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Author Topic: Posting Hall of Fame  (Read 691288 times)
It's hard out there for a
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 6,064

« Reply #2880 on: August 16, 2013, 5:19:20 pm »

Unrelated to DvF:

Based on previous responses featuring selective reading , I'll put my own money on the response to Polly being "Thanks. What is a quatloo?"

Also, I might have waited to write my little script had I known it was going to get SO MUCH BETTER. I honestly thought we were at the point at which very little further lunacy could be injected into this farce. I was wrong. So very wrong.


FWIW, here's my take - it's a bit of a Greek tragedy, with a slightly different focus.  And, of course, it's unfinished - we haven't seen exactly how our antihero will perish yet.

Dramatis personae:

Opie, a boater with an idea
Skipper of the Oracle, a sailing team in the America's cup race:*
Helmsman, part of the Oracle's crew
a Curmudgeon
the Chorus

Scene 1:

Opie:  I would like to sail the Oracle.  I have an idea for a novel path through a course you haven't sailed before.  Helmsman, may I borrow your boat?

Helmsman:  She's not mine to lend, and she can only be sailed by a crew, not just by one person.  But I'll see if we can get you onto the crew temporarily and try your route.  Let me talk to the Skipper.  Can you tell me more about the route you plan to take?

Opie:  I don't want to share my map, because you might take that route first without me, and then I wouldn't be famous for thinking of that route.  However, it's somewhere in the Pacific.

Helmsman:  Uh-huh.  OK, let me talk to the Skipper.

Scene 2:

Opie:  I have an idea for a route to sail in a race.  Can I borrow the Oracle?

Skipper:  The Oracle requires a full crew to sail her, but we'd be willing to work with you to try your route later.  We have several races already scheduled for the summer and a dozen other people who want a spot on the crew.  Can you tell me about this route?

Opie:  It's somewhere in the Pacific.  If I have to wait, can you give me some books on sailing so I can teach myself to sail?

Skipper:  ... um... you can't learn to sail from a book. 

Helmsman:  We can give you a book on the history of sailing, and some schematics of the Oracle.  But you'll have to learn from us how to sail her.  It's something you can only learn by doing, and you'll be one member of the crew.

Opie:  I want to sail her alone.  Why shouldn't I be able to learn to sail a racing sailboat all by myself from a book?

Scene 3:

Opie:  The Oracle's crew are being unreasonable!  They won't give me the Oracle so I can go sail her alone along my planned route.

Chorus:  It's a fancy, expensive racing boat.  Did you expect them to just hand it to you like the keys to an '85 Chevy Cavalier?

Curmudgeon:  They secretly want to steal your route and get famous by sailing it first.

Opie:  They won't even give me books on how to sail it.  Sailing is easy.  Picking out this route was the hard part.

Chorus:  Have you ever sailed?

Opie:  I've kayaked on the pond behind my parents' house.  It should be easy to extrapolate if someone would just give me a book on it.

Chorus:  They said they'd work with you later in the summer.  But you can't learn sailing from a book - you have to learn that by doing, and it's totally different from kayaking.  And the Oracle isn't just a sailboat - it's a very expensive, very fast, very twitchy experimental racing boat.  So, you need to talk with the crew so they can teach you how to sail the Oracle, if you insist on sailing the Oracle.  And it's a team process - this can't just be all about you.

Opie:  But I want to do it NOW.  And I want my name to be in the headlines, not theirs, when we take the route I'm planning.

Chorus:  Then you should talk with the crew again.

Scene 4:

Opie:  I want to sail NOW.

Helmsman:  We have these five other important races going on in the next few weeks.  We can fit you in next month.

Opie:  I want my name in the headlines when we sail this route for the first time.

Helmsman:  Fine, I don't care. The sports magazines have enough articles about me.  I care more about the races that pay big money, like the ones in the next four weeks.

Skipper:  Yep, fine by me.  Just let us focus on racing the Oracle in these next few races, and we'll see you next month.

Opie:  Because, really, sailing is easy.  Picking that route off the map was the hardest thing, and nobody else has ever done it before, and I should get lots of credit for doing it.  Sailing the Oracle on that route will just be the proof of concept, and anybody can sail a racing boat.

<Skipper and Helmsman exchange eye-rolls and exit stage starboard>

Scene 5:

Opie:  The Oracle's crew are being mean and selfish because they won't do exactly what I want right now.

Chorus:  Well, the Oracle is their boat.  You can either sail it by their rules, or go find another boat.

Curmudgeon:  F&%k the rules.  F&% sailing.  Sailors are all asshats anyway. 

Opie:  But boats like this are hard to find, and I'm in the same town as the Oracle now.  Why can't I sail it now?

Chorus:  This is the way the system works.  You can work with it, or go find another system - or at least another boat.

Curmudgeon:  F&%k boats.

Opie:  But I want credit for finding this route on the map.  The sailing is easy, and it's not the important part.  Finding the route is the important thing.

Chorus:  No, everybody brings something important into the boat race.  That's why you need a full crew to sail a boat.  You need to realize that, then you need to go talk with the crew and make sure you're all on the same page.

Scene 6:

Opie:  Should I quit my job and become a sailor?

Chorus:  WTF?

It's a real shame I'm too young and too poor to retire...
^Listen to Dr. Know.  She Knows.
Senior member
Posts: 495

« Reply #2881 on: August 16, 2013, 11:23:19 pm »

I just picture the OP holding a walker and yelling "You homos, get off my lawn!"

I have a corvid-like strong attraction to bright new shiny things.
Unemployed & unemployable
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 11,618

« Reply #2882 on: August 20, 2013, 11:10:35 am »

Ahem . . .

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.

Objection! If, as implied, my father was not a hamster but just a regular guy with a funny smell, my hamster mother would surely never have survived my conception.

Unless you're implying that my father has a penis the size of a hamster's? Ooh, and genetics. Touche, sir. Touche. I am furry and small-penised, and I like to root around in the dirt for seeds.
I have no idea how to HOF this, so someone else please do it.

NO! B will just get a big head.

$hit... I did it again.


Alan, I would settle for a small head. My hamster penis is beyond small. It is hard to see. You really have to get down there and move a lot of fur, and I'll probably bite you if you try.
strange attractor
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 8,556

« Reply #2883 on: August 23, 2013, 7:24:50 pm »

I think, as you suggest, that vagueness isn't required in order to make sure that not everyone gets an A. But sometimes, as in my experience, it seems that that's what instructors rely on.

In my experience (extensive as a student, modest as an instructor) the degree of vagueness a student sees in an instruction is correlated to their understanding of the material.  You seem to be suggesting that in the absence of step-by-step directions, knowing what to do is a fluke or requires some kind of mind reading.  In my subject area, anyone can do well if step-by-step directions are given, and anyone who has an in depth understanding doesn't need things spelled out.

As an example, a common exercise in my field is to have students critique the methods section of a published paper.  The prompt could be:
1)"Critique the authors' methods."  or
2) "Critique the authors' methods.  Consider sample selection and appropriateness of statistical techniques." or
3) "Critique the authors' methods.  Consider sample selection and appropriateness of statistical techniques.  Was the sample selected at random? What proportion of those selected participated?  How large is the sample?  What assumptions are required for XYZ technique to be used?  Were these assumptions met?"

An A student will give the same answer regardless which prompt is used.  A C student will do considerably better if prompt 3 is used.  Prompt 1 will seem vague to a C student, but someone who knows the material will know exactly what they are being asked to do.


Profuse gift offerings to garnish your day.
Ridiculous Marine Creature and
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 1,259

Just Float

« Reply #2884 on: August 30, 2013, 12:32:35 pm »

Enough. I'm heading back next week to teach my humanities subject. I am proud of what I do, proud of my students, proud of my colleagues. The knee-jerk anti-humanities stance of some posters is illogical, arrogant, condescending, tiresome, and toxic. Just cut it out, all of you.

I feel affirmed that I'm truly a 8,000+ post
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 9,007

Positively impactful on stakeholder synergies

« Reply #2885 on: September 07, 2013, 10:27:24 am »

From "Stupid Names for Kids":


Now, I like the name Felix. But Phelix? Phor phuck's sake.

Que scay-je?
looks far too young to be a
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 11,582

i had fun once and it was awful

« Reply #2886 on: September 07, 2013, 5:20:38 pm »

Lots of good advice here, and keep in mind that total strangers care about you as a human, which is why they post.  You are valuable to us.

I would add, find an immediate way to get and give something different from your academic self.  One of the quickest is to volunteer at a shelter, because cats, dogs, and birds give immediate love.  You will be appreciated every moment of every day that you show up.   Soon you will see other opportunities for use of skills you have that you didn't realize you have.  You can sort the mail.  You can answer the phone.  You can set up a volunteer program.  You can manage volunteers.  You can write and edit grants.  You can do research to find grants.  You have ideas for events.  You can plan and run events that make money.  You have a car that can take animals to the mall for adoption events.  All this time, you are getting to meet people with interesting and varied lives outside academia.  Most of them don't have Ph.Ds and imagine! they are loved and valued anyway.  Many of them know about jobs outside academia.  Or they will solicit your advice about their children and colleges (college counseling: skill).

In other words, get a quick dose of life and love, take baby steps by taking dog walks or cat petting.  You matter.  Change or augment those you're trying to matter to.  Especially if you don't have family, friends, spouses, "thicken" your community.  Ask the dept. secretary to lunch.  Talk to the grocery store clerk.  Fight academic isolation by pro-actively casting a wide net of people you talk to in a day and building a full life that includes the college but isn't limited to it.  There are lots of souls to matter to.  But for immediacy, I recommend animals.

They are our servants.  They are like dogs.  Sometimes, they think they remember being wolves, but they are only dreaming.
Curiously Strong
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 3,809

« Reply #2887 on: September 08, 2013, 6:31:17 am »

♪  Thirteen thousand posts on the board,  ♫
♫ Thirteen thousand posts;                              ♪
♪  Write some stuff down,                                 ♫
♫ Post it around,                                                  ♪
♪  Thirteen thousand and one posts on the boards. ♫

"Are you alive?"
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 22,624

Make life take the lemons back!

« Reply #2888 on: September 08, 2013, 8:20:28 pm »

Hello forum peoples!

Igor sees your idea for Master and thinks it is very funny! Master is very busy right now with power washer and orbital sander, so she cannot write novel now. Igor offered to help but Master said Igor has already helped enough with that! So Igor will do novel instead, for more helping.

But! What is "novel"? Is the little dent in the soft squishy underbelly where you can push in rusty pointy tools and get happy screaming? Igor got pointy tool lost in someone's novel once. Oops. Sad Igor, missing one pointy tool. Igor and other person both made loud sad crying. Igor was louder, on account of still having vocal cords.

Igor knows songs, though! Igor writes song for Academic Darwin bus. Ready?

-- The wheels on the bus go squish and splat, squish and splat, squish and splat!
-- The wheels on the bus go squish and splat, running over people.

-- The wipers on the bus go thwack and splush, thwack and splush, thwack and splush!
-- The wipers on the bus go thwack and splush, smearing bits of people.

-- The riders on the bus go "AIE-YIY-YIIII!", "AIE-YIY-YIIII!", "AIE-YIY-YIIII!"
-- The riders on the bus go "AIE-YIY-YIIII!", happy screaming people.

OK! Igor must go now. Do not want to miss National Geographic special on eyeballs. Mmmm, eyeballs. Igor will share recipes with forum friends! Many much happy eyeball-eating!

I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously sir. To which one are you referring? -- Spock
Limerick cretin, Editor in Chief, Journal of Non-Rhyming Things Unlearned and a
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 8,154

Do not take the bait.

« Reply #2889 on: September 11, 2013, 9:40:22 pm »

I will not see the light. I will not.

I expect a single PDF attached in the CMS before midnight and it better be. I shall have my single PDF.

I expect one inch margins, stapling on the lop left, and a 12 point serif font. I shall have my staples, margins, and fonts!

I expect debits on the left and credits on the right, no matter what your mother or therapist told you about free expression. Debits, left. Credits, right. Forever.

I expect a salutation in every email. I expect a student name in every email. I expect proper grammar and standard English. I even expect complete sentences, b!tch that I am.

I expect that deadlines are deadlines. Better to learn that from me than your soon-to-be former boss, the IRS, or the SEC. Or, even the county probate judge or your ex-wife's alimony lawyer. Deadlines are deadlines.
You will take my standards from my cold dead hands and then they will choke you in return because you didn't read the part of the instructions warning you about the boobytrapped hands.

I will not see the light because I have a dream.

I have a dream that young adults can learn not only to read and follow instructions but also to solve their own problems. We start with small problems to give them some warm fuzzy feelings, then we move on to progressively more difficult situations. It's called education and personal growth.

I have a dream that young adults, despite a myriad of disadvantages and a modicum of easy breaks in life, will rise up and learn to meet and even exceed the standards we set for them and that such young people will eventually look for higher standards to achieve and exceed, far beyond our wildest dreams.

I find it surprising that people are surprised.
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 49,943

Love your loved ones while you can.

« Reply #2890 on: September 13, 2013, 9:42:00 pm »

I had my first mammogram this morning, and while the "compression" didn't hurt, the pressure of the machine stretching my skin is still killing me. I want to go to bed with ice packs. You people who breast-feed babies, you have all my respect.

Ah yes, the wonders of modern medicine.  If that was how testicular cancer was diagnosed, we'd have better technology by now.

Love your neighbor.

Your new cephaloverlord.

When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
Limerick cretin, Editor in Chief, Journal of Non-Rhyming Things Unlearned and a
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 8,154

Do not take the bait.

« Reply #2891 on: September 13, 2013, 10:52:10 pm »

Or, you could just shoot him. - DvF

Again, check with your general counsel first.

I find it surprising that people are surprised.
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 27,626

Have you worked on that project today?

« Reply #2892 on: September 16, 2013, 7:28:08 am »

In fact, you seem to be missing the entire point, which is that nobody cares that you need the job, we care about how the department will benefit from hiring you and how it addresses our needs. A similar mistake permeates first time grant applications, where applicants focus on why a proposed research direction is a natural continuation of their research direction, as opposed to first addressing why anyone else should care about research in a given direction, and only after motivating that does one make the case that you're the best person to conduct the proposed work.

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 2,801

« Reply #2893 on: September 17, 2013, 12:08:28 pm »

Tell them that swearing makes them sound uneducated, that it will hold them back professionally and socially, and that an educated person reserves the F-bomb for extraordinary occasions where extreme emphasis is needed.  Therefore you are declaring this classroom a vulgarity-free zone. Then tell them that you really fvcking mean it.

If robbers ever broke into my house to search for money, I'd just laugh and search with them.
looks far too young to be a
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 11,582

i had fun once and it was awful

« Reply #2894 on: September 19, 2013, 9:44:12 pm »

Yesterday a student came barreling into my office as I was just arriving--I hadn't even put my purse down--and proceeded to school me.  She's an older student, maybe my age, in an online comp class and, to put it bluntly, can't write (or clearly articulate her ideas in speech, as I learned) for s*** (and this is Comp II).  She failed her first essay--I gave her 50% out of pity/recognition that she turned something in, but rather than doing the assignment, she gave me a nearly unreadably-bad synopsis and commentary on the text, rather than a critical reading that answered the prompts I gave to guide their writing.  (Ah, the good old days of 6-7 years ago, when  I could assign my Comp II freshmen to "analyze ____ text" and leave it at that.)  She's also failed every other discussion assignment, with several other students commenting online with things like, "You really need to learn how to write" and "I have no idea what you're talking about in that post."

Her exact words were, "Hi, Ms. Hist, I'm here to set you straight, because if you think you're going to get away with s*** like giving me a grade like that, think again.  This is all just your opinion, and mine's better than yours.  So you are going to sit here and listen before you change my grade to what I deserve." 

I was very proud of myself, particularly after the day I'd had before (I was still seething when I got to campus yesterday).  I tried to answer a couple of questions she asked during her 40 minute tirade, and I got told several times, "You just shut up, now.  I'm speaking."  I even resisted the urge to smack the s*** out of her call security, mainly because I was finding some perverse amusement in knowing that I would smack her down, but also partly because I'd left the door open and had a crowd of 5-6 faculty lining the hall listening to "have my back."  (I found out at the end, too, that my secretary had called security, and a campus cop was out there, too, recording the whole thing.)

When she finally came up for air, I stood up and leaned against the wall and told her, "Now you look here, I've listened to you all this time, and if you want to conduct yourself that way and use that kind of language, it's OK with me.  But it's your turn to shut the hell up and listen, and if you say one word while I'm talking, I'll call security and have your ass not only hauled out of my office, but suspended from school because I'll press charges that you treated me in a disrespectful manner.  Here is why you earned the grade you did--I was being nice, because your work EARNED a zero, yet I gave you a few points.  You can't just write what you want and ignore the assignment.  Critical reading is a lot different from just reading something.  (etc. etc.) "  By the end of it, she was sniffling and apologizing like mad. 

And then the cop hauled her over to the VP of Student Affairs--he was filing papers to have her suspended, based on what he'd heard and recorded....and also because she's his aunt and a deacon in their church.  I think I know someone else besides me who wishes she hadn't come to campus yesterday.

They are our servants.  They are like dogs.  Sometimes, they think they remember being wolves, but they are only dreaming.
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