Terror in Norway

A 20-year-old Russian citizen (but obviously not ethnically Russian) was arrested in Norway for attempting to carry out an act of terror. He tried to stab a woman and confessed to planning to use a truck to kill many people. The victim is still in critical condition.

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Is It Moving?

The picture is supposed to test whether you are stressed and tired. If you aren’t, nothing in the picture is supposed to be moving. The more tired and stressed you are, the faster it’s supposed to move.

I do see it move, albeit very slowly. This doesn’t make much sense, though, because I had a great night’s sleep and I’m not stressed at all. It’s Saturday, so what is there to be stressed about?

We Are Just So Diverse

Turns out that an event organized by open and aggressive anti-Semites falls into the category of “women are not a monolith” and “the messiness of women’s diversity.” I wonder if it’s ok to refer to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville as a manifestation of “white people’s diversity.” I guess it would be literally true because most white people were, indeed, horrified by the March. Still, it would sound like an excuse for something that doesn’t deserve one.

I’m not seeing much difference between this and “there were good people on both sides.”

The Death of Interdisciplinary

So ok, remember how I told you about the interdisciplinary courses we used to have at my school? People from different disciplines getting together to co-teach the same course? A professor of mathematics co-teaching with a professor of music. German literature professor co-teaching with a professor of physics. I’m a little less inventive so I’m co-teaching with a colleague from PoliSci. These courses were very successful, always filled to capacity, students and professors love them. I grumble because I don’t like to lose control of my classroom but the course is actually going great. I’m learning a ton and hopefully so are the students.

Of course, resident busybodies couldn’t leave well enough alone. First, they said that we don’t need two professors to teach an interdisciplinary course. Everybody is supposed to be a jack of all trades and be able to teach across disciplines. There was protest, so they didn’t completely ban two-professor courses. Instead, they are now saying each interdisciplinary course should have one area designation. Humanities. Arts. Sciences. Social sciences. Health. Etc.

This makes it impossible to teach truly interdisciplinary courses. What do you do for German and Physics or History and Theater? So two-professor courses will be forced to die.

The point is, of course, to save money by having fewer professors teach more courses.

And once again, who came up with this idiocy? Flakey students? Evil administrators? The state of Illinois? Trump?

Nope.

As always, it was faculty members who were upset that some colleagues allegedly were getting a break on their teaching loads by sharing one course in five years with another professor.

Double Standard

I have a colleague who is going to the Women’s March in St Louis. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she isn’t an anti-Semite, just clueless. Or indifferent.

This is a huge double standard, of course. Nobody would give the benefit of the doubt to an event organized by supporters of Richard Spencer who are on record with a history of racist comments. And rightfully so. These are horrible people who don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

But we are constantly giving the benefit of the doubt to anti-Semites or their indifferent supporters. There’s something really wrong with that.