FAQ for posts, comments, etc.

Click on a question to jump to the answer on this page.

How do I comment?
What are the rules for comments?
May I send you a suggestion for the blog?
This blog bothers/annoys/offends me.  What should I do?
Who writes the posts at AWC?  Can I do that too?
What do people write about on this blog?
What happens after I send you something to post?
How do I know that somebody won’t guess my real identity?
Isn’t this some cheap knockoff of College Misery and Rate Your Students?
This page doesn’t answer my question.  What now?


How do I comment?

We have an active commenting section below each post.  It’s what makes this blog a fun community.  You should join in.

The easiest way to comment is to get a new gmail email address.  Sign up here (https://accounts.google.com/SignUp).  Use any user name you want for your account.  You do need to provide a real email address but that’s only so that Google can contact you in case of a problem with your account.  Nobody else can see it.  You can also comment using your AIM, OpenID, Wordpress, LIveJournal or TypePad account. 

No matter what account you use, make sure that you are comfortable having your user name displayed in the comment.  Do not use the user name of an existing AWC member or comment using multiple user names.

Alternatively, you could send me your comments.  I can post them “From a reader...”  I don’t mind doing this but you really should participate in the conversation yourself.  Also, there will be a delay until I check the blog email.
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What are the rules for comments?

We only have a few rules.  We keep it simple so that everybody can contribute and have fun.

Don’t be a jerk, OK?  We get along pretty well here.  Having said that, you might read a comment that bothers, annoys or offends you.  Try to get over it.  If somebody gets out of line, let me know and I’ll check it out.  Remember, you’re communicating with a bunch of strangers – don’t expect everybody to behave according to your high standards.

Troll comments are deleted.  No warning, no justification.  Deleted.

That’s about it.  We’re pretty lenient about what you can say in the comments.  Now go have a good time down there at the bottom of the page.
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May I send you a suggestion for the blog?

If you have a suggestion or critique of the blog, send it to me.  I read everything you send and I’ll do my best to fix anything that needs fixing.
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This blog bothers/annoys/offends me.  What should I do?

Don’t bother commenting to say that this blog sullies the impeccable reputation of the professoriat.  Instead, go fuck yourself.  Your deranged opinion is still worthwhile.  Send your poorly-reasoned rant to me.  I’ll post it on the main page so that everybody can make fun of you.
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Who writes the posts at AWC?  Can I do that too?

Most of us here at AWC are college professors of all levels from all types of schools.  We also hear from university staff and even a few college students and their parents.  It’s a good mix.  You’re welcome to join us.

You can send your posts to me.  I do all the work of putting them online and give you the credit.  I hope to hear from you soon.
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What do people write about on this blog?

We get a wide variety of stuff, from long stories of struggles with administrators to short explosions of anger about students not stapling papers.  It can be philosophical, serious, funny, infuriating and profane (definitely profane).  Look through the archives to see what we’re all about.  Posts usually take any of the following forms:
  • Short, funny and insulting description of behaviors committed by your students, colleagues and administrators (smackdowns)
  • Questions for our readers to answer (Thirsty)
  • Links to news, articles or social media about education and related topics
  • Stories about your students, colleagues, administrators and college in general
  • Dumb emails sent by your own students, perhaps with your imagined responses
  • Cartoons, songs, poetry, pictures, etc.

Send us anything you need to get off your chest so that you can lower your stress.  We all endeavor to get through the day without starting to drink before our 10 am class.  AWC is here to help.
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What happens after I send you something to post?

I might reply with some questions before posting your email so use an email address that you check periodically.  I won’t edit your material without your consent.  You’re the author, after all.

Besides the content of the post, I’ll need a name (not your real name) to use on the AWC blog and a suggestion for a graphic.  If you comment at AWC, include your user name.  A graphic for the author accompanies each post.  If you don’t know what you want, give me an idea and I’ll try to find something that is not completely awful.  If you write something of any length, send me a title too.
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How do I know that somebody won’t guess my real identity?

Nobody can know who you are if you use a non-work email account to send me stuff to post and an unrecognizable user name to comment.  Besides, academia is so fucked up that everybody has the same problems.  Your hilarious and infuriating story about plagiarism will sound familiar to lots of readers.  If your story really is unique then blur the truth a bit.  Change the time or location, identify your “dean” as the “provost,” switch the disciplines of professors or students involved, etc.  Obviously, change people’s names.  FERPA laws apply even to blogs. 
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Isn’t this some cheap knockoff of College Misery and Rate Your Students?

Huh?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Puh-lease.  Let me check those websites.  ...  Nah, I don’t see anything similar.

Of course AWC is a knockoff!  Hell, I hope it’s as close as possible to CM and RYS.  Right after CM closed shop, I started Academic Water Cooler with the blessings and help of Fab, Leslie and Cal.  I’m proud to carry on the tradition of providing a place for faculty to vent, laugh and find good colleagues from around the world.  I need this place more than anybody.
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This page doesn’t answer my question.  What now?

Send me an email and I’ll respond to you directly and update this page as needed.
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