Week One’s Highlight

Fall semester is off to an excellent, largely mask-free start. Of course it takes more than one or two class sessions to get a true feel for your students’ personalities, but all signs point towards a great semester. The most notable demographic shift of the last few years seems to be accelerating—a significant increase in Latina students. I have half of the football team in one writing seminar (slight exaggeration) and half of my students in my other one want to become writers which is exciting.

Some context. For those newish around here, earning a chili pepper, signifying hotness, on the website “Rate My Professor” is my primary career objective at this point. The one unchecked box. And with each passing year, the Las Vegas oddsmakers say my receiving one is less and less likely.

The highlight of the week happened Tuesday morning when I descended the stairs of our house. Since I’ve been slumming it for months unshaved in t-shirts that could double as bike rags, the Good Wife was impressed with how much I had cleaned up. As she moved in for a steamy back-to-school smooch, she said the nicest thing ever. “I would give you ten chili peppers.”

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“Rate My Professor” Gold

One college student’s opinion about one professor.

“Passionate about her work but poor people skills. Interrupts students and even fellow faculty while speaking. Often ignores or invalidates comments even when requested. Seemingly judges based on appearance and admittedly judges based in writing skill. Unsympathetic to life circumstances, not a teacher willing to work with you. Good yoga instructor.”

LOVE that pivot at the end, but maybe shoulda started with that.

A Tough News Week Gets Tougher

With nary a single “chili pepper” signifying hotness on my personal RateMyProfessor.com page, my academic career remains incomplete.

And now this announcement. No More Chili Pepper: RateMyProfessors Ditches ‘Hotness” Ratings. Something about high levels of sexual harassment of women in the sciences and technology.

I was certain this was the year. Or next. Or for sure, the one after that. Now the window doesn’t close, it slams shut, never to open.

I will come to grips with my fate. Someday. Maybe.

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