I Know I Do This Every Year. . .

. . . but I can’t help myself. I have to do it again. So here goes:

Today, at 3:15 pm, my weekend began. And it will last until 9:30 am on Tuesday. Because that’s my schedule every Spring semester. This makes going to grad school for 7 years completely worth it.

Oh, I love this job.

Obama Is So Winning the Elections

This seems like an Obama-themed day on the blog for some reason.

In my Advanced Spanish class, we did an activity today where I hand out photos of famous people, and students have to use new vocabulary to describe them. One of the people in the photos was the President. I’ve done this activity before, and there is usually a great variety of opinions among the students.

This time, however, things were different. Among the 24 students in this class, there was only one who had anything bad to say about the President. She was as surprised as I was to see that nobody shared her negative opinion of Obama.

I don’t like to see a student ganged up on by the majority, so I offered myself up as this student’s conversation partner, and we created anti-Obama descriptions together. I pride myself on managing to keep my politics out of language courses that I teach. Students need to be able to express themselves freely in a foreign language to master it without fearing that the professor will dislike them for their opinions.

In any case, if in this very conservative Bible Belt area all students but one have only good things to say of Obama, I think this means he is winning the elections.

What Good Are You If You Aren’t Making Me Any Money?

I understand that the economy is harsh but it still saddens me to see people use relatives and friends to self-promote. These are folks who have gotten so deep into the “transform yourself into a brand” philosophy that they can’t stop selling themselves even during family reunions or friends’ parties.

The funny thing is that nobody has so many relatives and friends that their purchasing power would be enough to make a business successful. This makes me think that selling oneself to the people who are close is not as much about making an actual profit as it is about the pernicious belief that the only value of human relationships lies in how much practical, quantifiable use you can get out of them.

A plethora of self-help books, articles and websites exhorts people to “use the resources you already have” for self-promotion. And you know what they often have in mind when they refer to these resources? People. People one knows and is close to. There’s got to be something wrong with a world-view where friends and relatives become nothing but potential money-making resources.

Waiting Wives

I don’t know about you, but I find this photo to be very very sad:

It would be one thing if we knew that they were heading to an event at her super impressive place of employment where he would wait for her to finish an important conversation. That’s not the case, though.

Well, at least this guy is a President. His term in office will end (in all probability, in 2016), and then she will go back to having a life. How many women, though, choose to spend their entire lives waiting in the background because they lack any professional realization of their own? How many women choose to be mere appendages to men? How many try to convince themselves that an adult human being can be content with the role of a spectator of somebody else’s life?