Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Blog Will Now ONLY Be About Substantively Interesting Material and "Best Practices"

I realize now that much of my experience at the university, especially in the mid-70s and for the last 25 years has been one of disappointment and frustration. Not always, and perhaps not so often. But often enough. I go to a seminar or a meeting or even a class, and intellectual irritants are everpresent.

I will no longer write about such shenanigans and stupidity and nonsense. Writing about such is hyperventilating, so to speak. I have done my share of such accounting. It's time to stop, a full stop.

Every once in a while there is a seminar that makes me feel proud, a meeting that is useful, a student who really is good, and a class that is terrific. But less often than I would like. Yet, perhaps much more often than I should expect, given the nature of mass higher education and the highly diverse set of missions and goals of students and faculty and the diversions available to them. Still, even then it makes no sense to expect what I expect, since my expectations are intermixed with hopes that are unlikely to be realized.

So from now on, I will write either about substantively interesting material or best-practices and extraordinary performances. No more complaints, no descriptions of academic roadkill, no more accounts of presumptions of authority about topics when in fact ignorance reigns.

I do this for my well-being. I don't ever again want to leave a seminar exercised and frustrated. I will quietly leave, although some of the time I may not have perceived that the speaker really knows what's up. I won't wade through a presentation, where the main point is only revealed at the end or perhaps at the 2/3 point. If I don't know what's up by 15 minutes into a presentation, I will pack up my lunch and go back to my office.