Re: Various

1

TFA operates under the premises that major problems in the inner city can be fixed by some educated and earnest white people putting in a few weeks of effort to solve it. I think it's called the Nice White Lady syndrome, after all those Sandra Bullock movies. It's the same kind of thinking that gets wealthy white middle aged men writing columns about what they'd do if they were a poor black kid. Extremely patronizing,* and clearly designed by people who've never left the air-conditioned walls of their Washington think tank.

*The conceit of the program, not the actual teachers, who are usually very nice and well-meaning people looking for something virtuous to do. Or at least they were before people started using TFA as "good deed" filler before I-banking.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:32 AM
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True! But not surprising.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:35 AM
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I can't read TFA as anything but "The Fucking Archives."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:37 AM
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wealthy white middle aged men writing columns about what they'd do if they were a poor black kid

My god.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:40 AM
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I can't read TFA as anything but "The Fucking Archives."

In which case 1.1 would be pretty accurate if you imagine Bob saying it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:58 AM
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Bob would have mentioned Japanese film. Since I've already seen the movie where the Japanese detective piles huge stones on his penis and interrogates women by having sex with them, I'm not going to watch any Japanese movies. It can't possibly get better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:00 AM
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6: just watch Tetsuo The Iron Man and Hausa and then you'll be done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:05 AM
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[W]ealthy white middle aged men writing columns is an evergreen source of creative empathy fail.

Last night I somehow ended up watching a recent Bill Maher panel with Chris Hayes, Bette Midler and David Frum mostly focused on the ACA. As they go it was pretty entertaining, and did a decent job of highlighting the BS and pettiness of Frum's position (which he addmitedly only half-heartedly supported). However, when he was asked which country's health care plan he would choose and he responded with the US, I found myself fantasizing being in the audience so I could have yelled out, "That's because you're rich, you fucking ghoul!"

And then I found $5 between the couch cushions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:24 AM
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My son found $5 under his pillow this morning, because of inflation and tooth loss.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:31 AM
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I would sure like to see some of those TFA teachers who are, per TFA's internal metrics, so much better than the regular teachers. I have been a very poorly prepared teacher (the victim not of TFA but of a criminally negligent teacher training program, which, if I knew a young and naive person who was enrolled in such a program and was being treated as I was treated, I would personally take time off from my current totally-not-teaching job and walk that young person down to the dean's office, where we would raise holy hell until money was refunded and an apology issued.) Anyway, I've been young, unsupported and unprepared in a class full of unruly, bored, angry and mistreated young people and it was sheer hell for me and useless for them. I find it hard to believe in all of this To-Sir-With-Love stuff.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:34 AM
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8: I saw that one too. My previous encounters with stuff Frum had written had led me to believe that he was a somewhat reasonable person, not batshit crazy like other Republicans today. But seeing that show made me realize that he just wraps his crazy in a polished veneer of reasonableness.

And by the way, that was Joy Behar, not Bette Midler.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:35 AM
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Wrapping your crazy under a veneer is somewhat reasonable compared to other Republicans today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:36 AM
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11: I knew that and forgot ... but my initial impression was that it was Midler...Ha! What a tool I am.

I think I was asleep on the couch and woke up with it on, hence some of my confusion, but the Frum thing woke me right up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:38 AM
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11: I've wondered about that, as having been a poorly trained and useless teacher myself. The stat I've seen on how great TFA teachers were was, IIRC, TFA teachers in failing schools or high poverty schools. It's possible that if you limit the comparison to schools in which for structural reasons the non-TFA teachers are much likelier than average to be unusually bad (that is, a school isn't a failing school unless it's being badly run, and badly run schools are going to accumulate bad teachers), that's enough to make the hapless floundering an enthusiastic but ignorant kid can manage look good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:38 AM
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I'm doing my part by being a poorly trained and useless teacher to highly overprivileged youth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:39 AM
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I keep trying to teach all of you how to teach stickshift, but I lack the training and you all are unruly, bored, angry and mistreated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:41 AM
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The weird thing about Teach For America is that the kids in it are all coming to it from a position of "Well, I don't know how to teach, but I guess if you don't have any other teachers, I could do some good." The recent news stories about about Chicago Public Schools decides to fire 500 experienced teachers chosen at random and then the next day expand their Teach For America program by 500 could have a big impact on potential recruits.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:42 AM
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They really do look quite similar.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:44 AM
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Some of that data was math specific, and I kind of wonder whether just having a smart teacher who understands math raises the test scores even if that teacher can't control the classroom. I have a good friend who taught at a middle school in Oakland in a similar program, and definitely had a lot of trouble managing the classroom, enough that they had to take the classroom away from him at some point. Nonetheless, his students passed algebra at a higher rate than had with previous better teachers. (Of course, the rate was still very very low.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:44 AM
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I hadn't really considered how destructive TFA is, in a flooding-the-labor-market sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:44 AM
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Now that I have pruned it appropriately, I find my Facebook feed not at all unpleasant to read. I got this and this regarding the ACA from two different friends this morning.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:47 AM
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I thought Frum was now alienated from the right because of periodic attacks of common sense and basic decency.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:47 AM
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This article was emailed by a colleague to all coauthors on a recent article. Because I can't email back, "See, I'm the one keeping you all out of jail," I'm mentioning it here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:48 AM
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20 also works with TFA as "The Fucking Archives".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:48 AM
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(HELP. Selah is sleeping and we have cleaners coming later today, but I'm feeling a hard-to-control urget to clean things up for the cleaners while I have the chance. I'm making you hold me accountable for eating these noodles and then taking my computer back to bed with me.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:50 AM
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Go to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Don't worry about the cleaners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:51 AM
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25: Sleep. Don't make the cleaners feel devalued by making them unnecessary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:52 AM
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I sternly expect you to be here, every five minutes on the minute, for the next hour. You'll be letting me and the mineshaft down if you do any less.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:52 AM
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Unless you're sleeping. You'd better otherwise be sleeping.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:54 AM
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I should be sleeping but I'm not. I'm not good at sleeping, or not good enough to do it while home alone with Selah yet. I'm here and about to read the Cold Comfort Lovecraftian Horror.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:58 AM
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Oh, argh. And Rowan is messaging me wanting emergency money, which I can't send until the baby wakes up if I even want to send money in his gf's name when I'd been willing to buy food but not send cash. This parenting stuff is ridiculous.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:02 AM
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Go to sleep! If you aren't sleeping right now you are fucking up! Why can't you sleep! Sleep sleep sleep! What is wrong with you!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:03 AM
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That comment brought to you by the 2 am voices in my head.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:04 AM
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At the Crossfit Sleep Institute.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:06 AM
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Halford, your drunken/whatever faux-urple-slandering in the other thread is still making me happy. And I do fine at sleeping at night. Just I'll bet I could fall asleep in half an hour or so, and that's right when she'll start waking up again.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:07 AM
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I have a colleague who did TFA, and emerged from it very pro-teachers union and very critical of TFA (to the point of very active volunteering/campaigning for a pro-union candidate in a recent school board election where the opponent was kind of the ur-Bloomberg/Michelle Rhee candidate). I don't know how common that attitude is among their alumni but I get the sense that she doesn't feel like much of an outlier among her TFA peers. She said the training was a joke and the organization basically awful.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:11 AM
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I hadn't really considered how destructive TFA is, in a flooding-the-labor-market sense.

Like most neoliberal attempts to "fix" the problems of people whom those in power fundamentally despise, TFA is a chance to both undermine teacher's unions and effective-for-the-students public school reform and wrap it in a bow of good intentions.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:12 AM
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23: What do you expect of a Harkonen?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:13 AM
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She's awake! Bye, guys. I also have several friends who did TFA and have become traditional teachers or supporters of traditional teacher training. I'm glad we are not a TFA school.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:13 AM
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36

I have a friend who worked for TFA recruitment and feels similarly. I also know a college Republican type who did TFA and came out of it a Democrat. It's not totally bad in the sense of making UMC white people more socially aware, except that shouldn't really be the point of the program, and if that's it's main benefit, then it is horribly unethical to use the lives of poor, mostly minority kids as props in some white kid's personal development.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:20 AM
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then it is horribly unethical straight out of The Onion to use the lives of poor, mostly minority kids as props in some white kid's personal development.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:22 AM
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41

Or perhaps a Vows column?

re: 23

I lost any sympathy after "three-story tudor in San Francisco."


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:26 AM
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There is pretty solid evidence that Teach for America teachers increase math scores by about one-sixth of a standard deviation, or one-tenth of a grade level equivalent. With no effect, positive or negative, on reading scores. Whether that marginal gain is worth having to put up with the Michelle Rhees of the world is unclear, but at least it's something.

As the study points out, plenty of non-TFA teachers get crappy training too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:29 AM
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44

I'll go back to England then.


Posted by: Opinionated Giant Elizabeth the First | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:29 AM
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45

That is, increase scores relative to non-TFA teachers in comparable (randomly assigned, same school) classrooms.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:29 AM
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22: Yes, Frum is currently persona non grata on the *true* right for failing conservatism by not buying into every single piece of crazy horseshit coming down the puke funnel and saying so publicly. But he is clearly no convert although as I mentioned, I don't think his heart was really in his ACA bullshit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:38 AM
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45: So long as the study is limited to disadvantaged schools.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:42 AM
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That is, TFA teachers aren't better than teachers generally, nor are they better than novice teachers generally. They are slightly better in math scores and no better in reading scores than teachers in the disadvantaged schools where they are assigned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:47 AM
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Quite right, but it's hard to think about how to compare TFA teachers with teachers in more advantaged schools, as the student body is totally different. And working in disadvantaged schools is (a good) part of the TFA model so I think it's a fair comparison.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:53 AM
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I'm opposed to TFA. It should be Teach for [insert state name here]. Because I'm a federalist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:54 AM
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46: Frum deserves to burn for the 'axis of evil' speech, he supposedly came up with the term and actually bragged about it. Supposedly that speech destroyed our budding cooperation with Iran post 9/11 and restored the status quo of demonizing them, which is/was awful.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:55 AM
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23: A commenter on that article links to an appeals court document which also makes this seem not all that chilling. A statement can be fraudulent without being strictly inaccurate, right? And they found plenty of evidence that the press release was knowingly fraudulent:

Harkonen prevented Intermune's clinical personnel from viewing the Press Release prior to its publication, even when they asked to see it, at one point becoming "visibly" upset and "castigat[ing]" the head of the communications firm that helped prepare the Press Release for permitting Intermune's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs to view a draft of the Press Release. Harkonen also did not want the FDA to know about all his post-hoc analyses--the analyses on which the Press Release was based--because he "didn't want to make it look like we were doing repeated analyses looking for a better result. .... Harkonen stated he would "cut that data and slice it until [he] got the kind of results [he was] looking for," and requested the final post-hoc analysis "simply . . . to see what that did to the p-value."

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:59 AM
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51: Ah, I thought that one was Gerson. (Apparently confused it with "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" which was Gerson.)

But, yes, the ongoing utter demonization of Iran is among the greatest US foreign policy follies of recent times. Opportunities squandered time and time again, and post-9/11 was an egregious one.


Posted by: JP Sotromcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:07 AM
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This seems really clever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:28 AM
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The idea that the money is around to pay for this is laughable, but teachers IMO need to be trained in the same manner as cops, in that their first year they wouldn't be unsupervised at all. We spend months taking calls paired with a field training officer. Every day you sit down with that training officer and discuss and critique the calls, what went well, what didn't, and a plan to address shortcomings. It's not cheap, as an FTO type program means your first year you're pretty much getting a salary just for learning how to do the job, but it'd be a huge improvement over the current system.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:33 AM
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We spend months taking calls paired with a field training officer.

I own a TV so I know this one. The training officer is one day from retirement and gets shot by a man who is never caught. Then seeking justice for him can fuel a whole season for the rookie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:36 AM
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55: Isn't that sort of how student teaching is supposed to work? I know that Sally and Newt's school, half the teachers seem to have a student teacher any given year, who alternates between lurking in the back and teaching classes. I think they're in school rather than getting paid, but it's the same sort of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:37 AM
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As a Sacramentan, I've heard a server complain about Kevin Johnson and Michelle Rhee. She reported that they are mildly arrogant (but not egregious).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:43 AM
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a student teacher any given year, who alternates between lurking in the back and teaching classes.

The student teaching I've seen isn't as rigorous as the police FTO system. When you're with an FTO you're expected to take the lead on every call, write the reports, etc. all day every day for months. The student teachers I've seen aren't spending four months teaching every period every day and doing all the associated prep and lesson planning.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:50 AM
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Harkonen prevented Intermune's clinical personnel from viewing the Press Release prior to its publication

Only the Kwisatz Haderach may see the press release!

More seriously, although it contains the usual objectivity structure adn terms of art, that Atlantic article seems to be going out of its way to paint the conviction as wrong and potentially having a chilling effect, when it seems absolutely justified to me. Contrary to the oft repeated mantra that the press release "contains no false statements", the very headline of the release is a lie - a lie proved by the company's own later research. Moreover, we and the government have a very strong interest in discouraging and penalising false medical claims, and especially in reducing the rampant manipulation/selective publication of trial data by medical companies.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:33 AM
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"wealthy white middle aged men'

I am two-thirds of the way there. so close.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:22 AM
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White, middle-aged and two thirds of a man?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:23 AM
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1/6th more of a testicle and he's there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:24 AM
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Double check your math.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:25 AM
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I can't be expected to know everything about endocrinology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:26 AM
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OT: "No bear! Get out! No! You can't be in here!"


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 12:42 PM
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State biologist Ryan Scott says it's rare for black bears to go inside Juneau businesses

"And at those prices, no wonder."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 12:47 PM
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55 would be great, but everything about school funding especially at poor schools is tough. I'm sure I've complained here about all my neighbors who are paying 5K to the neighboring school district to send their kids there AND that district gets the $120 from the state on top of that, which is the part that really grates. Even with the extra $120 we could do more.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:23 PM
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OT
But what are imaginary friends for? One of the upsides of separation is the discovery that there are still women around who really like fornication. Well, OK, one. But there may be others out there. And so I rediscover why I used really to like it. And I still do. And, anyway, Jesus Christ. Sex: people should have more and they would be happier and better for it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:37 PM
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OT
But what are imaginary friends for? One of the upsides of separation is the discovery that there are still women around who really like fornication. Well, OK, one. But there may be others out there. And so I rediscover why I used really to like it. And I still do. And, anyway, Jesus Christ. Sex: people should have more and they would be happier and better for it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:37 PM
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OT
But what are imaginary friends for? One of the upsides of separation is the discovery that there are still women around who really like fornication. Well, OK, one. But there may be others out there. And so I rediscover why I used really to like it. And I still do. And, anyway, Jesus Christ. Sex: people should have more and they would be happier and better for it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:37 PM
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One word: Copulins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:39 PM
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Woo-hoo, someone is resetting their TiVo!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:39 PM
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Oh fuck posting from a phone


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:39 PM
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That was the phrase. I still don't understand it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:40 PM
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Coplines or TiVo?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:41 PM
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Just to clarify: you're not fucking your phone, are you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:42 PM
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Apparently I can't spell made-up biological fluids.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:42 PM
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Hooray for finding upsides, Werdna! And it sounds like that really is one, even without the repetition!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:43 PM
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Sex: people should have more and they would be happier and better for it.

Amen. You are preaching to the choir, brother.

Now, if only I could convince Mrs. E to join the choir . . .


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:44 PM
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Resetting the TiVo. I mean, I know what it means. I know what a TiVo is. I think I was around when the phrase was first used. But I still don't get why it means what it means.

Copulins are just great. Copulines a lesser known service among degenerate monks.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:45 PM
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I don't know what resetting the TiVo means either. Probably a piece of golfing slang.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:47 PM
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Not fucking the phone, no. If it were an android that would be a category error. If a BlackBerry, a perversion. If an iPhone, masturbation.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:49 PM
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Ogged's TiVo somehow got reset on a night he had sex, and so it was inadvertently keeping track of how long it had been since he'd had sex. So if he ever got laid again, he could just announce that he'd reset his TiVo. Or I'm scrambling the details, but someone's TiVo was keeping track of their dry spell.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:49 PM
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Everyone's TiVo is keeping track of their dry spells.


Posted by: Opinionated NSA | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:51 PM
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We really need some actively dating commenters around here. Who need advice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:51 PM
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But not necessarily good advice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:52 PM
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I decided to take decisive, frontpage action. Hott XXX frontpage Action BARELY LEGAL!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:56 PM
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83: Wait, Werdna is an iPhone? I realize that on the internet no one knows you're a dog, but this seems ridiculous.

And congratulations on the fornication.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:56 PM
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It looks like this thread is the origin of "resetting the TiVo" as a euphemism, though not of the anecdote that inspired it.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:00 PM
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IIRC, the TiVo was unplugged when Ogged moved out of his ex's place, and somehow registered the time since its last unplugging.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:03 PM
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92

Here's the origin story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:06 PM
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Congrats on the gnihcnuah, werdnA!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:08 PM
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83 but we've met! In a bar no distance from the sleazeball hotel where I am staying tonight. I was not an iPhone then. Was I?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:15 PM
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I like gnihcnuah. it sounds onomatopoeic.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:17 PM
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94: Given the implications of the last sentence of 83, I figured something had changed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:19 PM
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Speaking of teaching, so kind of on-topic maybe, today I went to some new-faculty thing (because I skipped it last year, so they still bugged me about it this year) and someone said it takes 15 hours of preparation for every one hour of class time. I think maybe I heard them wrong? Otherwise I am so doing this wrong.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:39 PM
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I can't believe the thread has almost 100 comments and no one's even tried to give heebie advice on finding cheap Navajo rugs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:01 PM
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My advice to heebie is to ask teo about ways to find cheap Navajo rugs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:41 PM
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100

I like the way you think.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:48 PM
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I like that the origin story in 92 includes an early appearance of the DE.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:19 PM
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