When I was putting together my tenure binder I had to do the awful thing of reading my student evals, and that was horrid in every way. And I cried to my partner for hours about it and we worked it out, but the fact is, I still have that job. I still have the job where, in every class, there is one student who will write inappropriate things that are extremely mean, and I don’t know who that is, so all students are the enemy. I have the job where a hundred 19-year-olds judge my appearance, and then my boss reads it and it goes in my personnel file. HOW IS THAT OK?!??!?!?
It shouldn’t be.
But that’s how academia is. 19-year olds are going to insult me for the rest of my career and say mean things about my appearance, forever. And I don’t get to say mean things about them, because I have to be professional and they don’t.
It’s not even necessarily the ones earning bad grades who are writing hurtfully inappropriate anonymous evals. I mean, it has to be correlated, but it’s not direct, I’m sure. I suspect some former A students among the worst commenters.
You might say that nobody cares what 19 year olds think except advertisers. To which I reply, AND THE DEAN, and the provost. Though maybe they won’t have the time to read my evals anymore after tenure. Who has that kind of time?
This time around the evals hurt when they shouldn’t have because they picked one thing I was already bothered about and poked it. ASSHOLES. Rationally I know they’d just make fun of something else if it weren’t this one thing.
For just that reason, I considered investing in a completely crazy and very weird-looking hat, just so that I would know what they would criticize. It would be like a hate-catcher. Except they’d probably say it was cool. They’re messed up like that. Goddamn bastards.
I have a job where they get to lash out at me and say whatever they want, and I can’t lash back.
And I’ll probably get to keep this job forever, if I want it.
But I don’t have to read the evals anymore. Ever again. (Unless I want to go up for full. Your eval numbers have to be even higher than for assoc here.)
I can worry about that then. Stupid @#$%ers.