No one likes me and that may be good

During my PhD, I have been concerned and a little jealous that I haven’t been able to connect personally with any of my professors. I am either their age or older, I live an hour away, and, to be fair, I don’t have the best personality. But when I see other students getting asked for favors, or editing, or other research work, I wonder what I’m missing out on and how that will affect me in the long run.

Lately, as I watch my colleague being taken advantage of by a professor with favors and tasks while not fulfilling their part of the deal, I’m a wee bit grateful that I am ignored. I AM VERY MAD AT THIS SITUATION BECAUSE MY COLLEAGUE DESERVES SO MUCH BETTER.

Just take the word out of your name

Picture of a notebook with astronaut cats and a four pack of pens.
Totally worth it.

I spent $24 at the college bookstore today and got one notebook and four pens. What I went for was a book that I’d ordered for my class. For some reason, I decided to order my readings from the college Bookstore and it was nothing short of dismal. See, the college BookStore really deals with apparel and items and the Brand of the college, not necessarily the day-to-day reading needs of its students. It used to, but not anymore. It just can’t compete.

Even with the power of the Barnes & Noble apparatus behind it, the BOokStore is just not a bookstore anymore. When I ordered my books, only a few came in, some were on backorder and they were sent to a “Mystery” pile in the mailroom. I’m not making up that name, “Mystery.” That’s what they told me to tell the attendant when it was my turn. Yet even when it was my turn was a mystery, as the ID card reader didn’t accept my card.

“Grad student?” the attendant asked.

See, grad students don’t have mailboxes at the mailroom, as far as I know. In my department we have mailboxes in the English office. An actual box where I can receive mail and packages. Packages like Amazon packages. Guess what I can’t receive there? Books from the college BOokStoRe.

I walk with a cane. I teach at 7:55am. I spend nearly every minute reading for my exams. Getting down the hill to the BOoKStoRe is not an easy feat. When I can remember that those (some, which?) books are waiting for me (or aren’t), it was a hassle. I kick myself for responding to the email to “Get Your Books at the BOOKSTORE!” Kick!

When I finally got there, they handed me one book, that I needed two weeks ago. They did not have the two books they told me they had. One (the one I need to read) had been sent back, the other, apparently dematerialized. When I got to the office, I bought the ebook.

Sweatshirts are on sale, though.

Ultimately, the issue is me, but until I come to terms with that…

I tend to shake up my tech tools and apps when I want to procrastinate. Lately I’ve approached this a bit more maturely, explaining (lying) to myself that I’m trying out something new for a while in the hopes of simplifying my workflow. When I saw our library was offering Zotero free for students, I decided to give it a shot. I’ve been using Paperpile religiously for years and thought it might be good to see what else is out there.

Zotero’s interface, for some, is dated, but I found it endearing. For the last few months I’ve been adding RSS feeds and readings from my comp exams to see how I like its features. Overwhelmingly I loved the ability to mark sources as related to other sources – a big help with the films I’m viewing to see which articles I’ve read in relation to them (their titles are not always clear). What I really hated was their filing system and the inability to add it to my Google Drive without some headaches.

Ultimately, that and the need to be hardware independent was what made me come back fully to Paperpile. While I will miss the relation feature, I spent many years without it and since Paperpile doesn’t seem to be implementing something similar anytime soon, I’ll make it work.

Yeah, that’s it. Not really a review, just letting everyone know what I’m doing instead of reading and writing. 🙂

Oh, all while working other jobs because you have low pay and no security…

“You must also consider how to balance the work of effective teaching: timely review and grading of student work; creating assessments to gauge student learning; and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive classroom where students feel they belong

www.insidehighered.com/advice/2022/11/07/value-contingent-jobs-phds-seeking-tenure-track-opinion

Don’t put me in a situation…

This is my illustration of the rhetorical situation, sort of. Think of it as a biblically accurate angel with less surety. All the stick figures are the same person, just at different moments. That’s the cardboard tube of genre in the middle. It has form but easily bendable. Yes. Ok.

This was also posted on Facebook.

In case of a “weird pipe mishap”…

My latest work order: “The pipes in Office 003 are making the strangest noise. It’s not consistent, but if I can capture it on my phone, I will. Normally there’s a gurgle here and a hiss there, but this sounds like something out of this world. I would like to not be the victim of some weird pipe mishap. Granted, as I’m writing this, the sound seems to have stopped. Suspicious.”

My Unofficial Teaching Philosophy

There was a video get-together for the launch of a fiction anthology that I have a story in. It was a little awkward for me since I didn’t know anyone, but someone asked me about teaching freshman composition and here’s my 3.5 minute response (Starts at 53:34 if the video link doesn’t work properly):

This was also posted on Facebook.