Re: Exploiting the workers

1

Wait, her pay is docked and she has to hire a replacement on top of that? (A) that's bullshit -- one or the other, not both and (B) I bet it's illegal. Even if it's in the contract, that's a penalty clause; the college makes a profit if she breaches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:57 AM
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and (C), like anyone's going to show up for class.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:58 AM
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She should set up a tape recorder for the lecture, like in "Real Genius"


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:00 AM
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Reschedule the class, but never hold it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:05 AM
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Wait -- if she cancels class, why would she need a sub? Canceling it is different from just not showing up.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:07 AM
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Number 4 is good. oudemia is sneaky.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:07 AM
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4, 5: I'm assuming that as an adjunct, she's not allowed to reschedule or cancel without permission (and the administration has refused permission for this date), so all she can do unilaterally is 'not show up'. If that's not the case, the story doesn't make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:11 AM
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Wait -- if she cancels class, why would she need a sub?

In case any students do show-up, they want to appease them with a sandwich.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:16 AM
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I have to admit, I'm not really getting this. There is a class scheduled, the person is contracted to teach it, yes? I can see why making the person pay for the replacement is dubious, but not why you should get paid for a class that you choose to cancel?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:25 AM
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10: On a literal reading, that's true. Realistically, this is dicking with the adjuncts since I doubt they try to make the actual faculty teach on that day. And how the students would all scream if anybody threw a test or something that day, especially for an evening class.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:28 AM
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My only problem with it is docking her pay and making her pay for the replacement. Just docking her pay would be fine with me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:30 AM
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Also, not getting why the day before a national holiday is a big deal, anyway? This has been another installment in transatlantic grumpy incomprehension ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:34 AM
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And how the students would all scream if anybody threw a test or something that day, especially for an evening class.

Now that would be an amusing bit of revenge. No makeups without a doctor's note, direct any complaints to the administration. Not really fair to the students, but funny nonetheless.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:37 AM
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12: Because it's likely that no one will show up; that's traditionally time for traveling to, or hosting, family. Scheduling a class for that particular evening is pointless.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:37 AM
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It's a big country, and a lot of people, including especially college students, like to travel home for Thanksgiving.

I'm with LB; the requirement that you both pay for a sub AND have your pay docked is almost certainly against the law.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:39 AM
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9, 12: This isn't how adjuncts are normally treated. In my experience, one can can reschedule classes, or flatly cancel them, in the same way that a regular prof. can.
Thanksgiving is a travel holiday. Everyone goes home. Teaching Wednesday night severely limits this. The whole thing is kind of egregious because the administration surely knows that no students are going to be showing up.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:39 AM
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12: Thanksgiving is a big travel holiday. The night before, half the country is on the road, heading back to the family farm in Indiana. So having to work the Wednesday night is a bit of a hardship, and specifically teaching class is pointless because the students won't show.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:40 AM
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12 Not sure about the place where she teaches, but at my school the large majority were flying on Wed. so as to make sure they make it for the late Thursday afternoon gluttony fest. Classes ended at noon on Wednesday, and only a minority showed up to the morning classes, some of which also got canceled by profs needing to make it somewhere themselves.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:41 AM
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It's like a giant orgy of pwnage.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:41 AM
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It's a big country

Yeah, not like your puny Knifecrimea, where people are too busy drinking and fighting to celebrate anything anyway.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:41 AM
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ppppwn.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:41 AM
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I think part of the confusion here stems from an ambiguity over whether "cancels" in part 2 means "tells students not to show up without administrative approval" or "doesn't show up but doesn't tell the students not to." Having pay docked seems like a reasonable response to the former, and having to pay for a sub sounds like a reasonable response to the latter. The question is whether both penalties apply to the same situation, which does sound egregious.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:44 AM
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20: Why would they celebrate Thanksgiving? Maybe a sort of Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish kind of holiday is in order.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:44 AM
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re; 20

I can stab you from here, McQueen.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:45 AM
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I would just like to send a shout-out to my 16 year old self, in that I voted to legalize weed today. Of course, the measure is pretty unlikely to pass.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:46 AM
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Why would they celebrate Thanksgiving? Maybe a sort of Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish kind of holiday is in order.

Well, Guy Fawkes Day is coming up soon...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:47 AM
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I suppose, but in that case, why wouldn't you take the day before as annual leave? Oh, I forgot, you don't get any.

FWIW, depending on the day of week, I'd regularly be expected to work New Year's Eve, and/or Christmas Eve. But if I had to be somewhere else, I'd just take them off as a holiday. I suspect what's going on is a collision here between radically different work cultures, one of which is actually insane.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:49 AM
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And given that my in-laws live in entirely different country half a continent away, I'm entirely familiar with the concept of traveling for holiday days.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:49 AM
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where people are too busy drinking and fighting to celebrate anything anyway

That is how we celebrate things.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:50 AM
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I suppose, but in that case, why wouldn't you take the day before as annual leave? Oh, I forgot, you don't get any.

Ha! Honour is satisfied!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:50 AM
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27: Huh? This is amazing to everyone because it's bizarrely uncommon and likely illegal. Can professors in the UK take vacations during the schoolyear? Here of course they cannot, but they do have -- and this goes for adjuncts, too -- tremendous leeway in canceling and rescheduling classes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:52 AM
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re: 31

To be fair, if you were teaching a class it would, more likely, be expected that you'd reschedule if you had to take leave, rather than cancel altogether, so I can see how it's arsey of the department not to allow rescheduling.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:55 AM
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having to pay for a sub sounds like a reasonable response to the latter

Could she herself find someone to sub for her? If she knows colleagues who are local / grad students who aren't going home / anyone with half a claim to be able to teach the course, it seems like she should be able to schedule a 'guest lecture' or some such.* That designated person could be asked to go to the beginning of class and send the two or three students home. (With the assurance that they'll get bonus points or something.) A nice bottle of liquor as a token of gratitude is surely cheaper than paying an official substitute.

*I acknowledge that the likelihood of an adjunct being in a position to call in such favors is not high.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:58 AM
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I'm not a labor lawyer, and teaching adjuncts seem to exist in some kind of twighlight zone of labor regulation anyway, but I wonder if the requirement that one PAY for a replacement is also illegal. Docking pay for not showing up is almost certainly OK, but I'm not sure that employers can require employees to affirmatively pay to bring in a substitute. Maybe the rule is just that if you find a sub (no matter how you do so) the University looks the other way and your pay isn't docked.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:02 AM
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A nice bottle of liquor as a token of gratitude is surely cheaper than paying an official substitute.

A box of the finest NY state wine is even cheaper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:05 AM
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I like sneaky oudemia's suggestion, but really: ask forgiveness next time.

If she really must "teach," her next phone call (preferably to the same administrative goblin she got last time) should go something like this:

"Ok. Can I sign out some...equipment? Also I need access to a chemistry lab. And a map of all the fire exits. I'm so glad classes aren't cancelled!"


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:06 AM
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Oudemia's suggestion was my first thought as well. Also that way you actually can reschedule the session if you have students asking about it or demanding it. (I don't know what kind of class this is, but if it's continuing education, the students are much more likely to be worried about getting all the class time they're owed, IME.) And if no one ever mentions it again, then that can be that.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:14 AM
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If you are teaching a class about baseball, you can sneak into the field the night before and let the sprinklers run so they have to close the field the next day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:16 AM
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ppppwn.

Pronounced "pwnissimo"? Or "p-p-p-p-pad to the pwn"?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:29 AM
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40

If you are teaching a class about baseball

The kind of class where everyone's all of a sudden a fan of the A's.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:44 AM
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41

And given that my in-laws live in entirely different country half a continent away, I'm entirely familiar with the concept of traveling for holiday days.

The second clause of your sentence does not follow ineluctably from the first.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:49 AM
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re: 41

That's true. Although I have the advantage of not sharing a language with mine!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:50 AM
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I would just like to send a shout-out to my 16 year old self, in that I voted to legalize weed today. Of course, the measure is pretty unlikely to pass.

Probably would've helped if Lincecum had fired up a J on the mound and yelled "Vote Prop 19!" after last night's win. What a missed opportunity.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:53 AM
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43: Like Zach Galifianakis (though I heard elsewhere it was fake).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:58 AM
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She told the students that she won't be taking roll or covering new material, but that she'll be there. I thought the double-docking sounded totally illegal, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:00 PM
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I'm with Ttam. The holiday is Thursday and Friday. Is a four-day weekend not enough? And I say this as someone who normally has to travel all the way across the country for Thanksgiving.

I schedule an exam for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving every year. I ask the students if they would prefer it were held the Wednesday before or the Monday after and they always choose before.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:16 PM
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I schedule an exam for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving every year.

Just on principle? To be a pill?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:18 PM
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48

And just to be clear: docking pay and/or expecting the adjunct to pay for a sub is totally unreasonable and douchey.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:18 PM
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47

Because that's where it fits best into the teaching schedule.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:19 PM
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I usually leave the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and come back the following Monday. Trying to bracket the holiday any closer usually leads to airfares a few hundred dollars more expensive.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:20 PM
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51

Zach Galifianakis: n. Grk. "Jack Black"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:23 PM
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39 I was thinking stuttered.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:30 PM
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The holiday is Thursday and Friday. Is a four-day weekend not enough?

But I think it is reasonable to consider a holiday as beginning at 5 pm the previous day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:30 PM
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53

Actually, I would agree with that. But not for during the day.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:31 PM
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We get Wednesday off before Thanksgiving, and I'll often give a test on that Tuesday to prevent vacation creep. I am sympathetic to the argument that it's not a vacation week.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:31 PM
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But I think it is reasonable to consider a holiday as beginning at 5 pm the previous day.

Yeah, that'll be the day.


Posted by: Blitzen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:33 PM
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53: That's for Jewish holidays.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:35 PM
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No, Jews need the afternoon off to get all the stuff done that they won't be able to do after 5 that evening.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:36 PM
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51 seems wildly off to me, except for the stoner comedy connection. Zach G is totally deadpan; Jack B is a scenery chewer.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:37 PM
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I'm really glad my parents are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. It means I can shut myself in my room if the extended family gets on my nerves too much. (Is it bad to be this antisocial? Probably.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:38 PM
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59 gets it right.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:41 PM
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Also, I'm impressed that Galifianakis has been in quite a few movies, always with the same beard. Who was the last actor who could get away with having a beard in every role? Kris Kristofferson?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:43 PM
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59: I guess he's looked so Jack Blackish in previews I haven't given him a fair shake by, say, seeing the movies. Withdrawn, pending substantial exposure.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:46 PM
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Jack Black was at the Die Antwoord concert on Halloween, dressed up as Popeye. That may be the only celebrity sighting I've ever experienced.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:55 PM
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65

Reschedule the class, but never hold it.

Reschedule it in the past. School owes you backpay. Profit!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:18 PM
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66

So is Thanksgiving really a holiday where people travel? Is that true for students?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:38 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:40 PM
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68

Especially for students, as they only recently left the nest.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:07 PM
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When I was a pup at DFHC, the only day off for the holiday was Thanksgiving itself. Friday and Saturday were not days off and classes were to meet as scheduled. This meant that most students stayed on campus. The dining halls and the co-ops did a very good job with the holiday meal and it was fun having Thanksgiving dinner with friends.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:08 PM
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The night before, half the country is on the road, heading back to the family farm in Indiana. So having to work the Wednesday night is a bit of a hardship, and specifically teaching class is pointless because the students won't show.

When I was in college, Ec 10 was taught by Marty Feldstein. In a perfunctory nod to balance, a couple of class sessions were scheduled each term for lectures by left-leaning professors. So it was that the day before Spring Break, Professor Emeritus John Kenneth Galbraith (pbuh) stood in front of a half-empty auditorium and delivered that term's token liberal point of view.

He began by saying that he was wise to the tactic of Marty Feldstein of giving him the slot before vacation, when half the class wouldn't be there to hear him. But that was OK, he averred, because he knew that the Republicans would all be off on resort holidays, and he could count on a friendly audience of liberals and financial-aid recipients.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:08 PM
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When I was in college, Econ 101 was taught by a guy who wore those "Bike" brand coach's shorts to class every day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:12 PM
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69: That sounds kind of great. I don't think I've ever in my life had a non-family Thanksgiving (I live within 100 miles of my parents).


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:14 PM
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I was once told this by someone who travels, and as someone who basically doesn't, the most useful thing I can do with it is pass it along: international fares from the U.S. are super cheap over Thanksgiving weekend because people overwhelmingly book domestic travel then. So if you are dying to go to Costa Rica or wherever the kids are going these days, and don't mind breaking your parents' hearts, check it out.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:24 PM
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When I was in college, Econ 101 was taught by a guy who wore those "Bike" brand coach's shorts to class every day.

On a per dollar of tuition basis, you arguably got the better deal.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:28 PM
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further to 74: except that the head teaching fellow for Ec 10 at the time IIRC was one J. Bradford DeLong.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:30 PM
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70: Did he tell the story about when he finally got telephone service at his house in Vermont?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:34 PM
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Through various forms of luck and guile, I think I've managed to avoid Thanksgiving travel every year but one since I moved away for college 16 years ago. This is definitely unusual among the people I know, though as we all get older and more settled there are more people coming to visit us than vice versa.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:36 PM
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76: I don't recall. How does the story go?

As I recall (and I don't doubt that someone could pull out the ancient videotape and show that I'm grossly misremembering something), he told us that we could expect the nice models and graphs and equations that we learned in Ec 10 to be expounded with full vigor by powerful interests in the service of the goals of powerful interests, but that they would be conveniently forgotten any time they threatened those same powerful interests. Pretty much all my subsequent experience has borne out this prediction.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:40 PM
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I've only had one non-family Thanksgiving or Christmas before (when I was an exchange student), but this coming Thanksgiving will also be non-family. Or at least, not my family but my girlfriend's; I'm flying out west with her. Those family holidays in the past include four years flying or taking a bus from college (308 miles according to Google maps) and two years so far driving or flying from where I live now (around 500 miles according to Google maps). So yes, travel for the holidays seems plausible to me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:42 PM
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The one time I've avoided visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, I was in Scotland for a small workshop. The host was very apologetic to the Americans who came for having unintentionally asked us to skip our family holiday. But it was much more pleasant than being surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles and whatnot, and our "Thanksgiving dinner" was at this place and was quite tasty. I don't remember getting unusually cheap airfare, though (but I was there for the whole week, and maybe the cheapness doesn't kick in until Wednesday).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:44 PM
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78: The punchline is "I had to call the president of the phone company to get you on the line," the speaker being John F. Kennedy, from the W.H., the setup that Galbraith had spent the day pottering about his property wondering about all the workmen down by the road, the premise that Galbraith had just resigned some job or other and retreated to lick his wounds in the 802.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:45 PM
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Oops, broken link: this place.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:47 PM
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This is what's wrong with America, you know: you people who don't go home for Thanksgiving. You know who you are.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:49 PM
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My daughters discovered this morning that they had all of Thanksgiving week off and suggested, "We could go to Thailand."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:49 PM
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69, 72: I also loved staying for Thanksgiving at the same DFHC, though I'm not sure how flexible the arrangements were for the cafeteria workers.

I spent one such Thanksgiving cooking and hanging out with friends at someone's off-campus apartment. It was an absolutely beautiful day -- sunny, not too cold, leaves all sorts of pretty colors -- and a group of us went out for a walk, reveling in the weather, the bonhomie, the lack of family fights. We ran into an acquaintance who immediately (and earnetly) greeted us with, "Happy Native American Oppression Day!" Good times.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:50 PM
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I don't think I've spent Thanksgiving with my parents since I left for college. They're a long plane ride away, and a pretty minimal deal for them. Not that big a deal for me either.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:50 PM
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I've always spent Thanksgiving with family, but not always the same set of family members and not always in the same place, and I've never traveled very far (by my standards) for it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:10 PM
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I had my first-ever fully vegan meal with a friend during a one-on-one Thanksgiving dinner spent at school. It was awesome. He cooked. Later it turned out that some felt it had been a date.

There was some confusion: yes, the stewed apples were incredible, and the walk afterwards was terrific, and the meal left me so energized! But did we need a chaperone? Oh dear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:20 PM
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The two Thanksgivings I spent away from family were in Ghana. The first I was in transit and the second I spent at an Indian restaurant with four Canadians and an Eithiopian, the Eithipian being most in sympathy to my feelings, having gone to college in the US. The Canadians all claimed earnestly that Canadian Thanksgiving was in fact a real thing (the one of them from QB admitted that in some places it wasn't really celebrated), though the way they talked about seemed to indicate that it stirred none of the deep feelings that it tends to for us.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:21 PM
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I'm supposed to have deep feelings? Shit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:27 PM
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91
American Thanksgiving is similar, but distinct, from regular Thanksgiving.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:29 PM
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92

I don't even want to think about Thanksgiving. No one else in my immediate family is going to host, so it's me or no one, and there are several layers of not-talking-to-each-other going on. I'm talking to more family members than anyone else, but that leaves me as the person most likely to get in trouble for screwing up the arrangements.

And then I get to have the same problem a month later for Christmas.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:30 PM
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92: I recommend taking Buck and the kids skiing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:32 PM
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No one else in my immediate family is going to host, so it's me or no one

The second of those options would seem to have something to recommend it.

You could join the McQuuen family in Thailand.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:33 PM
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Should be "similar to, but distinct from, regular Thanksgiving".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:33 PM
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Thanksgiving is a bit early for skiing, and if the US is like Europe then Christmas is by far the most expensive week of the year. My parents dealt with the latter by doing Christmas in a two bit cheap resort and saving the big time one for the official Snow Vacation.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:34 PM
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93: Nice idea, but not hosting means getting in trouble as well. It's been a steady problem for the last five or six years, and it just hasn't settled down into anything tolerable: this year shouldn't be any worse than usual, I'm just seeing it loom on the horizon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:36 PM
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er, "McQueen" family.

as Kristina Olsen sang (pdf), "I like four letter words . . . they hardly ever have double letters."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:39 PM
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And I've not-hosted for more of those years than not. It's just been tense despite that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:41 PM
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Take Buck & the kids to visit Dr. Oops?

Do both your parents come to your place? I recall that they don't speak to each other. That could be a challenging super-tense holiday.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:45 PM
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Should be "similar to, but distinct from, regular Thanksgiving".

Indeed it should.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:48 PM
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I shouldn't be griping, because I don't want to go into all the dynamics, and without all the dynamics helpful suggestions don't work. There are various solutions, all of which will make me cranky and nervous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:49 PM
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For nearly two decades the Jewish/Christian thing worked great for Thanksgiving/Christmas with us traveling for both (with a few T-day hosts). And then it stopped. We tried to bail on Thanksgiving this year, but my sister bailed first leaving us semi-obligated to basically host it, but at my parent's house (about 2 hours away). And now that I write it down it all seems mean-spirited, but yeah, dynamics.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:56 PM
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And now off to swim watch soccer games. Let me know if the country gets totally fucked up or anything like that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:57 PM
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That sounds kind of great. I don't think I've ever in my life had a non-family Thanksgiving (I live within 100 miles of my parents).

Thanksgiving among Americans living in Germany has always been fun, because it's such a big production. You have to special order a turkey from a large grocery store. There are things you simply can't get, and either have to do without or have mailed to you. (Anything to do with cranberries. The fried onions and canned soup for the green bean casserole, if you're of the Midwestern green bean casserole eating sort. Canned pumpkin.)

But stuffing made with German light rye bread is the best thing ever on earth.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:59 PM
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There are things you simply can't get, and either have to do without or have mailed to you. (Anything to do with cranberries.

I'd have figured lingonberries would be easy enough to find and a decent substitute. No?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:08 PM
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Fried onions and soup need to be specially ordered?

Geneva had enough of an expat population that cranberries would appear every November in select locations of the local chains. I would imagine the same would be true of similar places in Germany. I think turkeys were always available, but my parents always did ducks. Amusingly enough they still do thanksgiving most years, even though growing up it was just a 'this is our duty as the parents of an American kid' thing. In general my favorite Thanksgivings have been the ones where a group of friends get together and make a huge elaborate cooking and drinking extravaganza. The best one was a leg of venison. The cooking was accompanied by plenty of decent wine, the eating by plenty more better wine, and then we digested over hard liquor. Things got rolling early in the afternoon and ended some twelve hours later.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:13 PM
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Lingonberries are NOT an adequate substitute for cranberries. Nor are lemons and limes the same thing, whatever folks in Poland may think.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:14 PM
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I'm so saddened to learn that one can't get cranberries in Germany. So much for moving to Berlin as a last resort.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:18 PM
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Thanksgiving among Americans living in Germany

I would have thought you could get anything from the local PX.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:21 PM
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Given that Berlin rents are cheaper than any even semi-livable city in the US, you can FedEx them and still come out ahead. But I'd still imagine you could get them. Doesn't KaDeWe have pretty much everything?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:24 PM
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Fried onions and soup need to be specially ordered?

I think you may not be understanding this particular dish. Making it from fresh ingredients doesn't really work.

From the oceanspray.de website it looks like you can get cranberry juice in Germany. (In a TetraPak or a Mehrwegflasche!) I also seem to recall them trying to sell Craisins there, but I might be remembering my America-obsessed host father having gotten them from someone outside the country.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:26 PM
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110: Was Blume supposed to show some leg or bat her eyelashes at soldiers so they'd take her in with them?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:29 PM
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Oh, you probably could get them at KaDeWe. For a hundred Euros a kilo or something. Most larger supermarkets (like the ones in the basements of department stores) have a little American section, but the prices can be insane, like €12 for a box of Kraft dinner. Those don't tend to change seasonally, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:29 PM
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The one time I visited an acquaintance on an army base in Germany, I bought cranberry juice and tortillas.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:30 PM
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114: Were you expecting them to turn not-orange in the fall?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:34 PM
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Given that Berlin rents are cheaper than any even semi-livable city in the US

I'm considering objecting to that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:37 PM
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Maybe not anymore, what with the falling dollar, but back in 2000 you could get a perfectly decent 1BR in a pleasant area for the equivalent of around $400/mo.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:40 PM
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My 49m2 apartment in Berlin in a central, hip, and well connected area was €340 as recently as last year.

That's 527.43 square feet, the internet tells me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:50 PM
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Most larger supermarkets (like the ones in the basements of department stores) have a little American section, but the prices can be insane, like €12 for a box of Kraft dinner.

Wouldn't that be in the Canadian section?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:50 PM
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118, 119: Holy crap. I'm moving.

(Also, why so cheap?)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:55 PM
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What, just because Kraft was born in Canada? Despite being German and founding his company in America?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:58 PM
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The population hasn't grown while the housing supply has. Add in hellish unemployment and I think you have your answer.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:58 PM
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Lots of space, contraction of population.

To be fair, there are also much more expensive areas. Any Berlin apartment you see in a slideshow in the NYT is probably in Prenzlauer Berg, and those can be a couple thousand euro a month. For insanely, unbelievably gorgeous apartments, but still.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:01 PM
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124: Did you see that Paris apartment they featured a couple of days ago? Jesus.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:03 PM
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With the rockstar couple? Yeah. I keep looking at those slideshows because I like to see the spaces, but good god is the writing about them slaveringly inane. "Look what good taste this person had to buy this $12,000 lamp!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:07 PM
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126: Yes, that one! I also liked how 2 million euro was absolutely out of the question for them, so they negotiated the seller down to 1.95 (or whatever it was).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:16 PM
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An old childhood friend of my dad's, now working for one of the Planck institutes bought himself a place in PB in the early nineties. Huge, gorgeous place. It needed a bit of work, but it worked out to significantly less than what you'd pay for a crap studio apartment in in mediocre Geneva neighbourhood back then. Even in 2000 you could get a decent 1br rental there for significantly less than Morningside Heights.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:24 PM
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125: A friend forwarded that Times thing to me with a bitter comment about the golden days when the euro was worth about US$0.83.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:27 PM
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125-127: I had to go find the article. Wow, that place is gorgeous. Someday, when I am a rich academic.... (I can pretend, right?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:34 PM
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3. She'll have to pay for a sub. They do supply a sub list, however.

Call me old-fashioned, but I feel that students should pay for their own S&M games.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:35 PM
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There are things you simply can't get, and either have to do without or have mailed to you. (Anything to do with cranberries....

Ha, yeah, I was surprised recently when I served a cranberry dish to some Spanish guests and they kept exclaiming over the novelty. We discovered all sorts of new gaps in my vocabulary, such as "bog."

I'm dealing with Thanksgiving by hosting, but have just realized that the large piece of furniture I'm currently housing on behalf of family is going to make the table arrangements extremely challenging. I may have to seat some people in the living room. Hm.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:43 PM
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128: I know people who were there earlier, and did similar things. Built their own heating systems, or stuck it out with Ofenheizung far longer than they would have liked. Put in showers that weren't in the kitchen.

It really is insane how much and how fast it gentrified. I looked at apartments there in 2001; now I don't think I'd even bother.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:43 PM
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Those big tiled coal heaters are quite attractive. The layer of frost on things on a cold winter morning could arguably also be said to have a certain retro appeal. Not so sure about the coal smudges on your clothes.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:01 PM
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Or the black stuff that comes out when you blow your nose. Or sleeping in three layers plus a hat.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:08 PM
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122: The only people I've ever heard refer to it as "Dinner" are Canadian. (Or Barenaked Ladies fans. Or both.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:14 PM
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135: Sweet memories of the winter when my building's heat died and my upstairs neighbors built a fire in their previously-unused hearth, filling my apartment with smoke. Frozen pipes and ashy socks that Valentine's Day.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:15 PM
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Coal-stuff aside, between this thread and Wir Sind die Nacht, Berlin seems pretty appealing.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:16 PM
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135: Dried blood. Don't put you fingers in so far and keep the nails trimmed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:19 PM
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Frozen pipes and ashy socks that Valentine's Day.

Poetical.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:18 PM
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Yeah, I'm full of pretty music.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:10 PM
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