Bug-Eyed in America

Ever have an experience where something you hear or see or participate in leaves you with your eyes bugged out? Like, you just. can. not. believe. it.? As in, you can’t believe a Ph.D. in English would preface a sentence with “Like,” let alone separate every annoyed, frustrated, flabbergasted word with a period? Yeah. Like, one of those experiences.

My whole freaking day has been like that.

7:30 a.m.: Meet beloved English 102 students. By now they have plodded through an entire year of freshman comp, a pair of courses designed either a) to remind of all the things they should have learned in 13 years of K-12 education or b) to teach them all the things they missed during that lengthy period. Administer extra-credit final “exam,” jestingly dubbed the “Phaque Phinal.” Only those whose grades are on the borderline need apply: if 30, 40, 50 points of extra credits would kick you up a grade, by all means do participate.

Final Wee Quizzie…for 5 points of extra credit:

Question: What is the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning?

Answer: Inductive is pertaining to, or involving electrical or magnetic induction. Now deduction is based deductive from accepted premises, as in deductive argument [sic, sic, and sic].

Bet you don’t believe this, do you?

It’s real!

Bug-eyed moment.

Return an edited master’s thesis to an interesting and probably gifted student. Explain why several paragraphs full of amazing/wild/sometimes afactual assertions and allegations need documentation. Realize bright young(ish) woman hasn’t a clue about basic citation and documentation; fix her non-APA in-text citation and references documentation and tell her to cite vast quantities of unattributed factoids and wild allegations. Duck under the desk as volleys of outrage are lobbed at student from Graduate College.

Climb out from bomb shelter.

Fix thesis as best as possible under the circumstances. The circumstances: Grad College Format Cop demands student follow formatting guidelines; gives student link to same. Editor goes to link; it contains no formatting guide and no clue to formatting requirements, but editor finds a link to a PDF that claims to explain issues. No guidelines are forthcoming, but PDF contains a link to “master’s thesis formatting guidelines.” Editor clicks on this. Link takes editor back to link provided by Format Cop. Bug-eyed moment.

Cruising across the city, editor hears a report on NPR to the effect that some earnest soul proposes the U.S. Congress establish national standards for teacher promotion evaluation. Sorry, can’t find a link to this. But the eyes bug out.

Continuing to listen to NPR news, editor learns that hotel maid whose claims that a high-ranking French politician raped her were thrown out of court has won a civil suit against the man whose career she wrecked with apparently false charges. Says she, “I thank God, and God bless you all.” Eyes bug out. God bless us, every one.

Evening: NPR reports that the federal government wishes to regulate the descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cats. Presumably not just their lives, but all nine of their lives. The eyes bug out.

Meet with friend who knows how to make things of glass. He gives me — gives me — a handful of glass hearts that will be perfect as beaded necklace focal pieces, just really pretty and cool and appealing. He calls them “tchochkies” and thinks they’re worthless and so hands a half-dozen of them to me for nothing.

Eyes bug out.

Decide that if I can sell these, the proceeds had better go to charity.

La Maya calls. She and La Bethulia have been awarded permanent guardianship of four-year-old grandchild, whose Bi*ch Mother is in yet another drug rehab facility. Child is much improved in stable environment. La Maya is only ten years less decrepit than I am. La Bethulia is pushing my advanced age. One woman has lost so much weight from the stress that her clothes no longer fit; the other is considering going back on antidepressants as a way to cope. Bug-eyed moment.

Kevin Carey, writing for the New  York Times, describes the amazing abuses of the credit-hour system, academic standards, and online ripoffs. Bug-eyed brain boggles.

In the same august publication, one Salem Solomon describes the ungraceful enthusiasm of our country’s proposed new Secretary of State for craven African despots. The brain is getting too damn tired to boggle very dramatically.

It’s been like that all day long. I’ve lost track of the bug-eyed moments…these represent just a fraction of them.

Is it only me? Or have you had a bug-eyed day, too?

 

 

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101 Centavos December 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

No BOMs, but plenty of WTFs.

I’m trying hard to not listen to the general news, else I’ll be shaking my head so hard my eyes bug out.

Still think that whole hotel maid imbroglio was a honey trap of some sort (must stop wearing the tinfoil hat).

funny December 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

@ 101 Centavos: Where that particular fiasco is concerned, I think tinfoil hats are definitely appropriate party wear. Moi, I’m not taking mine off yet!

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