Monday, May 24th 2004

posted @ 9:03 pm in [ ]
[Post-publication note (January 2006): Could this be the one? You already know my opinion, but I think this is the only thing that mentions "DeVry" and anything that's not either glowing or just plain neutral. I told DeVry faculty and administration after the frustrating experience described below that, as a member of Generation X, I don't usually need specific training to get comfortable with software, and that I did not feel that the mandatory training was a good use of my time, so that would not have been news to them. Obviously, this entire posting is a silly unloading of a series of frustrating moments and should be taken accordingly. If it matters, I'm not actually into porn, but I continue to be cheesed off about the human linear experience of time.] I’ll get back to the story in a minute, but first, I have a few items I want to get off my chest. Oh yes, it’s RANT TIME!!!

For one thing, Bobby knows I’m working hard at being nice to him (so far, so good), and he’s beginning to bait me. The other day he told me his housemates let his dog in while he wasn’t home, and the dog tore up the bed and chewed up a book. What am I, made of stone?! I can’t believe I didn’t say, “Hey, somebody’s gotta tear up your bed,” or offer my sympathies in the loss of his only book. I didn’t even say, “So, I guess that’s it for Hop on Pop, eh?” But man, did it HURT!

AND, I vaguely know this guy from the chaos society I belong to who is coming to Denver. He apparently wants me to help him with some stuff, but hell if he will tell me what that stuff is. He’s giving a lecture, but I can’t get him to tell me what he wants me to do about that. Now he apparently also wants to talk to some people about setting up independent research institutes, or about his work some more, sometime around the 10th or 11th of June, but hell if he will tell me what that might look like: who he wants to come, what kind of venue he wants, what he’d like to talk about, or again, what he wants me to DO about it, for the luvva mike! I don’t even have time to question the guy, much less set up a conference. But does he want me to set something like that up? Does he want me to put him in touch with someone? Does he want to spitball ideas? I don’t f*cking know! But whatever it is, I am apparently not doing it because he keeps emailing me about his vague availability! Makes me want to send him to those people who chant for things they want. Maybe if he just chants, it will happen for him. Maybe I’ll chant too, just to help him along: WHATDOYOUWANTFROMMEEEEEE!?!?!?!?!?!

THEN, just when I need my rantspace the most, Blogger goes and changes up their whole deal on me. I require certain tools and formatting stuff (can I just say those stupid formatting buttons up there don’t actually do DICK!?) and they appear to have left the building with all the haste and abandon of George W. Bush exiting an ethics conference. Not being able to get it to work, and not being able to get any answers as to why, I emailed tech support. I waited six days for this dopey “we’re moving on–join us!” message. Well, as far as I’m concerned, making me open multiple windows, log on multiple times, and toggle back and forth between them is a step BACK, not a step forward! It is NOT a streamlining! It is– whatever the hell the opposite of streamlining is! The f*cking opposite! Destreamlineifying! Roadblocking! You know, pissing me OFF!

Furthermore, DeVry recently required me to waste a bunch of my time on this online instructor training thing. I thought it would be about how to use their in-house software to manage courses, and some of it was, and that was pretty much okay. But the rest of it was useless CRAP! Now, I understand why they do that. It is DeVry’s policy to hire people who are expert in their fields and then expect them to teach about it, which, according to the students, doesn’t work so well. Teaching is a whole separate skill, after all, and it can’t be taught in a brief orientation and several hours of online hoop-jumping. Furthermore, my credentials were reviewed, I was interviewed, I had to give references, including TRANSCRIPTS fa’ chrissake–who gives a rat’s ass about my frickin’ transcripts?!–I was evaluated by my class, observed and evaluated by my dean… You’d think after all this surveillance, they would pretty much know who is a good teacher and who needs help. But everybody is supposed to go through this bullsh*t, and I agreed to do it because I believed it was a condition of employment. I just can’t help thinking that if they were that worried about my teaching credentials, I really shouldn’t have been hired. Several hours of my online time that I could have been doing something meaningful like looking at porn, GONE! Stupid linear experience of time.

And I’m not even talking about my frickin’ dissertation committee… but I do feel better.

Saturday, May 15th 2004

posted @ 6:49 pm in [ - ]

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Saturday, May 15th 2004

Hey, what the hell happened to the storyline?
posted @ 6:26 pm in [ - ]
Well, gentle reader, Blogger, the tool I use to publish this and my other blogs, changed its formatting. A lot. I’ve been attempting to write something good for several days now, but I’m distracted by the logistical problems I’m experiencing with the new version. I’m trying to find out how I can best supplant, ignore, or learn to live with them. In the meantime, I find it hard to write. Anything. But I’ll do my best…

Thursday, May 6th 2004

posted @ 8:45 am in [ ]
Okay, I’ve been getting a lot of interest about my last few postings, mostly along the lines of, “What are you doing? I like it.” Well, folks, in making my students write at least a few times a week, I’m aware that I’m both missing my own fiction writing, which brought me a lot of pleasure and occasional recognition, and that if I’m making them do it, it’s good for me to do it from time to time, too (not because of some sort of weird sense of fairness–pah!–but because of the insights into teaching other people how to do it that you can sort of only get by doing it yourself. So I’m writing a sort of serial short story. I don’t know how long it is yet, or what’s going to happen next. I’m as surprised as you are by each successive posting. But I am following the Raymond Chandler school of writing: if *something* doesn’t happen on a given page, throw that page away and write it again. I only get about one shot a week to write something, so this is how I’m using it at the moment.

I’m also getting a few sex column questions from new folks flipping through the archives for the first time. (Remember that?) So if you have a juicy question, send it along: and I’ll see if I can’t get to it soon. I’d like to do roughly three per column, so multiples are okay, too.

And now, back to the Desert View Inn…