Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things are weird

  1. Someone just offered us $30,000. A PhD student in Geekman's department is, by some quirk of the system, drawing both a PhD scholarship and a postdoc salary. He doesn't want them. He asked the university to take some of the money away, but they won't. And now he is trying to give it away. He thought we might like it to help pay off the house. We turned him down. But that was a weird conversation.
  2. I have now been asked to teach into five different courses this semester. People seem confused when I suggest instead that maybe they should get the people they JUST HIRED to teach the courses instead of the person who they just rejected. "But those people can't teach!" they complain. "And you're so good at it!" Yeah. Isn't it nice that, as we are always being told, our university values teaching so highly.
  3. I am going to Japan on Saturday. (Osaka, Kyoto). Any tips?


Ianqui said...

They can't teach, as in they're bad teachers, or they are contractually prohibited from teaching?

StyleyGeek said...

They are bad teachers. Their contracts require them to teach. There has been a lot of talk lately about how people employed primarily for research need to do more teaching, and how the university cares about teaching SO MUCH and will consider that highly when employing new hires. But yeah. Not so much. They'd rather hire people who can't teach for shit and then try to persuade people on research-only externally-funded contracts (like me) to cover for them.


Bardiac said...


^^That's an incredible temple, just incredible!

Also, the Golden Pavilion ( and the Silver Pavilion (, and the Philosopher's Walk (right near by).

If you can take the Keihan line out of Kyoto, go to Fushimi Inari Shrine (

Kyoto is an incredible walking city. You can't go three blocks without seeing something wonderfully old and/or interesting.

If you like more modern, then Osaka's great, too. There are beautiful areas along the river, especially.

Have a great trip.

(Sorry about the work weirdness.)

ellipsisknits said...


It's really easy to sit hear on the internet and cheer "yeah! Call those good-for-nothings' bluff!"

But I hope in the real world you find a way to work this out so you have your dignity *and* a job.

Any chance for employment by someone other than these stooges?