Winter Money

The reason why I signed up to teach a winter course is because normally the money it makes goes directly to your department. Last year, we made enough in winter to buy everybody a printer and all the books and movies they could wish for. It was so nice! Membership fees, journal subscriptions, research materials, gadgets – I could pay for everything. We don’t get any money for any of it otherwise. And there’s always stuff you need. I have photocopy costs from the National Library of Spain. A colleague is in Film Studies and needs boatloads of movies. And so on.

But now we aren’t getting any of this money. Bupkes, zero dollars zero cents. These winter courses are hard to prepare and teach. We teach 7 days a week from December 20 to January 8. And of course we were only told that the money was being taken away after we signed our contracts and students registered, so it’s too late to get out of it.

I only have 10 students in the winter course but a colleague has 65. Imagine the grading and everything. He only took it on to help the department.

This is “free college.” Thank you, Governor Pritzker.

A Different Test

It’s quite an experience when you talk on the phone to your 70-year-old dad and you hear your 68-year-old mom yelling in the background, “The test is showing only one line! We are fine, it was a false alarm!”

Sad thoughts about Alzheimer’s started visiting me until I realized that retirees now have their own alternative to a pregnancy test, and home COVID tests operate in a similar way.

Fake Fireplace

Instead of real books, our library now has this fake fireplace:

I understand the idea of reading in front of a fireplace. It’s one of my favorite pursuits. But in order to read in front of a fireplace, you need books. And books were destroyed to make place for the fake fireplace. Not surprisingly, there are no people congregating in front of it even though its finals week and the library is very populated.

What kind of a bleating idiot thinks that our students need more screens in their lives?