• August 30, 2016

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August 30, 2016, 11:08:14 am *
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News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
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 on: Today at 10:37:40 am 
Started by mamselle - Last post by thesneezyone
I'd like to come! I'd love to see Mamselle again, and to finally meet AandSDean and Sneezy (I like your posts on the Mansplainer thread).

I've lived in Massachusetts for half of my life, and in and around Boston off and on for many years. I still have never been to a Legal. Let's make 2016 the year.

I'm only available weekdays, though. Friday-Sunday, I'm out in the Mass. boonies.

Thanks! Sometimes I feel invisible, sometimes I feel self conscious! :)

I can do weekdays but Tuesdays and Wednesdays I teach late. Tuesday is really late, Wednesday is late enough that I would only make after dinner drinks.


 on: Today at 10:34:29 am 
Started by terpsichore - Last post by San_Joaquin
Oh, +1!

 on: Today at 10:15:06 am 
Started by spork - Last post by proftowanda
The NYT has disgraced itself -- again -- in its coverage of the sexting story.  How the h*ll can it not know, even now, how to cover this story without blaming the woman . . . and the woman candidate?  According to the NYT, Weiner's weeny problem makes Abedin a bad mother.  And this "casts a shadow" over the Clinton candidacy. 

I'm not surprised, anymore, by bad reporters at the NYT.  But bad editors at the NYT, after the exposes of same, suggest that the NYT does not want to learn.   

 on: Today at 10:13:15 am 
Started by cdiddle - Last post by baphd1996
I'm happy with my life in general.  Changing the path may change the results.  I also think I would give different advice during different points in life.   But I think currently my advice would be "Don't procrastinate" and "Do a postdoc".

...and read the first post of a thread.

 on: Today at 10:01:27 am 
Started by untenured - Last post by baphd1996
This is a vent.  IMHO, there are four pieces of advice senior faculty too often give to their juniors here and in real life.

1. STFU - Sure, tenure-track faculty have to watch what they say, but no professor of any rank can survive by taping their mouth closed. STFU too much and you inhibit the chance of gaining allies and friends. It also appears evasive. Tenure-track faculty need good mentorship on when to speak, how to contribute, and how to engage productively with committees, colleagues, and administrators. New faculty should listen much, make friends easily, and speak carefully. What they shouldn't do is censor themselves entirely. It's just not practical.

2. Go on the market / quit - It's easy from the comfort of our chairs to suggest leaving a school for parts unknown, but how often is that really practical?  There's an enormous time, financial, familial, and mental health cost associated with shifting employers. Too many faculty are stuck in bad situations, and telling them to just leave is easy but too often impractical. It's lazy mentoring that does not address the underlying issue.

3. File a lawsuit / get a lawyer - Nine times in ten this is a recipe for disaster. Faculty challenging university decisions in court almost always lose. Litigation costs massive time and money, and there's no certainty you'll get what you want. Furthermore, word of this spreads like wildfire. You'll be known as the professor who sued his/her college, and it risks being a black mark on future job applications. There is no 'general fairness' law that protects employees, and most of the time a legal remedy won't help.

4. Just say 'no' - This happened to me when I was a junior professor. Attending a public session on junior faculty, I asked for advice on how to keep my service obligations in check. A senior professor piped up immediately and proclaimed with no little fanfare, "Untenured, you just say NOOOOoooo!" A round of applause followed. Then I was caught off guard, but now I realize that it was just lazy advice. Just saying 'no' is rarely the complete response to most academic problems. How to say no (or yes) , when to say no (or yes), and why you should say no (or yes) are far more valuable lessons then simply going negative.

Sure, any of these can be the right answer for some people, but too often they are not helpful. We can do better.

Perhaps all this sounds cranky. Perhaps I'm totally off base. If either is true, I apologize.

I agree with these.  I don't know how often I've been told to just get another job.  Yeah, the return calls have dried up.  My wife can't move because of her job.  There are a lot of restrictions.  I'll keep the crappy job and the paycheck.

I spent so much time saying "yes" to everything that I got stuck doing all of the things that the people getting tenure didn't want to do.  None of it helped my quest and ruined a perfectly good weekend or night.  It's hard to stay focused on what you need to be doing if you have to take care of all of the extra stuff.

 on: Today at 09:57:46 am 
Started by mountainguy - Last post by ergative
My name is Ergative, not Spergative. You got it right in the first email to me. It's in my signature. It shows up as the "from" line in my emails. The algorithm by which our raw email addresses are created is such that it would be impossible for my email to be what it is if my name were Spergative. Quit calling me Spergative.

 on: Today at 09:55:16 am 
Started by vardahilwen - Last post by baphd1996
A couple of vents:

Colleagues, if the printer gets jammed or needs toner, fix it or look for help.  Don't just abandon it.

If you overfill the coffee pot (hard to do with single serve) or forget to put in your cup, clean it up! 

Geesh, we're supposed to be adults.

I sat through a student conduct review meeting.  The guy in charge told us that we needed to take suspension and expulsion off the table because he would rather the "kids" write an essay about how they've learned from their experience.  These "kids" are grad students with the average age range being 24-28.

 on: Today at 09:48:22 am 
Started by mamselle - Last post by mamselle
Posting to follow the thread. There's a chance I can get there. It would be a pleasure to meet everyone.

I like the tour idea too. Visiting museum-y type things with inquisitive people is great fun.

If we meet in the late afternoon before eating, we may in fact be able to get into Covenant and Arlington St UU. Not sure about Emmanuel, and Trinity now charges an entry fee, which is horrendous to my mind, but New Old South gorgeous Ruskinian Gothic ext., and restored Arts &Crafts interior, (complete with snails, squirrels, an archeopteryx and a tiny dragon inside in the squinches...) and the BPL with its restored mosaics and murals should make up for that.

I'll have just done a tour series on that area, for an October conference upcoming,  so I can print a few extra handouts if anyone's interested.

Or not, we could also just wander. Early December can actually still be good walking weather...

Anyway, yea, sounds like fun!


 on: Today at 09:48:16 am 
Started by prytania3 - Last post by baphd1996
In general, languages.

 on: Today at 09:42:56 am 
Started by spork - Last post by cmeagher7

I'm glad Huma finally dumped him.

Me too. But not loving the whole pearl clutching "How could she leave her son with the man?" that is also rising up. Drag yourself down, dude, but not at the expense of your incredibly hard working wife.

I bet she gets a nanny for the kid. She could probably use the "sexting while the child is in bed with you" is a form of sexual abuse and keep Daddy away, except for supervised visits.

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