March 01, 2004


The great thing about having an Honor Code here at Knox is that as a general rule I can just assume students aren't cheating. I don't have to worry about making it difficult for them to cheat, because they've pledged an oath not to.

The really frustrating thing about the Honor Code is that if something catches my eye as really suspicious, I'm required to turn it over to a board mostly comprised of students, who are really really harsh about their punishments and don't seem to make use of the spectrum of penalties available to them, instead preferring to assign the same harsh penalty in all cases.

And they wonder why the faculty is reluctant to turn over cases to them....

"They laughed at Newton. They laughed at Einstein. Of course, they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." --Carl Sagan

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February 22, 2004

An endless sea of grading

It's my own fault, of course. It's because I kept putting it off. But as generally bad it is to hold onto stuff for a while, it would be really irresponsible of me to keep holding on to this stuff, because the drop deadline is next Friday and the students need to be able to make informed decisions. Not that I think anyone will be dropping necessarily, but different people have different priorities. (I've seen people drop classes who I thought were doing just fine; but then they might not have gotten an A. So sad.)

Once I get going on it, I'm generally fine. Although, it's interesting grading some of them, because I'll see from their answer to one problem that there's no way they got the next one right, so I feel physical dread as I turn the page. Such an exciting life I've chosen for myself. ;)

"Accustomed as Miss Manners is to denouncing snoops, she is much too atwitter with curiosity to manage doing it here. What on earth are you people reading? "Swinging With Dick and Jane"? "Recognizing the Rodents in Your Kitchen"? And, if so, why don't you tuck them behind "Stephen Hawking: Quest for a Theory of Everything," where no one will ever find them?" --Miss Manners

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June 10, 2003

A little late, you think?

Just in the last week or two, I've gotten some mail from a few places that I applied for jobs---thanks but no thanks. I remember thinking, months ago, that it was strange (and a bit rude) that they had never responded, even if only to say "we're not interested"; but I wrote them off. One month passed, and I arranged interviews with the places that wanted to see me. Another month passed, and I heard back from all of them, and accepted the offer at Knox. Another month, and even the big schools with large fac searches (like Brown) had concluded their interviews and made their offers. Another month, and they'd even heard back. And still another month passed before these schools that rejected me finally sent me mail to tell me so. I'm just as happy they rejected me---further reflection after I'd sent out the applications told me that I wouldn't go those places, even as a backup plan---but it's sort of mind-boggling that they would wait so long to send a response.

"Freed from the normal constraints of truth and veracity, "journalists" such as Blair, Shalit, Barnicle, Smith and Glass shine above their counterparts. They're promoted ahead of the pack because their stories, sneakily cloaked as journalism, read better than everyone else's stories. In a profession fueled by competition, their careers are propelled along because of, rather than in spite of, their transgressions." --Terry M. Neal, Washington Post

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June 07, 2003

Progress report


As predicted, the week and a half that I lost to graduation and the conference has caused me to come to a complete stop on my research and thesis. Frustrating. Now I'm in that "having a hard time getting started again" mode, but I really need to get going.

As for my thesis, and defending it: I'd been saying "late June" for a while, and privately had a self-imposed deadline of 17 July---because I wanted to have defended before the IMSA reunion on the 19th. As a nice compromise, I'd been thinking maybe 9 July. But the international ACL conference is that week, and my entire committee will be there, so that's no good. And I need to get a thesis draft in a full month in advance, so I can't do it before the conference. In fact, even if I want to defend as soon as they're back from the conference, on the 14th, I'd need to get cracking on the thesis draft, as I'd have to have that in by... next Saturday. Have I mentioned that I haven't exactly started writing?


So here I sit, reading notesfiles, knitting, learning to crochet, chatting on the phone, blogging, anything to procrastinate. I suspect once I get started, I'll be fine, but...

I've told myself I'm not leaving the office until I've gotten started again. I might be here a while.

"This is amazing. You've run into somebody who seems to be a complete loon, on the Internet of all places." --Neal Groothuis

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