, we’re taking a day trip with Ian to a rail trail and new brewery in New Paltz, NY. Last weekend, we visited a friend’s cabin in the Poconos; the cabin has a unique history, but I just loved the retro vibe. Picture above.
Watching: We’re watching Ms. Marvel on Disney+. Tomorrow, we’re going with Ian and a group of autistic kids to see Thor. Last season of Peaky Blinders.
13 thoughts on “Links, July 7, 2022”
Yeah, there’s just no money in academia now. Or at least not compared to the private sector for what I do.
“Academics are quitting. Some because of woke crap. Others because they want to work elsewhere. Could be because their salaries have actually gone down.”
In my experience, academics are quitting (or talking about quitting) because they are overworked/underfunded. I’m not talking about salary. I’m talking about my friend/colleague who said to me during a vent session: “Just give me what I need to do my fucking job.” My issue is that I am rolling out 2 new programs and I don’t have any help. Everyone who could help is so overworked already.
And from my perspective, just doing my teaching job is 100% harder these days. In the old days, I’d write a syllabus, print it out, get 25 copies made, and distribute it to the students. Then they would buy the books and read them. Nowadays, we have to put Everything Online. I have to use a Learning Management System and make my course available there. I have to set up the grading center. I have to (well, want to) use Open Educational Resources (aka free readings) as much as possible, so all those have to be linked. I have to change all the due dates in the syllabus file and on the LMS. It is effing exhausting. Also, I have been working all summer even though I’m on a 9-month contract. But if I don’t, it will all be unmanageable in the fall, and what happens if, I don’t know, my husband comes down with a brain tumor and I can’t function for a full month. Oh wait, that was last year.
Oh, re dresses: I head to London next week. So far temps are forecast for the 80s and maybe 90s. Ugh. I will be wearing summer dresses with sneakers, which is what everyone in Vienna and Prague was wearing when I was there last month.
“Nowadays, we have to put Everything Online. I have to use a Learning Management System and make my course available there. I have to set up the grading center. I have to (well, want to) use Open Educational Resources (aka free readings) as much as possible, so all those have to be linked.”
It’s no joke for students to keep track of all of that, either.My rising high school senior is finishing up a college bio course. We were thrilled to bits by the $5 a month rental for the textbook (which we need to cancel next week) but he has to keep track of at least two different online thingies for his course: Canvas and a homework service called Top Hat. He also needed to learn imageJ, google earth pro and Power Point. He says it was a good experience once he got the hang of it–but that was a lot to deal with all at once.
While I’m griping, I have some advice for everybody still teaching. MENTION ASSIGNMENTS IN CLASS! We’ve had multiple experiences with the older kids where it turns out that there’s a college assignment that was not mentioned either in class or by email or in the syllabus–it was in Canvas! I understand if there’s going to be a recurring weekly assignment, it’s a hassle to mention it every time–but you can mention it the first time!
Even more griping: My college student reports a development where professors now post assignments at weird times. They’ll say that the assignment (due Tuesday) is going up on Canvas on Friday, but then they don’t post it until Sunday afternoon. Everybody stay off my grass, but I feel like assignments should be given out IN CLASS or at the very least, announced in class and posted online on the day that they are supposed to be posted. People have jobs and other classes–this is very inconsiderate.
OMM! Yes on odd time postings and due dates. My rising college freshmen is done with HS, but the online shifts had started already but assignments could appear any time and be due anytime. Assignments posted thursday at 4pm + due at Saturday 2 am? Yup
But I think they are being prepped from the 24 hour day of remote work. Spouse got documents at 8:30 pm while we were vacationing yesterday
bj said, “My rising college freshmen is done with HS, but the online shifts had started already but assignments could appear any time and be due anytime. Assignments posted thursday at 4pm + due at Saturday 2 am? Yup.”
I have encouraged my big kids to talk about this stuff on their course evaluations.
There has been one online-driven development that I appreciate, and that is that a lot of professors seem to use a midnight deadline for online assignments. I like it, because it prevents all-nighters, something that I was very guilty of as an undergrad and especially grad student. You’re not going to stay up all night writing a paper that’s due at 10 AM–because it’s due at midnight. It’s a “nudge” toward working reasonable hours.
There needs to be a refresher on the concept that a syllabus is a contract!
I read that article on UCLA, and it turns out that the devastating experience faced by the guy’s colleague in Anth involved:
1) having a popular course recategorized (but he still teaches it)
2) having colleagues and grad students criticize his research at a meeting (advertised with a poster!), and call for its review by the admin – which didn’t happen
3) ceasing to attend faculty meetings that had become incredibly annoying
4) politely rejecting the author’s help when he offered it in both 2018 and 2020.
Also (I looked this up), getting paid about $220k. Of course, the stuff he mentions in less detail may be terrible, but that’s where I started, and it makes me skeptical about the rest (other than the concerns about anti-Zionism/Israel bleeding into anti-Semitism, which I see as a separate issue).
Meanwhile, women lost a constitutional right and black people in the less fashionable areas of the country are still treated like second-class citizens, but by all means let’s highlight dropping the GRE requirement for grad programs as a greater threat than China.
Glad things are going well for Ian and I hope you don’t have to sign an NDA!
So, we’ve finally come down with the dreaded Covid. Luckily, with what seems to be a relatively mild dose. I had one day of fever and chills (spent in bed), and one day of what felt like a gastro bug (spent mostly in the bathroom), before I actually tested positive. One more day of cough and headache and very mild cold symptoms.
Now well on the road to recovery, but still feeling tired at unpredictable intervals and with an occasional cough (post-nasal drip – rather than a chest infection). Luckily I can work from home, and take leave as and when needed.
Oh, and have lost my sense of taste (darn it!)
I get out of isolation tomorrow. And can go and buy milk and bread (the only supplies we ran out of).
Mr 14 came down 3 days after me, and has had something which is like a mild cold (nothing like as bad as the ordinary cold he had 6 weeks ago).
I almost certainly caught it volunteering at the musical theatre show – and don’t regret one moment! It was *awesome* to see the kids on stage – singing and dancing their hearts out after all of the delays, and lockdowns and disappointments along the way.
Mr 14 ended up singing his role at 3 out of the 4 public performances (Covid got one of the other leads) – and he was word and note perfect, acted well, and *looked* amazing (it’s slightly creepy when your 14-year-old looks so good in Victorian mourning!)
The good part, is that now we’ve had it, we’re unlikely to get it again in the next 8 weeks – which is when his next big performance is on (Scouts Gang Show).
Sorry about the CoViD, but glad it’s not too bad!!! And nice about the musical theater performances!
Ann wrote, “I had one day of fever and chills (spent in bed), and one day of what felt like a gastro bug (spent mostly in the bathroom), before I actually tested positive.”
I feel like that’s pretty classic–one day of symptoms before home testing shows a positive.
Hope your recovery is swift and thorough!
Comments are closed.