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Monday, October 10, 2016

On How I Become Professor Anti-Change

Time spent writing: 4 hours
What I did: Revising the civil religion essay
Grade for the day: B-

If you ever want to see a professor twitch in horror, just say the word "change." Don't say it too many times. They might have a heart condition. Just once. Then sit back and watch.

When I started my career, I promised myself that I would never become Professor Anti-Change. I understand when it's the Big Things. "We're going to eliminate your department and replace it with a robot. Say hello to the Geertzomatic 2020. 'Hello my name is Clifford, now let's talk about meaning-making.'"

Yea, I think that we can resist that. For a few reasons.

I'm talking about those Little Changes--often trivial, sometimes necessary, and always the source of MASSIVE distress. Classroom arrangements, parking regulations, a "creepy clown" protocol. All standard stuff.

Well, over the weekend, my inner Professor Anti-Change surfaced when I learned that we would no longer be using Blackboard as our learning management system.

How did I feel at that moment? How about....

Let it be known that my hatred of Blackboard boarders on the pathological. If there is a proof against the existence of God, this bundle of demonic code is it. I have yet to actually throw my laptop. But Blackboard has brought me to the brink. It's clunky, dated, and not intuitive at all.

And yet...

Back in the spring, I was sent a survey about Blackboard. I went on and on (and on) about all of the ways that I detest it. And then I finished by begging them to not ditch it.

Why?

Because I have made my dysfunctional relationship with Blackboard functional. I have figured out how to live with it. I have budgeted just the right amount of rage to handle its quirks. And I have all of my courses on it running smoothly enough.

So here I am, becoming that professor. Twitching at the mention of change. It's not that bad, though...as long as I can find a spot in the faculty parking lot.

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