The title says it all. I may be back, or I may not.
The title says it all. I may be back, or I may not.
As a college instructor, I have developed a vast network of other instructors and professors from community colleges and universities; also, I love reading those Reader’s Digest lists such as “10 Things Your (insert profession here) Won’t Tell You.”
So, I decided recently to take an anonymous poll (Thank goodness for SurveyMonkey!) of my friends and trusted colleagues in order to create my own “
10 8 Things” list. I wanted the juiciest, most scandalous tidbits, and they delivered — so much so that I didn’t feel comfortable posting some.
Here are the results:
One professor told me, “I had a female student who never showed up to class or did the homework. Toward the end of the semester, she decided to visit friends in San Diego. I was so ready to fail her… until she came back and presented me with a souvenir: a combination snow globe and letter opener. It was pretty cool. Because of that, I ended up passing her with a C.”
Some students are just pains in the butt. “If a student is constantly challenging her grades throughout the semester or taking up office hours every week to ask for extra credit, I pass them even if they deserve a D. I don’t want to risk the chance of having the same student the following semester,” mentioned one history instructor.
About 80% of male professors who responded said that they favor female students to male students (duh). One instructor stated, “If a male student asks me if he can make up an online quiz, I will refer him to the rules in the syllabus [that say ‘no’]. If a female student asks me the same question, I will more than likely say yes.”
So, young ladies, turn on that charm the next time you need something. You’ll likely get what you want.
Just like (allegedly) a cop can find an obscure infraction if he wants to give you a ticket, professors can find ways to penalize students they, um… just plain ol’ don’t like. Ms. R in Oklahoma wrote, “When there’s a student who rubs me the wrong way, I create homework assignments that I know he won’t complete. Little by little, these small scores add up to where he ends up failing the course.”
Quite a few instructors, including this one, give five-point pop quizzes at the very beginning of class to penalize habitually tardy students. Because we can.
Many professors teach extra-service courses online to supplement their modest income. Thus, the online course becomes low priority in addition to their regular course loads. One colleague had this to say: “I teach online at a different college. I assign two research papers and one exam, none of which I actually grade. I give out A’s and B’s randomly.”
Another professor teaches online every summer for extra cash. This past July, he “graded” (i.e. skimmed through) the assignments while sitting at an outdoor café in Italy.
Oh, and the real reason online instructors don’t immediately reply to your emails? “We just don’t give a d**n.”
Students: Don’t openly voice your religious or political views in class. Yes, it’s a free country, but the professor is the dictator in his/her own class. “One time a minority student told all of us [in class] that she hated anyone who was dumb enough to vote for [George W.] Bush,” said one professor in Texas. He applied #4 above and gave the young woman a D for the course.
Reason? The professor was a closet Republican.
Sure, you’re entitled to your opinion; you might end up on the professor’s naughty list, though.
We college and university instructors/professors are not stupid. We can tell the difference between a hard-working overachiever and a teacher’s-pet-over-complementing-manipulator.
If you’re the latter, we might even play along.
You just might be in for a surprise when final grades are posted.
Most of the time, our departments force us to include final projects and term papers in our syllabi so that all of the course sections are in sync. Therefore, we have to devote lots of time to grading students’ work (imagine that).
A psychology instructor in California said that a student will earn a failing grade on a term paper only if he/she turns nothing in. “I count the number of papers turned in and the number of students I have, then go from there.”
Another professor: “I usually give students full credit if they merely attempt the final project in English literature. This includes pages of meaningless fluff. Actually, I don’t even know it’s fluff half the time because I don’t read the whole things.”
I recently read this article about a type of OCD called scrupulosity. It’s basically the fear of sin or punishment from God. The article is definitely worth the read.
Of course, I’m not saying that it’s suddenly okay to throw caution to the wind and start sinning. Far from it. However, the article got me thinking about how uptight I may be; I tend to be a living example of the ironic process theory: If someone tells you not to think of a pink elephant, you are automatically going to (like you did just now).
While I continue to deal with habitual sin, I’m learning to make an effort to enjoy life and trust God as I go. For instance, my two young sons and I have been playing soccer in the backyard after dinner each night, and it’s so much fun! I have also come across some comics and memes on the Internet that make me smile.
Laughter and fun times are a welcome reprieve from the daily spiritual battles that we face.
Last night, my sons and I were trying to steal the ball from each other in our scrimmage. As we battled against each other, my kids were giggling like crazy. Afterwards, my oldest, who is quite serious and emotional, suddenly asked me, “Daddy, why is laughing good for us?”
Taken aback, I replied, “Well, because it makes us feel good. Plus, we forget our problems while we’re laughing.” It was one of those moments where I inadvertently taught myself something.
So, in the spirit of all this, I have posted some comics and things that I’ve run across in the past few weeks. They are entertaining to me, but, after all, my sense of humor is a bit twisted. 😉
Since I’m an English teacher, I particularly like this one:
This one isn’t a comic, but it has really spoken to me during the past week. My dear sister in Christ, Jet, recently posted it on her blog:
Have a great week, and remember to laugh periodically.
I usually don’t post thoughts that are off-the-cuff because, well, that’s not the way I like to write. As a college English teacher, I tell my students that brainstorming and making an outline are essential first steps in writing an essay.
But forget all that. This isn’t a stinkin’ essay.
All of you are aware that I am dealing with… “issues.” And you also know that I’m trying to be a good Catholic at the same time. Well, it’s not always a bed of roses.
Like right now.
Maybe it’s because I had to cut my meds down to a half-dose because my new psychiatrist couldn’t fit me right in. I’m don’t know, but life has been very up-and-down lately. (Luckily I have an appointment tomorrow morning to see him, so that’s good.)
Only on a Catholic/mental illness blog could the author go from writing thoughts about the rosary and contemplative prayer one day and writing a post like this one the very next day. Welcome to my world.
I have been mourning my marriage a lot lately. How could my wife and I go from being giddy young(er) lovers to coed roommates who manage a household like brother and sister?
I’m happy for all of the happily married couples that I see at church and on the blogs that I frequent. I really am. It’s just hard for me to see sometimes. Kind of like a guy seeing his recent ex-girlfriend in a hot new relationship while the former boyfriend is at home scouring Internet dating sites, trying in vain to find someone.
I have God, His Son, The Blessed Virgin, and all of the angels and saints, though. However, I don’t mean to sound like I’m questioning my faith (I’m not), but I am reminded of the scene in the movie Good Will Hunting where the counselor asks the young man if he has any friends. The young man says yes, he has many good friends and starts listing off classic authors. The counselor responds by saying that all of those people are dead and begins lecturing him on having real relationships with real people.
Again, there’s no doubt in my mind that the saints are alive in heaven and praying for me constantly. It’s just that… they’re not present here. I can’t see them.
Jesus is my savior and friend (yes, friend), and I love spending time praying/talking to him.
it would be great to have real friends. A real love of my life.
The Church is the bridegroom of Christ. That is awesome; it’s a lovely image.
But that’s more like reading poetry: beautiful allusions and lofty prose. The real thing would be nice, though.
I need to count my blessings. I know. I have been. I thank God daily for everything that He has given me.
It would be wonderful to have a “real (?)” marriage like Christ has with His Church.
Fellow believers, please don’t write me off as a heretic. I’m really not. I’m just a guy who’s going through some stuff, that’s all.
If you’re like me and don’t get out much — in the cyber world or in the real world — then you might not have heard the essay by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey entitled “If I Were the Devil.” Apparently it has been making the rounds again.
I heard the broadcast for the first time on Catholic radio a few months ago and was very intrigued; it’s from 1964 and is quite prophetic.
Since the original broadcast, Paul Harvey periodically updated the text to reflect the constant changes in society. So, if you scour the Internet, you’ll run across this recording in various forms.
The following is the transcript of the original 1964 broadcast:
If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.
I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.
So I should set about however necessary to take over the United States.
I would begin with a campaign of whispers.
With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”
To the young I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is ‘square.’”
In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.
And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which art in Washington.”
Then I’d get organized.
I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.
I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice versa.
I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.
I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.
I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”
With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.
Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.
Then in his own churches I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.
If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg
And the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.
Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.
If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world [would] go to hell as sure as the Devil.
Below is a video featuring an updated version from c. 1996:
This will really sound weird to you.
You see, I tend to be negative, I’m a bit unbalanced upstairs, I’m a survivor of two suicide attempts, and… here’s where it gets weird… I’m also a practicing Catholic.
How is that possible, you ask? I have no idea.
I used to practice Wicca, then I got into Zen meditation, and then I found my way home and ended up in the Church.
Oh, and I’m also a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
So… Anyway, here are some examples of my thinking. I usually see this:
But sometimes I see this instead:
I know, I know. That’s pretty messed up. So why am I even posting these images? I thought you were a Catholic?
Well, I guess I’m still struggling with mastering my mind, to paraphrase St. Paul.
In case you’re wondering, I try not to have lustful thoughts or commit sins of impurity. Sometimes I fall, though, and it torments the hell out of me. I go to confession and am forgiven, though. Thank goodness for the Sacraments.
So, doesn’t the above photo cause me to lust or go to a dark place in my mind? Well, I’m getting a better grasp on my problem. For example, I can look at the above image and the one below and be okay. However, that’s like running with scissors: pretty soon I’m bound to get injured.
Let’s move on.
Usually I think of this:
But sometimes my mind goes here:
One reason I started this blog was to be open about the strange stuff that goes on in my mind. I originally started a version of this blog that was on the negative side (i.e. more graphic images and descriptions of the demons that torment me; potty-mouth words and phrases), but then I started thinking: What is the purpose of it all? I made myself fall into sin by the very things that I was posting about!
God was nagging me from the beginning of this blog idea, however. You know how we tend to ignore Him when He wants us to change and listen to Him? Well, I was bound and determined to do my blog MY way — forget the fact that it was harming me and putting false notions of the Church in people’s minds.
So I listened to God. I prayed, and, with advice from my psychiatrist, I decided to listen to the Holy Spirit and turn this blog into something positive (and PG rated!). And before I realized what was happening, God had given me a ministry.
We’ll see where all of this goes. All I am going to do is keep blogging about my faith and experiences with my mental health, and the Lord will direct the way for me. Most important, I will be receptive to His voice.