This is the time of the semester where I am utterly drained and ready for everything to end. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I had an absolutely inhuman workload this semester (dissertation, teaching 3 classes, lab work, and job hunting) and the end of the semester marks the beginning of an awesome trip to SE Asia. 7 more working days until I’m free. 7 more….7 more…

My university (and my college in particular) uses two online systems with which to organize course materials, submit assignments, and track student progress. No doubt many of you in higher education are familiar with the demons LiveText and/or eLearning. Now that many of my students’ assignments are rolling in, I’m beginning to see what poorly designed, expensive overpriced pieces of shit these platforms truly are. As much as my students have grumbled about how much they hate these systems, I’ve assured them that it’s infinitely worse on my side of the coin. Not only have I had to wrestle with the inconsistencies and minutiae of such¬† clumsy beasts and battled intermittent outages, but I also had to endure a few hours’ of “training” at the onset of the academic year. Yes, hours. The few morsels of information gleaned from these so-called training sessions could have been bestowed via a brief e-mail, so of course it made sense for me to waste a few perfectly good hours with Captain Incompetent at the helm. These training sessions were obviously for people who still think AOL is at the cutting edge of computing. It sickens me that someone, somewhere is making an obscene amount of money, profiting from my (and others’) misery, all in the name of this elusive goal of “accountability.”

If anything, this semester has taught me why so many of the professors I know drink the way they do. Sigh.

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