Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Sixteenth-century SJWs

From an email sent out by my professional organization:

This edited volume will focus on issues of social justice in theatrical works of Golden Age Spain.

In case you don’t know, Golden Age Spain is 16th and 17th centuries.

Parental Guilt 

Pediatricians have this annoying questionnaire they give you during the regular wellness checkups that seems designed to prey on parents’ insecurities.

Does she talk?

Does she walk?

Does she stand up unassisted?

And my favorite: does  she feed herself with a spoon?

Has anybody even seen a little freak who feeds herself with a spoon at 9 months? [Of course, with my luck somebody will be reading this whose baby fed herself with a spoon at 3 months of age, and the post will make them angry. Be honest, though, do you believe it’s to be expected that such small children know how to use a spoon?]

After answering “no, no, she does not, no, she can’t do that, no” and trying to make oneself feel better with a pathetic little joke [“No, she doesn’t drink from a sippy cup. We only have one and I’m using it”], the chastened parent grabs the baby who has already disappointed the world by not having sat for the bar exam before turning 1 year old and crawls away. 

My Klara just learned to clap her hands, by the way. And it feels a lot more age-appropriate than conducting conversations while standing unassisted and eating with a spoon.

Trash Watching

While I work on my book in my office, I watch Russian trash TV . The TV show I’m watching is opened in a window that sits alongside the window with the text of the book. I’m very lucky that our Russian program closed down 10 years ago because now nobody can understand the language and guess that I’m watching the equivalent of the American Maury show.

Hungry Typo

It must be because I forgot to have breakfast that instead of the word “stakeholders” I twice wrote “steakholders.”

Smart Cookie

Klara loves her teething cookies. She achieves the state of happiness when she has a cookie in her right hand, a cookie in her left hand, and a cookie plastered to both of her lips, making her look like a happy platypus. Of course, this arrangement prevents her from actually eating the cookie but she seems to find comfort in knowing that she has so many.

P.S. Whoever suggested Mum-mum cookies, thank you so much! They are great.


So. It turns out there actually were pedophiles at Comet Ping Pong.

Even the craziest conspiracy theories are built on something that’s real. 


I think I’m suffering from teaching burnout. Even though I only finished a year-long break from teaching a couple of months ago, I still feel no enthusiasm for it. The mastery is there but the joy isn’t. I’m going through the motions and mostly just faking it.

My explanation is that my research has really taken off recently and it’s occupying my mind a lot. And since I can’t bring my research to my teaching, I’m bored. I tried but there is zero interest.

I don’t know, maybe there is some sort of a teacher motivation seminar or whatever. ‘Cause I’m getting on my own nerves with this shit.

Protected: Unrequited

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I only just now found the presence of mind to read the sympathy card students had signed for me after Eric’s death. Only took me 3 years 3 months and 2 days. And. . . I wish I hadn’t read it. Two of the signers wrote something like “I know this must be hard [seriously? you are sure you do know?] but [so not a good word to use when expressing condolences] God has a plan for everything, blah blah.”

It’s one thing to say something like that who is a very close friend and you know for an absolute fact they will welcome it. But in any other situation, it’s beyond condescending and dismissive.

I’m not writing this to be bitchy 3 years after the fact but to point out that “I’m so very sorry for your loss” is much better than yes-butting somebody else’s grief or dismissing it because of the religious beliefs people might or might not share.

The Voice

My voice is very loud as it is (it’s called the teacher’s pitch), and now that I’m all stuffed up and don’t hear a whole lot, I scream like a banshee. And I only realize what I’m doing when I see students give me scared looks.

When Klara hears me talk, she looks around to see where the weird, unfamiliar voice is coming from. It’s very disturbing.

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