Secret Dining Spot

I don’t know if I should say it in public. But there is a place in Southern Illinois where you can pay for a sit-down meal indoors.

It’s out school cafeteria. I now go not so much for the food but to stick it to the bastard governor and feel normal again.

There’s absolutely no logic to any of this. And that’s exactly the point.

My Social Score System

I declined an invitation to publish in an edited volume last week because the editors don’t have well-developed profiles on or Research Gate even though they are younger than me.

I wouldn’t care about this if they were from an older generation, but youngsters? That they haven’t bothered to do something as simple as that tells me they won’t show any initiative in promoting the edited volume.

It’s one thing when everybody already knows you. But early-career academics who don’t take advantage of social media to get their name out are simply weird.

What’s to Prepare?

Talking about preparing for undergraduate classes. Tomorrow, I’m teaching about the civil war in Guatemala in one class and the fate of the regional nationalisms in Spain during the dictatorship of Franco in another. What would the preparation for these classes look like? I know the material. I know enormously more than undergraduates who never came across these topics need to know. I read about these topics constantly as part of my research. I think about them all the time. What’s to prepare?

Professors Not

Professors on social media are getting extremely pissy when people think (or professors assume that people think) that they are choosing online teaching because it’s easier.

But of course it’s easier. For one, all of the service obligations are simply gone thanks to our move online. Service obligations mean academic self-governance and it’s completely gone.

Here’s one example. At this time of year, we always welcome prospective students and their parents to campus. It’s a big multi-day event where we meet the future students, talk to them about our programs, invite them to classes, answer questions, and explain how our programs work. It’s a big time investment but I used to love it because it really helps you get the information out and engage with future students in person.

Now it’s all gone. The admissions office is handling the online version of this activity. Professor’s were told we aren’t needed.

And it’s all like that.

All you need to do is hold your Zoom meetings for 9 hours a week, grade… and that’s it. It’s humanly impossible to spend more than 15 hours a week doing this stuff. With a full-time salary and great benefits, what’s not to like? It’s like a long sabbatical with no need to produce publications at the end.

It’s the truth and I’m not ashamed to say it.