NYTimes: ‘Love Island’ and the Sexual Anxieties of Modern Britain

I don’t watch this kind of shows any more because I’m way past the dating stage but I used to back when I did. There’s absolutely nothing new about them. I have a feeling they’ve had their heyday in the US about 15-20 years ago, and now it’s the UK’s turn. People are taking this stuff way too seriously. These fads come and they go, and there’s absolutely nothing profound or eerie to them. It’s simply entertainment.

By the way, I’ve noticed that very smart people often have extremely plebeian tastes in entertainment. I recently stunned my analyst with the disclosure that I love rap music. He said he didn’t expect this from a literature professor who speaks a ton of languages and is interested in Basque literature. And I didn’t even mention my obsession with Dr Phil and serial killer novels.

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100 Words

If you write just 100 words a day, in 2,5 months you’ll have a 7,000 word article. Anybody can do 100 words a day. The problem isn’t that people don’t have time to write but that they don’t know what to write.

The fellow who was giving yesterday’s teaching workshop said, “I always knew I wasn’t a great scholar, but I’m a damn good teacher.” And it’s true, he is. He digs talking about teaching like I dig talking about research. At the teaching workshop, everybody was taking notes about the teaching suggestions while I was rewriting the thesis statement for my new article. And I ended up with a good working statement I can now proceed to develop. I will be submitting the article on September 30.

In all honesty, I have had so much training in pedagogy that the activities this colleague was suggesting were very old news to me. But in order easily to sit down and write that 100 words a day, you need to inhabit the world of your readings and ideas all day and every day. Then it becomes easy to churn out text.

For Teachers

Why are products made for teachers so often garish and infantilizing? I was sent this planner to try out, and it feels like it’s made for a 9-year-old. Does anybody really want to be seen with this thing in a professional setting?

Besides, my eyes hurt enough already from all the reading and grading. Who needs to stare at all this visual cacophony during teaching?

Working with kids doesn’t make one developmentally challenged. To the contrary, teachers tend to be psychologically more mature than their age.

Why It’s Always the Hirer’s Market in Academia

In a job-seeker’s market, candidates give emoloyers the taste of their own medicine:

In the hottest job market in decades, workers are holding all the cards. And they’re starting to play dirty… “You’re seeing job candidates with more options,” says Dawn Fay, district president of staffing firm Robert Half for the New York City area. “It’s definitely influencing their behavior.”

For us in academia it’s an inaccessible dream. And it’s obviously not the money that is attracting such competitive and desperate crowds to the profession. It’s the lifestyle. This is why companies and recruiters who are eager to hire work so much on the concept of company culture. In US academia, the most attractive company culture in the world is built into the concept. As a result, it’s always the hirer’s market.