Monday, November 3, 2008

Heidi & Hildi, RYS's favorite Sexy Scholastic Twins, Both Send Congratulatory Notes On Our Big Anniversary. Yet Won't Tell Us Why They Won't Call!

  • On anniversaries, it is important to take a moment to mark the passage of time. With that comes the inevitable meandering through our shares memories of days gone by. The stories roll out, we laugh again at those golden moments grown dusty with age. We acknowledge that things have changed. So today, here at RYS, we give a nod to the enormous accomplishment we celebrate with our bantering. Our snowflakes are getting dumber. They fall asleep in class, they don't do their homework, they cheat on tests, they make up excuses. To the unseasoned observer it might appear they are exactly the same from semester to semester across this great land of ours. But listening carefully to their questions, it becomes evident more surprises lie in wait. They ask, "Where was World War 2." They think Saddam Hussein is a Nazi. They can text, but they can't type. They can download anything, but they can't remember their passwords. So, when we are referred to as complainers, whiners, big babies, crotchety old farts, inexperienced idiots, we can stand proud and say we are not just the keepers of knowledge. We are scientists. We are the preservers of records. Long live, RYS. Together we are chronicling the de-evolution of a species.

  • So, it's been three years has it? Does that qualify you for some interwebs version of tenure? Ah I remember when I stumbled upon RYS the first time so long ago, when I was in my first year of teaching and ready to shoot myself in the face to make it stop. It was the middle of night; I was living in Buttcrack, USA in a department of people who lectured me, in hushed, fearful tones, about my publication record and the need to 'pick it up' for tenure even though I had published more as a grad student than they had...ever. Whipsawed between some jackhole provost who believed that our road to the top 30 could be paved by flogging the junior faculty and the departmental deadwood's insistence that we all meet weekly with our freshman advisees, I had both insomnia and tears rolling down my face. After drowning my sorrows with Midori mixed with Sprite and vodka, I lay, still in tears, with my laptop on my chest surfing the web. In a brief moment of complete honesty, I fired up Google and wrote the following the search box: "My students are complete fucking dolts." The first assortment of links proved unsatisfactory, but one contained a link that led me RYS. It took me hours to read the entire archive. I woke my husband up I was laughing so hard. And, even though it is an angry and bitter compound, I still read every day. Sure, yeah. It's a mess. It's dysfunctional. It's snarky. But just like that first night, it helps to know that I am not alone. The crazed Kool-Aid world of my colleagues is one universe, where I smile like a Stepford wife and gush about the joys of teaching and the brilliance of a central administration whose leadership consists of exhorting us to both fix pancakes for undergraduates and win Nobel Prizes. This RYS is another universe, where there is always salt for my margarita, where there are always some students who are bigger dolts than mine, and where there is some proffie so infinitely more pathetically fracked up than me that she LIKES that her students call her "Mom." Here's to the parallel universes. Now pass me the blender and get out of my way. I've got snowflakes to melt.