Link Love

Work has been busy, so I guess not much this week?

Some history white Americans are never taught (though it sounds like Peter Sagal got more than we did… somehow we never got much past WWII in my classes).

Speaking of history, Watchmen is free on HBO this weekend only.

The shu box addresses privilege from a woman in the planner community and takes a stand.

See the comments of this thread for suggestions for happy books by Black authors.

 

Ask the grumpies: College sports and money

Rose asks:

How many College/University athletic programs are not fully supported by attendees at games. How many of them are paying the highest salaries on campus to sports coaches? How many are funding stadiums and special gyms for athletes by increased student funds over the past 20 years? What are the debt rates for such athletic programs?

Here’s a report from 2013 on how athletic programs are paid for.  Only a minority are self-supporting.  There are also graphs for increased funding and increased student funds.

Here’s some info on coach salaries from 2019.  I don’t know of any schools with football programs in which the highest salary isn’t a coach salary (though sometimes basketball), but I don’t have exact numbers.  Not all schools have football programs.  In 2018 the highest paid public employee in 39 states was a coach.

Here’s a 2017 article about sports debt from bloomberg.  Here’s another from 2018 from USA Today.

It will be interesting to see what happens in 2020.  I know that my school has said even if all classes are online, we will still have football.

I was going to write a different post today

The post I had in drafts was going to be a long story of our 26 years together and our 20 years of married life.

Like all our plans this summer, that’s changed.

The most salient thing this year is how much I love spending time with you.

If I ever wondered what it would be like being locked in a house with you 24/7, now I know.

It’s wonderful (not the being locked in a house part, but the constantly being with you part).  I love being with you.  I could never get tired of you.  Never get irritated with you.  You are amazing.

That’s not to say that I don’t wish we could go out and have culinary adventures.  That’s fun too.  But the part where I get to spend more time with you, that never gets old.

24/7 is not enough.  20 years is not enough.  26 years is not enough.  I want to spend the rest of two long lives together.

I love you so much.

Things I want at work to better help with the BLM movement

I’m a university professor.  Here’s places I think the university should be throwing resources.

  • Bystander training both for general situations for everybody and for what the professor can do in class.  I would very much like to expand my tool-box about what I can say when a student says something racist.  Especially when it’s something racist out of the blue.  I’m generally better at dealing with racist comments when I can guess what they’re going to be and am expecting them (like when I’m teaching something with common misconceptions that I can treat as such), but in the past I’ve been shocked at students out of the blue denying the fundamental humanity of immigrants, or interrupting a statistics lecture to go on a racist screed about Hispanic-Americans (that last guy has a restraining order against him and was escorted out by police the last time he visited the department and thankfully dropped my class before the midterm after not doing any of the homework meant he could not pass mechanically).
  • I want my colleagues to get training on how to make a comfortable environment for underrepresented people to speak.  Things like allowing time to write down the answer to a question before cold-calling.  How to sure cold-calls are evenly distributed, etc.
  • Another student climate survey.  The last one was done 4 years ago, generally every 5 years seems reasonable for these kinds of surveys, but so much has changed since then, it makes sense to do this one early.  Maybe even annually for a while.
  • A major problem is that there are a small number of faculty, mostly contract or untenured (but also me and one of my white male colleagues who just got tenured this year) who are getting the bulk of the emotional pressure from when our underrepresented students are treated poorly.  It is hard and we don’t get service credit for it and the contract and untenured folks are endangered by it.  I’m brainstorming with my chair and another chair they’re bringing in about this problem later this week, but either we need to spread this out somehow or we need to concentrate it into an ombuds-type position and give the faculty member service credit for it.
  • Before the Corona virus we’d had reports of several students across several sub-fields in several classes say horrific things that denied non-white-non-US-non-etc. their basic humanity.  (Things like, if it’s in the US’s best interests, shouldn’t the US government encourage dictators to genocide?  Also basic Fox news talking points about why children deserve to be in cages because their parents “broke the law” [sic].  )  When it gets to this level, it needs to be addressed somehow from a department-wide basis in order to show support for underrepresented students and to show bigoted students that their behavior is really not acceptable across the board (and not just in one class from one teacher).  But how?
  • Bringing in outside people as consultants who are not horrible, preferably minorities with consulting businesses who are probably going to (and should) be terribly expensive this coming year.  But it can’t just be “we brought in a consultant for a 3 hour training”– the training has to actually be more helpful than harmful.  And it shouldn’t just be an implicit bias training– our leaders need training on how to make systemic change, and we need advice on things like how to shut up white conservative Christians who have joined the student diversity committee to “provide the voice of victimized white conservative Christians” (have I mentioned again that we live in the heavily white Evangelical South?).  Given the Corona situation, I’m hopeful that some of these expensive consultants will make video trainings available, but we probably also need to have leadership talk with an expert about our specific situation.  And we need someone to tell the dean that having agendaless “conversations” to which everyone is invited (including white police officers?!) and given equal time is going to shut out underrepresented groups.
  • Getting rid of that last bigoted statue on campus and replacing it with the prominent black alum one they’ve been talking about since the 1990s WITHOUT requiring private donations to do it.  Come ON.  One of my colleagues just donated $500 for it and my dean wanted to make a big fundraiser among our faculty, but this is something the University should be doing.  I know we’re getting budget cuts and no raises for the foreseeable future, but this should have institutional weight behind it.  (That said, if an outside private donor wants to give the university a restricted donation, I’m aok with that.)

 

What else should I be suggesting?  What would help you at work to help your marginalized students/coworkers/etc.?

Link Love

Damn it home depot .  I guess we have to switch to Lowes now.  Which is fine, there’s really no reason we’d been doing Home Depot other than it was on DH’s way to work back when he worked at the university and Lowes wasn’t. [update:  see comments below]

This thread is the definition of LOLsob. (Read the replies! Hilarious but also sad because true)

How much publishing has paid different authors.  Note that some black authors (including NK Jemison) have pointed out that if their work doesn’t earn its advance, their career is basically dead, whereas white authors can take bigger risks with bigger advances that may not earn out.  Equality happens when publishers make “mistakes” in the direction of too-large advances for everybody and it hurts everyone’s careers equally.

Why protest during a lock-down?  (Spoiler:  Because it’s important enough to take the risk.  Because being asleep in one’s own bed or playing video games on one’s own couch is *already risky* for some of our citizens.)  Also I would note that the BLM protests I’ve been to and seen have been outdoors and heavily masked.  The biggest Covid dangers have been coming from the police– not wearing masks, tear-gassing people, tearing off masks, putting people in busses, and arresting and not letting people leave (forcing them indoors into crowded spaces).

What miser-mom has been doing to support BLM.

Cake therapy (Disclaimer: may not work for everyone)

This thread on sex being a cultural construct is a great read. It also got me thinking because in my little corner of social science (not the econ part), we make distinctions about sex vs. gender. Gender is always the self-identified thing. Gender is what you think you are. Sex we tend to use as what’s on your birth certificate or what your chromosomes say or what your external sex characteristics are, depending on what outcomes we are looking at (and realizing that chromosomes and external characteristics don’t always match and some people are not simple XX/XY or penis/vagina biologically). (Sex tends to matter when we’re talking about biological health kinds of issues, but otherwise we’re discussing gender.) But the author of the thread is absolutely correct that even these designations of sex are, by definition, a social construct because we are providing those definitions.

More on jkrowling being a terf.  Like dude, what is her problem??

 

Ask the grumpies: Favorite apps for life/productivity

Leah asks:

Do you have any favorite apps for life/productivity?

This is a timely question!  This summer I have decided to try Trello with two of my summer RAs and Github for another project.  These are both project management apps and for myself I have a Trello board that I’m using like a to-do list (sort of kanbanish, but not quite).  I am liking Trello very much.  Github is more complicated but it can do more and has better integration with things our university owns, particularly in terms of file attachments.  After working with both for a few weeks, Github’s project management software is not very good, nor is it as well-integrated as it should be with the repo.

DH uses Pivotal Tracker for work and likes it.  My university doesn’t have it for free so I haven’t tried it, though it’s probably available in some limited fashion for free.  Jira is also popular, but the free version is limited to 10 people so I haven’t tried it.

Probably my biggest productivity app is the leechblock add-on for firefox.  This keeps me from reading twitter and other common sites except during scheduled breaks and outside of work.

I’m eager to hear what productivity tools people in Grumpy Nation have found helpful!  Three years ago it seemed like only a few people were using project management software (preferring low-tech things like google docs or to-do lists), but suddenly it seems a lot more common.

What do you all recommend or find not worth the effort?

Things DH has baked during the quarantine

I know this seems like an inappropriate post during these times, and I do have more appropriate posts… in drafts.  But if those posts don’t get finished until the news media has moved on, that’s not such a bad thing either since this will most likely continue to be a marathon movement punctuated by too-brief sprints rather than one and done.  We will need to keep fighting even after people change their twitter names to something else.  In the meantime, have a self-indulgent post that explains why I currently only fit into one pair of my non-sleeping shorts.

To start:  I apologize for the number of pictures in this post.  It was a manageable amount when I started the post, but then I put off uploading pictures and suddenly I had to upload well over 30 which is overwhelming.

So…. we recently bought 50lb of flour off nuts.com. We had been completely unable to get whole wheat flour at the grocery store, and we’d ordered a pasta roller. So because they were sold out of smaller packages of flour, we got a 25lb case of Whole Wheat and a 25lb case of Durum flour. At the rate DH has been stress-baking (even with him trying to cut down on stress-eating) we think we’ll be able to use it up before it goes bad, and I’ll be able to stop trying to play a losing battle of grocery store roulette with the WW flour.

fruit tart

This fruit tart from the Barefoot Countess was my birthday cake this year!

Sourdough boules

You will see a LOT of these. Eventually DC1 and I were like, could we have something that’s not sourdough? This was the first attempt from Flour, Salt, Yeast, Water and includes a dried yeast boost.

pirogi

Technically not baking, but DH made these Russian dumplings from scratch.

Jamaican meat pies

Jamaican meat pies from Cook’s Country. These were extremely popular.

misshapen boule

This one had an accident…

poundcake in a ring

Olive Oil and Sherry Poundcake from Pure Dessert. This was really sophisticated and a little boozy (less so the second day). A++. Would eat again.

big pie thing with strawberries and almonds on top

Baked yogurt tart from Baking with Julia

Sesame seed cake

Sesame seed cake from Pure Dessert

Walnut sponge cake

Walnut sponge cake from Pure Dessert. This is one of the most wonderful things I have ever eaten in my entire life. It’s light yet dense with a wonderful chewy nutty flavor. The top is whipped cream. It’s like eating a dream.

sugary half sphere

Breton Butter cake– this is a rustic version of a kouignaman but huge. From Home Baking by Alford and Duguid.

sliced open sourdough

More sourdough

Rustic fruit tart

Rock cakes

more sourdough

Will it ever stop?

Simplest apple pie from Home Baking. We didn’t get the topping right– it’s supposed to be more of a crumb topping than a dumpling, but I still loved it. DH prefers less apple presence, but I loved the way this was so apple forward using shredded apple and not much sugar and a splash of lemon.

rolls

DH’s grandma’s rolls (half whole wheat variation). Note that several got eaten before I could take a picture. Such is the way of DH’s grandma’s rolls.

baguettes

Simple french bread that we made so DC1 could make garlic bread. From Bread by Treuille and Ferrigno.

rolls

We think this is a kind of herb bread. We can’t remember.

Cranberry muffins. (We were supposed to use frozen cranberries to free up some freezer space, but DH used dry cranberries instead so we had to make another batch.) Using the Old Fashioned cookbook.

Chocolate chip cookies

Chestnut pound cake from Pure Dessert cookbook (We special ordered chestnut flour from nuts.com for it because why not?)

crepes

Caramelized crepes filled with fresh cheese from Pure Dessert. These were a lot more work than regular crepes (with a LOT of waiting time) but only marginally better than just making crepes and filling them with cheese.

red bean buns

Red bean buns– we use the love feast bun recipe from The Old Fashioned Cookbook and fill them with red bean paste. Very popular.

Banana nut muffins because I don’t eat bananas 5 days a week when I’m not going into work. (Not shown: other banana breads I didn’t take pictures of.)

Blueberry muffins (made when we realized we didn’t have any more frozen cranberries left) using a cake-like cranberry nut recipe from Bread by Treuille and Ferrigno.  There were more but I wasn’t fast enough with the camera.

braided bread

Challah from Bread

Chocolate Prune Bread from Bread

German Apple Pancake from the internets

Spinach Pie from Barefoot Contessa (TWO POUNDS of spinach)

 

Danishes from Baking with Julia

Fillings include: pastry cream, prune, and almond paste

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ONW5acru3Ns/Xo5osl4GfLI/AAAAAAAAEAQ/crM94WIpTZQCUFBQVXriivp5CuHTXPrawCK8BGAsYHg/s0/2020-04-08.jpg

DH’s grandma’s cinnamon rolls but without frosting and with cherries in the center instead of crushed pineapple

DC2 demanded apple dumplings, so these are from the Old Fashioned Cookbook, except DH didn’t do the thing where you bring the four corners of the square to a point at the top (or brush with cream and big sugar crystals)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fAbOOHESf3M/XouuKhI8hOI/AAAAAAAAD_o/Zl8KRNa_M_QHNYUQTzbAkP7EhCYmzaSjgCK8BGAsYHg/s0/2020-04-06.jpg

I made this pineapple upside down cake for DH’s birthday

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0-KErP5_Vv4/XnjCLHXrpBI/AAAAAAAAD94/aygMg3KtR5kaOB71QSs306CUm7qZB9r_wCK8BGAsYHg/s0/2020-03-23.jpg

These hot cross buns have coffee flour in them because we were running low on regular flour and we never had used that impulse buy from TJ’s however many months ago. It worked out pretty well.

Trencher

He also has made several of these trenchers when attempting to make sourdough bread, we think from the dough being too wet, but it could also be that the ratio of sour flavor bacteria to yeast bacteria is out of whack and the yeast needs more boost.

More information on trenchers here.

There’s also some things he made that I didn’t take pictures of– there’s more baguettes and there’s a Daktyla and several fry breads that didn’t make an appearance in my phone.  He also made Fan Tans right before quarantine started but I figured that didn’t really count.

Have you or yours baked anything fun?

Big changes in how DH’s family does Christmas

Every year I talk about how DH’s family has gift giving as their love language and how DH agonizes over what to get and I make lists of what we’ve gotten people and worry or don’t worry about the expense for the other families in question.

DH’s sister has twins due in November.  This will bring the number of grandkids up to 8 and will double the number of her kids.  She has requested that instead of the regular gift giving we’ve done in the past where everybody gets everyone something that we just pick names out of a hat and each person gives one thing.  (Which I think is silly– I’d rather not do gift-giving at all than to have a random element with higher stakes, but again it’s not my family.)  I think the idea is that everyone still gets something to open at Grandma’s house.  Though we always just have presents direct-shipped to people’s houses since we have been flying instead of driving recently.

But this year it sounds like we will not be having Christmas at Grandma’s house.  With 8 grandkids, that’s too many.  DH’s siblings live about an hour away from each other and in a more populated part of the state whereas his parents and other relatives all live in the more rural part of the state 5 or so hours away (assuming you don’t get stuck behind a tractor).  DH’s mom is planning on renting an apartment near his sister so she can be on hand to help out with the twins and she thinks we should rent a house either near DH’s sister or his brother.  And we should do it after Christmas instead of on Christmas.  (Which will make my sister happy because this past year my parents didn’t end up visiting at the last minute and she spent Christmas with friends instead of family and she has been complaining about it ever since.)

It will be kind of nice to have Christmas at home again.  We haven’t done that since my sister bought a house in the City, which was before DC2 was born.  We’ll get to have a rosemary tree and get out the ornaments (instead of the felt tree we put up) and actually put things in the kids’ stockings here and we can not have ham (though I will miss BIL’s birthday lasagna).

Now, DH and I kind of think it’s pretty likely we won’t be going to visit this winter at all because the virus will still not be under control and it will be too dangerous, especially with his sister being post-partum, but that’s months from now.  With all those United miles we can afford to put off this decision for a while.

I suspect DH will still give presents to his brother because he tends to buy electronic games that he and his brother and other relative can play during their weekly online gaming sessions.  But that can be our secret.

Has gift giving with your extended family changed as it has grown (or shrunk)?

Link Love

I’ve seen some folks questioning what they can actually *do* to help, and some of the lists of things that you can do are overwhelming.  Some of them start with folks educating themselves, which while important (and will definitely help with the “first do no harm” step), doesn’t seem like enough for many people.  There are indeed, hundreds of things (or more) you can do, but you cannot do them all.  But it’s important to do SOMETHING.  Whatever it is that you have the spoons for.  Whatever you can bear.  It’s fine to start with smaller things, especially while you’re getting your bearings.  Something is better than nothing.

What are some somethings?  Well, I’m just going to post a few easy things you can do.  If you’re ready for more challenging things, you are probably also ready to figure out what needs doing in your area (google, talk to people, see what the lay of the activism landscape is).  I do believe that voting rights is part and parcel of civil rights, so some of my low-hanging fruit actions are about getting good people to vote.  Because the government is important.  If you have other suggestions, definitely put them in the comments!

Donate:  Indivisible makes it easy with one-stop shopping for a number of charities.  There are many other places to donate– bail funds, gofundmes for destroyed properties, etc.  But this is a good place to start.

Protest:  Go to a BLM protest (search for one in your area– they’re not all posted on the BLM website).  Wear your mask.  Bring masks for others if you have extra.  Bring markers and posterboard if you have them.  Bring water bottles, preferably still wrapped in plastic (there have been reports of bad people putting antifreeze in donated bottles, so you want to make clear you’re not doing that).  Bring bug spray and sunblock.  Bring hand sanitizer (preferably spray bottle) and offer it to people.  If you don’t have any of this, just bring yourself (except the mask, definitely wear a mask).  Protests are outdoors, so that’s good, but we want to minimize the spread of covid at these protests and yelling and singing are big spreaders.  Masks help a lot.  (If you are in an at-risk group for covid or living with someone who is, then support the protests in other ways, like donating to your BLM chapter or doing other actions.)  More on how to protect yourself from cnet.

Call:  Visit 5calls for suggestions, phone numbers, and scripts.  Celeste_P also is a great place for actions with scripts.  (Here’s an example of a script you can use TODAY to call your members of congress.  Here’s one if you want to advocate locally.)

Write:  postcards to voters or letters to voters:  We need to get people to turn out!

The other thing I’d like to see more of is people posting what they’ve been doing.  It isn’t bragging.  It isn’t virtue signaling.  It is helping others to figure out what they can do and it is helping others feel like the norm is doing something rather than the norm not being doing anything.  When you’ve done something, post it in your blog.  Tweet it on your twitter account. Tell your IRL friends.  Come here and tell us about it.  When I see people doing this, *I* get more motivated because it reminds me that I’m not alone.  Every time you let people know you acted, you cause more actions.  Don’t keep it to yourself!

Alternatively here’s captain awkward’s suggestions.

Anti-racism resources from crooked.

Here’s a list of African American personal finance bloggers (my personal favorite from this list is A Purple Life)

Ana and Stacking Pennies sum up a lot of how I’ve been feeling this past week.  And yet I let the handyman post run anyway…

Minneapolis cops sued for shooting, beating and gassing peaceful protesters.

Virginia governor to announce removal of Robert E. Lee Statue.

Self quarantine with a michelin starred chef

Ask the grumpies: hate crime rate statistics

rose asks:

I have read that hate crimes have been rising ~ quite a bit since 2015-6. Is the same happening for sexual crimes against women, does that vary by race of attackee, what about age of attackee? Any changes in conviction rates and prison times for those convicted of rape and/or pedophilia?

We don’t actually know the true rate of hate crimes.  Crimes that are not reported or crimes that are reported but the report is “lost” will just not show up.  This would lead to a paradox in which when things get better it looks like they’re actually getting worse.

Now, that said, I doubt that’s what has been going on since Trump was elected.  Reporting hasn’t gotten easier since then.  Offending has gotten easier.  So if anything I would guess these statistics provide an under-count.

The Department of Justice currently tracks Hate Crimes.  One used to be able to trust such sites, but it’s hard to say these days what is trustworthy coming from the Federal Government.  In any case, they report the 2018 hate crime statistics, which are reportedly the highest in 16 years.  Here’s a summary of the NYTimes article summary.  These crimes include rape.  Hate crimes against transgender people have gone up.

Here is information about the victims.  Here is information on the offenders.

I don’t know where to find recent information on conviction rates and prison times for those convicted of rape or pedophila (which is also rape).  We have information up to 1996, which isn’t helpful.  The wikipedia article has conviction statistics up to 2003, but apparently the UN Office on Drugs and Crime stopped collecting data in 2012.  ICPSR data only seem to go to 2010.

So, unless I’m missing something big, it looks like we don’t even have the data we need to know what’s going on.

Do any readers have more information?