the academic circus


I made a reference to The X-Files in class today, and two of the four students present* had no idea what I was talking about.

However, I am not quite old enough to title this post “kids these days,” though it did cross my mind.

*It’s a tiny section anyway, and it met literally hours before the “official” start of spring break, so I was impressed that even four of them showed up.

I kind of rock.

I just had my Big Scary Colloquium, and apparently my chapter actually doesn’t suck, because I got some great suggestions and some really, really positive feedback. Phrases like “intellectually rigorous” *and* “super interesting” were tossed around.

(Stinky Cheese Guy did not show, which is, in itself, a Bad Thing…..but worked out for the best for tonight, at least.)

(The Advisor did not show either, but I knew he wouldn’t. He has “reasons”. I get that. It was fine, anyway.)

Hooray! I don’t suck!

I’d say it’s a pretty good sign that you should just call it a night when you find your first plagiarist of the semester* and have a complete menstrual technology breakdown** at exactly the same moment.

Is my ruined underwear a metaphor for my shattered academic idealism?

Or should I just have a glass of wine?

*Discovered because of two coherent paragraphs in the midst of an entire essay in which, I kid you not, there is not a single complete sentence. Many of the sentences in this paper are lacking verbs. Verbs, last time I checked, were fairly crucial to communication in sentence form. Also, tell me I’m not the only person who–for absolutely no good reason–feels personally insulted by plagiarism. It gives me fist-making feelings.

**I have to say that overall, I’m pretty freaking thrilled by the Diva Cup; it very seldom lets me down. I’m pretty sure this debacle was a result of user error.

(and not even a fun good thing…)

It’s awesome that the Advisor came through with All. These. Fucking. Comments., right? I mean, I’ve been bitching about him ignoring me, so this can only be a good thing. Right?

So it doesn’t make much sense, does it, that all I want to do is pull the covers over my head and sink into a pit of despair?

I am Over. Fucking. Loaded. And I do not want to put in the time this weekend to revise/rework/rewrite this chapter, even though he’s given me *really freaking detailed* notes on the parts that need changing if I want to avoid an excess of Colloquium-Pointing-and-Laughing. And I don’t want to grade the rest of these truly godawful papers (there are many things I love about the night class, but the average literacy level? Uh, is “painful” a level? Because they make me hurt). And I really, really don’t want to deal with my section tomorrow, because I still believe that an hour of staring (or possibly napping) is a great lesson plan. (I do think that Kermit had the best plan, and I’m working on it.)

Okay, though, just to prove that I’m not ALL whining ALL the time, here’s something really really good: After hearing rabid, raving junkie-like reviews from many people about BPAL, I finally ordered a set of Imp’s Ears, and….oh, FUCKING YUM. I wanted to try them all at once, but tried to limit myself to two to start with…so I tried Bewitched and Sin. Bewitched is nice, very subtle, but actually getting better over time. Sin, though…holy crap, is that a scent! It’s actually a little too much for me–kind of gave me a headache at first–but GB has told me at least four times how much he likes the scent (and he pretty much doesn’t care about the odorific side of life). I have to say, the smell really, really reminds me of something CRSE would love (and crse, don’t be surprised if it ends up living with you eventually…the oil, not GB, I mean. No wait, I mean both). Anyway. I love smelly things, and I totally get the BPAL addiction. I have six scents I haven’t tried yet: Bengal, Rome (the freebie in the order), Mag Mell, Voodoo, O, and Queen. And I’m bidding on a bottle of Samhain on ebay. I love new addictions.

….and this time, it’s kind of a pain in my ass.

Okay, so here’s my timeline of recent dissertation- and teaching-related events:

Sunday (2/25): sent draft of chapter/intro/whatever to Advisor

Friday (3/2): received first batch of essays to be graded for day class (estimated return date: Monday, 3/12, because of issues involving the other TF)

Sunday (3/4): having heard nothing/nada/zilch, emailed Advisor to confirm that he received draft, and to gently remind him that I have to submit this to Big Scary Colloquium next week, and could he just let me know if I’ll be embarrassing myself by doing that?

Tuesday (3/6): received *giant* stack of essays to be graded for night class (planned return date: Tuesday, 3/13)

Wednesday (3/7): received email from Advisor that begins, “as you’ve probably heard, I’ve had pneumonia…” and goes on to say he’ll read the draft soon

Wednesday (3/7): I email with recovery wishes, and to remind him that Big Scary Colloquium will point and laugh at me (anyway), and maybe he could at least tell me whether the draft sucks or not, when he’s feeling better?

Thursday (3/8, about 10 minutes ago): received email from Advisor with pages and pages and pages of comments on draft. I mean, LOTS of comments. Like, “I’m trying to make up for neglecting you for two years” kinds of comments. Praise for the draft overall (yippee!), but LOTS of comments about additions, deletions, sources to be sure to include (because Big Scary Guy (aka Stinky Cheese Guy) at Big Scary Colloquium will like it hate it a little bit less if I include these), and suggestions for how to rearrange the whole freaking thing so that it actually makes some kind of coherent sense.

Okay, which is awesome, right? Because the Advisor, coming through with advising? Fabulous!

Except….that before Tuesday (when the *heavily revised* draft needs to go to the colloquium) I have ~50 essays to grade, three classes to prep for, and a section meeting tomorrow for which my plan, right now, involves staring at the students for an hour.

Screwed, I am. I am screwed. Does anyone have advice on how to stop time for just a couple of days?

Proposal for Big Giant Conference is in. Fingers crossed…though I’m not sure whether to hope I get in, or not. Um, no, I mean, of course I want to get in. Mostly. No, I do. Really. I do. Almost wholeheartedly.

Oh, and after a week-long series of scary back-and-forth emails, I managed to get my IRB approval renewed for next year. This is good, because the new methodology I added (and maybe have already been using just a little bit) could have really been a problem…but it seems I finally figured out the right answers, because I got the approval last night. Yippee! Let’s hope the conference approval is not much harder…

There is totally a God/dess, because the deadline for proposals for the Big Giant Conference has been extended until next week.

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