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Friday Afternoon Confessional: The End of Winter

I confess that I am more than ready for the winter quarter to end, and luckily it is doing so today. I confess that when they called it “winter” quarter, they were absolutely serious: only in the last couple days has the weather been anything less than miserable. I confess that I am sickeningly on the ball for next quarter — by lunch time today my course packets for both courses will be sent to the copy center and my syllabi will be essentially ready to go.

I confess that I feel as though I have left my language acquisition and maintenance tasks completely behind this quarter, because apparently working on a translation doesn’t count in my mind. I confess that after turning in my translation and delivering my lecture on awkwardness at the college, I felt bereft, because I had no specific overarching project to work on. At this point in what will perhaps have been my career, it seems better to work on developing particular skillsets (like research languages) and teaching competencies than on further writing and publication. Yet those things are much easier to put off, because the progress is less concrete (particularly with languages, where real progress takes forever long) and it’s harder for me to take my self-imposed deadlines seriously.

I confess that I may have inadvertantly created a new stereotype. In a class discussion where I was trying to illustrate that we all recognize “real” stereotypes even if we acknowledge that stereotypes are false, I made up the idea that black people like Shamrock Shakes. Already it seemed to have some initial plausibility for the white students, and so I moved on to another one (Vietnamese people love trenchcoats). In a later class, though, a student said to me, “You know how you made up the stereotype of black people liking Shamrock Shakes? I think it might be true!” His evidence was that a black friend ordered one at McDonald’s, then revealed that her whole family likes them. No matter what I said, he stuck to his guns.


March 12, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess that, only minutes after concluding a Sopranos episode in which the use of depression to avoid genuine moral reckoning was more prominent than at any time in the previous five seasons and change, I sulked and slammed a door.

    Comment by K-sky | March 12, 2010

  2. I confess that A Town Called Panic is awesomely great.

    I further confess that I was somewhat unhappy to finish a book recently because it meant I had to stop postponing revisions and new writing until after I finished the book, and also because now I’ll have to figure out how to rewrite one section in particular (or ax it) in light of the book’s contents (which would be genuinely useful for it if only I could get my mind properly wrapped around how to use it).

    Comment by ben wolfson | March 12, 2010

  3. White people are the worst people ever.

    Comment by stras | March 12, 2010

  4. I confess that I still have a nervous habit of googling my own various projects to see if anyone is linking/paying attention to them. They are not.

    Comment by stras | March 12, 2010

  5. You have a gift for inventing and promulgating stereotypes, Adam, a gift which is in very high demand, and yet you have settled on an archaic high-risk low-payoff line of work instead. We just don’t understand you.

    Comment by John Emerson | March 12, 2010

  6. Adam could’ve had an amazing career in stand-up comedy, porn direction or national politics, but instead he turned to academia, where his true talents are wasted.

    Comment by stras | March 12, 2010

  7. it’s harder for me to take my self-imposed deadlines seriously.

    Self-legislation is an empty idea.

    Comment by ben wolfson | March 12, 2010

  8. I confess I have no idea what Shamrock Shakes are but still feel that it would be quite natural for all peoples to have an universal liking for it.

    (I confess that on reading 4 I thought: I am not alone.)

    Comment by JoB | March 12, 2010

  9. I confess that I’m surprised there are people who DON’T Google any projects they’re working on or articles they’ve written. I have my name and my site’s name on Google Alert just for that purpose.

    Shamrock shake = mint flavored milkshake at McDonald’s. I was going to order one once but they’re so ghetto and I didn’t want to seem like a poseur.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | March 12, 2010

  10. Ah, it’s that typically catholic drink!

    Comment by JoB | March 12, 2010

  11. I don’t think it’s particularly surprising why Adam’s stereotype caught on.

    Comment by K-sky | March 12, 2010

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