So now they are bickering over the venue for the State of the Union address. Because it’s something that will have a direct impact on the major problems in this country. Not.

I don’t know what conclusions one can reach other than these are extremely immature, clueless, self-important people.

Pelosi has been a total bust. These ridiculous antics she’s so gleefully embracing can’t appeal to anybody with an income of under $60,000.

And yes, Trump sucks too. So good to know that our side can get as ridiculous as Trump. What an achievement.

Could Be Me

Last year, conservative wives looked at the furious attack on Kavanaugh and thought, “That could be my husband.” Now conservative moms look at the wild attempt to destroy the Covington kids and think, “That could be my son.”

— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 22, 2019

I’m a feminist, so I looked at both and said, that could be me. Or will be me. Self-righteous mobbing doesn’t recognize gender.

Evaluations, Again

I know I do this every semester but I’ll keep doing it because it brings me joy. I just got back my student evaluations for last semester, and every single one of them is glowing. I had 72 students last semester in two very difficult courses (the third is independent research and we don’t get evaluated on it for some mysterious reason). One is hybrid format, meaning many of the lectures are online, and everybody hates that. Plus, it had a huge writing component that everybody failed all the time at first. Another one is very content-heavy, a ton of readings, a ton of information. In the hybrid course, the students are not our majors or minors. These are students from all kinds of disciplines with no previous knowledge of Hispanic Studies and no particular interest. It’s just a requirement for them.

And every single evaluation, without even one exception, is spectacular. Mind you, I’m a bitch of a grader. There were people writing those evaluations who were failing the course. You’d expect one or two people at least to be less than ecstatic. But no. They were all super happy with the course and loved me. It does feel good.

This is why I can’t get on board with this “truth universally acknowledged” that female professors are punished in evaluations because students perceive them as less intelligent or worthy of respect as men. Or that immigrant professors are punished because they have accents (the hybrid course was in English).

And I’ll keep writing this repetitive post until I figure it out. The last conversation I had about the gender unfairness of evaluations was yesterday. This is talked about all the time. And I’m not seeing it.

I wonder if people sometimes wonder, deep inside, maybe, if it’s not the gender or the accent or having high standards but something different. Most of us get zero training in actual teaching, after all. Just saying.

Evaluation Model

Ghent University is switching to a new evaluation model for professors where instead of being evaluated every year on what you’ve actually accomplished, you will be “coached” by 5 colleagues for five years and then evaluated at the end of those five years based on how well you fulfilled your “holistic hopes and dreams.”

To me, this sounds worse than the model we currently have. The linked article goes on and on about how time-consuming and onerous the traditional merit report is but that’s silly. It’s all computerized nowadays. It takes me 15 minutes, if that, to do my merit report because everything goes into the system and it generates the report. I barely have to do anything.

I also don’t get this constant harping on how stressful it is to fulfill publication requirements. It’s supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, then why are you in this profession at all?

And the coaching committee just freaks me out. I can do great with clear numerical requirements, no matter how high. But I’m not winning any popularity contests and I’m not coachable because at this stage in my career I don’t take advice unless I have sought it myself from people of my choice.

Again, we all know I’m rigid but I don’t like this.

Tipping Point

God, folks, it turns out that AOC isn’t just dumb. She’s actually evil. She promotes extreme forms of child abuse. These are really, really horrible people she’s allied herself with.

Look, I understand the desperation of wanting to see somebody in politics take climate change seriously. I feel it, too. But one can’t start using the logic of Trump voters to excuse absolutely anything in exchange for having the issue one cares about being mentioned every once in a while. People who kept telling themselves that yes, he’s ignorant, yes, he sends idiotic tweets but he does mention the working classes and the opioid epidemic, and that’s what matters – those people had to experience a wake-up moment at some point. Like Charlottesville. If that didn’t change one’s mind and make one see that there’s something deeply wrong with this guy, then there’s just no excuse.

And this is the same thing. Useful noises about climate change can’t excuse support for mutilating children. There’s got to be a limit to what one can accept. Besides, a billionaire can’t truly care about the working classes. And a fanatic of neoliberal mentality at any cost can’t do anything about global warming, which is actually caused by this very mentality.

I know it’s easy for me to say all this because I disliked both Trump and AOC from the start. But take any politician I admire – there aren’t many, so let’s say Ukraine’s President Poroshenko or even Vynnychenko, the Prime Minister of the Independent Ukrainian Republic in 1918 and my favorite writer – and I’d absolutely drop either of them over Charlottesville or Mermaids.

OK, I will now go try to salvage the rest of my sick day.