December 30, 2011

December 24, 2011

December 21, 2011

Headline of the Year

He did it in the drawing room with the candlestick?

December 16, 2011

December 09, 2011

December 04, 2011

An Open Letter to Emerson College (Part of a Continuing Series)

Dear Emerson College,

That I am still on your faculty mailing list seven months after I taught my last class with you is only charmingly incompetent. However, that I am, it appears, simultaneously on your alumni shakedown phone list is infuriatingly incompetent.

Can you imagine how insulting it would have been had I actually still been teaching Freshman Writing (for $16,000 a year, with no benefits or job security), to be called on a Sunday afternoon and asked whether I would like to do my part to enhance the Emerson experience for its current students? Can you imagine how awkward it would have been for the FRESHMAN calling me if I had, in fact, currently been her teacher?

Seriously, Emerson, get it together. How hard is it to cross-check a couple of lists?


A. Ladd

P.S. I read with satisfaction your updated diversity plan last month, from which you have at last removed your offensive "white/foreign/other" categories, so kudos on that. Also, that leads me to believe that you do actually pay attention to the open—and, indeed, closed—letters of complaint I write you, so I hope this one does the trick.

December 02, 2011

December 01, 2011

Plus Ça Change...

From the New York Times: Florida A&M University Student’s Death Turns Spotlight on Hazing

Man, is that spotlight mounted in a lighthouse, or what?

How many times does an American college student have to die from hazing before:

(a) People actually do something to stop hazing, or
(b) (Other) people stop being shocked that American college students die from hazing?

I mean, come on. There was an episode of ER ten years ago about frat kids dying from hazing; the spotlight has been and gone, several times. And yeah, hazing is terrible and the deaths it causes are tragic. So adopt university rules to expel anyone caught hazing and dismantle the organization under whose aegis the hazing took place. What's that? It would be unthinkable to dismantle our money-making athletic teams proud traditions? I guess we'll just have to keep putting up with occasional hazing deaths, then.

(N.B. This story is not about an athletic team, but boy!, is it about money-making!)

Also, somebody should do a study examining why British university students rarely do stuff this retarded.