or getting tenure

Reasons for quitting academia:

  • Consistently have to apologize to white men who are themselves assholes and in the wrong
  • White men are expected to do less service or teaching, and get rewarded when they jump the gun or behave inappropriately
  • Women must be twice as good to get the same opportunities as men, and this is particularly true of people of color
  • Women and people of color in positions of power buy into the system and do not do the work to protect people low on the hierarchy, pushing the burden of success and safety onto them
  • Faculty participate in diversity initiatives supposedly to improve diversity in the field, but then continue to behave in unjust ways
  • Endless push to get more underrepresented groups and women into the field, but without fixing the conditions that make them quit in the first place
  • Academia values productivity, measured as number of publications, at the expense of quality and depth
  • Faculty positions require teaching, administrative duties, student mentoring, and research for promotions and tenure, but the dearth of faculty positions and the dwindling amount of grant money means that junior faculty are pushed into overwork (60-80 hours per week) to meet the basic expectations of university administrations
  • Overproduction of PhDs means that getting a PhD only qualifies you for more training, requiring multiple moves and extended periods of instability
  • Overproduction of PhDs also means that extremely qualified academics end up going to ‘low-tier’ schools to teach, pushing research expectations up everywhere regardless of course-load or financial support
  • Academic work is undervalued so that both postdoctoral work and the majority of faculty positions are severely underpaid, especially as they require much more than 40 hours a week to fulfill all expectations
  • Postdoctoral trainees are often considered little more than indentured servants, and are treated neither as employees nor as students
  • Most academic positions are in geographical locations that are undesirable for most academics
  • Getting a job, getting tenure, and getting promotions depends as much on politics as on your quality as a researcher or teacher
  • Pervasive belief that academia, more than a job, is a vocation, to which you must sacrifice everything or be considered unworthy or undeserving, to the extent that looking for better opportunities is considered immoral or questionable

no, brain, we do not have time for (and will not get tenure by doing) a study of whether hatred of the word “queer” is not just generational but regional, depending on slurs in use in our particular location in people’s various youths. 

lmao bye. yalll know you don’t have to listen to your professors … like even in mathematics you can fucking invent shit outside of what they teach lol that doesn’t play by their rules, if you put in enough time and research. of course learn your basics, but like professors are human and have biases 

… and theres usually a reason why they get hired and tenure lmao…. because they uphold the university typically.. and universities profit from capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and so on. 

10 things that absolutely happened in Baker Street after Series 4 ended...

So, like most of us in the Sherlock fandom, I have had a great variety of thoughts about the events of Series 4. For instance, I have thought about the many details from Canon they included (“The Six Thatchers” story line was a really cool update in my opinion), and the details they chose to omit for some godforsaken reason (that sweet moment from “The Three Garridebs”), and why.

But, if I’m honest, I have thought a lot more about the lives of our heroes following the ending (if S4E3 is indeed an ending). And about how that ending was, honestly, as true to Canon as it could be (Sherlock and John together solving crimes at 221 B for the rest their lives), and offered us even more than we hoped (John has a daughter and Sherlock is involved in taking care of her in some way).

So, in my mind, the following are 10 things that absolutely happen after Series 4. 10 things any sane Sherlockian will be on board with. These aren’t in any particular order.

1. Sherlock and John never again have another major falling out, like the one after S4E1. They are each other’s family. That is that. And they both deeply understand it now. 

2. John apologizes sincerely and extensively for taking out his grief and rage on Sherlock and beating him up. Sherlock explains that he doesn’t think John needs to apologize; John convinces him otherwise. Sherlock forgives John, because of course John is always John and thus he is always forgiven. They go downstairs and continue their game of Monopoly with Mrs Hudson (game which, of course, Sherlock doesn’t understand the rules of, either). That is the night that John moves back in to Baker Street, with Rosie.

3. They spend a whole week redoing the flat, again: they baby-proof, clean, demolish and painstakingly make over the large upstairs bath into Rosie’s room. When I say ‘they’ I mean John and a mate down at Speedy’s who also works in construction. Sherlock has none of it and opts to leave Rosie with Mrs Hudson in favour of solving five cold cases before returning five days later. 

4. Sherlock and Rosie become, eventually, father and daughter. Sherlock, of course, never thought about this happening - ever. But, sure enough, he finds himself offering to babysit while John’s at work more and more, to the point where Molly and Mrs Hudson almost never have to anymore, unless Sherlock’s on a case (read: Sherlock and John are on a case). Many, many times, he sings silly songs, and spins her around and bounces her on his knee and crashes with her on the couch because he’s been awake on a case for 72 hours and he didn’t realize it. When she is 3, he teaches Rosie to play a tiny 1/8 size violin, which he then replaces on her birthdays as she grows. When she is 4, he starts giving her lectures on science and teaches her while she looks through his microscope. He has also taken to reading to her nonfiction appropriate for children her age, as fiction is handled best by John at bedtime. The way she looks at him when he reads is so utterly John, he is almost as bewitched as she is. So he doesn’t have the heart to mock the way the authors sometimes trivialize the scientific/historical concepts. He just corrects them as politely as he can (just barely steering clear of insults) and reads. When she is 6, after she asks about her mum (for the nth time), he is finally honest, because he knows John couldn’t have been. Yet it is also him who plays the violin to soothe her to sleep after she is done crying in his arms. When she is 8, John asks Sherlock to please finally assume Rosie’s legal guardianship, only to find out Sherlock says no. Sherlock asks John if he can instead adopt her. John agrees and Sherlock does (in record time, because Mycroft gets involved). Rosie already calls Sherlock “pa” anyway.

5. John, eventually, dates sparingly - and then not at all. Whether he likes it or not (he finds that he does) he is already in a long-term relationship, even if it isn’t (yet)/won’t ever be romantic. That has always been the case, right? It has always been him. Sherlock, and now Rosie and Sherlock, very nearly occupy his entire heart. There is simply no room for anyone else. Not after Mary. It doesn’t even cross his mind to meet someone else with intent of a serious affair. 

6. They both find therapists and stick to treatment at least for a little while. Sherlock’s therapist happens to be the second most patient man on the face of the planet (the first being, of course, John Watson). He is also, well, not a complete idiot. And he is just as annoying as John about Sherlock’s substance abuse problem, which means he must be doing something right. John’s therapist is an older army vet, a widower, who understands John’s anger issues and adrenaline addiction nearly better than John does himself. The very calm, mild-mannered, highly empathetic man is a stark contrast to both Sherlock and Mary, and John, oddly enough, finds he can work with him just fine.

7. Eurus and her brothers now have something of a relationship. Of COURSE she can’t leave Sherrinford again, but she does have her moments of sanity. Few and far in between though they may be. And in those times she helps Mycroft with matters that Sherlock is too much of a diva to tend to, and amuses herself composing music alongside Sherlock. She does plot their deaths, and in general people’s deaths, often in her mind, of course, but that’s beside the point because she is left absolutely no way for those plans to come to fruition. She receives lots of gifts from her family. But never again any special visitors.

8. Molly leaves for the United States when Rosie is 10. Because she needs to. After a few years of struggle, she ends up as one of the pathologists on a coincidentally all-female research team at Johns Hopkins. As she works she is hit by the notion: she is done admiring the brilliance of men whilst overlooking her own. Over her career, her team publishes dozens of peer-reviewed original research articles, crucial to the development of several new medications. She is also the editor of the general and organ-systems based anatomy curricula at three newer medical schools, where she teaches said courses. Her students, she finds, become like her children. And, given her reviews, they like her very much as well. So much she gets tenure, in fact. Whenever she is not too busy, she visits London again. She gets a coffee with John, and goes shopping with Rosie, who now is 24, and in graduate school. And she takes a walk with Sherlock. He’s aged very well, the bastard.And he is a little warmer, kinder, sweeter. It’s finally nice to be just friends. 

9. Sherlock gets that knighthood. After one of the best cases of his career, actually, one John blogs about in particular detail. John takes him out to dinner to celebrate when they get back from the official string of engagements.

10. John publishes his blog in book form and it becomes a best-seller. His private practice doesn’t exactly thrive, but he does okay. Primary care offers a quiet little alternative to the life-or-death situations in his writings.

That is it. That is my collection of headcanons.


11.  John makes a very strong point of celebrating Sherlock’s birthday, since he went so long without doing so. He also ropes Rosie into doing it. In fact, she is the only one who ever manages to plan a surprise party that actually surprises Sherlock.

12. John’s hair continues to be on point for eternity. So do Sherlock’s cheekbones (obviously).

13. Mycroft gets to his ideal body weight. Which is a small mercy, since he is almost, not-quite-trying, definitely-not looking for his goldfish. In between taking down the Trump presidency and knocking down a few terrorist cells.

chaos-online  asked:

I saw on a post of yours earlier, you mentioned being an archeologist. I've always thought about getting into archeology as a career, but I don't much about it. I don't know what the work is like or how it pays. May I ask you a few questions about it? What kind of jobs are there? What kind of degree do you need to get an archeology job? How easy is it to get one. As an archeologist, what do you do? How easy is it to find work in the field? Thanks so much for everything you do, I love your blog!

My answers are going to be in the context of the United States because that is where I am and what I am familiar with. This may vary depending on other countries.

What kind of jobs are there?

There are primarily two kinds of jobs for archaeology: commercial and academic. Commercial archaeology primarily consists of Cultural Resource Management (CRM). CRM is when companies go in to assess the archaeological and historical significance of a construction or work area before construction or work can begin. These kinds of projects are normally done for state and federal projects or commercial projects that involve the state or federal government. Most of the work consists of surveying, digging test pits, and doing limited salvage work before construction/work begins. If the survey, test pits, and salvage work uncover something truly important and significant, the construction/work project has to work around the designated area. This could mean reducing a highway, moving the location of a building, and not putting up an oil well.

Academic archaeology focuses on research, but you must be affiliated with a university, museum, historic park, etc. While academic archaeology may focus on research, often you must do other things like teach classes, design and set up exhibits, write reports to the government, etc. For academic archaeology you do much less field work. If you become a professor your time is split into thirds. One third is teaching and all its trappings, one third is grant writing, and one third is field work including excavation and lab analysis. Somehow you have to fit in writing articles for high impact journals, book chapters, or entire books to ensure that you can get tenure or just hold onto your position.

What kind of degree do you need to get an archeology job?

If you do just CRM all you need is a Bachelor’s. But you will be restricted to seasonal and part time work forcing you to move around the country chasing jobs to pay off your bills and student loans. You can move up to being a crew chief in which you oversee teams of people in CRM, but you need a Master’s. If you get a PhD you can become a Private Investigator (PI) for a CRM company. You may be able to publish some of your work, but you also handle working with companies to meet their needs and requirements for archaeological work in accordance with the law.

For academic archaeology you need a PhD. You cannot really do anything else without it.

How easy is it to get one?

A BA is easy, usually four years. A Master’s takes work and can be as little as two years to more. A PhD takes a lot more work and you are looking at 4+ years.

As an archeologist, what do you do?

I’m pursuing the academic route. So what I do is design research questions to answer using data collected from the field. This can be my own data or I can do a secondary data analysis on data collected by others. 

Typical work consists of finding a site, mapping the site, placing test pits for potential excavation units, digging said excavation units, carefully documenting soil levels, soil changes, and the presence of artifacts within the unit, analyzing recovered material, and publishing a paper on your findings. The same hold true for CRM, though there may be less lab work and publishing depending on the project budget.

How easy is it to find work in the field?

For CRM it can vary. Sometimes years are booming and CRM companies are in desperate need of field workers. Other years it seems as though the only jobs available are those that require a MA or above. On top of that you have to scramble around for work. A couple months in Nevada, two weeks in Texas, three months in Tennessee, two months of no work, three works in Utah, etc. It is not a field with regular work opportunities.

The academic route is … depressing. Even if you go through all the hurdles and get your PhD there is a slim chance of finding a university position and an even slimmer chance that the position you get pays well and is a tenure track position. I don’t like to think about it.

This is the reality of archaeological work. It is bleak, depressing, and sad. As important as some of the work is and as interesting as some findings can be, there never seems to be enough public support to help drive and fund more archaeological work. If you want to get into archaeology you have to want to do it more than anything else. You have to be at peace that you’ll have a massive amount of student debt. That you’ll be poor for 10+ years after high school while you try and get a PhD. That you may be left behind while everyone else is buying a house, starting a family, and living life. 

As bleak as that sounds, the pure thrill of finding something, of doing an analysis that answers a question, the excitement of learning something new about humanity and its past, the light that flares up in someone else’s eyes as they learn something new and get excited about it makes all of that bleakness melt away. At least, it does for me. And that’s why I chose this path and why I started this blog.

Dear grad students

As a recently graduated PhD, I completely understand your stress, your worry, your anxiety, your exhaustion, your endless sense of uncertainty, your feeling that even though you do all you can, it’ll never be good enough. Before I graduated, I heard lots of scary things from my mentors- that it would never end, that things get even more stressful after graduation, that in order to be successful you have to work nights and weekends for the rest of your life, that I’d have to pick between research and clinical work. 

 I want you to know those are scare tactics, not reality. 

 Life gets better post-PhD. I sleep better, my skin is clearer, I’m more mindful, my immune system is better, I can focus on TV enough to watch an entire episode of Sherlock, I’m more motivated and able to do fun social things in my free time- and I actually have free time! 

 And it’s still possible to be successful at work. I spent college and grad school learning how to work well. How to work efficiently and effectively. How to prioritize my responsibilities. How to learn new things. How to set my own deadlines. How to work with other people, who may have completely different working styles. How to receive critical feedback. How to live in an uncertain world and be confident in myself anyway. 

Now I use all those skills, and my mentors and colleagues take me seriously. They trust my skills and my work. I don’t have to prove myself constantly anymore. Work is better. It’s easier, and I’m more effective. 

Best of all, getting out of grad school has ended the tunnel vision grad school creates. I can see my whole life now, and prioritize what I want, rather than only seeing grad school stretching into the endless future. My whole identity doesn’t have to be centered around grad school. My goals don’t have to be solely academic. 

Which is amazing because I get to be a complete person, and because it means I have more options for my life. The further I get away from grad school, the more I realize I don’t have to get that tenure track job at some super prestigious university to be happy or successful. I have options. And I can pick what’s important to me- the perfect job, the perfect institution, the perfect financial package, the perfect location. I don’t have to put academic success first in order to be a good scientist or to prove myself. I can pursue the right life for me.  

You can, too. You can make it to the other side. You can pursue happiness and success. Keep going. 

Recently a bunch of people I follow posted pictures of their view at work. Unfortunately I can’t do that because my office doesn’t have a window (I guess only people on tenure track get windows). So here’s a picture of the weirdest thing in my office instead: a serpentine gouge on the ceiling of my office with “THE SERPENT OF MY SELF” written underneath.

Btw, I thought maybe this was an “X marks the spot” type situation, so I lifted the ceiling tile this is written on and checked if there was like a secret treasure or something. Nope, nothing.

I could write my damn dissertation on all of Snape’s sub-textual coding.  Feminine coding?  Check.  Queer coding?  Check.  Class coding?  Check.  Race/religion/ethnic coding?  Check.

Snape is one of the biggest single collections of historical literary coding in contemporary literature.  I could go on.  Witch archetype?  Check.  Negative Jewish archetype?  Check.  Surrogate mother figure archetype?  Check.  Ugly=evil archetype?  Check.  Queer-coded threat to the heteronormative narrative archetype?  Check.

Classism.  Antisemitism.  Sexism.  Queer phobia.

My first published work as an academic is going to be a collection of essays on Severus Snape, just you watch.

I am so not going to get tenure.

lucreziaborgia replied to your post: glorianas replied to your post “glorianas …

the majority of the ~history fandom on here isn’t comprised of historians or even those studying it for their life’s work. it drives me rather batty when anyone who isn’t a historian claims the title, especially popular history tbh where it’s particularly misleading for prospective readers. can we respect the profession more please?

I agree.  History of any kind isn’t easy to study (no matter what hardcore STEM majors want us to think lol).  You get thrown through the ringer, and even once you’re done studying, the life of an academic isn’t easy.  My adviser is a baby prof, and she taught in Canada the previous academic year and is leaving my school at the end of the semester because…  Well, that’s kind of what you do until you get tenure.  Another prof is in her 40s, has two doctoral degrees, and lives on the East Coast while her husband is on the West because they’re both academics and can’t find jobs in the same area.

Popular history is something that I really don’t mind if people know what it is.  I’ll read Ross King’s book “Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling” for fun and I’ll probably get something out of it–I mean, if nothing else it will be entertaining and I can consult the bibliography.  But Ross King caters more towards a “popular art history” audience (so much smaller than popular history) and as far as I know his work isn’t really peer-reviewed.  Therefore, if I was to use his book as a springboard for my paper, my professor would probably tell me to go back to the drawing board.

Big difference between a writer of popular history and an actual historian; big, big difference between someone who likes history and someone who has made a career of academic history.

Just in case anyone was as in need of closure as I was. Zack Penn made up a post-season 2 finale story for Alphas. It was vaguely sarcastic, but at least he didn’t Peter Van Houten us. If you missed it, here is the story:

“Dr. Rosen lived. Hicks and Nina ended up together. Rachel went back to civilian life. Bills kid was an alpha. Gary ends up the leader of a reconstituted, less violent Red Flag. Parish dies of a viral infection that targets his peculiar chemistry. Rosen ends up getting back together with his ex wife. They move to Binghamton, NY, where he gets tenure in the psychology dept.

Alpha abilities continue to evolve. The next generation can communicate with each other through non traditional means. It turns out that they are heading towards a communal, hive like consciousness. It has its pluses and minuses. Gary can’t stand it.

Nothing wraps up too neatly. Being an alpha ends up neither blessing nor curse, simply different.

Hicks and Nina’s kids are really good looking but a handful. Hicks falls off the wagon a few times. Nina pushes him back on.

Zooey emancipates at age 12. Skyler disappears one day and is never seen again. Dr. Rosen figures out the mechanism behind Kats memory. She gains a long term memory, but loses her alpha ability. Ill equipped to deal with normal life, hers ends tragically.

Zooey becomes a Senator, with help from Rosen. Later she turns on her own kind.

Rachel dumps John, ends up marrying an Orthodox Jew named Barry Shapiro. He is quiet and smart and clean. Rachel cheats on him a few times.

Bill starts meditating and goes back to the FBI.

Hicks’s brother in law clears up his gambling debts. Cley gets a job as a high powered lawyer/lobbyist for a big energy company.

A guy named Barry Shump assassinates Gary Bell at a rally. Gary is 47 years old.

None of the “bad alphas” reform their ways– Most end up dead or in prison.

It turns out that donut shops are part of a vast alpha conspiracy.

Sullivan has a long affair with a General who keeps promising to leave his wife. He never does.

Bill and Rosen stay in touch. Rosen helps Bill with his alpha kids.

Gary accomplishes a great deal in his life. “Bellism” is coined to refer to underestimating people because of their neural differences. Gary never does settle down, and he resents it when people suggest that he needs to be in love. That’s their opinion.

An alpha named Mike Werbe ends up inventing a form of zip up one piece clothing that makes him a billionaire.

Dr. Rosen dyes his beard blue in solidarity with an alpha who is extradited to South America. (An all alpha country exists there.)

Also, to clarify, Hicks’ brother in law is from his first wife. He has serious gambling debts.“

From Zack’s twitter account. Here’s where it starts!

Love your tags you put for my story @idatheactivist 😊 😘

You’re completely right about the summary by the way, Lucy needed some alcohol bc she didn’t get tenure & there’s that woman, Julia who was her classmate in in high school, (Lucy couldn’t stand her back then) she was on her way out and she recognized her so they talk & Julia asks her if she’s still single & Lucy who had a bad day is like “fuck it” and she just jumps on the guy who just entered the bar, kisses him on an impulsion expecting to be rejected, humiliated in front of Julia but he’s…kissing her back ? :D

She’s breathless and speechless when she finds herself staring right at his blue eyes. He’s got dimples and God, he can kiss ! She asks him if he’s okay to play along, pretending to be her bf, he nods and Lucy’s heart skips a beat when he interlaces their fingers. So he meets Julia & she’s like “oh Lucy didn’t say you were that handsome”.

At that moment he lets go of her hand to Lucy’s regret but that doesn’t last long when that hand goes around her back & rests on her hip, inviting her to lean into his side. She does willingly.

He replies to her old classmate with “She is the jealous type you know” , looks down at Lucy who says playfully “You better remember it”

and he’s like “ I only have eyes for you babe” and kisses her to her complete surprise. That second kiss makes her weak in the knees. She knows she took it too far, but it’s too late. It was completely unnecessary for their little pretend, but that would be lying if she didn’t admit she didn’t feel anything. Then Julia has to go, she leaves and Lucy put some needed distance between her and that stranger she learned is named Wyatt. “I’m sorry I jumped on you like that”

“No harm done…ma’am” he simply shrugs with a grin.

“Don’t call me ma’am, we’re practically the same age. Lucy is fine.”

Then she offers him to buy him a drink as her apology and he accepts. They spend the evening getting to know one another. Parting with the promise to meet again the next day. 

I really need to work on that second part I promised I would write :P

Historical Memory

The section of defending your thesis
they usually don’t tell you about until grad school
is the part with the boat trip,
the sheep, the knife, the myrtle branch,
and the teeming and quarrelsome dead.

Step one: dig the trench. Don’t go overboard
(or, literally, overboard) but make sure
there’s a square meal in there,
an hour’s worth of fluid conversation.

Step two: get your sword out. For vegans
and the squeamish, there are chemical substitutes
but your ghosts may spit them out,
or just mouth Unicode or Esperanto.

Step three: the sheep gets it. The only cure
for death, unfortunately, is death.
Tip its throat over the gaping maw
of your redoubt. Don’t wear expensive shoes.

Step four: pick your figure. Social historians
have a rougher time with this; that’s why
the Great Man approach to history held sway
for a century and a half. Statisticians need an abbatoir.

Step five: the interview. Let them learn
what sense you’ve made of  their life,
tell them the reasons they made their crucial mistakes;
tell them what you wish they’d only known.

Remember: they’re dead, and if they throw a punch
it won’t connect.

Step six is the mandatory evaluation. Thus
the historical bias towards the literate, and the prolific.
Not everyone has the patience for a twelve-page questionnaire
rating your conclusions, your methods, your objectivity.

Step seven should be get tenure,
but here’s the work, and here’s the labour.
For now, take in the sunlight, and the passing moments
whisking past your ears. Remember you, too, could be wrong.

But hear me out: the Ghostbusters AU goes like this, right? Myka is Kristin Wiig’s character, straitlaced, wanting to get her respectable tenure; and Helena is Melissa McCarthy, sure of her direction, dismissive of all in her way. And under other circumstances I might swap out Kate McKinnon for Claudia, but I just can’t do it; ditto Leslie Jones. They stay, because I can totally imagine Holtzmann hitting on Myka, with Helena being all clearly offended about it and trying to signal “stop” and Kate McKinnon not stopping and Helena saying “no, if you don’t stop you will lose privileges” and KM pouting but semi-stopping but still winking at flustered Myka, who obviously broke up with Helena back in the day (because of respectability and all) but still looooooves her. (And in this scenario, Leslie Jones is the one who advocates hard for hiring Kevin, and Myka is the one who agrees, in much the same “the croissant thing is kind of impressive” tone she used with Kelly re Pete, that they should give the pretty boy a job.)

And come on. Would it not rhyme, universally, with the grappler, when Myka hooks that hook to herself and dives into the portal after Helena?

A Note about the X-Files Fandom

Note: I wrote this right around the time dashakay wrote her version, and am posting it with her blessing. I’m sorry if they overlap. I swear it’s entirely coincidental.

I don’t want to get involved in the whole drama, but I feel like maybe the OP should learn a little X-Files fandom history. And since my master’s happens to be in broadcasting and X-Files has been my fandom for 21 years, I can help you out.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What's your take on the social justice, WTS, etc. stuff going on at Stanford right now?

Do you mean WTU?

Anyway, generalized take on campus social justice, informed by current events at Stanford but also by friends at other places and various media:

Student politics contains a lot of people on both sides who are basically fighting over the levers of administrative (and in the case of public universities, state) power. They are fighting to get professors fired or tenured; fighting to get their own activists campus jobs doing activism, fighting over where the school’s endowment is invested, fighting over what counts as hate speech and how much trouble you get into for it.

I think this is a bad approach to activism, for three reasons. The first is that it can be used in pursuit of bad goals exactly as easily as in pursuit of good goals; there is no truth-seeking in it. None of the discussions of hate speech or microaggressions that have sparked firestorms on campuses today specify ‘this sort of statement, if untruthful’. And so you get professors fired for being insufficiently pro-Israel and speakers uninvited for being excessively pro-Israel and students made to feel afraid on both sides, depending on who currently has the upper edge in social power. Good policies promote debate not because they respect the inherent value of debate and free speech (well, they should, but that’s harder) but because good policies will win debates. Stanford, a couple years ago, shut down a talk by an opponent of gay marriage. They should have let him talk, because his arguments were not dangerous. They would not have been convincing. Our side has a better argument.

The second reason is that it has, of course, disparate impact. Skye was marvelling earlier today about a story of a beloved classics professor who got fired for putting on Seneca’s Medea - and also got fired from his second job at the school as a janitor. A lot of campus social justice tactics involve getting people fired or calling for their resignation. If the people in question are the well-connected upper middle class, they’ll bounce back from this. It is not a safe assumption that the people whose resignation you’re calling for are. Oberlin’s “we demand the immediate firing of [ a dozen mid-level administrators]” was a particularly egregious case of this. 

The third reason is that it does not achieve the goals the movement has. As far as I can tell, administrations basically respond to all these events by asking their PR teams to work overtime. They find and comply with the easiest-to-manage of the demands, announce that they’re convening a committee to talk about the others, and wait for the furor to die down. Students graduate in a few years and their energy for activism usually doesn’t even last that long; the administration is willing to outwait them.

I think campus social justice demands should take the form of specific demands that can happen right away, developed alongside the administration as much as possible to avoid making the interaction adversarial until it absolutely has to be (perhaps taking advantage of the fact that other students who are being adversarial are scaring the administration into cooperating; I am in favor of two-pronged approaches). I think they should favor concrete proposals (”change this psych services policy”) over symbolic ones (”divest from this evil organization”). I think they should not just permit debate but welcome it, announcing when debates will be hosted when they announce the policies in the first place.

With all of that said, I think in general students have entirely legitimate complaints. Colleges have a weird incentive structure where they are more accountable to the U.S. News and World Report than to their actual customers, and their actual customers want a bunch of things and are entirely right to agitate for them. Also, someone recently got the administration to replace nearly all the men’s and women’s bathrooms on campus with gender-neutral ones, and I think if not for students pushing for that, it would have taken decades. Stanford has a $22billion endowment. Their students should absolutely be fighting for that to be spent in a way that matches the reputation the school wants to project. If most of their requests are too long-term, not actually feasible or a good idea, and/or needlessly incendiary, that’s fine. Activism doesn’t start with coming to the table with your most reasonable ideas.

But it does, eventually, need to get there.

yuriopiroshky  asked:

Hi! I just saw your answered ask about Friends and how you hate Ross (same, by the way) and I just wondered if you'd share your thoughts on him, especially the Rachel in the last two episodes. Also: what do you think about them being on a break (or not)?

Oh my GOD

Okay, shit’s about to get real right now. Everyone sit back and relax because this might get long.

So, okay, let’s start with Rachel in the last two episodes. The entire few episodes, they’re both essentially trying to achieve their dreams. Ross is up for tenure and Rachel might get a better job with better pay. Ross gets tenure, because as a straight white male why wouldn’t he? And Rachel ends up getting fired and doesn’t get the new job she was hoping for. So, yes, it’s all very shitty for Rachel, and Ross acts super sympathetic even though he got what he wanted.

Well, when she gets her dream job in Paris, Ross completely loses his fucking mind. He goes behind her back to try to make her stay. He bribes her old boss to give her her job back and give her a raise, which seems like a nice thing to do, but is purely done for selfish reasons.

But then, he realizes she really wanted that job in Paris and for a second you think Ross has grown a heart because he tells her she should totally take the job.

But, of course, Ross is an awful human being and at the last second changes his mind. This fucker follows her to the airport and tells her not to go because he still loves her, putting her in this awful position where she has to choose him or the job. And I get the whole “But he loved her so much!!”, but if he loved her so much, he would have let her go.

So when she says she can’t do this right now and she has to go, you’re thinking hopefully she won’t give up Paris for literal walking garbage. But no. She gets off the plane. She chooses the sack of shit over her dream job in Paris. The job she was so excited to do was just thrown out the window. Now she’s dependent on Ross and stuck with basically a giant man-child.

And, honestly, yeah Ross got tenure, but is it completely impossible for him to have a job in Paris? Like, could he not go to Paris with her and be a paleontologist there?

This is why I think Joey would have been a better match for Rachel. Aside from the fact that he didn’t act like an asshole when she ended things, he also could have probably made it as an actor there. I mean, he was always doing small jobs here and there anyway, why not do the same thing in Paris?

But even if she and Joey didn’t work, I would have rather Rachel went to Paris and lived on her own as a single mother and totally rocked the shit out of it.

Because the whole series started with her basically becoming independent. She dumps her fiance and her dad cuts her off and she had to try to make ends meet as a waitress. Like, can you imagine starting your life off as a waitress and ending up at your dream job in Paris? That’s a much better story than ending up with fucking Ross of all people.

I just keep thinking when their kid is a teenager and they tell her the story, she just deadpans and says, “You mean, we could have been living in Paris this whole time?? Mom, what the fuck?”

Rachel absolutely should not have chosen Ross and instead should have gone to Paris. Like, I have this whole redone ending where she’s been living in Paris for a while, like maybe a year or two, and one day Joey calls her up. Monica and Chandler are busy with their kids in their new house, Phoebe has her own husband and probably a lot of kids because she mentions she wants a ton of them, and Ross is gross who would want to hang out with his crusty ass anyway? So Joey talks to her about how he needs a vacation and is feeling kind of lonely and she tells him he should totally come up there and visit her and Emma. So he does because he’s a single guy with money to spare so why not? And when he gets there it’s all just normal hanging out as friends, but then they fall in love in Paris and Joey becomes Emma’s step dad and Rachel is the main supporter and everything is happy.

That’s what I think should’ve happened.

Now, as for the “we were on a break” bullshit.

This is why I can’t fucking forgive Ross for that. Ross believes he’s completely absolved of guilt. He thinks that because Rachel said they needed a break and because he jumped to the conclusion that she was moving on with Mark already that he was free and clear. Now, okay, I understand that they were broken up. I don’t think it was necessarily cheating, but I do think Rachel has every right to be angry about it because they had only been broken up for a few hours before he slept with her.

Ross, because he’s fucking annoying as shit and doesn’t ever let anyone say anything, jumped to the conclusion that she had already moved on. So, instead of listening to her or using any kind of logic, he sleeps with someone else. But the thing of it is, the girl was trying to put the moves on him, which at first he rejected because he didn’t think they were totally broken up, making his “we were on a break” claim null and void.

The argument can be made that he didn’t sleep with her until after he thought Rachel had moved on, but I still don’t think he’s in the clear here. He spends and entire next episode trying to keep Rachel from finding out, making it clear that he knows he’s done something wrong and is trying to hide it. Granted, it was Chandler and Joey’s idea to hide it, but don’t try to tell me Ross wouldn’t have come up with that idea himself if they weren’t around. 

So then he only apologizes after he’s been caught, but he never apologizes again. He obviously is only apologizing so she won’t leave him. After the break up, he doesn’t act sorry at all. In fact, he acts like a complete jerk. And then he’s constantly trying to look like a good person always claiming “we were on a break” when he should have said something like “I thought you’d moved on already and I was upset, I’m sorry.” And then fucking proved it. Because, even if people make accidents, they still apologize if that accident hurt someone. If you accidentally step on someone’s foot, you apologize even though you didn’t do it on purpose.

Ross is not an irredeemable character, it’s just that he never owns up to his shit and is always trying to come off as perfect, never admitting he has any flaws. And then, of course, he tries to lay the blame on everyone else. He tries to say that Rachel isn’t innocent in the whole thing and that it’s her fault too, but she never did anything. All she did was accept a friend’s help when she was feeling sad after a breakup. It’s not her fault that that friend had feelings for her and she didn’t do anything with him anyway, so, again, she didn’t do anything wrong.

Rachel totally deserved more than she got and Ross doesn’t deserve Rachel at all, even though he thinks he does because he’d had a crush on her since high school, as if that makes her belong to him.

The Ross/Rachel relationship is manipulative and abusive and I hate it.