Bad professor

To my students and advisees: I've emailed a few of you, but just in case, I'm also putting this here. You've been trying to get in touch with me, especially this week when registration is pending, but when I'm not in class I'm flitting off to somewhere else. I was away in Washington DC last Thursday afternoon through Sunday, and I'm about to do it again with trips to Mankato tomorrow, a long weekend at a conference in Oregon, and then zooming away again right after class on Monday to Fergus Falls. Trust me, though, you're not the only one feeling a bit tired of it all.

Here's the deal, though. I'm done with today's teaching at 12:45. I'm going to be in my office from 1 to 5, with the door wide open. I've even shoveled the stacks of books off of two of my office chairs — it's almost hospitable in here. So come on by, I'll be there all afternoon, and the only business will be student business. If you've got registration stuff to take care of, we can do that; if you just want to say hello, that's cool, too.

More like this

It's my afternoon for getting lots of whiny right-wing Christianist email, I guess. This one is notable, not for its content (which is predictable, humorless, and indignant, and just like most of the complaints I get), but for the fact that it was also sent to my chancellor and every member of the…
“Not man enough? NOT MAN ENOUGH? I have three Y chromosomes, six adams apples, pecs on my abs and FISTS FOR NIPPLES!” -Testosteraur You've been waiting all year for a new Halloween photo (and profile photo) for me, and now that the big day has come, it's time to unveil what I've chosen! Image…
A few months ago, a new patient walked into my clinic at four o'clock on a Friday afternoon. She was a fiftyish woman who had recently moved to the area from a different state. On the plane ride up, she had developed a fever and cough, and the day after arrival, had been admitted to the hospital…
In which I list some pop song lyrics for you to guess, because it's Friday and I'm tired. ------------ The other night, on Twitter, Patrick Nielsen Hayden posted a snippet of song lyrics with the hashtag "#greatestalbumsofalltime." I was bored and looking to kill time, so I followed up with a…

Are you going to shut off your laptop or desktop computer so you can stay off your blog and creationist websites?

I gotcha there...

PZ, what happened to the student posts that used to appear here from time to time? Did they get tired of all the godless liberalism and decide to quit posting?

By Valhar2000 (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

That was last semester. This term I'm teaching two big core courses — I can't turn a hundred students loose on the blog at once!

There will be more student stuff next Fall, when I teach developmental biology.

Somebody may have mentioned this already, but there's a CNN article on octopus relationships.

By Voting Present (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

Be careful tomorrow. I don't know much about Mankato, but I do know that whenever Pa Ingalls had to go there something dangerous was afoot. I hope you're as tough as Michael Landon.

By S. Aloxin Botemill (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

PZ,

Since you're free this afternoon, I was thinking I'd stop by with an MPC1000 and you could freestyle over my dope beats. Interested?

What is the conference in Oregon about?

PZ: When I read the headline on this post, I thought you were going to be talking about this story and how you see it from your perspective.

If you haven't read it, here's the skinny: A professor at Syracuse has a stated policy that if he sees anyone text messaging in his class, he will leave and class will be over. He's done it before. This time, for some reason, everyone went apeshit. Maybe because it was a lecture section with hundreds of students. Maybe because he played the race card.

Anyway, check it out.

By FishyFred (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

I've more than a twinge of jealousy. Much, much more.

One of these times when you are in the DC area with some real extra time, I think we should have an official Pharnygula meet up. :)

PZ: Any stops in Portland on the way to Eugene? Gather-rounds? Sit-and-speaks? This applies to anyone in the Pharyngula community in or passing through Portland, btw.

I suppose you are bragging that you will be uninterrupted and able to concentrate on your work from 1 to 5. That's the part I always liked about office hours.:)

By Jim Thomerson (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

You have two office chairs? In my day we could only dream of having two office chairs. Our students had to sit on rocks!

You have two office chairs? In my day we could only dream of having two office chairs.

Bastard's probably got a window, too...

How I long for natural light. [*sigh*]

I'd like to encourage everyone attending the IGERT symposium in Oregon this weekend to mark your nametags with some cryptic indicator as to your Pharyngulaffiliation. I've been on a hunt for for sparkly cephalopod stickers this week to brand myself thusly.

This time, for some reason, everyone went apeshit. Maybe because it was a lecture section with hundreds of students. Maybe because he played the race card.

I think it was exactly because he played the race card. FRAMING, right there. A professor demanding respect of his students is one thing, a professor complaining that students of a certain ethnic background ought to respect him more because he isn't white either is something else entirely.

Our students had to sit on rocks!

You had rocks? We had to sit on little squares of cardboard floating in muddy pools of water on the floor!

You had rocks? We had to sit on little squares of cardboard floating in muddy pools of water on the floor!

You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t' shoebox in t' middle o' road.

We used to 'ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o'clock at night and lick road clean wit' tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit' bread knife.

And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

OK, you people. You think you had it bad. Tell me, have any of you ever been to...Morris?

Yes. Yes, I have.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

Ha! You've been to Morris? Why, Morris has over 50,000 people! Back in my day, college towns only had 17,000 people, and we had to drive two hours down a two-lane road just to get to Columbia!

and we had to drive two hours down a two-lane road just to get to Columbia!

snow covered and uphill?

both ways?

hands up everyone who thinks that PZ should come to Vancouver after his visit to Oregon...it's just a wee bit up the road, after all...

(as long as it's before 5am on Monday - that's when I have to be at the airport to go to...Winnipeg...)

By CanadianChick (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

hands up everyone who thinks that PZ should come to Vancouver after his visit to Oregon...it's just a wee bit up the road, after all...

I'd certainly recommend it.

not only is there UBC and Simon Fraser to visit, but the beer is way better, too.

Make that 2 of us who have been to Morris ... in the winter no less. 'tis a fine little town out on the prairie.

By Desert Donkey (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

snow covered and uphill? both ways?

Ice-covered 5 months of the year, and uphill one way, and tractors on the road! And melty pavement hot in the summer! And, um, no air conditioning in the cars! And no coffee shop in town!

Ice-covered 5 months of the year, and uphill one way, and tractors on the road! And melty pavement hot in the summer! And, um, no air conditioning in the cars! And no coffee shop in town!

lawds, I gots me the vapors just considerin' it.

It's 180 from that were I am.

110-120 5 months of the year, dead flat, pavement that melts your feet...

and no good pubs anywhere.

at least there's a Trader Joes so I can buy decent coffee and make it myself.

I spent a weekend in Morris visiting a friend on campus. I think there was a decent diner in town where we had breakfast. That's about as much as I remember, though.

By Stephanie Z (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

110-120 5 months of the year, dead flat, pavement that melts your feet...

Argh. I used to say I liked the heat better than the cold, but now that I live somewhere that's cold most of the year I see that there are lots of ways to deal with cold. Heat, not so much. I don't care if the southwest is a dry heat, so's the inside of a convection oven.

Be careful tomorrow. I don't know much about Mankato, but I do know that whenever Pa Ingalls had to go there something dangerous was afoot. I hope you're as tough as Michael Landon.

The best part about this, is that when people here in Boston ask me where in Minnesota I'm from--like when I talk about where I got my MA or the area where my folks live--I always mention Little House....it's the only way anyone has ever heard of Mankato. They start to giggle when I tell them my parents live a block away from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Highway.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

I don't care if the southwest is a dry heat, so's the inside of a convection oven.

it's actually often the case that the humidity is near 20% (comes up from the gulf of CA).

It's kinda like living in a cave in the summer, unless you really like that kind of heat (some do).

They start to giggle when I tell them my parents live a block away from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Highway.

So is the speed limit on the highway 20 mph so as not to scare the horses? :)

And I'm sorry to admit it, but Little House is the first thing I think of when I hear Mankato, too, even though it is naught in the books. Mankato State is a distant second thought in my mind.

#26
Morris has 5,000 people when school is in session, 1,500 of whom are over the age of 65!

By MorrisTownie (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

Hmm.. so you had a wide open stance hmmmm...

and you wanted to meet people....

and you extended your big fat hairy feet across the room hmmmm....

anyone take the bait?

So is the speed limit on the highway 20 mph so as not to scare the horses? :)

Nah, just 50 so you don't run over any kids.

They even have indoor plumbing and electricity now.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

hands up everyone who thinks that PZ should come to Vancouver after his visit to Oregon...it's just a wee bit up the road, after all...

I'd certainly recommend it.

not only is there UBC and Simon Fraser to visit, but the beer is way better, too.

so true...

By CanadianChick (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

If you get tired of the hippies in Eugene, I know a few folks in Corvallis who would love to take you out for beers...

I know a few folks in Corvallis who would love to take you out for beers...

do they still have the annual crafts/blacksmith fair there?

I spent some time there back in the late 80's. Enjoyed that town quite a bit, actually.

...and there's always the entertaining fishguy Mark Hixon:

http://oregonstate.edu/~hixonm/index.htm

Now, now, we're not ALL Hippies. True, a lot of Deadheads do seem to have retired here, but the rumors of topless women all over the UO campus are greatly exaggerated. The woowoo index is undeniably high, however, and Corvallis is refreshingly rational by comparison. Corvallis has this awesome Summer Festival called 'Da Vinci Days'--all the science and technology you can handle in three days, with live demos, robot wars, skeptics a-go-go, and nary a Tarot card booth in sight!

I've been to Morris. It is a very nice little town on the prairie that provides fewer distractions than other places I've been. This is great when you need to focus and get projects done, and also want to live within five minutes of your job. And the University surprisingly brings in some big names for events (Performing Arts series). No wonder PZ gets so much done!

I've seen Morris dancing - does that count?

DanioPhD, 44

As a Duck alum and recently relocated resident of Eugene (Santa Clara, actually) I have to agree with every word. Eugene should be so lucky as to emulate Corvallis. The irrational perspective of many of our denizens is truly concerning. No way to run a city. Woo woo indeed.

By Desert Donkey (not verified) on 03 Apr 2008 #permalink