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Two things

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.22.14

1. We left at 5 am, Eastern time, and got home at 10:30, Central. This has been a very long day.
2. The Veronica Mars movie has been available for streaming for ten days or so - I think it's okay to have a thread with spoilers, don't you?


 

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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.14

Dairy Queen offers the linked article for a post: My initial take:

- vindication is mine! So many ways I would rather interact with my kid than hassling him re homework. If he wants help eh he knows how to ask for it. Getting a zilch on an assignment is a great way to learn about time management!

- vindication is *double* mine, re non UMC kids needing a boost with exposure to adults in UMC professions, all you unfogged lawyer commenters should ditch helping out with your kids' activities and start coaching a mock trial team at a local high school with non UMC students. It will be totally fun, too. ¡¡¡GO REDACTED SF HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL TEAM!!!

- criticism: they unaccountably left out the crucial importance of table manners. Puzzling, that.

Heebie's take:
1. This is Saturday's post, for we are aiming to leave at 4 am and do the whole drive in one take.
2. I would feel more vindicated if they included a paragraph about how expensive private schools hurt your child, because that's the conversation I have way more often with those whom I harbor competitive feelings. Someone do that study.


 

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Home

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.14

How long, after moving somewhere, does it take for the new location to feel like home? For me, it varies hugely according to the location. Having a flora similar to where I grew up matters hugely. That, and New York gets a pass - when I spent a few months there, after college, there was enough childhood internalization for it to feel comfortable, fast.

On the other hand, I've been one of the most stationary people on this blog. My last major move was in 2000, and I've lived in exactly two houses since moving to Texas. So if I've changed as an adult, I wouldn't know.

Mostly unrelated: a student told me that his parents gave him the choice of an apartment or an RV when he went to Heebie U, and he chose the RV for good-hearted if murky financial reasons. Nevertheless, an RV kind of seems like a great choice for a college student in a rural area. It seems kind of fun, and if there was a real storm coming, they could easily head to their parents' house, and the loss of possessions would be much more limited than with older people.


 

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Boston meet-up!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.20.14

Josh is coming to Boston! "Okay, can one of you put up a post? I'll be there the weekend of the 22nd/23rd (leaving on Tuesday the 25th)," he says.

Plan away!


 

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Gertrude is Gertrude but that is probably not Gertrude

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.20.14

This picture, unfortunately, was not for sale:

March%2020%2C%202014%20%282%29.jpg

Otherwise I would have bought it.


 

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And Then...

Posted by Ogged
on 03.20.14

The people at the Home for Discarded Children tell me that he understands, now, that gorillas are not monkeys.

That's snapea crisps dipped in mango sorbet. Because Grant Achatz, that's why.


 

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Nazareth College

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.19.14

Have we discussed the candidate who tried to negotiate her tenure-track offer, and had the offer rescinded? There's been plenty on her side and against.

Here is what she asked for:

As you know, I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of coming to Nazareth. Granting some of the following provisions would make my decision easier.

1) An increase of my starting salary to $65,000, which is more in line with what assistant professors in philosophy have been getting in the last few years.
2) An official semester of maternity leave.
3) A pre-tenure sabbatical at some point during the bottom half of my tenure clock.
4) No more than three new class preps per year for the first three years.
5) A start date of academic year 2015 so I can complete my postdoc.

I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others. Let me know what you think.

Their response was:

Thank you for your email. The search committee discussed your provisions. They were also reviewed by the Dean and the VPAA. It was determined that on the whole these provisions indicate an interest in teaching at a research university and not at a college, like ours, that is both teaching and student centered. Thus, the institution has decided to withdraw its offer of employment to you.

Thank you very much for your interest in Nazareth College. We wish you the best in finding a suitable position.

At Heebie U, if she made these queries, it would truly indicate that she is woefully out of touch with what kind of institution we are. I would be flabbergasted if a candidate followed up a campus visit and offer with this kind of list, because it's so wildly outside of our financial abilities or what anyone else gets. I would think "This candidate is genuinely not interested in being at this kind of institution - she thinks she has gotten an offer from a far wealthier, more prestigious institution than we are, and she will go back on the job market very quickly if she comes here." In other words, what the response from Nazareth said.

At Nazareth, I have no idea what their actual finances and standards are, but it's likely to me that they're being reasonable.

There are lots and lots of problems with labor practices in academics, but this doesn't strike me as representative of them.


 

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Guest Post - trigger warning

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.18.14

K-sky writes: How does the unfoggedtariat feel about trigger warnings? If I had to guess at a hivemind position, it would be something like, "not my bag, but I'd rather just ignore them then throw in with the pussification of America crowd." Choire Sicha seems to get it exactly right here: in sum, don't be an asshole, they have a tumblr extension for that. Do trigger warnings perniciously encourage the traumafication of discomfort? Or do they actually create a more welcoming agora? I could be persuaded, but Virginia Pelley's take seems more likely -- according to her and those she surveys, a "trigger" is less a topic area, more a madeleine.

Heebie's take: On the one hand, it's a vaguely good thing to remind non-traumatized people that traumatized people are amongst us, and triggerable. OTOH, unless the article is very disturbing, when you're reading something you have the luxury of just putting it down and walking away. It's nowhere near as fraught as an unexpected confrontation or interaction. So I fall into K-sky's prediction pretty accurately.


 

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Dress Up

Posted by Ogged
on 03.18.14

Are you starting to get the feeling, in the course of the disappearing plane story, that most other countries have militaries only in the sense that some guys get to dress up in uniforms and carry guns, but have no idea how to actually defend their country? Airspace? What, way up there?


 

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Cyborg telemarketing

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.18.14

Minivet writes: Has this been discussed? I might have missed it.

Very creepy, regardless of the extent to which it may make the workers' jobs less wearing, which I can believe. Oh boy, a predatory, intrusive industry will be more efficient and incidentally more humane!

What's the state of telemarketing as an industry? The Do Not Call list did something, I myself barely ever get calls from unknowns, but I gather there are still lots of loopholes. I wonder if it made the industry more concentrated around powerful entities (those with big customer lists they can rent out).

Heebie's take:

KomBea has gone the farthest with this idea. They practice what they call "accent neutralization." Their pre-scripted audio is recorded in the location of the call center, using workers who speak perfect, barely accented English. This reduces the difference between voices if one of the humans has to step in with his or her own voice. For example, in booking an appointment, a callee might say, "Come out the 22nd." The live agent could then say, "Of which month?" before switching back to pre-recorded audio. The goal is to minimize or eliminate the ability of customers to distinguish between the two voices over short stretches of conversation.

Since Minivet sent this link, I've had a few opportunities to wonder whether or not I was talking to a person.


 

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An Opportunity

Posted by Ogged
on 03.17.14

I thought that perhaps you'd like to get your hate on.


 

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RIP Ted Cohen

Posted by Ben
on 03.17.14

When I was a first-year at Chicago, before I ever took a class with him, I got a copy of Ted Cohen's Jokes from the library, and went through it with some friends reading the jokes and skipping the commentary. One of them came up with an alternate punchline to one of the jokes, and I emailed Cohen saying so, and also saying that we were reading a library copy and only reading the jokes. He replied, as I recall, somewhat testily, remarking in particular about my presumptive cheapness. I'm pretty sure that by the time I came to take several classes with him, or by the time he supervised my BA thesis, he had forgotten about that. I still like this interview/lecture, told a story (concerning something I have now forgotten) about him this weekend, and also, owing to Purim, gave some thought to the relative merits of latkes and hamentaschen recently.

Anyway, here's a joke from Jokes:

Abe visits his doctor for a routine examination and gets the devastating news that he is mortally ill, with no treatment possible, and that he will die within a day. He goes home, tells his wife, Sarah, and after they have absorbed the shock of the terrible news, Abe says to Sarah,

"Since it is my last night, Sarah, do you think we could go to bed and fool around?"

"Of course", says Sarah. And so they do.

Later, at about 1 AM, Abe wakes up, prods Sarah, and asks, "Do you think we could do it again?"

"Certainly, Abe, it's your last night." And so they do.

At 3 AM Abe is awake again, and again he asks Sarah for her attentions.

"For God's sake, Abe, you don't have to get up in the morning."


 

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Cali Fight Fight

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.17.14

It's got to be a matter of which suburbs you're in, but I'm going to assert that Los Angeles felt a lot less superficial and pretentious than San Francisco has felt. Mostly, every city has their upscale and pretensions, but if I had guess where I'd feel more comfortable (in my reverse-snobbery), in a random part of the metropolis, I think I'd pick Los Angeles.

Or let me try again: Los Angeles may be plenty superficial, but I too love bubblegum pop culture. More than I love whatever it is Marin County has got.

Did you know that Texan politicians actively troll California in their local campaigns, and say things about how actively they're wooing California businesses to resettle in Texas? It's pretty obnoxious.


 

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Guest Post - 12 Years a Slave

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.17.14

Thorn writes: 1. Maybe not a great date night movie, especially if you'll probably only see one year and average about one date a month. But too late, and at least we knew that going in.

2. For me, white mom of black children, the hardest part to watch was Eliza's separation from her children. It's hard not to think about how much of our culture is built on the separation of black children from their parents/mothers, and obviously I'm complicit, but I think the best I can do is acknowledge and be aware of that. I mean, there's probably actually something better, but I'm already in the role I'm in, so....

3. I had to explain to Lee what the Bechdel Test is to tell her how this technically passes the race-based version but seriously, as we agreed, there were a hell of a lot of white men in this movie and the black people basically never got to talk to each other. Cui bono?

4. Don't get me wrong, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor were amazing, but it feels like their hug would have been more poignant if they'd had more of a relationship that we got to see. And it feels awful to say that a brutal movie about slavery seems not brutal enough, but that does seem to be what I'm saying. I think I recommend Marlon James's novel The Book of Night Women if you're only going to go for one visceral yet nuanced depiction of slavery.

5. Is it fair to lay some of my complaints at the feet of award-winning screenwriter John Ridley? If not, just for htat I have complaints about his use of the N word and offensively gross oversimplification of the neighborhood at least one of my daughters and her family call home.

Heebie writes: Unsurprisingly, I haven't seen it. But I've seen Cars, Cars 2, Mater's Tall Tales, and Planes each many times if anyone wants to discuss those.


 

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Harbinger Of Spring

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.16.14

I figure you all expect to see this around this time of year. Buck's 49 -- when did that happen?
BCP%202014.jpg


 

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