Thursday, August 06, 2009

Academic Gifts, Part 3

The game continues.. although it will end tomorrow: Give yourself 1 point for yes yes yes that happened to you or is somehow relevant to your life; zero for unrelated to your personal existence.

0 ... Office Door Abuse of Personal Politics (is this a humanities thing?)

0 ... Office Door Silent Protest (ditto?)

0 ... Crushing Mound of Student Debt (I paid all my student loans off after a few years, so I can't say the debt was crushing.. a benefit of being in Science and only having loans from my undergrad years. In fact, I scrambled to pay my loans off early because the company that had bought my loans from a company that had bought my loans from the nice little neighborhood bank from which I originally obtained them kept sending me fierce letters demanding that I pay back loans to attend schools I had never even heard of, much less attended, and I was sick of dealing with this incompetent company.)

1 ... Ancient Malfunctioning Lab Equipment

1 ... Asbestos Tile Ceiling

1 ... Walk Through Campus Construction

1 ... Sick Student Who Insists on Coming to Class (and then there are those who want to show you the rash from their tick-borne illness or tell you how many times they vomited this very morning)

1 ... Endless Student Grammatical Violations

1 ... Faculty Input Ignored by Administration

1 ... Over-Eager Assessment Guru (does anyone want to have a break-out session and discuss how we're all doing with the deliverables that we were tasked to produce in this blog post?)

1 ... Service Requirement that Doesn't Count for Tenure Anyway

1 ... Ultra-Religious Student

0 ... Disappearing Dissertation Advisor (I quite enjoyed my advisor's sabbatical, but otherwise he was ubiquitous)

1 ... Acronym Hell

1 ... Coffee!

1 ... Networked Printer Just Down the Hall (I gave up on that one circa 1998)

1 ... Annual Faculty Retreat (shudder shudder shudder)

0 ... Airline Ticket that Blew Your Entire Travel Budget

1 ... Disappearing Office Items (some have been stolen by criminally insane postdocs, others I seem to lend and forget)

0 ... Prematurely Required Bifocals

1 ... Undisclosed Vegetarian at Conference Dinner (and vegans!)

1 ... Syllabus-writing-induced headache (I just got one of these after being forced to re-write my syllabus 3 times or else my course's designation as fulfilling a certain important requirement would be eliminated. Jerks.)

0 ... Demolishing Q&A at Job Talk (I have witnessed these but was fortunate to avoid them myself)

1 ... Dried-out Whiteboard Markers

1 ... Student Who Tries to Friend You on Facebook

1 ... The Head-Nodder (in department seminars..)

0 ... Office in Janitor's Closet

0 ... Nine-digit Photocopier Code

1 ... Student Who Cries, Begging for Extra Credit

1 ... Mac-illiterate Colleague

0 ... Bar Encounter with One of Your Students (though I saw one in the produce section of the grocery store this week; does that count?)

1 ... Chalk-dust-covered Sweater

1 ... Office Neighbor Who Needs to Use His/Her Inside Voice (especially when yelling at their graduate students)

0 ... Healthy Supply of Red Pens (I can never find one when I need it)

0 ... Campus Parking Ticket (though I have colleagues who get to check this one.. and I have a spouse who will never give money to our grad school because of his anger over parking tickets)

1 ... Permanent Marker on Whiteboard

0 ... Inevitable Student Fans of Ayn Rand (though some day I may tell my Ayn Rand beach story)

1 ... Post-partying Zombified Friday A.M. Class

1 ... Journal Reviewer with Axe to Grind

1 ... Task of Reviewing a Horrible Journal Submission

1 ... Student Who Mistakes Office Hours for Therapy


My subtotal to date: 78 out of 108

Is anyone over 100 yet?

21 comments:

Susan B. Anthony said...

Oh nooooo... "Permanent Marker on Whiteboard" is giving me very unpleasant flashbacks to a disastrous undergraduate oral exam...

However, my grand total is (only) 63, for which I suppose I should be happy.

My gift for today was an Authoritative Review Article Published Just Days Too Late to be Included in an Important Grant Proposal. Gah!

zed said...

Office Neighbor Who Needs to Use His/Her Inside Voice (especially when yelling at their graduate students)

mine is so loud I can hear him when he's at the coffee shop across the street from my office, windows closed!

JaneB said...

Only 66 so far... maybe being in the UK system makes it harder to get the full score? (no tenure requirements (because no tenure( or highly-paid coaches, for a start)

Pippin, the Gentle Pup said...

I'm at 96--it must be from being in a discipline that straddles the disciplinary divisions.

Anonymous said...

How about "Rejected Prospective Graduate Student Who Tries to Friend You on Facebook"?

My score is relatively low, but not trivial.

Odyssey said...

Hmmm, I'm up to 74. And no, "Office Door Abuse of Personal Politics" isn't confined to the humanities...

ME said...

My grand total is only 50, so I guess my life could be worse. I second the publication accepted just days after grant proposal submission.

I think we also need a non-romantic stalking category, complete inept IT support (you mean you want the internets to work everyday between 9-5 ??), and complete inept maintenance (should research labs be below 90F and 70% humidity in the summer?).

I also think you should get double bonus points when the helicopter parents are those of your graduate students (instead of undergrads).

Good entertainment.

Kevin said...

Another 14, getting me up to 31.

You should add "whiteboard marker on projection screen".

I managed to avoid student debt entirely--I was so frugal I ended grad school with enough left to pay for a down payment on a house within months of getting my first job. Of course, houses were a lot cheaper then, as was college (even given the change in the dollar since then).

steph said...

I wanna hear to Ayn Rand beach story! Is that coming soon?

Have you read/listened to the Last Lecture? He gave Thin Mints to people when asking them to review papers. I thought you might like that idea. Could help you get quicker turnover, even with co-authors.

Anonymous said...

"Office Neighbor Who Needs to Use His/Her Inside Voice (especially when yelling at their graduate students)"

Hahahaha it's my adviser!!!

Also, Ayn Rand beach story? I'm preemptively horrified, yet also intrigued.

The History Enthusiast said...

I have 53 total. After starting the job market this year, though, I may get to add "Demolishing Q&A at Job Talk." Let's hope not.

Anonymous said...

Bar Encounter: Does it count if they take your ticket at the movies? Are the clerk at the store you shop at? Etc? My first job was in a town so small that 1% of the population passed through my Intro class every year. I had a colleague who had to stop shopping at Victoria's Secret for this reason. Another colleague, a poet, wrote a poem about The Former Student. "When you go for the final check on your vasectomy, he is in charge of samples."

JSinger said...

Office Door Abuse of Personal Politics (is this a humanities thing?)

I don't even know what that means.

Anonymous said...

I am dying the hear the Ayn Rand beach story!

Anonymous said...

Would this count as office door silent protest: one of my colleagues decided last year that we didn't appreciate and support him enough, so he started keeping his office door closed all the time, got a mini-fridge so he could eat lunch in there, and would only emerge for dept. meetings (during which he would sit silently and play with a rubber band). He's on sabbatical this year, and I can't tell the difference.

At one final exam last semester, a sick student was walking up to turn in his exam. He sneezed violently into his hand, then used that hand to hold the exam and give it to me. I did not want to take it!

And how about a 6 hour faculty retreat, *during summer vaction*, in which we decided absolutely nothing.

I'm up to 76 so far...

Alex said...

My best friend in the department is about to become our assessment guru. If she gets too eager, I may have no choice but to administer a sedative. For the good of all.

And I am also dying to hear the Ayn Rand beach story. Does it involve stopping the motor of the jetski?

Amy said...

You've never had a colleague who posted just a few too many opinionated political cartoons on his/her office door? Or monopolized the lunch with a visiting speaker with opinions on the latest political saga? Or...

(can I get an extra point for having colleagues with rabid political views on BOTH ends of the US political spectrum?)

Kevin said...

Another missing one: monthly power failures (long enough for UPS to fail and -80C freezers to start to thaw).

EuropeanFemaleScienceProfessor said...

Only got 72, but many of the items are irrelevant this side of the puddle.

When I met a student at a party-like gathering for a particular cause in our field, he was absolutely speechless. When he regained his powers of speech, he stammered that he didn't know I knew anything about X. Dear, I've been doing X since before you were born! Now, where's the bar?

Anonymous said...

When I met a student at a party-like gathering for a particular cause in our field, he was absolutely speechless. When he regained his powers of speech, he stammered that he didn't know I knew anything about X. Dear, I've been doing X since before you were born! Now, where's the bar?

what is stammered?

Are faculty and students generally allowed/supposed to mingle? Be friends on facebook? Or only faculty mingle/friends outside of work with other faculty.

The issue of fairness and fair assessment? (sure, grad. students should try to be friends with other faculty....might have easier time on final PhD exams and get that PhD)

Anonymous said...

more categories:

Broken building A/C = 90 degree lab
Broken Heating = 50 degree lab
Power outage ruins expensive experiment/specimen
Random fire alarm/evacuation
Shorted out wall sockets (in one case this led to a burnt out motherboard)

...can you tell I work in an old building? :p