Money Isn’t the Problem

We keep hearing how all problems in higher education stem from lack of money. Money, money, money! The states are putting up less money! If only they put up more money, then…

What? What would happen then? How would all the riches in the world prevent colleges from turning into cesspits of fanaticism and idiocy? Money makes things worse. I know both Concordia and Middlebury. Concordia is swimming in money. It built up half of downtown Montreal with gleaming skyscrapers. Middlebury is very rich. Yet people get screamed down, beaten up, and thrown out. How did money help?

Money makes things worse in higher ed. People who do actual teaching and research never see it anyway. Money hires us more party apparatchiks and builds palace-like quarters for them. They destroy education with their assessment practices and equity efforts that fill the campus with students who shouldn’t be in college. Then we can’t attract anybody but these unprepared students. So we need more money to pay for gimmicks like stadiums and access services that award everybody a disability so that they don’t have to study.

It’s a vicious circle where more and more and more money makes students and professors poorer and dumber.

Wall of Shame

Shame on Concordia University in Montreal for disinviting a Harvard scholar because he didn’t pass an ideological purity test.

Shame on Middlebury College in Vermont for disinviting a Polish philosopher because he didn’t pass an ideological purity test.

This is precisely what Byung-Chul Han talks about when he discusses the new totalitarianism of the fluid world. He probably would be disinvited, too.

No government is forcing these people to censor. No external coercive apparatus makes them destroy the life of the mind. They are self-castrating eagerly and willingly.

Audible Questions

Folks who use Audible, LibriVox and Co! How do you afford it? A single 30-year-old novel by Wallace Stegner costs $38 on LibriVox.

And please don’t tell me about all the free stuff with expired copyright. What is there among it that I haven’t read and have interest in reading?

NYTimes: Doctors Accused of Trading Opioid Prescriptions for Sex and Cash

God, I hate these evil m-fuckers.

I’ve seen addicts, I’ve seen students’ families devastated by addiction. To exploit these people, most of whom got addicted without ever realizing it was going to happen, is infernally evil.

The indictments accuse 60 people, including 31 doctors, seven pharmacists and eight nurses, of involvement in the schemes, which included prescribing opioids for gratuitous medical procedures like unnecessary tooth pulling. In some cases, prosecutors said, doctors simply handed out signed blank prescription forms. “These cases involve approximately 350,000 opioid prescriptions and more than 32 million pills — the equivalent of a dose of opioids for every man, woman and child across the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia combined.”

I hate these evildoers.

Book Notes: Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret

Moriarty is the Australian Jodi Picoult but without the political angle. I hate it how Picoult always preys on some hot-button political issue. It’s annoying for what is supposed to be light entertainment.

The Husband’s Secret is Moriarty’s darkest novel so far. I cried. So don’t read it if you are a fan of Big Little Lies because this is a completely different type of book. But I like it a lot better because BLL was a little insipid.

I’m reading another book by Moriarty and I won’t quit until I inhale all of them.

Left and Right

Klara knows left and right. I only learned when I was seven. Even now I have to think about it every time.

“Mommy, this is left,” she says.

And I think, “This is the side I wear my Fitbit on. OK, it is left.”

By the way, does anybody know any child-appropriate knock-knock jokes? I want to teach some to Klara because I read it’s an important milestone.

Happy Birthday

All of the birthday gifs have cake in them. And I hate cake! Why can’t there be a birthday gif with a poke bowl or a plate of borscht? Or some oysters, at least.

In any case, happy birthday to me! It’s a joke of fate that I have to have my birthday during the hardest part of the academic year. But ok, whatever. God, I feel grumpy.


One of the weirder forms of entitlement is to feel resentful when your favorite online personality fails to provide a fresh post for your morning coffee. I seriously feel resentful when people do that. I know it’s ridiculous but I still feel it.

OK, so in case anybody feels like this about me (and I totally feel your pain, totally), here is something for this morning. I read a news item and a subsequent FB discussion about a woman who hit her husband because he didn’t say she’s pretty. There is a very simple solution to the problem of not getting enough compliments, and I use it all the time.

Obviously, my husband thinks I’m a ravishing beauty or he wouldn’t be with me. But sometimes he forgets to verbalize his feelings which probably happens because my beauty is so breathtaking. So when I need compliments, I simply say, “I need compliments about my looks / intelligence / general wonderfulness, etc. Please give me what you’ve got now.” Works like a charm.

My sister and I do this for each other a lot. I call her and say, “I feel guilty because XYZ. Please alleviate the guilt.” In five minutes, the guilt is gone and sweet feelings of entitlement flood back in.