Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Best of bad

I had never really used Excel stats (the "Analysis Package") for anything because people told me it was bad and awful and clunky but you know? I've got a wee tiny basket of half-spoiled lemons here so I need to try to make lemonade. I added-on the Analysis Package (and am going to ask my chair to tell IT to send someone to do that to all the lab computers, if it's not already been done - I am not doing it, nor will I make my students do it) and printed out a tutorial on using it.

It's ugly and clunky and I hate graphs in Excel but if that's all they're going to pay for for us to have, I have to use it.

I'm really sad and angry about this but if Math is going to try to take my stats class away in the next couple years, I am unwilling to invest much energy in learning a big complex new package.

But, what a cluster. What a mess. This is typical of here, some decision gets made, the  people who have to live with it aren't told until the last minute and we get no input.

Then again: had I been told this in January? I might very well have crafted a careful letter, handed it to my chair, and gone out job-hunting for the fall. If I quit teaching I'd miss it terribly but I am tired of the constant blood-from-a-stone, mistrust-of-faculty, death-by-a-thousand-papercuts. I'm obligated to teach this fall but if things get much worse.....well, come NEXT fall this blog may be gone (to scrub my online presence as clean as possible, along with my Ravelry and Twitter accounts, and yes, I know about the Wayback machine) and my house may be on the market and I may be.....I don't know where, I don't know doing what.

What makes me profoundly sad is that I'm clearly not good enough to matter or someone would be trying to keep me happy. And that tells me I might not be good enough to get another job.

I'm also in one of those moods. I found myself thinking, "Maybe I need to go get a dog" (because of the old dictum from Harry Truman, about "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.") I am feeling, once again, very disrespected, very ignored, very taken for granted. It's a bad place to be in because it makes me more prone to treat other people ungraciously and take the people who actually DO care for granted.....but the people who control so many aspects of my life seem NOT to care.

And no, I'm not going to get a dog (or cat) - allergies, and also don't have a pet-proofed house, and it scares me to be responsible for another living thing when some days I don't remember to feed myself. 


I can't afford the roughly $2K for a personal site license for SPSS - which I would need to teach the class as well as do my research. And I feel very wrong about telling the students to each cough up another $35. I can't use a cheaper book at this point as the books for this fall are already on the shelves. And many of our students DO come from backgrounds where an extra $35 is a big deal, and enough people would really resent it.

So heigh-ho Excel, I guess.

I'm really not happy. I am trying very hard not to take this as evidence of "things will never get better" but I'm mostly failing at the moment.

No comments: