University Assessment Committee Erotica

A laff from McSweeny’s:

“Do you remember the safe word?” she asked as she tightened the last of the leather straps binding him to the bench.

“Yes,” he said, shivering with anticipation. “Do it. I want you to hurt me.”

“Oh, I will,” she smirked. She reached into her tote bag and removed a spreadsheet, holding it tantalizingly out of his reach. “Do you see this data?” she demanded. “It’s a mess.”

“Ohh. How bad is it?” he gasped.

“So bad. Very, very bad. See this column? Several departments were not in compliance with the strategic plan. And this? These outcomes aren’t remotely quantifiable.”

He groaned with delight.

“But the worst of all,” she purred, striding closer on her sensible Clarks, “is the feedback we received from the Humanities. Some of the older faculty… tenured, full professors… refused to perform an assessment at all.”

“But!” he gulped. “But they put everyone’s accreditation at risk!”

She shook her head. “They don’t seem to care. In fact, do you know what they said?”

“No, mistress!” he panted.

“They said…” She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “They said, ‘Isn’t that what grades are for?’”

“Ooooooooooaaaaaaagh,” he exploded in a climax of ecstatic pain. “Stop! No more! Trivium! Trivium!”

More at the link.

Posted in Fun

A Good Laff

From The Onion:

Self-Actualized Historians Urge Nation Not To Get Hung Up On The Past

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Warning that nothing was more dangerous than focusing on yesterday’s mistakes instead of being present right here and right now, self-actualized historians at Harvard University urged Americans not to get all hung up on the past. “Now more than ever, we must remember: A society that dwells on what it did 200 years ago is basically trapping itself inside its own head, when it could reach its full potential by simply saying, ‘Hey, whatever happened, happened,’ and making the decision to live for today,” said Dr. Andrew Gordon, cautioning society against relitigating the Crusades, fixating on the actions of Nazi Germany, or preoccupying themselves with the horrors of slavery, since life is going on all around us and won’t wait until you’re ready for it. “I used to harp on how Japan’s rapid late-19th-century industrialization affected attitudes towards underclass Meiji women, which still cause dark rifts in their culture all these decades later. But I can’t change any of that, so what’s the point? Global leaders and citizens alike need to realize you can’t keep your head in a bad place all day. Bad things happened, sure, but bad things happen to everyone. There are a million sides to every story, so come on—let’s begin writing our story.” Dr. Gordon’s new historical interpretation was challenged by traditional historians, who continue to urge Americans to obsess over every wrong thing they’ve ever done, each instance of which demonstrates our helplessness against a bleak future that we are and have always been incapable of changing.

Facial Reconstruction

Apparently we can reconstruct a person’s face from his or her skull, but I suspect that this is more of an art than a science. Especially with that model of Richard III’s face – it looks remarkably like fifteenth-century portraits of Richard III, which would suggest that either fifteenth-century artists were quite good and that facial reconstruction is very accurate – or the facial reconstructors are practicing a form of circular logic by making their result match the portrait. Thus do I have an idea for a History Channel show. Three teams of facial reconstructors are given a copy of the skull of a recently deceased person, for whom we have plenty of photographs but who is otherwise unknown to them. They are given the skull, and a week to see what they can come up with – and there would be plenty of interviews and other reality TV effects as they go about this assignment. A week later they come back and unveil what they’ve done – then a photograph is revealed of what the person actually looked like. A panel of judges and/or a clap-o-meter would choose the winning team, which would win an all-expense-paid week at Sandals™ resorts (the other teams would receive a selection of valuable parting gifts).

Posted in Fun

An Offensive Post

From Yana Weinstein-Jones (via Andrew Reeves): “This blog post will offend everyone in academia“:

Adjunct
Ghost, or object to be discarded when no longer necessary. Hired begrudgingly to fill gaps due to tenured faculty not wanting to teach dispreferred classes. Referred to with disdain because “some don’t even have PhDs”. Discussed as a problem that calls for pest control even though they teach more than half of the classes. Too beaten down to be scared.

Assistant Prof
To be taken advantage of because they will do anything to prove their worth. Make the mistake of trying to teach well. Must answer emails all day and all night. Very scared, but also determined. (see also, “Untenured”)

Associate Prof with potential promotion to Full
Firing on all cylinders to strategically select project with biggest payoff in terms of things that count: grant funding, publications in high-profile journals, high-visibility service. Ruthless elimination of anything and everything that does not contribute to promotion, such as mentoring students. More angry than scared.

Associate Prof resigned to endless Associate purgatory
Bitter at how life turned out. Particularly bitter at productive Assistant Professors: how dare they work so hard, making us look bad?

Chair
A person who has given up all of their hopes and dreams of an academic career, at least temporarily, to manage the most self-involved, passive aggressive, competitive, entitled, and needy workforce on an unimaginably low budget. The fact that everyone is highly intelligent and some kind of expert on something or other makes things worse, as each person deeply believes that the thing that they are an expert in is the most important one with the greatest need for resources.

More at the link.

High School Textbooks

A laff from The Onion:

High School History Textbook Concludes With Little Blurb About Last 40 Years

EDISON, NJ—Immediately after dedicating 20 pages to the end of the Vietnam War and its aftermath, 11th-grade social studies textbook The American Vision awkwardly crammed the last 40 years of history into a little blurb titled “Into Our New Millennium.” “They spent a whole chapter on Teddy Roosevelt alone, but now they’re racing through the 1970s and just kind of stuffing Nixon’s resignation, the energy crisis, and the Iranian hostage situation into bullet points,” said student Russell Keener of the single-page spread, which somehow managed to encompass the attempted assassination of President Reagan, Rubik’s cubes, the Tiananmen Square protests, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. “It felt like we spent forever on the cotton gin, but now we’re just blazing through several decades like they’re nothing. One moment it’s the Lewinsky scandal, and the next we’ve got the first black president? It’s especially jarring when the last page has two thumbnail pictures, one of the Twin Towers falling and the other of a computer with a caption saying ‘The advent of the internet forever changed the way we see the world.’ Huh?” At press time, students reported not being certain how to take the book’s concluding sentence, which asked the question, “And who knows what will happen next?”

Medievalism

The first series in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs has been determined, with the Vegas Golden Knights sweeping the Los Angeles Kings four games to zero.

Knights vs. Kings. Sounds like a successful medieval rebellion…

A Good One

An amusing comment by John Nolte on the Daily Wire:

USA Today’s Brian Truitt describes himself as a “shameless geek,” but oddly enough omits the fact that he is also just as shamelessly ignorant when it comes to the signaling of his own virtue. In his review of Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan’s big-budget look (opening this weekend) at an actual historical event that took place in the early days of World War II, Truitt offers potential ticket-buyers the following trigger warning:

The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.

Where in the world do these people come from?

Did Truitt do any homework about the background of this movie? He does appear to know that Nolan’s latest is based on a true story, which I guess is a start, but he probably learned that from the trailer. The real question, though, is just how clueless about history, about the biggest world event of the 20th century are you when you find it “jarring” that Wesley Snipes doesn’t show up to save the day or that Sandra Bullock is not driving a tank that will explode if it goes under 50 miles per hour?

Complaining about the lack of women and minority actors in a movie about Dunkirk is like complaining about the lack of Sinatra music in Straight Outta Compton or wondering why cancer failed to get equal time in Philadelphia or hectoring Hollywood over the omission of realistic sex scenes in the Toy Story trilogy.

And we cannot only blame Truitt, who is probably a victim of public schools. How did his trigger warning, one so feeble-minded it ranks as a non sequitur, make it past the USA Today editors? Are they all half-wits or does someone personally dislike Truitt so much they have stopped protecting him from himself?

Sorry if the following is inconvenient to your McCarthyistic desire to bully filmmakers into thinking and believing a certain way, but the settled science tells us the following: Trapped at Dunkirk were young, white males. Saving those young, white males were other white males. Trying to kill those young, white males were other white males.

UPDATE: From News Thump:

‘Not enough Americans’ in Dunkirk movie, says Hollywood

Hollywood’s top military historians are up in arms over the lack of Americans in the new film ‘Dunkirk’.

The film, which features some bunch of Limeys nobody has ever heard of, has been singled out for lacking realism and credibility by not showing Americans as the heroes.

American reviewers described feeling ‘robbed’ after the film failed to show any of their countrymen in a heroic, leading role, leading to accusations of ‘Britwashing’ the Second World War to make it look like anyone other than the USA was involved.

UPDATE: Apparently there were some colonial Indian troops at Dunkirk, although they numbered about 1800 men, about half a percent of the 338,000 troops who were evacuated.

Orangemen’s Day

From Waterford Whispers News, a tongue-in-cheek story for this year’s Orangemen’s Day (July 12):

The Untold History Of The Orange Order Parades

WITH July twelfth officially upon us, we look back now at the very little known history of the Orange Order parades, and how they originally came about.

The Loyal Orange Institution, more commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant organisation based primarily in Northern Ireland. The Order was founded in 1795 in a bid to bring some sort of order to the way fruit was being displayed in many fruit stalls across the six counties.

The problem was that the poorer Catholic street traders would throw every different variety of fruit into the same stall, with no separation between items, making it difficult for buyers to search through. Not only was the jumbled up fruit unsightly, it also encouraged mould and rot to fester quite quickly, ruining the produce.

The Protestants, or “protesting ants” as they were originally called, began feuding with the Catholics about their idiotic shelving, insisting the fruit to be separated.

On July 12th, 1803, the Orange Order decided to finally take a stand, organising a march right through the heart of Belfast city on the Shankhill Road, where dozens of Catholic fruit sellers were based. Historians state that over 300 Orange Order members marched down through the stalls, carefully separating apples from pears, bananas from oranges, and even aligning the fruit in order of ripeness. This upset the Catholics and violence soon broke out on the street, and several people on both sides were tragically killed.

More at the link.