Ideology Masks Austerity

Forget about the woke claptrap. The really scary stuff is where it mentions “world literatures.” The plan is to do away with departments like mine and teach a tiny selection of books in other languages in translation.

If you aren’t in academia, you don’t have the experience of reading these job ads. I do, and this one screams “huge budget cuts.”

Ideology masks austerity.

Infinite Classroom

The classroom where I will teach my class of 18 students and then a class of 22 is huuuuuuuuuuuuuge. It goes all the way to infinity. Most of the seats are taped up to create 6 feet of distance in every direction. There are screens going all the way to the back of the classroom. It’s so far away, I’m not sure what’s there.

I’d never get this huge classroom if it weren’t for COVID. I’ll have to learn to give lectures to live up to the classroom. I now have the perfect excuse for that.

Hey, people who give lectures, what do you grade on? I need to learn some new grading strategies.

Wasted Literature

Literature is wasted on young people. I’m reading Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons that I read in high school and detested because it was deathly boring. And now I realize it’s a great work of literature that is also enormous fun to read. But I didn’t have the life experience that makes it interesting.

And by the way, I wasn’t just any kid. I had written my first work of literary criticism at the age of nine. It compared the way in which Pushkin and Tolstoy (not the War and Peace guy; there are three major Russian authors with this last name and it’s a different one) portrayed the reign of Ivan the Terrible. And it wasn’t for a school assignment. This is what I considered to be fun at 9.

Still, I wasn’t equipped to understand Turgenev’s novel.