The Soviet Republic of Arizona

A fellow blogger E sent me a link about yet another bizarre and terrifying development in the psychiatric unraveling of Arizona:

Yesterday, a Senate Judiciary Committee¬†endorsed¬†Republican Debbie Lesko’s HB2625 by a vote of 6-2, which would allow an employer to request proof that a woman using insurance to buy birth control was being prescribed the birth control for reasons other than not wanting to get pregnant.

After I did some breathing exercises to prevent myself from throwing up, I continued reading the article and came upon the following quote from the egregiously stupid proponent of this barbaric measure:

Further, Lesko states, with a straight face, that this bill is necessary because “we live in America; we don’t live in the Soviet Union.”

I have a newsflash for the brainless, uneducated Lesko. In the Soviet Union, contraception was not available to regular people. (Except, of course, for the party apparatchiks who traveled overseas and purchased contraceptives there.) Oral contraceptives were not manufactured. Neither were the intra-uterine devices, hormonal patches, or anything of the kind. Condoms were impossible to come by.

The Soviet women’s bodies were policed in a way very similar to the one Lesko and her group of rabid maniacs propose to introduce in Arizona. Women were routinely subjected to forced gynecological exams. If unmarried women were found not to be virgins during such exams, they were publicly shamed and persecuted. Unmarried mothers were lepers in the Soviet society. People who were suspected of marital infidelity were subjected to mock trials at the workplace where bosses and colleagues publicly denounced them for being dirty whores and dirty bastards.

The very idea that an individual’s body belongs to the society, the collective, the group, or the government was the foundation of the Soviet society. It is not surprising that Lesko mentioned the USSR when defending her vile plan. Because the Soviet Union is precisely what she wants to recreate in Arizona.

Food in the Classroom

I’m normally a very laid back kind of teacher but there is one thing students do that really annoys me. I try not to show it but it bugs me like I can’t tell you when students eat in the classroom.

I understand that sometimes people have no time to eat between classes, but it is very disruptive and plain annoying to see people use the classroom to have a meal.

For one, we have very small desks that are attached to the chairs. When one spreads an entire meal on the small desk, there is no space left for papers and textbooks. This means that every class related object goes on the floor, Then, I have to jump over piles of books and dictionaries that lie on the floor as I walk around the classroom.

At the same time, you have to remember that I teach Spanish. This means that students have to speak a lot during class. It is very annoying to see a whole group of students sit there in silence, waiting for a conversation partner to bite, chew, and swallow before she can respond to what is being said.

Of course, it also annoys me that I have to stand there uselessly while a student chews when I have 25 people in the classroom and I need to approach every one of them during a class meeting at least three times (that’s the absolute minimum).

And then there is the issue of extraneous smells that mix and make the air in the classroom really disgusting. The classrooms are very stuffy right now because it is hot outside and we still haven’t started the air-conditioning season. It’s one thing when one eats a small piece of chocolate, but there are people who come to class with bowls of soup, pizza slices, and even fried turkey legs.


Am I wrong in feeling uncomfortable that the two people told to coordinate a party in honor of a retiring colleague are both the youngest faculty members and female?

I’m seeing a suggestion here that women are somehow supposed to be in charge of the social aspect of things and I don’t like that at all.

There is absolutely no other reason why anybody could possibly assume that I make a good party planner other than my age and gender. I’m an intensely unsociable autistic who shudders at the idea of a party.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the retiring colleague and wouldn’t mind organizing the party. But I don’t want to be assigned any duties based on my gender.

Teaching-Free Day

Life gets progressively better on the tenure-track because you acquire experience and can plan ahead to make your life easier.

I know, for example, that two weeks after the spring break, I become completely exhausted. I remembered that when I was planning my syllabi for this semester and scheduled an exam for next Tuesday in all of my courses. Now I will have a day free from teaching exactly when I really need one. And then there will be grading, which really relaxes me and brings me to a happy zen place.

I know, I’m weird.