Day 199: Didn’t Miss My Office

Seriously. Not one bit. They gave me my old one again, which means no window. I’ve only been sitting here in this conrete sarcophagus for a few hours and am already developing a serious aversion to the color grey (which is problematic, since I am color blind, which means that other colors such as pink look grey to me as well).

On the bright side: I seem to be lucky in regards to my students this year. They all seem quite nice and rather intelligent (well, there are at least no completely obvious jackasses in the bunch, which, I guess, is all you can ask from a first day of teaching). Consequently, I had a lot of fun teaching and already asked a student: “so, how do you have sex?” It was not really supposed to come out this way (I was just making a basic point about the social construction of desires) but it certainly improved the atmosphere immediately.

Downside: as of today I am officially a lot older than my students. I am considering getting a pipe.

Oh, and beginning tomorrow I will start my new project: not smoking. Not at all. Cold turkey. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

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7 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday

  2. Danke Schön!

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You should’ve gone to your class wearing your birthday suit. You know, to further challenge social conventions. And to take a stand against Global Warming. A very persuasive gesture, I hear.

    P.S. Is there a difference between “social convention” and “social construction,” or are those terms used interchangeably? I never know.

  4. Lets see that now we both crossed the 30 how what we do for the next witchnight project. It needs to be something bigger. I want newspaper coverage and i want to utilize a laser cutter that i got my hands on today. I already shoot some holes in plastic sheets and silicon, now i am off to the pet shop to get some ants, muharharhar.

  5. Oh i would like to promote another big website:
    http://maddox.xmission.com/
    Cheers

  6. Albert: you are a very strange person. Sometimes you scare me. In a good way.

    Joanna: a tempting idea but I may want to reserve this kind of thing for the time after someone decided to hire me (or maybe until I am tenured)–but then look out!

    Oh, your question–let’s see: “social convention” also refers to something habitual, yet merely describes one of several possible standards a society may have invented, whereas “social construction” primarily describes the fact that something (possibly a social convention) is not natural (or essential, universally true, etc.) but constructed, or made by society. Social construction is the term that contains more critical force. Saying that certain aspects of gender are social conventions may point toward the fact that they are unjust, or discriminatory standards (or merely that they are standards period–the term does not necessarily include a critical stance, whereas social construction implies a critical argument). Describing such an aspect of gender (say social conventions that result in the persistent practical exclusion of women from certain forms of labor) as a social construct is a claim drawing our attention to the fact that gender is a construct, that it has no natural basis, hence revealing the arbitrary nature of the convention that is being discussed (which is a different and more substantial level of critique). Does this make sense? I’m not that lucid without nicotine.

  7. Yes, that definitely clears things up for me. Thanks!


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