Clarissa's Blog

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


The candidate who shot up to the top of the list of interviewees was the one who answered the question of “Why are you interested in this position?” with an honest “Because I need a job, and the job market is horrible.”

It was so refreshing to hear an honest answer and to see a glimpse of humanity in the candidate. Mostly, people answer with “Because I’m dedicated to teaching and I fully agree with the core mission of your university which is [cue a long verbatim quote from the university website]” or “Because I’m dedicated to teaching and I’m excited about using the language lab at your department which [cue a long verbatim quote from our departmental website.] 

Yes, you are totally willing to relocate to Illinois from California because you are so excited about our language lab. That’s so believable.

I understand that people are anxious but nobody at the committee could even remember the person we interviewed on Thursday because his robotic answers faded from our memories in two minutes. 



People are so formalistic. I suggested that during the Merit Review we give all our colleagues the rankings they gave themselves and avoid dragging it out in a meeting. There is no merit pay, so this is all just an empty formality. Besides, people gave themselves very fair and realistic rankings. But no, we have to go through the whole charade anyway. Bleh.

Microaggressions Workshop

I have to sign up for faculty development workshops at least once a year. So I signed up for a workshop on how to deal with microaggressions because at least I can get some fun out of it. It’s on Wednesday, and it’s a pity I still won’t have my phone because I would have blogged the hell out of it. People will give examples of microaggressions experienced by our students and stuff. Hilarious!

P.S. WordPress doesn’t like the word microaggressions. This must mean that not enough academics are blogging.


Klara is very Russian, in spite of the name. Today she was uninterested in the fruit puree, the rice or the berries that I tried offering her. Then I noticed that she was eyeing my buckwheat and gave her some. And you should have seen how happily she gobbled it up. This is real buckwheat, mind you, not that weird kashi crap from a box.

Back when I was an undergrad and had my first American boyfriend, the poor fellow came by, saw my buckwheat on the stove, and begged me never to feed him because “it looks very scary.”


The fellow at the AT&T store was very flippant about the whole thing.

“What am I supposed to do until the new phone arrives?” I asked.

“Well, you just do without,” he said casually, as if he wouldn’t be howling at the moon within the first half hour if somebody told him he’s got to do without his phone.

“Oh, sure,” I said conversationally, trying to look like a person who can easily do without her phone for hours.

It’s all funny, of course, until I remember that I’ve got 5 meetings tomorrow. What am I supposed to do during those? Listen to what people say and gradually lose all faith in humanity?

Time Travel

My phone died. The screen is covered by inky stains from the inside. The AT&T people examined it and determined that it’s not anything that I did. Samsung sometimes has defective screens that get these inky blotches for no reason. But the phone is unusable.

The good news is that it’s still under warranty since I got it only last May. So I will be getting a free replacement. The bad news is that the replacement will not get here until the end of next week. I’m very glad that my agenda and my planner are of the paper variety because I would have been stranded without them.

The temporary loss of the phone will help me quit the My Farm game because I’ve been feeling like letting it go anyways. And I won’t have my news feed readily available throughout the week. Dear readers, please keep me informed if something happens in the world that is worth knowing.

I’m traveling back in the past, to a life without a smartphone. This feels like 1999 already.

On Hate Crime

Herected is just one quote from Against Citizenship:

Hate crime legislation covers up the state’s own violent acts against nonnormative peoples and bolsters the prison industrial complex. 

The author is a professor at the University of New Mexico. The book has been praised to the skies. 

Yes, I hate these freaks more than Trump supporters. Because they don’t have the right to be this ignorant and this self-involved. 

Samantha Power Defends a War Criminal

Am I dreaming or is it true that Samantha Power is defending the war criminal Churkin in the pages of the NYTimes? Nobody did more than this disgusting piece of human refuse to defend the culprits of the MH17 being shot down. Nobody did more to ensure that this horrible crime was forgotten. Nobody ridiculed the victims just as actively.

Power has the gall to call Churkin “one of the best hopes the United States and Russia had of working together.” Working together on what? I need to ask. On shooting down planes full of civilians? On concealing war crimes? Both countries have done all this beautifully without any help from each other.

This is why the Obama administration didn’t manage to propel a successor into the White House. All of this uncertainty about what the hell the administration was trying to do weakened it and made people tired of it.

The freak of Churkin is dead. What is the pressing need to fellate his corpse so actively in the press is a total mystery to me.

I Don’t Get It

Did you, folks, know that the Left in the US is extremely opposed to hate crime legislation? Because it leads to an increase in prison population. 

I’m so not getting these people. 

P.S. Sorry for the overabundance of posts. I miss my husband who is usually the recipient of this stream of commentary. Jeez, that poor guy. Now I feel bad for him. 

Clarissa’s Grilled Sardines: A Recipe

Our grocery finally had some fresh sardines, and I decided to grill some. 

First, I put some sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes and spring greens in a baking dish and added some fresh rosemary and oregano. 

Then I poured a bottle of beer into the dish and left it in the oven until the sweet potatoes became soft. 

I took the dish out and placed the scaled, gutted sardines on the vegetables and spread some of the spicy green sauce from the Indian restaurant on them. 20 minutes later, the dish was done:

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