The Pink Flamingo Mailbag

Dear Pink Flamingo,

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how lazy you professors are.  I’ve heard you only work about 20 hours per week, have summers off, and spend the winter break just lounging around doing nothing.  Is that true?

Sincerely,

Jealous in Janesville

Dear Jealous,

Yes, it’s absolutely true.  The vast majority of us got into this field, not because we value education, but because of how easy it is to do what we do.  When it comes to the winter break, most of us use it as a chance to sit around and relax rather than to catch up on the work we were unable to complete during the semester.  We never have meetings during this time, never go to conferences, and never spend this time planning our courses for the next semester or working on our research. 

In fact, here’s what a typical day will look like for me over the break.  When I’m ready to get out of bed (around 10:30 or so), I ring for my valet.  He brings up my clothes for the day (all new as I don’t like to wear the same thing twice) and lets me know what the cook has prepared for my breakfast.  Typically, I take my breakfast (usually eggs benedict) in the den so I can watch Saved by the Bell while I eat.  My masseuse is scheduled to arrive around noon for my hour long massage treatment.  After that, I usually take a long bath and eat the lunch that’s been prepared for me.  At that point, I’m pretty tired so I take my afternoon nap.  When I wake up, it’s around 4:00 and I like to spend the next few hours before dinner watching television or movies.  Around 7:00, my lobster dinner (I have them flown in from Maine each afternoon) has been prepared for me so I sit down to eat.  After my dessert, I adjourn to the game room (if I still have the energy) and spend the rest of the evening playing video games before bed.  My valet then brings me my cashmere pajamas, I climb into my ridiculously comfortable bed, and fall asleep to the sound of my personal orchestra playing Hush Little Baby.

It’s a glamorous life and I sometimes wonder, if what we do is so very easy and our lives are so luxurious… why don’t more people do it?

So…Enjoy Your Winter “Break”!

 Much like our professor’s description above, I am imagining that “break” isn’t quite the word you would use to describe what will happen in the weeks before the start of the spring semester. Because students never work full time, take January interim classes, work on job or graduate school applications, or do anything else when school isn’t in session, right? We know your valets are bringing you breakfast in bed, too! Please, though, seriously – be safe, be well, and enjoy the change of pace that comes with at least a little different schedule. For those of you not graduating in December, we can’t wait to see you again in the spring!

The Pink Flamingo Mailbag

Dear Pink Flamingo, 

I just learned that there’s a national election coming up.  It weird that I haven’t heard about it until now but I guess the media has been more focused on other things… like Honey Boo Boo and bad NFL officiating.  Anyway, I’m one of the many Americans who is still undecided and am wondering if you can give me some help in figuring this out.  Will you be endorsing anyone this year? 

Sincerely, 

Apathetic in Appleton

Dear Apathetic,

 Actually, The Pink Flamingo has a long history of avoiding endorsements of candidates for public office.  Our feeling has been that we don’t want to tarnish our journalistic credibility by coming out in favor or against particular candidates.  If we had come out and endorsed Thomas Dewey publicly in 1944, for example, we may have alienated his supporters who would never again trust our important updates on course changes or our career advice.  In fact, we checked our archives and learned that our last endorsement was of Rufus King in the 1816 election for President and, as I’m sure you have read, the fallout from that endorsement was very troubling.

 That said, if we were to endorse a candidate for President it would be the one who most closely adhered to the interdisciplinary, problem-focused mission of our university… and I think we all know who that is [wink wink].

Top 5 Ways this Newsletter would be Different if it were Written by “Replacement Editors”

Okay, this story starts with a confession. Our regular humor editor was unavailable this month, so you are only getting a Top 5 list instead of the Top 10 list, and we make no guarantees it will actually be funny. We are also going for the easy laugh at others’ expense, knowing how much Green Bay Packer fans just loved those replacement referees. In their honor we contemplated a world in which our beloved Pink Flamingo was written instead by replacement editors.

5. Professional newsletter editors have PhDs in psychology. Replacement newsletter editors would have their advanced psychology education from watching episodes of Dr. Phil and their favorite “Real Housewives” franchise.

 4. Sentences like “geting a job in humen developmint should simpel if you are wel-preparedd” would make the final version because replacement editors would see them as the verbal equivalents of a touchdown (or was that an interception?).

3. Finding Roger Goodell’s inbox full, students would flood the Chancellor’s Office with tweets demanding the return of the “real editors.”

2. The National Enquirer would issue a press release saying they had fired the PF replacement editors 6 months ago for poor performance, so they don’t understand why another respected publication would hire them.

And, the #1 way the newsletter would be different if it were written by replacement editors:

1. It might actually be worth reading for a change.

Study Break Contest: Can You Identify the Flamingo’s Owner?

Lately, we’ve been hearing the following from a lot of students: “Wow, really great newsletter.  You and your co-authors are obviously skilled writers as well as outstanding teachers and I applaud your brilliance.  But why is it called The Pink Flamingo

Depending on our mood, our responses range anywhere from “if you had really read The Pink Flamingo, you would know where it got its name” to “why shouldn’t we call it The Pink Flamingo?  What do you have against flamingos, huh?”

As many of our faithful readers know, the real reason we call it The Pink Flamingo has to do with the lovely lawn ornaments that have graced the hallway of the MAC Hall C-Wing over the years.  It might be hard to imagine now, as the our flamingo population has dwindled greatly over the last few years, but the C-Wing used to be a lush environment where flamingo lawn ornaments thrived, each dressed in anything from a leather jacket to a Packers jersey.

Of course, times have been tough in the C-Wing and many of the plastic flamingos have passed on (please don’t tell Dr. Gurung.  He thinks they all went to live on his uncle’s farm).  Some remain in the C-Wing but are in a sorry state of disrepair.  We have tried obtaining sustainability grants in order to launch “Operation Flamingo Recovery” but, sadly, those grants tend to go to actual causes with tangible benefits rather than the purchasing and decorating of cheesy lawn ornaments.  Instead of those recovery efforts, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane with a contest, the winner of which will be featured in a future issue of The Pink Flamingo and be treated to a candy bar!  Enter here now! 

The Pink Flamingo Mailbag

DEAR PNK FLMNG,

M TXTNG THS 2 U BCAUS IM IN CLSS SO PLEAS FRGV TH TXT SPEAK. IV BEEN HEARNG A LT ABOUT BDGT CTS LTLY AND R WNDRNG IF WE SHOULD EXPCT NE CHNGS IN TH QLTY OF JOURNLSM AFFRDD 2 US BY TH PNK FLMNG. THRS NTHNG I LV MR THN READNG ABOUT TH FSCNTNG CMNGS AND GNGS IN TH HMN DVLPMNT AND PSYCHLGY DPRTMNTS AND I WOULD BE DVSTTD IF YR FN PBLCTN WR DMNSHD IN NE WY.

SNCRLY,

BRD IN BLGY

[Translation: Dear Pink Flamingo. I'm texting this to you because I'm in class so please forgive the txt speak. I've been hearing a lot about budget cuts lately and am wondering if we should expect any changes in the quality of journalism afforded to us by the Pink Flamingo. There's nothing I love more than reading about the fascinating comings and goings in the Human Development and Psychology departments and I would be devastated if your fine publication were diminished in any way. Sincerely, Bored in Biology]

Dear Bored,

First of all, stop texting in class. I’m certain your professor has noticed (we almost always do) and if he/she hasn’t said something to you about it, it’s because he/she is too busy laughing over the fact that you think you’re getting away with it. Alternatively, he/she has said something to you about it but you didn’t notice because you were texting. It’s probably the latter.

Second, that may have been the first time anyone has ever used the words “QLTY”, “JOURNLSM”, and “PNK FLMNG” in the same sentence (at least without ending that sentence with “LOL”, that is). You’re right to be concerned about the budget cuts. This is a tough time to be in the field of departmental newsletter editing and we’ve had to make some fairly substantial sacrifices. We were just informed by our chief editor that we can no longer afford our chocolate fountain, that our masseuse can only come in three times a week instead of the five we are accustomed to, and that we will have to send our guard puggle to live on our uncle’s farm (at least that’s where I was told he will go to live). We even had to cancel the opening ceremony performance by Lady Gaga at this year’s Pink Flamingo Annual Conference and move the location (see photo below; we love the decor and the low weekly rates, but it’s not ideal for an international conference). We were able to book Ke$ha for entertainment instead, but it’s just not the same, and she’s not happy about the acoustics in the new venue, either.

I’m kidding, of course. Newsletter editing isn’t nearly as glamorous as it’s made out to be by the media, and the vast majority of editors could have made more money doing something different. We chose to edit newsletters because we love the work, and even though it will be impossible to maintain the same level of quality with fewer resources, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to bring you the high quality newsletter you deserve.

Sincerely,

 The Pink Flamingo

 

 

 

 

Holiday-Themed Top Ten

We are all about connecting learning to life at UW-Green Bay, so we want to help you make the most of the holiday. We may be just a little late for this year, but if things didn’t go quite as you had planned this February 14th, start planning now for next year. Here are the Top Ten Ways that Behaviorism Can Improve Your Valentine’s Day.

10. That heart-shaped boxes of chocolates will have greater value if you deprive your partner of food for awhile first. 

9. Because they are not observable behaviors, love and happiness are unimportant. Explain to your partner that this is why he or she did not get a gift this year.

8. Token economies have shown great success in all sorts of settings, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t work in relationships. Don’t just give chocolates. Give tokens for positive behaviors that can be traded for chocolates. 

7. If you go out to dinner, try ordering “fixed interval scallops” as a joke. Your partner will be enamored by the clever behaviorism pun.  

6. To increase the speed of your partner’s lip-puckering, try ringing a bell each time you give him or her a kiss.

5.  Not only is saying “I love you” a bit of a cliché, it’s also meaningless in terms of behaviorism. Try saying something like, “Spending time with you has led to a sharp increase in smiling and laughing, as well as a significant decrease in frowning and crying.” Some sort of visual aid (a chart or graph depicting the change) might help drive the point home.  

4. Remember, punishment is the least effective way to change behavior. Try negative reinforcement instead. Make an aversive noise until your partner does what you want him or her to do.

3. Cards, chocolates, and flowers have little value as reinforcement. If you give a gift, make it cash.   

2. Since variable-ratio reinforcement schedules are best, flip a coin to determine if you will give your partner a gift this year. This should increase positive relationship behaviors in him or her.

1. If you actually tried any of these yourself this year, make sure to check out next month’s Top Ten Ways to get a New Partner Now that You’ve Screwed Up Valentine’s Day.

Top Ten Best Facebook Posts from the First Day of Class

We at The Pink Flamingo know that the first day of class is full of excitement, anxiety, frustration, and wonder (at least we HOPE there’s some excitement and wonder).  What better place to capture all those emotions than Facebook.  That’s why we asked The Pink Flamingo IT Specialist to hack into the famed social networking site to bring us the very best status updates from students and faculty members on that first day. 

Don’t worry, the names have been changed to protect your confidentiality.  In fact, if you can tell us what the fake names all have in common, you might just earn yourself a little fortune and glory (by “fortune,” we mean a candy bar of your choosing and by “glory,” we mean that you will be prominently featured in the next issue of The Pink Flamingo; click here to submit your guesses.

10. Donald Grant cannot find a parking place.
9. Tatiana Romanova hopes this is the year she gets a class where there are no tests, no presentations, and little homework.
8. Dr. Rosa Klebb hopes this is the year she has students who want to take tests, do presentations, and do homework.
7. Victor Kronsteen regrets scheduling all his classes for the same day and worries about blowing his food budget on five hour energy drinks.
6. Donald Grant STILL cannot find a parking place.
5. Dr. Zora wonders if her students know that she is far more nervous than they are.
4. Major Boothroyd doesn’t think the laws of physics will allow him to get from Wood Hall to MAC Hall in the time allotted between classes.
3. Donald Grant found a parking place!!!…but missed class.
2. Captain Nash was appalled to learn that his Monday night class will still be in session during Monday night Packer games and plans on contacting Chancellor Harden regarding this atrocity.
1. Kerim Bey wants to know why his professors are making Facebook jokes.  Don’t they know that Facebook hasn’t been cool since they started using it?

Top Ten Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

With final projects looming, concern about upcoming registration, and the knowledge that exams are about one month away, this is the time of year when students tell us they might not be getting enough sleep.  We asked our resident not-enough-sleep expert and new Dad, Dr. Martin, for some signs that you might not be getting enough sleep. 

10. You’re not even trying to be discrete as you fall asleep in class.

9. You ore more prome to typos wehn writting than usuall. 

8. I had a good one for number 8 but I can’t remember what it was…

7. Oh yeah, I remember, memory problems.

6. You’re learning to enjoy the company of those in your sleep-deprivation-induced hallucinations.

5. Those late night infomercial products are really starting to look good.  Have you seen the H2O Mop?  That frickin’ thing will clean up anything!!!

4. You tried to enroll yourself in a study on the effectiveness of Madafinil, the military’s new “wakefulness promoting agent.” 

3. The coffee vender knows more about you than your parents.

2. Your professors’ jokes, including this Top Ten List, actually seem funny.

1. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Top 10: Explanations for Not Making it to The Super Bowl

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone (Congratulations, New Orleans!), but you probably noticed there wasn’t any NFC North representation in the big game. Drs. Martin and Vespia had a friendly argument about whether the Top 10 list this month should make fun of the Packers or the Vikings. The compromise? Dr. Vespia would get 5 chances to mock the Vikings, and Dr. Martin would have his 5 opportunities to pick on the Packers. Who won? You decide.

The Top 5 Reasons the Vikings Didn’t Make it to the Super Bowl  

5. As psychologists, we all know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and well, if you’ve never won a Super Bowl in the past, chances are…

4. Coaches and players watched hours of film of the Saints in preparation for the game but forgot to review the most critical piece of tape: overtime of the January 2008 Packers-Giants playoff game.

3. Given their fumble record, Viking players have apparently not yet learned that one must actually hold on to the football in order to score points.

2. Unfortunately, playoff games aren’t held in September prior to the Vikings’ traditional late-season choke. 

1. Dr. Martin insisted when he moved to Green Bay that our quarterback was aging, over-rated, and prone to throwing interceptions. Perhaps he was right, after all.

The Top 5 Reasons the Packers Didn’t Make it to the Super Bowl

5. Turns out that Favre guy they got rid of was actually pretty decent. 

4. Ted Thompson foolishly included language in the offensive linemen’s contracts stipulating that they only need to play full speed on even downs.  

3. No one could have anticipated this, but the teams with losing records they beat all season weren’t as good as the teams they would face in the playoffs. 

2. NFL rules (along with the United Nations Committee on Biomedical Ethics) dictate that Charles Woodson cannot be cloned.

1. The Packers defense, ranked number 2 in the NLF, played just like that…number 2.

Pink Flamingo Mailbox

Dear Pink Flamingo,

I was simply thrilled to read that you had hired a new writer.  I admit, I was starting to find your work a little dry… as though you had lost your fervor for departmental newsletter writing.  However, your new scribe offers a moving departure from the stale and passionless prose you offered us last year.  The graduate school tip last month made me weep, and I found the article on SIS to be informative and poignant.  I simply must know this new author’s name.  What can I do to find out?

Sincerely,

Needy in Neenah

Dear Needy,

We’re so glad you are happy with our new addition but are sorry to tell you that we can’t reveal our new author’s name.  To do so would pose a safety risk and serve as a breach of this person’s contract which stipulated that his/her real name could not be revealed until such time as his/her death or the end of the 2009-2010 academic year. 

I can tell you a little bit about how our new author was chosen, however.  Every summer, we hold the Pink Flamingo National Invitational Camp (commonly called the PF Combine), to which the best college-level departmental newsletter editors are invited.  At this weeklong event (held in Honolulu last year), potential PF editors are put to the test with a series of grueling mental and physical tasks (e.g., typing tests, newsletter IQ assessments).  Based on their results, we invite the best of this impressive group of young newsletter editors to Green Bay for a three-day interview on campus.  Here, they meet with the Chancellor, the Provost, faculty and students of the Human Development and Psychology programs, and prominent members of the community. They undergo an exhaustive background check, and, finally, they must demonstrate their skills with a timed newsletter writing task.

Following the interviews, “The Pink Flamingo Committee for the Assessment and Hiring of New Editors with the Hopes that They will Soon Replace the Old Editors Who Don’t Want to Do it Anymore” meets at a cabin in Door County to discuss the finalists and make a decision about whom to hire.  In the end, however, we usually don’t hire any of these young stars because, let’s be honest, anyone can write this dribble. 

Sincerely,

The Pink Flamingo Committee for Responding to Fictional Mail

Brett Favre Quits Vikings to Join Human Development

Breaking news out of the Twin Cities! Brett Favre has decided to end another career, but in this case, he’s leaving the Vikings to join us here in Human Development (wouldn’t you?). Of course, we couldn’t offer him $25 million, but we did have 25 cents lying around, and he was really excited about the opportunity to teach a new course for us in the Spring: HUM DEV 500/Advanced Seminar in (Un)Retirement. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a world-renowned expert with so much personal experience in the area teaching the class for us. Of course, he will be playing back-up on our team to the first-string quarterback of gerontology courses at UWGB: Dr. Dean Von Dras.

Editors’ Note: If you actually believe this story, we have a flock of flamingos we’d be happy to sell you at a very reasonable price, and if you think we sound a little bitter, well, we are. (And, yes, Dr. Martin is still a Vikings fan, and, no, Dr. Vespia really doesn’t want to talk about it.)