did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Culture of helplessness?

1

You don't give kids your real email, do you? That is, the email that makes your phone go "bing".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:37 AM
horizontal rule
2

oh hell no.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
3

I would think that just refusing to answer emails outside of business hours would solve about 50% of the problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
4

Who emails lecturers? I didn't even do that when they emailed me to ask if I'd dropped out or not.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
5

Obviously you're supposed to just ghost instead of notifying anybody you dropped out. That's just good practice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
6

As an undergraduate, I never once emailed a professor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
7

3: I find it amazingly easy to forget altogether to check my work email, with no extra effort required.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
8

6: Me, too. We had manners back then!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
9

My work email makes my phone go "bing", but that's a necessary trade-off for the flexibility I get plus the not moving to the same time zone as my boss plus the extra consulting work after hours.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
10

As an undergraduate, I never once emailed a professor.

Since I wasn't working for DARPA at the time, neither did I.

Does anybody have an AWB whistle? This looks like her cup of tea.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
11

Snark aside, if the only available way of asking your professor silly questions is to speak to them in person by phone or by knocking on their door, the incentives to be self sufficient are greatly increased.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:53 AM
horizontal rule
12

My roommate was working as a TA and got called by somebody asking what "TBA" on the syllabus meant. I heard it go to voice mail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
13

In keeping with the spirit of the topic, I didn't read the article.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
14

and got called by somebody asking what "TBA" on the syllabus meant.

Total Bullshit Actually.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
15

He was in the theater department.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
16

Or "theatre", if you want it your way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
17

It kind of sounds like her students are treating email/emailing a prof as a casual interaction. I can see a student being stressed/sleep-deprived/goofy and asking their roommate who the author was (n.b. I am horrible with remembering names so I may be imagining myself). Email (on one's phone) makes it just as easy to be like 'oh hey prof...what's the author again?' and expect a message back in like 2 seconds. Kind of like when my husband texts me to ask where the iron is.

Anyway, that's a different kind of issue than entitled students. That's students no knowing or not remembering that email is not equivalent to texting. That emailing a prof is unlike emailing or texting their friends and family and more like a business situation.

Alternatively, sexism because women profs are just like friends!


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
18

You should email your professor with course questions. Text to ask her on a date.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
19

10: She has almost identical complaints at the Other Place. They're so similar that I initially thought it was her.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
20

I teach mostly graduate students in "professional" programs so don't deal with the kind of student who would have dropped out 20 years ago. So I've finally -- now that I've gotten the last promotion I will ever get, have stopped looking for other jobs, and am no longer very vulnerable to poor student evaluations -- gotten to the point of email answers that sometimes amount to no more than "It's in the syllabus" "It's posted on Blackboard" "I'm sorry but that's not possible" Some situations of course demand more responsive answers.

What drives me nuts are the "the assignments aren't clear enough" from graduate students. When the assignment is "Identify 8-10 significant points from the reading and write a couple of sentences on each." When I hear this in class I want to say "You know, this isn't high school" But I more likely fall back on something anodyne like "Well, you know this is graduate school and it's like at work where you sometimes have to figure out on your own what is important ..."

I don't get this much from liberal arts undergrads who presumably still have (please God, please that this is till true) some of the "read three books and write a paper on them" assignments. More from students with either business and/or the now blessed-sainted-holy STEM undergrad majors. The ones who work in IT are the worst.


Posted by: No Longer Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
21

I'd be inclined to write, "Do your best. If you get a low grade I'll include feedback to help you improve it for the next assignment."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
22

3: I frequently offer this advice to the Opinionated Academic, who for some reason insists on answering them.

I've said this before but I kind of think universities should make it easier - as in, less consequential - to fail and go away and start again, rather than keeping students on the train through heroic intervention. Of course you don't get the money if they don't stay, so...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
23

Also, surely 20 should include "No." among the list of stock answers.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
24

22.2: At my large state school, it was actually pretty common to flunk, get put on "go away for two semesters" stats, come back, and eventually graduate. Tuition was cheap enough for this to be plausible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
25

It's probably not so cheap any more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
26

22: yes, and the same with getting Fs. Students should get Fs for not learning anything. But the financial repercussions and the job-hunting consequences are disproportionately severe to the crime.


Posted by: Heebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
27

I haven't regularly taught since about 2009, but I certainly had some similar experiences.

In the particularly egregious case, someone went to a senior academic crying/complaining about the amazing workload and how much stress I was putting on them. The tutor then cancelled their tutorial (without telling me) and did a load of coddling. So I rode 5 miles into college to do a tutorial for which they just didn't turn up, and for which I didn't get paid.

N.B. this absolutely wasn't the case. Completely standard tutorial workload and I was very easy going about late work, or work postponed, or rearranging classes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
28

I got an F in an employment-relevant class (compilers), and it wasn't that bad. I did learn something valuable from it: that I should not try to power through group project courses on my own--even if that's suggested by the professor--after my teammate drops the course on the second day and I already have a full workload.

Admittedly, I still haven't written a complete compiler from scratch. But I have a pretty good idea how they work.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
29

They take stuff and compile it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
30

Pretty much.

I probably should have asked for help more; I'm not sure if that was more stubbornness/social anxiety on my part or the university not being particularly coddling.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
31

24 My alma mater still does this. It's a really good idea, and the employment stats back that up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
32

I haven't taught since 2009, either, but my two cents is that you can be nice enough while being appropriately evasive. The author complained that her university was initiating a policy that e-mails had to be answered within 24 hours and assignments graded within 7 days. Seems reasonable and similar to how I've handled it. That said, I would tend to check and reply to student e-mails once a day. If it was stupid and urgent, I'd wait until it was close to 24 hours and send something like, "See p. 3 of the syllabus" or "Here's a link that contains the info you are looking for" with an apology that I hadn't been at a computer all day. They'd figure out that last-minute questions were risky. I suppose maybe this would show up in student evaluations as being unresponsive? Is that the problem? It seems really nuts to think that she's having these extended interactions and tying herself in knots over them. It's pointless to try to preempt stupid questions with an ironclad, 50 page syllabus with "the rules" and a waste of time going back and forth and back and forth. I liked my students and did try to be helpful, but after two ask-reply cycles, I'd invite them to stop by my office, because it was clearly the sort of discussion that would work better in person.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
33

I have a stated policy not to answer any emails about the course until they have posted the same question to the course message board. It doesn't stop them from emailing me anyway, but it makes me feel better about ignoring them.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
34

The question in the email has never, not once, been urgent in any way.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
35

Wow, things have surely changed.

32: her university was initiating a policy that e-mails had to be answered within 24 hours

You know who else has that policy? Amazon, for those who sell on its site.

They'd figure out that last-minute questions were risky. I suppose maybe this would show up in student evaluations as being unresponsive?

You know who else presses that concern? Amazon, for its sellers: your feedback might suffer! Buyers are invited to rate your responsiveness, and if they rate you badly, Amazon might throw you off the site for having 'bad metrics.'

I'm sure it hasn't escaped people that universities have become viewed as service providers. Even before I quit teaching sometime in the early 2000s, students demanded that their poor grades be reevaluated, parents insisted that a poor grade was not what they were paying for, etc.

There was room for push-back back then, but my understanding of matters today is that administrators have bought into the framework as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
36

Relevant!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
37

||
Lift me up by Five Finger Death Punch has successful Halford vocals.
|>


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
38

My daughter teaches at both [UC System] and [prison]. Guess which one causes her more grief with "helpless" students. Of course the inmates don't have email but shes says the attitude and self motivation are much different. Says the SQ guys are better students.


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
39

TM geographical I - if a front pager sees this could you change the locations to UC System and prison?

Thanks


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
40

35 is a good point - the university isn't requiring a response within eight working hours, as in a professional relationship. If normative, I do not really want these students as coworkers or at my cable company, either, even though someone has to sanitize my telephones.

No, wait, landlines gone, I sanitize my own cellphone. Satire just can't keep up.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
41

The prison is still there acronymously in 38.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
42

35 gets it right. This isn't about student "helplessness." It's about satisfying the demands of the student-as-consumer.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
43

I have a student who asked at the beginning of the semester to take my class pass/fail instead of for a letter grade. I agreed. He asked what I expect of him. I told him I expect him to do all the assignments, because most of the course grade is based on exams and if he tries to aim for a minimally passing grade he is likely to fail.

Today, after explaining that he missed an exam yesterday due to an illness, he told me that he has previously taken a class pass/fail and that it involved "a negotiation" with the professor who agreed that as long as he turned in half the problem sets and "tried some of the exams, but not all of them," he would pass, and can we do that in this class too?


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
44

Kids these days: my MIL texted me and AJ, "What makes borax a good cleaning agent in laundry" (yes, no punctuation). I replied, "This article seems to cover it pretty well!" Helpless Baby Boomers can't even Google.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
45

It's the twenty-mule team.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
46

Call me prejudiced, but I don't see how mules ever make things cleaner.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
47

Having a niece in Silicon Valley venture capital, this sounds like a job for bots, that is, dumb pattern matching programs that respond to free form text with vaguely apropos responses. This is the hot new technology originally developed in the late 1960s as a joke, but now being adopted by corporations and other overgrown entities as the solution for too many needy people. A teach-bot that can send links to web pages and the like could revolutionize teaching. It could even be an app, whatever that means nowadays. If nothing else, it would get you 3-5 years on the VC gravy train before anyone realized that even professors are broke these days.


Posted by: Kaleberg | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
48

How do you feel about not having read the syllabus?


Posted by: Prof. Eliza | Link to this comment | 03-29-17 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
49

This all said, I'm suspicious of all this "students are consumers now" stuff. I remember this being used as a smear against us when we protested tuition fees and top-up fees. Also, if you look at the boomerocracy's great founding myth, 1968, the stuff they were actually protesting about was absolutely a bunch of consumer whining - the halls of residence are terrible! our professor is a dick! I wanna bring my girlfriend in here! - before it mission-crept into the revolution.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 2:25 AM
horizontal rule
50

Further to 49: So it turns out that if you make people pay thousands and thousands of pounds for something then, yes, they will tend to worry more about whether they are receiving value for money than if they are getting it for free. Tuition fees were justified at their introduction by arguing that a university education is not a public good like a sewer line or a streetlight - it is an asset that will primarily benefit its holder, like a car or a computer, so it is right and just that the holder should have to pay for it.

This was an argument supported by the universities themselves, which also

charged their students the maximum fees permitted by law,

and

supported the huge expansion of higher education that (while vastly improving the career prospects of individual academics) made the introduction of fees if not unavoidable then at least far more likely,

and

successfully lobbied for universities to be able to charge even higher fees than the original cap.

So, whiny UK academics: if you don't like your students acting like consumers, you shouldn't have made them into consumers in the first place. You turned yourselves from public servants into a concierge service for high-paying customers. You don't get to moan now when they complain that their croissants are cold.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 2:50 AM
horizontal rule
51

Will there even be croissants in a post-Brexit UK?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 3:15 AM
horizontal rule
52

Croissants will be allowed thanks to their bracingly anti-Muslim origin story.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 3:26 AM
horizontal rule
53

How do you feel about being so... Helpless?


Posted by: Prof. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 4:00 AM
horizontal rule
54

re: 50

TBF, I'm not sure that individual academics were largely in favour of all of those. There's a slightly dubious slide from 'universities' to 'academics' there, and while many of the staff within universities are academics, a lot of those measures were opposed by the (shitty and ineffectual) academic unions.

Or at least, there was an attempt to get some quid pro quo for the people doing the teaching out the massive expansion and introduction of fees. No such quid pro quo was forthcoming.

I'm not an academic anymore, so no longer have any skin in this particular game, but I think as a general rule, academics were not in favour of the move to 'student as consumer'.*

* none of which excuses providing shitty service to actual students.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 5:07 AM
horizontal rule
55

53, I will never be satisfied.


Posted by: dl | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 5:33 AM
horizontal rule
56

53, I will never be satisfied.


Posted by: dl | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 5:33 AM
horizontal rule
57

TBF, I'm not sure that individual academics were largely in favour of all of those. There's a slightly dubious slide from 'universities' to 'academics' there, and while many of the staff within universities are academics, a lot of those measures were opposed by the (shitty and ineffectual) academic unions.

Not noticeably, to be honest. I was at university at the time (protesting) and I can't remember a single academic expressing any sort of opposition to the introduction of fees. Maybe they did and I didn't notice - that's quite possible.

Or at least, there was an attempt to get some quid pro quo for the people doing the teaching out the massive expansion and introduction of fees.

That is not the same thing. "Oh, yeah, we let the government screw the students over, but in our defence we at least tried to make some money for ourselves out of it."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
58

I think as a general rule, academics were not in favour of the move to 'student as consumer'.*

This is definitely true. I think they just didn't see it coming - they thought that you could radically change the relationship between student and university without changing the way students acted at all.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:03 AM
horizontal rule
59

...but in our defence we at least tried to make some money for ourselves out of it.

At least some part of Thatcher sank in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:05 AM
horizontal rule
60

re: 57

The UCU consistently opposed fees. Admittedly, in a pretty ineffective way. The UCU is a shitty union in general, and when I was still in it, the things I ended up on strike over were never the things I personally would have picked a battle over.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
61

Will there even be croissants in a post-Brexit UK

There will, but Patisserie Valerie will be seized and handed to Gregg's to form a national champion.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
62

re: 57.last

I never said it was. The core point is that: i) academics basically didn't support it, and ii) largely didn't benefit (as individuals) from it.

Universities, as institutions, on the other hand, quite different incentives.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:09 AM
horizontal rule
63

So this is what it feels like to match wits with someone at your level.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
64

They benefitted as individuals from the immense expansion of higher education that made tuition fees almost unavoidable, because it created a lot of new job opportunities for them.

And maybe deep in their hearts they didn't support it? But they did nothing effective to try to stop it or even protest against it, as far as I can tell - and they were in a position to do so. They didn't even do anything to support the protests against it. Even really tiny things like "I'm supposed to be giving a lecture that clashes with a massive protest march about tuition fees - I'll reschedule it so the students don't lose out". We didn't even hear the remotest public expression of sympathy for the anti-fees protests, which would have been literally the minimum possible gesture; and, remember, we weren't even protesting on our own behalf. Our tuition would have been paid by the state, whatever happened. The fees were only going to come in after we had all graduated.

So I reckon I owe the whiny academics of today exactly as much sympathy as they gave us back then.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
65

This is pretty much an exact parallel to the process being used to destroy public sector unions in the U.S. today. I guess because it works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
66

I'm not trying to destroy the UCU, Moby, I'm just not inclined to be too sympathetic to its members' complaints that the students of today are too demanding.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:36 AM
horizontal rule
67

I'm sure. I don't even know what a UCU is. But the people at the top trying to get the people at the bottom to blame the people in the middle for not stopping the people at the top seems to be a common thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:39 AM
horizontal rule
68

Consumers need to understand that the product they buy from a university is the ability to use one's intellect alone and unaided in a howling wilderness devoid of human feeling. This sounds to me like an easy sell in the current environment.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
69

UCU encodes serine.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 7:02 AM
horizontal rule
70

The amino acid which promotes seriousness.

67: no one's actually trying to get me to do that, or if they are it's very subtle.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
71

It's the amino acid that allows you to accept the things you can't change.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
72

Its effects are countered by the disagreeable amino acid arginine, which is often found in complexes containing the scornful disparagine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
73

At least in my students, some of it is neither consumer mentality nor deliberate helplessness--- it's mistrust. This may be because I teach mostly interdisciplinary classes, but I get a lot of "is it ok if I use MLA citation format" which is really "I know you said we could use any citation format we wanted, but did you really mean it?" They don't trust that I won't come back with some unwritten rule that they were supposed to understand, so they check everything, sometimes even citing the syllabus. I'm not sure how to solve it though.


Posted by: Sand | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
74

no one's actually trying to get me to do that, or if they are it's very subtle.

It's still a bad idea even if you're doing it spontaneously.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
75

52: Yes, but they'll have to pronounce it American-style, rhyming with and stressed as "the gaunt".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-30-17 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
76

74: "The Cossacks work for the Tsar but it's very rude to point that out because you might hurt their feelings."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 12:25 AM
horizontal rule
77

No. I'm saying that the kulaks aren't class enemies even if they were a little better off under the Czars than the very poorest peasants. Blaming faculty for university fees is blaming the wrong people.

And now I'm banning myself for picking up on your analogy. Particularly given that it wasn't really an intentional analogy, more a thoughtless cliche.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 5:50 AM
horizontal rule
78

Lately, U.S. politics seems to be billionaires pointing out middle class people who still have jobs with pensions and shouting "intolerable privilege" at them to the poors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 6:10 AM
horizontal rule
79

Which is why you'll not see things from me pointing out problems with teachers unions or something any more and you would have back in the day. In the current political environment, such criticism is just arming somebody with no interest in education but who wants to destroy the public sector.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
80

I thought it was the other way around, billionaires pointing out poors who have refrigerators and cell phones to middle class people who just lost their pensions and shouting "You lost your pension because of the Obamaphones!"
I guess soon we won't have a middle class so it won't be an issue.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
81

Everything will be as pointlessly divided as the Kansas City airport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
82

77: you're right, it is a bad analogy, because the Cossacks don't actually vote for the Tsar but the faculty vote for the university council.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
83

82: This must be something peculiar to the UK. I've been on the faculty at both private and public universities in the US, and at no time were we consulted regarding the appointment of high level administrators.

Also, what powers does the university council have? Do they decide on fees? I would have thought that was more a government decision, but I'm not familiar with the system in the UK.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
84

re: 83

I think it varies hugely from institution to institution, but I'm hardly an expert on academic governance.

Oxford is governed by Council (basically the executive of the university), and by Congegration (basically the legislature):

https://www.ox.ac.uk/staff/about_the_university/new_to_the_university/structure_of_university?wssl=1#

So, academics do indeed have a vote on major policy, and have some say, but not total say, about who is on the governing Council of the university.

So, in the case of Oxford, ajay's accusation holds some weight. In the sense that there is a venue for academics to express opposition to major policy changes, and where their vote can be heard, and so it's pretty hard to claim "it wasn't me, guv".*

I think with other universities, academics have significantly less power.

* ironically, I only became a member of Congregation once I stopped teaching. Because when I taught I was only ever a TA or part-time/fixed-term lecturer. But, as a senior manager in the library, I was a member.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
85

Ook!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
86

Just out of curiosity, do any of the professors who teach undergrads ever intervene if it looks like a student is falling into a clinical depression?

Also, I had a classmate call a professor at home at 10pm and I was shocked. This was a very formal German Man with grown children. It was, however, well known that he sometimes pulled all-nighters.

Do none of you go out for lunch with students?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
87

Just out of curiosity, do any of the professors who teach undergrads ever intervene if it looks like a student is falling into a clinical depression?

Also, I had a classmate call a professor at home at 10pm and I was shocked. This was a very formal German Man with grown children. It was, however, well known that he sometimes pulled all-nighters.

Do none of you go out for lunch with students?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
88

Going back to themes earlier in the thread, Alex and ajay's points in 49/50 are well-taken.

50: it turns out that if you make people pay thousands and thousands of pounds for something then, yes, they will tend to worry more about whether they are receiving value for money than if they are getting it for free.

Given that at this point parents do pay for their childrens' college educations, I'd make a point of distinction over just what they take themselves to be purchasing.

One would have hoped that it was a good education (with the suitable grades and credential as by-product). That's not the same as purchasing the grades/credential itself regardless of whether receipt of a good education is evidenced by the student's performance.

The sort of behavior I ran into (15 years ago at this point) was in the latter category. But I acknowledge that maybe it was always so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
89

It's weird that the person who made his reputation with funny and absurd one-liners and all-caps opinionated grandma comments has now become the blog's most (one of the blog's most? truly, I don't care about the details) acute political observer. Or maybe it's not that weird. I have no idea, because nothing makes sense to me these days.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
90

I don't think I ever knew who Opinionated Grandma was/is, or if I did, I've forgotten. But if astute political observation is the measure, that'd be Moby in 67 et seq.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
91

I feel like -- and I don't intend this in any way as a joke -- that the fact that Moby went from posting only jokes to posting moslty substantive comments represents more clearly than anything else the peril our nation is in. It's like we're living Charlie Chaplin's speech at the end of the Great Dictator every hour of every day.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
92

2nd 91.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
93

Yeah, 91 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
94

Including the spelling of "mosltly".


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
95

91 is on the money.

90 Hasn't everyone been opinionated grandma at one time or another?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
96

While Moby has been OPINIONATED an awful lot, he's not OPINIONATED GRANDMA.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
97

Not that anyone says he was, I'd just hate for credit to be mistakenly misattributed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
98

Don't over think me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
99

And 96 is, of course, right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
100

It was ned, wasn't it? Whoever it was, they admitted it in comments years ago.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
101

I thought OPINIONATED GRANDMA was a collective pseudonym, but i was late to that party. I may have thoughtlessly appropriated it a few times.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 4:18 PM
horizontal rule
102

Oh, I wouldn't call it appropriation -- you make a joke like that, you're releasing it into the wild for anyone to play with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
103

100 is right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
104

MH posted about politics, I think, but the law of initials as pseuds means no one remembers that.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
105

The law of LB cracking downs means I went my MH for about fifteen minutes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
106

I might be thinking of your comments at other blogs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
107

Moby comments at other blogs? (CT? but I don't recall).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 2-17 8:06 PM
horizontal rule