26 October 2006

Ass Deep in Alligators

Posting will resume as soon as morale has been beaten into improvement.

I hate midterms.

17 October 2006

There is a part of me that will always be a student of the law...

You know, when the opinion handed down by the court includes a paragraph like the following one, it's going to be a good opinion... Or at least an amusing one.

"Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact — complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words — to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper placemats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed...
With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins."

Yes, indeedy. Read more here.

14 October 2006

I love the DSM IV

For those of you who don't know what the DSM IV is, it's the psychologist's tome of disorders.

Now, I'm not big on self-diagnosis for anything (except for recurrent medical things that you've had before, like sinusitis or bronchitis... If you've had those a number of times, you know what it feels like and what the symptoms are), but damn is it nice to label people, even if it's just to yourself.

Crazy Co-workers? Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Whacked out Ex? Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Student that scares the shit out of you? Conduct Disorder.

Of course, it gets a little scary when the diagnostic section says "four or more" and you recognize three of them in your behaviours.

But hey, we all have issues. One of mine? I love labeling people. This is why I people-watch. Not because they're interesting, but because I create a running monologue of that person in my head.

I guess we're all a little crazy.

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, too.

I hate being called a feminist. I don't put women above men, I'd just like to be seen as a person.

And then I run into the students that deliberately place themselves as inferior because they display a need to identify themselves by who else is in their life, rather than who they are.

Me?

I am an instructor.
I am a historian.
I am a college graduate.
I am an avid reader.
I am a voter.
I am a sci-fi buff.
I am constantly learning.
I am me.

Female is a descriptor, much like brunette or blonde. Mother is a descriptor, same as daughter, aunt, or sister.

Don't describe yourself to me, bring me into your world. Tell me who you are. Are you a scientist? Are you a doer or a watcher? Can you be content to let things just be? Does life happen to you or do you happen to life?

Yes, I'll admit that when the hormones are a-ragin', I can look at a person and go down that road of what things would be like. I can let that neurotic chick-girl take over for periods of time, just as all us females can... But that is not the constant me.

Labeling me as feminist is the same thing as labeling me as a conservative. It creates the implication that I follow the party line, no questions.

I was raised with the notion that it is more important to think than to believe. Once you believe something, it interferes with the ability to look at things objectively.

[History Content Ahead]

Currently, my Western Civ I students are exploring the notion that Christianity co-opted many of its holidays from the pagan religions that it encountered in the process of conversion. That certain holidays we celebrate in the United States are based off of pagan tradition rather than Judeo-Christian beliefs.

For example:
Easter is supposed to be about the resurrection of Christ.
Then why are there chicks and bunnies and eggs involved?
It is believed (but not historically proven) that Easter stems from the pagan goddess of fertility, Eostre.
Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Christ.
Then why do we put up trees in our house and burn the old Yule log?
It coincides delightfully with Winter Solstice, and the pagan holiday of Yule.
Halloween/All Saint's Eve?
Samhain, the Briton belief that this was the time when the veil between the living and the dead was closest.

...and on, and on, and on...

I remember when I was a student at a private Episcopalian school, we took a class on religion. Okay, on "the" religion. There was a lot of bible study and all that other stuff.

At one point, we were asked to write a point-of-view paper from the perspective of one of the people around Jesus at the time of his death. Basically, a POV paper on the Passion.

I was the only student that chose Judas. I held no sacred cows about who Judas was, or is still considered to be in the Christian religion. I was labeled a heretic in my class because I dared to write from the perspective of the killer of Christ. (Though, I suppose he could only be considered an accessory.) I reminded them that Jesus was considered a heretic, too.

...Humanity confuses me.

I do not understand why people are so opposed to living up to their potential as human beings.

I know this was a very disconnected post. There is just so much that I don't understand. I suppose it's time to go through the textbooks and start trying to understand how it's all pieced together at the very least.

12 October 2006

I would love to know more....

Gallaudet students effectively close down campus in protest of new university president.

The article states that some students don't feel the new university president is "deaf enough" because, while she was born deaf, she grew up in a hearing household, speaks, and didn't learn ASL until she was 23. While there is a divide in the deaf community between those who grew up in hearing households and those who grew up in deaf households, I don't think that would be the only reason for a strong protest. No matter how much college students like to protest.

I suspect that the new president of the university doesn't have the (forgive me for using this word, but it fits) gravitas that a school like Gallaudet needs. While part of it may be that she isn't "deaf enough," I suspect that aspect of the argument reflects a concern for her ability to be a bridge between the students and whatever outside entities she would have to interact with as the primary representative of the university.

For those of you that have never heard of Gallaudet before, it's a university that serves the deaf and hard of hearing. Before you start to believe that Gallaudet is strictly for the deaf and HoH, it does not restrict entry to hearing students, but if you're a hearing student without an understanding of the deaf community, you may have a hard time adapting to life at Gallaudet.

Slappyhappy = bad

I really must make an effort to get more sleep.

The students today were interesting. No, no more announcements of psychological disorders. Nope! Today was a discussion of why a student might miss the midterm. "I have a court date, miss, but I'll try to stay out of jail until after the semester is over."

Yep.

I just shook my head. And laughed. Because, what else can you do? Recoiling in horror is a no-go. Then they smell weakness and fear and act like a pack of rabid dogs.

Encourage them not to share so much information? That's just an invitation. Remember gross-out contests when you were a kid? Yep, that kind of competitive spirit just pops up if you tell them "don't share."

Tell them that your friends in your hometown don't believe you when you tell them about your classes here? BINGO! All of a sudden, they seem to realize that their dear instructor has a life outside the classroom. (Okay, I'll be the first to admit, not much of one, but still...) And their antics are being discussed around the world.

Tell them you have a blog? Oh hell no. The last thing this happy Adjunct Slave needs is to have a drove of crazed students scrounging all the blog sites to find this little tidbit.

11 October 2006

Answer to an interesting question...

Someone asked me, "do you miss law school? Do you regret not staying past your first year?"

Yes and no, on both accounts.

If, somehow, I came into a few million dollars and had the ability to not touch the principle and live off the interest and afford to go to back to law school... I'd do it. Under one condition. If I'd get to audit all the courses.

You see, I enjoyed the learning part of it. A different way of approaching things. But I don't think I actually wanted to be an attorney. I'd love to have the opportunity to take all the courses that I wanted to take, without having to worry about the grades. You see, I don't want my MBA, or my JD, but I'd love to go through the Masters in Business Administration courses, and the Law courses simply because I think that the approach goes past just business or just law. Much like even when I get my PhD and teach (hopefully) at a university that offers Masters and other PhD programs, I'll go take a course or two a semester, audited, just so I can learn new approaches to finding solutions.

Do I miss law school?

I miss the learning. Not the stress. Not the inability to sleep more than three hours at a stretch. Not the pimple outbreaks. Not even the information. I miss the learning.

Do I regret not staying past my first year?

Not with the way my life is starting to come together. I've grown a lot in the months since I decided to leave law school without hating who I've become, as was happening when I was in law school. I didn't like me too much. I was snippy. I drank too much. I isolated. Life with myself was generally unpleasant. And I knew that even if I had stayed, I would have pursued my PhD after completion of law school. Now? Now if I decide to go back and get my JD, it will be after getting my PhD and it will be from an educated standpoint.

It is remarkably interesting, though. I know more about the law now than I did when I was in law school. It's had time to sink in, to be understood, and to see where the applications work. When I was in law school, it was all in the abstract. I'm not quite sure if I would have stayed in law school had there been more time for absorption rather than a constant barrage of information that simply had to be memorized and regurgitated. Probably not. If it were affordable? Yeah, probably. I could deal with $70,000 in debt for three years of law school including living expenses rather than $150,000 for the same priviledge. At $70,000, I probably would have thought of it as a fair cost for non-practicing education.

And who knows. I may win the lotto one day. And after I do my investing and round the world cruise, I may decide to invest in having more education.

Resident of BizarroWorld

A co-worker has a furry in his class.

She's only part-time furry when she's on campus. You know, just a tail and a dog collar.

Which brought up dino porn. And my comment that there's a fetish for everything. I'm waiting to see a corset-training man here at SSU. Apparently, last semester heralded not one, but TWO! transvestites.

Ah well, it's a choice.

08 October 2006

I hate this place!

I was just fine with the crazy students, the bizarro radio adverts. But today? Today topped the fucking cake.

Doing my laundry this evening, all of a sudden, my bathroom started spewing shit. Literally. The bathtub overflow drain, the toilet, the sink. All started spewing sewage.

If this happens again, I'm leaving. Fuck my lease. He can deal.

This goes under the category of absolutely horrifying.

You see, I could deal if it was just a water overflow. I really could. But my landlord has failed to do some basic maintainence with this place. One would think that after a tenant runs out on the lease, you go check all the easily viewed things (walls, floors, etc.) to see if there's any damage done. And then you just pay the money to get the stuff you can't see all taken care of. Like drains and pipes. Get them roto-rootered and call it good. Consider it money well spent to avoid a problem like this.

I really really hate this place.

07 October 2006

300

After the piteous showing of Troy and The Last Samurai, I'm hesitant to see movies with a historical overlay. Most of the time they're either poorly done (Troy) or utterly unrealistic to anyone with knowledge about the subject (The Last Samurai)... But 300 is based off Frank Miller's graphic novel. So, therein I'm torn.

I love Frank Miller's work. Brilliant storyteller.

But I'm afraid it will suck. I'm afraid that it will be a horrendous interpretation of the Battle of Thermopylae. I'm afraid that the wonder that is Miller's artistic style will destroy any accuracy that I want. The Battle of Thermopylae was a phenomonal situation that ushered in the democratic city-state of Greece.

Persia presented between 60,000 and 5 million men on the field of battle (depending on what historical record you go with. Modern historians lean more towards the 60,000 - 120,000 mark). The Greeks presented with a little over 5,000. Unbelievable odds.

300 is so titled because of the 300 soldiers that Sparta presented with and the fierce military strength of the Spartans. A favorite attribution of mine is that Spartan mothers would tell their sons to "return with their shield, or on it." The 300 led the Greek contingent against the overwhelming numbers of Persia. Fighting ensued (as it does) and all but the Spartan contingent and the Thebian citizen-soldiers fell back. Ultimately, the remaining Greek soldiers were decimated by the Persian forces, but that was a willing sacrifice. You see, before engaging in this battle, Sparta went to the Oracle of Delphi to find out what the outcome may be.

The Oracle reportedly told Sparta:*
O ye men who dwell in the streets of broad Lacedaemon!
Either your glorious town shall be sacked by the children of Perseus,
Or, in exchange, must all through the whole Laconian country
Mourn for the loss of a king, descendant of great Heracles.
He cannot be withstood by the courage of bulls nor of lions,
Strive as they may; he is mighty as Jove; there is naught that shall stay him,
Till he have got for his prey your king, or your glorious city.

In essence, the Oracle's warning was that either Sparta would be conquered and left in ruins, or one of her two hereditary kings must sacrifice his life to save her.

So, Frank. Please don't disappoint me. I don't mind if you take 'creative license,' but don't go as far as Troy did and completely omit the gods. There are many points of significance with the Battle at Thermopylae, don't omit them for rippling chest shots of whoever your lead is.

*Oracle's statement yoinked from wikipedia.org

I have a suck-up!

One of my students emailed me and asked me:

"Have you written any books? You are an excellent writer."

I will admit, when I write for my students, it's a professional thing. When I blog, it's another form of talking.

I love it! I have a suck-up! And compliments on my writing are so much cooler than "hey, teacher, you're pretty/funny/have a cute wrinkle in your nose"

This almost makes up for the announcement of audio-hallucinatory schitzophrenia earlier this week.

06 October 2006

Losing faith in humanity, one day at a time.

As many of you can see by my link list, I'm fond of Teacher Lady and her blog, Sex Ed in Higher Ed.

Recently, she made two posts that just, well, made my non-existant baby Jesus cry.

The first was "Have we come a long way, baby?" where she recounts the lack of anything smacking of feminism, as she refers to it. Personally, I think it's the lack of young women doing anything that resembles being assertive in their lives.

Case in point:

But (feminist glasses back on) - aren't these young women acting in some ways like, I don't know? Administrative assistants? Mothers? Whether these young men are just lazy, clueless, helpless or all of the above, why did they choose women to step into these roles? Or perhaps the women volunteered - I don't know. But my hunch is that the second time Johnny Student turned to the male seated next to him and said, "Dude, can you hook me up with some paper and a pen?" that "Dude" would have told him to go to hell. Or the nearest Office Max. And Sporto would not have dreamed of asking a guy to hang on to his little slip of paper so he didn't lose it. I'm guessing.

So, I'm curious - although I realize I may be "pole vaulting over mouse turds" as an old boss liked to say when we got obsessed with minuatae, what do you think? No big deal? Or sign of the "Backlash" Susan Faludi warned us about 15+ years ago? Or something in between?

I've seen a number of women in this area of the country being extremely co-dependent. I'm not sure if it's the culture here or if this is the development of young women today. Whatever happened to "I am woman, hear me roar"?

Unfortunately, I am not immune. Get me into a new relationship with some decent sex happening and I run the high risk of turning into a co-dependent sex kitten. Or at least that's what looking at my past would lead you to believe. However, there are still limits and lines that you just don't cross. Does the 17-22 female demographic revel in the fact that they will roll over like submissive puppies for the attention of a guy?
Listening to the 'women' around the campus that I teach at, the answer seems to be a resounding 'yes.' Apparently, having a ma-yun makes you complete. Important. Whatever. He beats you? Bitch to your friends in the middle of the mall (walking, not shopping), but be sure to mention how much you love him and that you know how sorry he is for beating you. And it's okay, because he doesn't beat your two kids from three different fathers... if you even know who sired your brood at all.
He cheats? Explain it away because 'men have needs' and 'it's okay because he always comes home.' And I used to scratch my head in wonder as to why men would cheat. Now, I just realize that they watch how women in their demographic respond and get the clear impression that they can fuck anyone they want, spreading their seed (and other biohazards) just so long as they 'come home.'
He belittles you in front of all and sundry? Shit, hon, that's fine. You just tell me how he treats you so well when no one else is watching. That makes everything better.

I used to lament at being single. Oh, woe is me. And there are occasions where I get a little pissy because there are aspects of life that would be easier with the right person to be there in my corner. But after listening to the news about yet another person shooting/beating/running over their SO... Viva la single life! It's not harder being a single. Hell, given my interesting history with Those That Should Not Have Been Chosen (aka 'the exes'), it's a lot easier being single. But it seems like the majority of young women are terrified of being alone because it makes them less of a person.

To you ladies, I say this. Get a job. Get a life. Get some fucking self-worth. (Self-esteem is different, though it might help, too.) Learn to accept yourself before moving on to someone else. And for the love of god, live on your own between living with the parents and living with a SO. PLEASE!

I regret to admit that I have no idea who Susan Faludi is past being a reference in someone else's blog. I'm not sure if this reality consitutes "Backlash," but it does strike me that a lot of the current generation is running away from reality, using their sex as an excuse. "I'm a mother/wife, that's a full time job!" Yes, it is, if done right. But because you found someone to sign paperwork and figured out how to spread your legs does not mean that you're done with personal, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. growth. If you want to be a SAHM and you've worked your life out to where you can be, great! But don't think it gives you license to degrade into an amoeba on the couch, hoovering in the bonbons. Get off the couch and interact with your child, the world, pass on the importance of a good education, show your kid what it's like to care and be a decent human being. If you've introduced the next generation into the world, then your job and responsibility starts. Whether you 'wanna' or not.

... Enough ranting for one day, even for me. I'll address the next rant tomorrow.

Oh, how true

Lies Graduate Students Tell

Thanks to the OP and Savage-Cats.

05 October 2006

Hi, I have a student with audio-hallucinatory schitzophrenia, how are you?

Believe me, I wish this was a joke.

Remember Grunting Woman?

Okay, let me backtrack.

I have a student that loves his iPod. Every time he comes to class, he's got those tell-tale white earbuds in... Except today. So I asked him, "hey, where's your ears?"

iPod Boy:"Oh, miss, I forgot to recharge my iPod. So I'm without it today, I'm so out of sync."
Adjunct Slave:"Too bad. Well, you just gotta listen to the music in your head. Remember, music in the head good, voices in the head, bad."
iB"Well, I got those too."
AS:"You do realize that's a symptom from the DSM IV for schitzophrenia... Right?"

Cue Grunting Woman.

GW: "I've got that. But they've got medication for it. Sometimes it works."
AS: "Interesting. You know if the voices tell you to do things, it's paranoid schitzophrenia." (I'm honestly thinking she's just trying to get in on the conversation, and that she's joking.)
GW: "Nope. Mine don't tell me what to do. They just talk to me."
AS *thinking* Holy fuck. Did a student seriously just announce to the class that she has audio-hallucinatory schitzophrenia? Where the hell am I teaching.
AS: "And with that, let's start class. There's some interesting things in the news today..."

...I really need to win the lottery. With as absolutely fucked up as this place is, something good has to come out of it.

04 October 2006

Callipygian

Main Entry: cal·li·pyg·ian
Pronunciation: "ka-l&-'pi-j(E-)&n
Variant(s): also cal·li·py·gous /-'pI-g&s/
Function: adjective
Etymology: Greek kallipygos, from kalli- + pygE buttocks
: having shapely buttocks

I love new words.

I've frequently mused that I would marry the man who tells me I have sexy elbows. However, if I was told that I was callipygous, I'd grin.

03 October 2006

Apologies to the LJ RSS Feed

I just upgraded to Blogger Beta and it appears that ALL my posts had to be relisted.
(That is all. Move along.)

Desk, meet head. Head, meet desk.

Another fabulous day at Small State U.

I hear you now. "Fabulous? Adjunct Slave is saying 'fabulous'? Was there some massive head trauma sustained over the weekend?"

It was a fabulous day because I have to go reprimand a student for her use of colourful metaphors while in class.

Allow me to explain.

I was giving a lecture and the slide said "Check the documentation" - I figured this was an excellent time to introduce the class to the term "RTFM," you know, Read The Freaking Manual. I try to maintain a professional environment in my courses, I think I say "ass" and "crap" at my most colorful. So this student? She repeats, loudly, "READ THE FUCKING MANUAL?!"

"Uh, 'freaking' was the word I used, let's keep this class PG-13 at most, mmkay?"

Look. If I can't do my normal thing of swearing like a sailor who just had his grog stolen by a rabid rhesus monkey, then you can't either, savvy?

Not to mention that this ... individual... is remarkably likely to fail the course. On top of that, she is highly unemployable in the field that we're studying. I understand that when you're missing a great many teeth that situations may arise, but realize that you're grunting with each breath and DO SOMETHING to change it. When your classmates come to me and complain about it... Hell, I don't even know how to approach something like that... "Pardon me, could you, um, stop breathing? Just for the duration of class. Is that do-able for you? It would really help with not distracting your classmates. Thanks!"

At least I have three classes that I'm creating for the web at the lovely tune of $1500 for the creation part. Something I could do in my sleep.

...Haven't signed the contract to teach the second half of this course that I'm complaining about, so I may be all kinds of Dr. Evil and say 'fuckit' - especially if my plan of winning the lottery comes to fruition.

And Adjunct Slave deleted a comment from the previous post. Why? Well, even when I'm not being your lovely anonymous adjunct slave, I don't like having that many things about me out on the internet. Too many freaks out there, thankyouverymuch, so I deleted it for the commentor's privacy. Though as a sum-up from the deleted comment, do hit Komikazee if you're at all comic-geek inclined. Good stuff.

Now? Now it's time for me to curl up with a beloved beer and pretend that all of my students are well-behaved, understand the concepts of decent personal hygiene, intelligent, and thoughtful. Barring that, hopefully there's something great and reality-show-esque on TV so I can watch someone's hopes get dashed this week. Aside from mine, that is.

02 October 2006

Yes, I'm that girl

You know the girl who has the lovely luck of being in a bar, having a conversation with a good friend about anything and is speaking loudly to be heard over the music, and then, right as the music stops, she loudly shares something like "...and then they cut away part of my cervix!"

Yep, I'm that girl.

Case in point.

Once a week, my department has a lunch that one person makes and the rest of us partake in the consuming. (The cook rotates among the department members.) Anywho. So we're having a conversation, and I playfully make a death threat on a person with a high metabolism. The topic then goes to weight loss methods. One of the ladies comments that she lost weight with each child. I state that's not my preferred method of weight loss, thanks.

Then another person who knows I don't have a flaming desire to get knocked up comments that I'm slightly anti-child.

I respond by saying, "I don't dislike children, I just want a sign that says..." cue the silence... "'condemned, do not occupy' on my uterus."

Many pairs of eyes swivel towards me.

At least I didn't use my new favorite euphemism for cramping during my period, thanks to SavageCats...

"Midgets are ice skating on my uterus."

01 October 2006

A little insight into my dark swirly place


And since there's been nothing from me all weekend, I give you my latest celebrity crush. Look familiar? No?

He's the current Dr. Who

This is David Tennant. I first saw him in the creepy BBCA movie "Secret Smile" where he played super creepy guy. And then he pops up as the new Dr. Who. Ack!

And then he smiled. And I IMDB'd him.

At least he and I were born in the same decade! And he's Scottish! Maybe I should just embrace the not-so-hidden Anglophile in me and go over to the UK to stalk date.

When I start the PhD program, I will have to go to the UK for research... I'll have to remind myself to step out of the library every so often so I can go encounter the local wildlife. They can't all hate Americans, can they?