Friday, August 31, 2012

Cheaters: not as interesting as frauds

Omg peeps, how could this ever happen? If we take a class with consistently bad eval scores* and herd 300 students (athletes) into it, assign them academic journal articles, make sections optional, and give take-home open-everything exams, this won't encourage academic excellence? Huh. Also, Earth is not flat? Every day is full of surprising new information.

UPDATE: Harvard's toast:
In years past, the course, Introduction to Congress, had a reputation as one of the easiest at Harvard College. Some of the 279 students who took it in the spring semester said that the teacher, Matthew B. Platt, an assistant professor of government, told them at the outset that he gave high grades and that neither attending his lectures nor the discussion sessions with graduate teaching fellows was mandatory. “He said, ‘I gave out 120 A’s last year, and I’ll give out 120 more,’ ” one accused student said.
Also, note how student whinging is now authoritative injustice. Course not well-organized! Had to cheat!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Winner of the 2012 APSA cancellation commentary festival

Not that it affected Miss Self-Important in any way, but I did enjoy watching the crisis of hurricane-obstructing-annual political science convention unfold on the internet. Particularly this:
"I think interviewers are going to be very, very impressed when I show up in a kayak wearing an armadillo as a helmet."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I made a craft!

As promised, I have made something: an earring rack, which I've been contemplating since Alex converted a mesh box into a similar earring storage device several years ago. Some of the picture frames we shipped from Boston came with the glass broken, so I removed the glass and backing, cut out a piece of wire mesh (the main ingredient I couldn't find in Boston but found here at Blick), and glued it into the back of the frame. Hard work, peeps! It looks like this (no mockery of my earrings please):

Eventually, I will hang it from a hook in the wall, but right now, we're still organizing the bedroom furniture so wall-hooking will have to wait. I hope Dale is proud.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New foliage

Well, we made it here, drugged cat and all. Thus, the department of extremely improbable events bring us: Miss Self-Important living in California. We've spent the past few days purchasing and then constructing our Ikea apartment. This is actually a step up from previous moves, when we purchased used Ikea from Craigslist. Think of it--brand new Ikea! What wonders will the next decade bring us? Used real furniture? Maybe by the time we're 50, we can even buy a piece of new solid wood? That might seem like something to aspire to, but what will I do with all my accrued Ikea construction wisdom if suddenly I get whole things made out of actual trees and not just their dust delivered to my door? Anyway, in our second or third day of Ikea construction, we were working on a wardrobe and found ourselves in need of a hammer and great strength, so our brother-in-law came to rescue us. After the thing was put in place, I suggested that we follow the usually-ignored instructions for securing it to the wall.
Why would we need to do that, asked husband?
Because it's tall and narrow and the room is carpeted, I suggested.
Because of earthquakes, brother-in-law suggested.
Oh yeah.
Now I am thinking about how I can affix everything in this apartment to the wall.


Right now, a customer and a barista at the coffee shop are commiserating about how *hot* it is out:
"I'd like to sit outside, but it's just so hot."
"I know, I went for a night run yesterday and it was so hot, I couldn't even finish."
Do I even need to point out that it's 78 degrees?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The pressing questions of our age

Do ankle boots necessarily make short people look stumpy-legged?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


At least someone is enjoying all the newly empty space in our apartment.

Also, new self-knowledge: every time I move away from somewhere, I become thoroughly distraught about it. I spend many weeks (in this case, months, b/c I knew about the move far in advance) moping about how I will miss every room and every street and every coffee shop and everyone I know, and how our lives are a transient nothingness plunging into the abyss, etc. Therefore, it perhaps follows that I should stop hating places while I'm in them, since I will always inevitably lapse into this melancholia on my way out anyway.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

An open letter to Gentiles repudiating Withywindle on behalf of those Jews who were repudiated in the original repudiation and all others who wish to sign on

Dear Gentiles,

As Pope of the Jews taking responsibility for my own and on behalf of those who don't think that what campaign donors ask presidential candidates to do reflects on all of us who are not that donor, I hereby apologize for and repudiate Withywindle back for the transgression of repudiating other Jews for their failure to repudiate Sheldon Adelson, yet another Jew, and also for repudiating Adelson himself, on the grounds that repudiation is not something we Jews are in a good ecclesiological position to do.

Inquisitionally yours,
Miss Self-Important

Crazy cat lady update

Leash-training begins. Progress is extremely slow, and may even be mistaken for regress.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Combined elsewheres

Concentrated self-promotion of recent and ancient publications:
On civic ed: "Educating for liberty? The shortcomings of contemporary civic education theories"
On Joseph Epstein's Gossip: "Rumor Has It"
From last year (oops!): "The Unmanning of America"

Monday, August 06, 2012

Why it can be hard to regret leaving Cambridge

An ad from the Crimson website:
What if the kid only ends up at a third-tier school? Does he get sent back to the manufacturer? Is there a money-back guarantee on this transaction?

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Where do bats come from?

Twice they've ended up in my apartment in the middle of the night. One met its end to our bumbling efforts to catch and release it (according to the internet, this bumbling would've been a crime in the UK). The other remains at-large in the kitchen. The condo president says, "Oh yes, they live in the attic." Great, but we do not live in the attic, and I don't see any visible holes in our ceiling leading to it. So how are these winged rats getting in?