September
26th 2008
Walter from Waxahachie opens up a can of whoopass

Posted under: jobs

We at Historiann have been enjoying the guilty pleasures of Rate Your Students for the past six months or so.  It’s pretty much the opposite of this blog–actually, it’s our evil twin.  Whereas Historiann is earnest and all about solidarity and sympathy and bucking you up and making you feel like you’re not so alone, Rate Your Students is all about…none of that.  It’s about the bitterness, isolation, and anomie of modern faculty life, and the realization that you’ve wasted your time and talents by pursuing a career in higher education.

With that in mind, and a warning that as always, Walter’s latest missive is Not Safe For Work (if your work involves people squinting really hard to see over your shoulder while you’re typing, anyway), I refer you to the “crazzy” proffie that we all secretly admire, Walter from Waxahachie.  (For your convenience, Walter’s “Oeuvre” is linked at the bottom of this latest post, so you can catch up on your Walterology over the weekend.)

Here’s a little flava of the gestalt of Walter:

Oh and the cookie bakers! Yes, we have those abominations here at my school as well. The Education and English departments are full of them, lazy, insecure, wallflowers who never got laid until they were 25, so desperate for attention and desperate to be liked. I’d fire every sallow faced one of them if I had the chance, and when I get to be Dean you’re going to hear about it in the Crampicle of Higher Education. (There’ll be a big photo of me eating a turkey leg and smearing my face on the former tenure policy here, that’s for sure.) You know what, I’m not passing out trophies or ribbons or pastries here. I’m a goddamned college professor and you should get the huevos together to do the same.

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You’re not even trying. You want to prove academic culture is bereft of reason, populated with eunuchs, and eager and greasy for a cleaning, well, you’re not aiming very high. You can’t swing a cat around without knocking over 14 insane, persecuted, alarmed, china-doll proffies who can’t wait to get on the Crampiche forums to talk about how unappreciated they are, and how hard it is to be them. F**k that. This page is starting to be run by those eggheads, those layabouts. Get back in charge. I always liked it best when you took a few swings at students, but then twirled around with a roundabout boot to the solar plexus of the “colleagues” who ruin the damn campus. Get ‘em all, is what I’m saying. Take ‘em all down. Don’t let the bull$h*t seep into the pages, these polite and suddenly happy pages.

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Walter from Waxahachie opens up a can of whoopass”

  1. Indyanna on 26 Sep 2008 at 9:52 am #

    Whoo! That’s some smelling salts for a sudden anomie attack, although I guess anomie doesn’t really attack as much as it just envelops. It’s enough to make that Auburn philosophy prof profiled in the Times on Sunday, who said: “My view is that you really fall into a trap when you start allowing what you believe about your students to dictate how you teach your discipline… I care about the discipline of philosophy more than the academic fate of any individual student–and I think I should” seem like he just pulled a sheet of chocolate chip softies from a hot oven! (I got a critical review of the guy on Saturday from somebody with an inside perspective, but I nevertheless think the pith of his remarks bears cogitating). But wouldn’t either Walter or “The Thinker,” however refreshing, in practice provide more great camo for the bully culture? It would be very easy to go faux on either of those gonzo tropes, and then launch off into hammer-headed narcissisia.

    I heard of a different version of RYS called “Profs Strike Back,” where I guess you actually annotate the barbs of presumed or inferred specific students of yours.

  2. Historiann on 26 Sep 2008 at 10:04 am #

    Indyanna–do you have a link for that NYT story? Some of us actually read our own local papers instead!

    Yes–Walter could be a giant bully. He also might be a bracing reality check on our precious, precious selves. But, that’s why he and RYS are the evil twin/s of Historiann/Historiann.com! (But, you have to admit that his line about becoming dean, eating a turkey leg, and wiping his face with the former tenure policy is pretty funny.)

  3. Indyanna on 26 Sep 2008 at 11:06 am #

    If I don’t have a link I’ll send you a copy, Historiann; I think the part about disciplinarity v. departmentality would be a great topic to air here, if you’d care to. It’s part of a special magazine section on education, with a great piece, too, on course evaluations and the terrorizing of adjuncts, even by high-end SLACs!! I’ll send you the whole mag, now that I think of it.

    That’s now my second favorite all-time turkey leg story, second only to discovering that you could actually buy a hot roasted drumstick at Tiger Stadium in Detroit in its last year of operation, 1999–my only time there. But that you couldn’t wash it down with a Vernor’s Ale, because the team was owned by a Pepsi franchiser!?! I bet you could get both at a Mud Hens’ game, though.

  4. Knitting Clio on 26 Sep 2008 at 5:30 pm #

    I told one of my graduate students about this website, and now she spends much of her day checking it!

  5. ortho stice on 26 Sep 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    Walter sounds like a mean-spirited bully. If he was in my department, I’d run away.

    Historiann, here is a link to the NY Times Magazine’s profile of “The Thinker”: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/magazine/21jolley-t.html

    Of course, this was my favorite section of last week’s “College Issue”: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/16/magazine/20080921-STYLE_index.html

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

  6. Historiann on 26 Sep 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    It’s kind of addictive–and I certainly don’t condone everything there. But, like I said: guilty pleasure!

  7. Indyanna on 26 Sep 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks Ortho! I was going to mail a hard copy of the mag to Historiann.com HQ. Could you possibly send her a link to the TOC and the report on evaluations? Otherwise I might just send the whole thing out in any event.

  8. The_Myth on 27 Sep 2008 at 12:24 am #

    RYS is mostly venting.

    Do you really, seriously think people would be that obnoxious and then brag about it? If you read most of the posts, you’ll see most of them actually represent exasperation at sometimes-atrocious working conditions.

    It’s mostly all the stuff we *wish* we could say but don’t.

    And, yes, they have published about a dozen of my submissions.

    ;-)

    And, no, I am not “Wicked Walter.” I am part of the apparently small group who finds him unappealing…

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