What’s your superpower?

Here’s us creating a superhero:

The Recaller has the ability to draw books to her from all over the world (like instantaneous interlibrary loan) and find them in her magical bookcase when she wants them. The books stay with her until she releases them and are untraceable to her (or are they?).

(This superpower, of course, would be important and relevant, unlike these, and would probably be more fun than this!)

Formerly a mild-mannered assistant professor, she was bitten one night by a borrowed book and now conceals her powers from jealous colleagues and an evil syndicate (called The Class) of cheating undergraduates. The Class want to kidnap and torture The Recaller in order to make her steal one-of-a-kind rare books from libraries and museums around the world. Sometimes their parents shoot lasers at her from their helicopters.

Her fatal flaw is that she naps a lot and would rather read genre novels than write the incisive and highly-cited publications she needs in order to get tenure.

The Recaller fantasizes about procuring an entire steampunk wardrobe and wearing it to teach in, but she doesn’t do it because she doesn’t have tenure yet. Only a few of her closest friends know of The Recaller’s powers, but they don’t know that she has superpowers; they think she is just friends with the librarians or something. Her name, of course, is Jane. She has a slight penchant for tweed and a very comfy chair at home.

What superpower would you choose? Tell us in the comments.

Never notice that you don’t have any referee reports to write.

The universe will soon fix that problem.

It’s so true.

Things I have learned from my kid

1.  You can fix anything with tape or kisses.

2.  Ketchup covers a multitude of sins.

3.  Frozen vegetables are better than the cooked kind.

4.  The best thing to wish for when you grow up is to be grown up.

5.  There is enormous freedom in running around the house clothes-free or mostly clothes-free.  Especially if you are giggling at the top of your lungs while doing so.

Welcome Readers from DonnaFreedman.com

We’re not all grumbles.  Here are some fun posts that might be of interest to you:

Satisficing as a life philosophy :  Ironically, optimization isn’t always best.

Adventures in Retirement Saving Part 1 and Part 2:  Part 3 to be posted in the future.

This sexy library guy seems to be our most popular post.   Short but sweet!

We love food.

And, of course, the obligatory cat videos.

The rest of the posts are all ranty, but great for browsing through.

Welcome!  And we’d love your comments!

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I don’t understand why some academic bloggers feel the need to use the f-word every other word.  It seems so *middle-school*.   You remember, when all the kids suddenly realized they could use naughty words and so they did.  It seemed so rebellious and so grown-up.  It wasn’t.  It was middle-school.

To me, grown-up implies maturity.  Maturity implies an understanding of politeness and social mores.  Grown-ups tend to follow Miss Manners unless there is a real reason not to do so.  You know, because they’re mature.  (Not to be confused with adults who never grew up or who have not grown up yet… we get enough of those in class thankyouverymuch.)

That’s not to say that swearing doesn’t have its place.  It does.  Swearing punctuates strong emotion.  I use it when I feel very strongly about something to signal the strength of my emotions.  The fact that I rarely swear makes it all the more shocking when I do.  People take it seriously.

(Note:  Way to piss off a potential reading deomgraphic!)  (Response:  No no, I’m doing the thing where you incite discussion and links… you know, “Do academics f-ing swear too much?”  or  “This blogger is such a f-ing pansy.”  Gets the hit rate up.  Plus, it’s been annoying me.  Especially since people only ever hit “Acadamnit” in the blog roll and stop after that.  Mayyyybe they’re just getting really caught up in Acadamnit’s archive and never come back, but maaaaybe they’re a bit tired of the phallus-sucking references in the comments.  Of course, what do you expect when you click on a blog with that title?)

And don’t get me started on all the phallic imagery.  Personally, IBTP for that (or is it IBTFP?).

I bet they’re also the ones who swear in class to wake up the students.  But maybe they’re the ones who are sweet as pie to the students and get all their aggression out on blogs.


Personal finance bloggers always seem so sweet and upbeat by comparison.

Housing the academic

I live in a rental because I refuse to buy property in a state where my partner cannot find a job.  We are going in to Year 3 of living 700 miles apart, and no end in sight, unless one or both of us is willing to ditch our careers.  Theoretically I could find a job somewhere else.  I might get struck by lightning, too.

The person came over today to inspect the property and bring my new lease.  She said, “Wow, you have a lot of books.”  I never know what to say to that.  I said, “Yup.”

“Are you enjoying your summer off?”  she asked.  “You’re a teacher, right?”

“Yeah,” I said.  “I’m doing a lot of writing.”

“In your free time, just for fun?”

I laughed and laughed.  Then I explained that I need to publish in order to keep my job, so writing is what I do all summer.  I did not explain that I don’t get paid for working in the summer.

Then I asked her to send someone to fix the dryer.  Sigh.

Are all academic bloggers nuts?

Am I?

So the one of us who didn’t read a whole lot of academic blogs before starting this blog (long story… involves being stalked on the Chronicle forums…) has just spent several evenings (while datamunging) reading all the academic blogs that the other one of us reads (and loves), and all the academic blogs that those bloggers link to.

Man… there are a LOT of anger issues out there.  Really makes me second guess all the calls for allowing professors to have guns on campus.  (What’s that, that’s not an issue on your campus?)  And the language… why do academics need to swear so much?

Is it a selection or a treatment effect?  Should I get out now, or is it too late?

Thank goodness for sweet uplifting cakewrecks.