• The fabric I ordered from Spoonflower for my MIL said it would come in over a month, but then when that time period passed it added another month delay.  Good thing she’s not expecting an order!  Update:  The internet says it was delivered late June.  Update:  When we talked to her, she said she was wondering if she’d ordered it herself and had just forgotten, so we must have done a good job picking out fabrics she’d like!
  • I also ordered a case of hand sanitizer from Office Depot that was supposed to come May 22nd (many weeks after I’d ordered), but by May 30th it still hadn’t come, so I went and ordered more of the overpriced scented glittery tiny hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works because they had some that were clear (DC2 is allergic to red dye) and I am fairly sure they will actually come because my previous two orders came.  Update:  It came.  My glittery stinky hand sanitizer army grows.  Even the “for men” has glitter in it and smells like horrifically strong aftershave.  (Update:  not all of the little dots inside are glitter– some of them are little black dots that just dissolve on your hands.)
  • My Office Depot hand sanitizer order came deep into June.  I am now SET for hand sanitizer and may even be able to give some of the larger bottles away.  The kids have been having fun reorganizing the bottles into different configurations.  Currently it’s definitely set up like an army from a battle game like Shogun Total War.
  • I ordered a bunch of Statistics related face masks from redbubble.  I hope they come before school starts.  Update:  They came and they’re adorable, but I would not recommend because they’re only 2-layers and they don’t have nose stuff so they want to slip down.  I will probably wear them in conjunction with my single-layer math balaclava.  It is going to be SO HOT teaching.
  • I just realized I know wikipedia brown’s husband.  I wanna be like all fangirly next time I see him but I will try to control myself and not be like, did you know you’re married to Wikipedia Brown??  Because I’m fairly sure he is aware.
  • It’s crazy to me how many people go to all the effort of going to a protest but then just aren’t registered to vote.  This means that protests are an excellent place to get people registered to vote.  But then there’s the problem of folks actually voting.  Usually I see this with college students, probably because they don’t quite know how to register and my state does not make it easy (and they don’t know that they’re allowed to register where we live and their home high school didn’t follow state law about registering seniors), but this time around there were quite a few adults (including minorities) whose registration had lapsed because they didn’t vote in the last local election.  That was astonishing to me.
  • I wish that more of these housewives of doctors blogs that seem to be popping up on blogrolls would say something about doing activism things instead of just talking about decluttering and being socially isolated.
  • I have heard from several of my students (minority and non-minority activist) talking through processing this moment in history and specifically our school’s response.  At our weekly research meeting I brought this up, and not surprisingly, only the women and minority faculty have heard from students, and none of the white men.  I know that white women should be doing more, but I HATE that white men are never expected to do anything.  They do not shoulder emotional burdens.  They do not brainstorm to come up with ways to make things better.  They get to say yes or no, but they don’t actually make things happen.  They’re given a pass for being clueless.  I’m especially not happy that this burden is falling to our untenured junior female faculty much moreso than our tenured white dood faculty.  But also the tenured white dood faculty haven’t done the basic work to have the most basic of conversations.  They want to be good people and they don’t get in the way (which is a step up from many departments), but they don’t want it enough to actually do anything that isn’t super easy.  I told them they should all get a copy of So you want to talk about race or White fragility.  Paper copies may be unavailable some places, but electronic versions are not.  But I don’t think that they will.
  • To fix systemic racism, it’s really mostly white people who need to be fixed.  So all these seminars and so on that are mostly minority students in attendance teaching them about how they’re discriminated against… not so useful.  Seminars teaching them mentory stuff would be more useful, but it is not enough to teach people how to swim, as the NSF says, we must instead drain the pool.  It’s so easy to have fun programs that teach people how to swim, but the hard work comes in draining the pool.  And there are a lot of white people who are full of water.  (Maybe that’s pushing the analogy too far.)
  • After a couple weeks of dealing with the stupid ways my department is dealing with BLM, I now understand what it means when people are upset about a white woman (well-meaning or not) making it all about her.  I want to reiterate that this is NOT the same as white women listing out places to donate/protest/call/etc.  What this looks like is either a well-meaning white woman with little actual knowledge talking about her very recent journey to wokeness in the context of how it makes her feel as a seminar (see above bullet) and then taking questions as an expert, or WORSE a “victimized conservative Christian White lady” who wants to be the “voice of victimized white Christian conservatives” (her words– we LIVE IN THE SOUTH, she is part of the majority) going on paragraph long screeds about what her very narrow definition of racism is and how no other kind of racism other than the overt calling people the n-word exists.  Please, bloggers, keep with your lists and publicizing your actions.  You are not these ladies.
  • Our black students have been very clear on what they want, and continued “conversations” in which white people with no actual knowledge talk at them is not it.  So very much not it.
  • My RA’s husband got Covid and then her entire family (parents, brother, herself) caught it from him.  One of my free summer RAs has gone MIA (they have an internship requirement).  I can’t blame him because he was free, but also I wish he’d said something instead of just disappearing.
  • … One of my senior colleagues died suddenly of a heart attack.  Completely unexpected and he was so healthy (not to mention supportive and productive and just an all around good person).  I’m still in shock.

11 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Michael Nitabach Says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your colleague.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It was so unexpected. And he was such a good person in so many ways. I’m still in disbelief. I was sure when we got the email that he was just leaving us for a better school.

  2. gwinne Says:

    I hear you.

    I’m sorry for your loss. One of my senior colleagues died a few years ago, and it hit me really hard, though we had not been super close. He was part of my community. It’s not the same, still, without him. An unexpected loss like this, in a moment already in crisis, I’m sure it’s hard. I hope you’re able to give yourself space to grieve.

  3. Leigh Says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your coworker.

  4. xykademiqz Says:

    My condolences for the loss of your colleague.

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We nearly lost someone very dear to me this week to a heart attack too and I’ve all kinds of emotional whiplash.

    “victimized white Christian conservatives” – a thing I will never understand in this country. I cannot understand how people who have versions of their religion spread everywhere to the point where our Presidents are sworn in on Bibles can, with a straight face, claim to be victimized or oppressed here. I say this as a Buddhist whose religious culture may as well be invisible (which is the way I prefer it).

    Yes, white women doing the work and amplifying the voices and making spaces for BIPOC is not the same as white women making it all about her. The difference has seemed pretty clear to me anyway.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m so glad they pulled through.

      Yesterday’s zoom was with students and alumni and it was So Much Better. Also they disabled chat so the victimized white Christian lady couldn’t spam it with paragraph long clueless racist screeds.

  6. becca Says:

    So sorry for the loss of your coworker. Academic departments can drive you crazy, but they are *communities* in the broad sense, and losing “one of yours” is always hard.

    I actually am forgiving of privileged white lady in STEM talking to privileged white lady in STEM about silly things like “I never realized what a systemic issue looked like until I compared notes and found out we *all* have that thing where we state our great idea and nobody cares until some white d00d echos it 2 minutes later without attribution!”. Those conversations are actually Good. But they are NOT The Work that white people need to do. And when they get highlighted and held up as “oh look we’re addressing inclusion!” that is a big failwhale. Do the kids still say that? It matters not. I am teh oldz.

    As far as victimized white Christian conservatives… well let’s just say, if you’re stuck in the South I suppose “bless her heart” applies. *smh*

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