Wednesday, June 25, 2014

katie finds some non-BFFs

I've commented before that Katie's posts hold up pretty well after five years.  However, rereading this and the previous post about Katie's fight against the academic boys' club, I wonder if our view of her situation has changed.  She's still krazy but I think people are more attuned to these issues now than they were during the first decade of the 21st century.


From Rate Your Students, October 19, 2009

Kalamazoo Katie Goes Krazy. (Oh God It's Easy Sometimes.)

So, all your little pissy pissy pissants will be happy to know that once again I've been MANhandled - and the emphasis is real, motherfuckers!

My request for a sabbatical has been turned down, or as they say in the backwards town of Kalamazoo, delayed, until they think it's okay I take it.

All of this despite the fact that I turned in my request - letter perfect and bound, mind you - four weeks in advance of the deadline. I opted for the entire year at half pay, starting next Fall. That provides lots of time for the deadwood sumbitches to do whatever scheduling magic is necessary to find folks to cover my classes.

(GOD KNOWS THEY DIDN'T MIND ADDING AN OVERLOAD TO MY SCHEDULE TWO YEARS AGO WHEN DULL IN THE DUODENUM DICKWAD DIMPLETON TOOK HIS SABBATICAL. Oh, and, tell me Dick, where are the results of that sabbatical? Was that slide show in the student union supposed to knock me over, because it didn't!)

But I got my little "acceptance letter" telling me I could have Fall 2010 off by itself, or if I wanted the full year at half pay, it would have to be Fall 2011 and Spring 2012.

Know why?

Because there are already people in my department who have sabbaticals approved and scheduled for next year. That's right. Two of my precious colleagues, Mouthbreather Michael and Eyes-on-Tits Ivan, are taking their sabbaticals and they got preference.

I'm the only one in the department who's published a book in the past TEN YEARS, and Ivan and Michael contribute nothing to the department beyond teaching their classes - and I can just imagine what wizards they are there.

Why did this happen? Because they have balls, like the department chairMAN, the DEANman, etc. etc. ad infinitum, and so on, and all of you know the rest. (And, not without noting that their sabbatical plans - FROM THEIR OWN MOUTHS TO MY EAR - include "getting away from things," and "taking some time to really figure out what's next." That's approved ahead of mine, which includes the research and writing of a book, my SECOND book?)

I know that your site likes to make fun of anyone earnest and sincere about the profession, and I'm sure you'll paint me as Krazy Katie - because you've done it before! - but I know that at least half of our readers will appreciate my story. (And after all, don't you always say you value the "lively" post. Well, none get much livelier than this, compound bitches!)

When women in academia get bounced or booted or told to "wait, dear," then it's just the norm, just the way it's always been. I would have LOVED to have been in the room if Ivan had been told to DELAY his sabbatical. What gnashing of teeth (and scratching of balls) there would have been then.

But of course that wouldn't happen. Instead, Katie gets the blow off. "Next year, honey," that's what the fucking note should have said.

Fuck them all.


  1. The "I luuurrrrve my students' cuddly wuddly li'l faces" crap always made me throw up in my mouth a bit (could you imagine a doctor saying "I love my patients! They're my best friends!"?). However, I always wondered about these posts. How much of it was gender, and how much of it was the likelihood that Katie must have been hell to work with? And how much of her being hell to work with was based upon her gender? I mean, how might gender perceptions have negatively colored perceptions of her behavior? I have no idea. I shade into speculative sociology here, and that's not my field. But Katie was certainly interesting to read, and sometimes downright infuriating.

    1. It's really hard to untangle, with Katie (to whom, yes, I'm feeling more sympathetic with these last two posts), and in general. The patterns -- e.g. a larger proportion of female faculty the lower down you go in rank/job security/salary, even as the gender numbers become increasingly even at tenured and administrative levels -- are there, even though it's hard to pinpoint what I suspect are the hundreds or even thousands of small, perfectly justifiable decisions that lead to them. We're told that women need to lean in, to ask, etc., but when I ask, I usually get told "no," and am not sure where to go from there (well, obviously, apply for another job -- but I don't feel I'd be competitive, which is maybe another female tendency). Even reading this, I wonder whether Katie was, indeed, passed over because of her gender (and/or her lack of success in networking, which could stem from a whole bunch of reasons, including gender), or whether she simply failed to discover the unwritten rule that those who apply for full-year sabbaticals will have to wait a year to allow for scheduling (which, once again, could suggest she was out of the networking loop, for any of a variety of reasons). It's all rather headache-inducing.

  2. A week of Yaro, a week of Katie.
    And thus we retreat from Moscow....