Archive for the ‘Tantrums’ Category

My students:

  • My freshmen have written excellent papers, and have spent the last week revising and revamping and caring about all the things.
  • 3/4 of my Gen Ed students turned their final assignments in early, because of a confusing situation with the dates on the Course Schedule that Is Our Bible. Normal gen ed students would have given themselves a pass – especially since the *day* on the course schedule was right, and I confirmed it in class.  But my awesome students – no, they didn’t take the pass.  I love that class.
  • The Survey students.  So unbelievable.  Even though it’s the survey.
  • My upper-level seminar: students are writing on 6 of the 7 books I’ve assigned.  Which is astonishing to me, especially since only 3 have a large critical conversation to support research papers by undergrads.  And the ideas?  So original and so interesting!  For serious!

Colleagues are terrible:

  • The battles in academia re so fierce because the stakes are so low.
  • I can’t even talk about it.  Just – NO!

The End of the Semester is the Worst:

  • Do I really need to explain this?
  • Apparently one does need to explain it to one’s boyfriend who isn’t an academic, but for serious?  It’s just terrible.  TERRIBLE.

The short version is this: I love my students, the colleague situation is not cool, and the end of the semester is hardcore terrible.  Expect to see me around these parts in a few weeks, when all this is over.

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A Pet Peeve

If you send a colleague an email on Friday afternoon about scheduling something for late March/ early April, perhaps trust your colleague to respond to that email early in the next work week.  Because as much as you want to get this thing scheduled, this is not a time-sensitive urgent email to which to respond at the end of January.  It’s totally ok that I don’t respond to this sort of email immediately, and certainly ok if I don’t respond to this email over the weekend.  And sending email after email (something like five emails in the course of three days, all asking the same freaking question) about this issue only makes me want to be passive aggressive and stall because you know what?  Your time is not more valuable than my time is.  Stop pestering me!  I promise, I understand that this thing needs to be scheduled, and I fully intend to respond to you.  But no, this is not at the top of my list of priorities.  And the more emails you send me, the further down the list it goes.

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It’s been a busy couple of days.  Last night I had the ladies over for a delicious end-of-semester meal and (gallons) of wine.  More on the gallons of wine later.  For now, here is what I made for dinner last night.  You all should make it immediately.


I did adapt the recipe slightly, and I will make one other adjustment the next time(s) I make it, but seriously?  This was the best Mac and Cheese recipe I’ve ever tasted.

Adaptations: While I used Gouda and Edam, I also added about a cup of Butterkase cheese (following recommendations to use more cheese in the comments); I didn’t reserve any of the Edam, but rather mixed all the cheeses together and had the layer in the middle all three cheeses; I didn’t really measure the nutmeg and the cayenne but rather just went with what tasted right; I also layered crispy bacon crumbles when I layered the cheese and swiss chard in the middle.  When I make the recipe again, I will definitely double the amount of swiss chard.  I didn’t bother with the bread crumbs; if I make it again I may try them, or I might just put bacon on top as well as in the middle.

Seriously, this is one delicious Mac and Cheese recipe.

So the ladies and I scarfed it down, in addition to eating a delicious salad with persimmons provided by CC and to yummy dessert provided by CF, while consuming the gallons of wine (again, which will come into play as the grand finale of this post), and we talked about lots of things and basically celebrated the end of the semester.  It was delightful. And then the ladies went home.

[Time passes while I make poor choices, go to sleep, and wake up with a hang-over]

7 AM – Time to make quiche!  For my Joyce and Woolf students!  Does this recipe require some effort?  Yes.  Is it ENTIRELY WORTH IT?  Yes!!!!!  I mean, I can’t even talk about how good it was.  And it’s no mistake that the recipe comes from a restaurant where I’ve had one of the best meals in my entire life.


I did the recipe as written, except I used butterkase instead of the fontina, just because I couldn’t strap on another block of cheese when I was shopping. OMFG.  This was DIVINE.  And yes, I will not be eating “food” as such for the next few days, because frankly, after last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast, I probably have consumed the daily calories needed for a small village.

So, when the quiche was in the oven, I went over to the computer, and I discovered that beside it my copy of Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse was sitting open, turned to the entry for j’taime.  Huh, I thought.  I don’t recall consulting with Barthes last night.  I wonder what that means?  Ah well, I am sure it’s nothing.

And then I proctored two exams, and really had delightful conversations with students, and it was all in all an ok day.  I’m done with grades for two courses, and I’ll have the other two done tomorrow.  Huzzah!

Oh, except.  You know those gallons of wine that were consumed?  They might have led me, once my ladies left for the night, to do some serious thinking.  And that serious thinking might have led me to believe that I needed to consult with Roland Barthes.  And then Barthes might have led me to decide that The Dude does not love me, and that perhaps he should just go away now, since he does not love me with a love that’s pure and true.  And then I might have thought it would be a good idea to get all of this down in writing, in the form of an email.  And then I apparently believed that hitting send was the only way to conclude my reverie. Tra la!  Time for bed!

And then I forgot all about it.

Until of course I was reminded of last night’s psychotic break this afternoon, when The Dude alerted me to the email that I had sent.  Woops.  And then I read over the email and the events of the night before came rushing back, and I was mortified, except for the fact that The Dude responded in a way that was entirely perfect and we seem to have gotten through the freak-out as a result!  Indeed, all that I needed to do was to express my actual (drunken, maudlin) feelings and he appears no longer to be freaked out!  When you’d think that he would be more freaked out because I’m fucking nuts! So let this be a lesson to you: 1) don’t email people when you are drunk and 2) if you do email people when you are drunk, make sure they are the sort of people who don’t frown on lunatic pronouncements and who will only find you more adorable for having made such a blunder.

And also: although I am still mortified, it turns out I’m a pretty coherent and direct writer when under the influence. Good to know.



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I woke up this morning with this song running through my head.  Clearly my subconscious was trying to tell me something, because I don’t remember the last time I actually listened to it.  But so yeah, this is pretty much how I’m feeling with six weeks of the semester done.  In a nutshell, I am cranky.  What makes me cranky, you ask?  Well some of the things are my own damned fault, all of which fall under the heading of “procrastination.”  Other things are totally out of my control: resurfacing of the road that I have to take to go anywhere, clueless colleagues, fucked up institutional politics, students who don’t come to class prepared (but it was the Freshmen, and to their credit, they lasted this long – usually I have to give the “I can’t teach people who aren’t prepared” speech much earlier),  the stupidity of texting.*

*Let me interrupt the actual content of my post to provide you with Crazy’s manifesto on texting: The only thing that texts are good for is to confirm plans, to say you’re running late, to communicate some brief thing like “bring home milk” or “I had a good time” that doesn’t require a conversation.  Sending one text every other day to a person with whom you went on a date on Monday, well, that’s just irritating.  Either ask me out again, call me to talk to me, or just don’t bother.  Because what’s the fucking point?  I mean, really!  I mean, I guess the point is that you’re keeping your hand in, letting me know that you’re “thinking” of me or something stupid like that, even though you’re busy, or something, but I’m not impressed.  Texting as part of 21st century dating is b-o-g-u-s.  I think that we should all just say no.  Hell, the days of guys I dated having pagers in the early-to-mid-90s were better, because at least they couldn’t contact me with the pager. 

But so in my funk last night I decompressed, finished knitting a Baktus scarf I’ve been working on, watched Grey’s Anatomy and Project Runway, and had a delightful night’s sleep and I slept in until 8:30, which was lovely.  Then, upon waking, I sprung into action, paid my bills, caught up with some email, made a hair appointment for this afternoon, went to the grocery store and to the wine store, and now I’m going to do some stuff around the house during the next two hours.  And then I’ll get my hair cut, and then I’ll come home and make something for dinner.  And spend a nice evening relaxing some more and then I will do more things tomorrow.  So there!



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So I had this fantasy of painting my bathroom this weekend.  I have all the things I need, and I like painting.  BUT.  Before I can paint I need to a) remove a towel bar that the fool who owned the house before me put up above the freaking toilet.  Now, I’m sorry, but that is just stupid.  My bathroom is gigantic, so this was not done because of a space issue.  I got one half of it off easy as pie.  The other half…. apparently is secured behind the freaking drywall and it is not budging.  So basically I’m making a giant hole in my wall but I can’t remove this motherfucking thing.  GAAAAHHH.  And I also need to remove the fucking broken tp holder (one half of it came out of the wall before I’d even moved into the house, and then I glued it back on but it fell off again.  The other half?  Much like the fucking towel bar, it seems to want to remain in the wall forever.  SIGH.

So anyway, I need to figure this out before I can even begin to think about painting.  I may give up for a while and clean the kitchen instead.

And it’s a gloomy rainy day and I have grading and crap to do as well…. also I still haven’t done my writing for the week and I have to grade and also I have dinner plans tonight (which I’m looking forward to, but motherfucker).  And now I sat down at the computer to write this whiny post and Mr. Stripey has decided that it’s time for love, so now I’m trapped here unless I want to spurn his advances.  (Obviously, I will look for any excuse not to do the things that I have to do.)

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Ok, time to return to the impossible task of ripping shit out of the wall.

Edited to add….  I reign victorious over the previous owner!  (Who, incidentally, had installed the towel bar and tp holder *wrong* and so that explained my difficulty.)  The offensive decorative fixtures are removed, and the spackling of the walls is complete!  (I love spackling.)  So now, I shall commence with cleaning up around the house, maybe do a bit of grading, and then ready myself for a lovely dinner out as a reward.  Huzzah!

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Ok, so you know the news I got yesterday?  Well, like a dutiful department citizen, I sent an announcement to the person who announces whenever a faculty member has a faculty accomplishment.  I then realized that person wasn’t going to be around, and forwarded the announcement along to my chair.

Person #1 (the announcer) did send an email in reply, which I wasn’t expecting, saying zie’d get around to sending out the announcement next week.  Let’s note that I wrote the whole freaking thing for the person, so in the time that it took to tell me it would happen next week, the announcement could have been sent.

My chair hasn’t bothered even to congratulate me.  (I know he will, to be fair.  When he gets around to it.)

My problem is that actual, I don’t know, real accomplishments are such a low priority in my department, something that produces absolutely no enthusiasm, and THAT is the thing that pisses me off.  On the one hand it pisses me off personally, but on the other it pisses me off because other departments on campus are better off than we are because they do such a better job of celebrating faculty accomplishments in research – they get more resources, and they get more respect.  But apparently we would rather not have those things.

Look, I know I’m being a baby about this.  And, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

I swear to god – I should just stop playing the game of how we announce such things, send my own damned email to the dean and the provost every time I do something, and tell my department that it can fuck itself.

Edited to Add: Writing the above post actually allowed me to let off steam so that I didn’t do anything rash, and my chair both congratulated me and announced the thing to the department.  In other words, I really am a big baby and incredibly impatient.  I still stand by my view of my department culture and priorities, but I have been appeased, at least for the time being.

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A wise woman would not be blogging right now.  She would be grading.  Because she has approximately 7.3 trillion things that she must grade, and problematically, she has not graded them.

Lest you think that she has not graded them because she accomplished the writing that she needed to accomplish, I do think that I should admit that I’m way behind on that as well.

If I can make it to the end of March, I think it will be cause for wild celebration.  Because at the rate I’m going, I really don’t know that I can get that far.


(For what it’s worth, all of the things that I have to grade I’ve had for no longer than one week.  I’m not behind in the sense of being way late in returning things.  This is the thing that I fear will be the case if I don’t get my act together, however, given the current state of things.)

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