Day: April 7, 2020


Craving normalcy? What’s more normal than xykademiqz crying woe-is-me? Nothing,  that’s what.

So… I received a university-level award. Thank you, thank you. It is a big deal. A couple of months ago, the photographer came to my research-group meeting and took pictures of me talking with my graduate students; he took dozens. The one that ended up in the announcement might as well be described as “Fat Angry Troll About to Bite Off Head of Graduate Student.”

My husband, who usually says I look great even when I really don’t, actually concurred on this one. He asked, “Did you offend the photographer? This is such a bad picture, it seems like it was chosen out of spite.” It looked like I was yelling at my poor graduate student, which I wasn’t. Who the f*ck takes pictures for 30 min and chooses that?

I did manage to find the editor and they put up a different photograph. I still look like a beached whale, but at least I look relaxed and smiling and not foaming at the mouth. I might not be pretty or photogenic, but at the very least I shouldn’t appear to be harboring murderous intent. FFS.

I have some selfies from later that same day, also at work, in which I look nice and human, and one of which may be my new faculty profile pic. I took one today with unwashed hair in a poorly lit room, and still didn’t manage to approach the level of trolldom produced by a professional photographer after a 30-min photo shoot.

It’s especially upsetting because there were several other recipients for related awards, and they all looked good in the announcement. Not only do I not look good, I look fuckin’ awful, at the level of those pictures when you’re drunk and sweaty, with one eye closed and your tongue sticking out.

At this point, after more than fifteen years in academia, I am pretty traumatized from dealing with university communications staff. Every article has me sounding like a moron, every picture uglier than the next.

Academic blogosphere, how do you deal with your university communications office?