Tuesday, February 19, 2008

For no particular reason...

...I'd like to declare that "to wing" is now a strong verb. Thus: I am winging it in class today, yesterday I wang it, and by tomorrow I will have wung it.

Just because.


In case you're wondering, yes I have gone mad. It may have something to do with the fact that my college is being ordered by the university administration to reallocate 10% of its budget to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and other initiatives in the cockamamie newly designed strategic plan, which is all about, you guessed it, STEM fields.

This is how professors who have ceased to care are born.

They're coming to take me away, ha ha, ho ho, hee hee...


heu mihi said...

(...to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be *happy* to see those nice young men in their neat white coats and they're coming to take me away!)

I'm sorry about STEM. That is worse than lame. But I heartily endorse your strong-verb decision, and by this time tomorrow I will have wung my way through a class on Tennyson, myself.

Sisyphus said...

Maybe you can help a colleague and myself solve a debate. How would you conjugate "smite" as in "the sky opened up to smite the students who did not turn in their essays" ---- in past tense? Smut? Smitten?

I prefer "smooted," but that's mainly because I almost got one of my students to snort coffee out her nose.

Dr. Virago said...

Heu mihi - Yay! You know the song!

Sisyphus -- well "smitten" *was* once the past participle of "smite." (Yup, love is violent.) I think its regular past tense was "smote." (Sounds right. Too lazy to look it up.)

undine said...

Because, you know, STEM fields are already so deficient in grant funds and the rest.

Seriously, I think they're doing this at a lot of places now.

Dr. Virago said...

Undine, I'm sure this is happening at a lot of places, especially among the public institutions. But here it's going to mean cutting programs, cutting VAPs and part-timers, and no new hires, including retirement replacements, unless they fulfill the president's vision that applied science is the only thing that matters.

Susan said...

Yikes. Craziness rules. Don't you love the broad intellectual grounding and vision of some college presidents?

Oh, the past tense of smite is smote. As in "I hope your totally appropriate rage has smote the president and caused him to change the strategic plan."

Ancarett said...

Oh, yikes! Couldn't some other institution lure your president away so they could hire someone sane at the top? (Is bitter on this point since our humanities-background president has just been poached by another U and we're facing a brand new search.)

This is when I would expense the history of science courses and the "English Composition for Science Students" over to the science departments. Most of whom, I'd hope, aren't too happy with the robbing Peter to pay Paul aspects of this funding scenario!

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Smite, smote, smitten. Look it up in Malory. I have instructed my students on the principle parts because I could not stand to read "smotes" (present tense) in papers.

As to the substantive issue: Oh, NOOOooooo! Reallocation BAD. Send your administrators my way and I will smite them. Then they will have been smitten . . . which somehow has a different connotation.

Dr. Virago said...

I love how this conversation has become a discussion of the principle parts of "to smite." Too funny! And glad to know my hazy memory of "smote" is correct.

And you know what, I *want* administrators to become smitten with the humanities in the modern sense of the word! That would solve our problems as much as their having been smitten by my broad sword would!

k8 said...

Could that 10% go to digital humanities projects? That could keep it out of the grubby little hands of the science and engineering folks.

Bardiac said...

My school has a big stem thing coming down; it LOOKS like they're actually going to use some small part of the funds to fund English and math, since their students needs both. But only the tech writing part of English, of course. It's better than nothing, though!

Jeffrey Cohen said...

A rule of thumb: it is NEVER good for the humanities when the administrators deploy an acronym. STEM -- how lame is that?

Dr. Virago said...

I think it's the Feds who came up with STEM.

Which explains a lot.

Anonymous said...

You do realize, of course, that a "Smoot" is already a unit of measure? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoot

for details.