• December 4, 2016

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December 04, 2016, 10:20:19 am *
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 1 
 on: Today at 10:12:03 am 
Started by sign7676 - Last post by larryc
No.

 2 
 on: Today at 09:09:34 am 
Started by jdougher - Last post by categorical
A lot of the so-called glut could be eliminated by enforcing professional norms as is done in law and medicine and ... high-school teaching.  If you made a PhD a requirement for college teaching, I think the profession could begin to rebalance .

That would make things even tougher in STEM and professional fields, where there isn't a glut and many highly capable part-timers who teach single courses don't have PhDs, and there aren'y dozens of unemployed PhDs sitting by the phone hoping for an offer.

What does "tougher" mean?  And why do you prefer a situation "where dozens of unemployed PhDs [are] sitting by the phone hoping for an offer"?

 3 
 on: Today at 08:47:06 am 
Started by veggie - Last post by grinch
Also, look at the list of topics they cover. If they cover everything from biology to literature (yes, I have seen this exact example), hit delete.

 4 
 on: Today at 06:52:57 am 
Started by sign7676 - Last post by bacardiandlime
The only time this is appropriate is if you are applying for jobs in a country where age/sex/religion and other personal details are standard on a cv.

 5 
 on: Today at 03:22:37 am 
Started by dr_alcott - Last post by mended_drum
Oh wise Mended Drum, may you live forever. Here is my question:
A college in my university seems to have a dean problem- the lights are on, but it seems no one is home quite often. Others have suggested that some well placed folks- perhaps the department chairs- might work to mentor and guide the dean. Some others wonder if the dean may find reason to seek other opportunities. Either of these paths require much effort. A third path is to sit back and watch the college veer off course and crash. How might such a dean problem be solved, and how might one advise those poor chairs in the other college?

1.  Persuade said dean that what he or she really needs to do is write a new mission statement.  And revise it.  And revise it again.
2.  Hire an associate dean to do the real work.

 6 
 on: Today at 03:20:26 am 
Started by dr_alcott - Last post by mended_drum
I know that people used to drink beer instead of water. I always understood that was because the water was dirty. But - this is in the days before manufacturing waste in the rivers, or even large scale agricultural waste. Why was the water dirty?

I've just finished reading Susan Cheever's "Drinking in America," which gives an excellent and fascinating history of people's drinking habits. As to why the water was dirty--people shAT in it.  (In case the word is censored, I mean defecated.)  There were no indoor toilets.

I saw the same thing in Thailand a few years ago--people drinking the river water into which, a mile away, an elephant was defecating.

I hope Mended_Drum can give a classier answer.

The Fiona

Ah!  A question actually related to my field of study.  The fact is, in my period (the Middle Ages), people drank water regularly.  In fact there is no evidence of people drinking wine or ale or beer instead of water due to the quality of the water at any time in history prior to industrialization, and even then it only occurs sporadically.  It is, however, one of the most persistent myths about the Middle Ages, in particular.  Other such myths (a word I'm using here to mean "a damned lie") include the following:

1. The chastity belt was a thing, possibly a thing related to the Crusades.  No, it wasn't a thing at all. Well, some Victorians seem to have built some and hung them in their fake medieval castles, but Victorians, they were kind of strange.
2. Various lords or kings claimed the right to sleep with brides before their spouses did so the first time.  Sometimes called the droit du seigneur or primae noctis, there is no evidence that any such thing ever occurred.
3. The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Roses" is about the Black Death.  No, it's not.  I'm serious:  it absolutely is not.  Please stop telling my students this.
4. Medieval people didn't bathe, so they went around covered in s*** all the time.  This is only true in Monty Python.
5. People burned witches frequently in the Middle Ages.  Nope.  For much of the period, it was belief in witchcraft that was considered wrong, not practicing it, which was not really much of a thing because it was well known for, um, not working.  Almost all of the crazed which hunts occurred in the Renaissance or later.
6. Freaky and horrible torture devices were used in the Middle Ages.  Not so much.  Almost all of the ones you're thinking about were created later. 

In other words, people really, really want the Middle Ages to be about pain, filth, violent sex and murder.  These people should take a long, hard look at themselves.  They also want there to be vampires.

There were no vampires.

Trust mended_drum on this.

 7 
 on: Today at 02:45:06 am 
Started by sign7676 - Last post by mended_drum
No.  It would just look strange.

 8 
 on: Today at 02:30:00 am 
Started by jdougher - Last post by protoplasm
If the PhD gets better pay right now, it's probably because there's a union.

There is nothing mutually exclusive about this, while unions provide short term relief, in the longer term, the humanities must address the distorted supply and demand situation  by revamping their PhD programs to better position their graduates for positions outside academia.

It is well and good that you say this, but please be aware that people are arguing disingenuously that unions should not be tried because 'they will not do enough' when they personally do not want unions for selfish reasons, because it will make their job more difficult.
It's really no administrator's call, how much progress by a union should be enough for the effort to be worth it for the members. Whereas,  any amount of progress is enough to irritate many an administrator.

 9 
 on: Today at 01:54:22 am 
Started by snow_badger - Last post by snow_badger
All of the above is very illuminating -- even just more abstractly to see how things are done in other disciplines.  I appreciate the time that people are taking to explain how things are done in your own departments.  This is very helpful for the specific students I'm working with right now, but also for my own administrative training, since I'm hoping to be of some use to whatever campus hires me about how to advise / support international students.

New question:  I recall reading somewhere on the boards here that it might be helpful for admissions committees to know whether a prospective student is authorized to work in the U.S.  So. . .

(a) is that true?  and
(b) should this detail be indicated clearly on the c.v / resume, or is it enough that the application form has a box to check on this matter?

 10 
 on: Today at 01:53:18 am 
Started by sign7676 - Last post by sign7676
I started school early and went straight from high school to a 3 year undergraduate degree and then a 3 year PhD programme. It took me a while after that, though, to really find my research stride. I worry that my publication record is behind where it should be for my "academic age" (time since PhD), but it is right on track if I compare myself to successful academics of the same chronological age. I have plenty of academic years ahead of me and my publication rate is picking up. People looking at my CV, though, would probably guess that I am 5-10 years older than I actually am, with fewer productive academic years ahead of me and more years of education and research training behind me than I actually have. I know that generally, one should not list age or date of birth on a CV, but in this case, could it help me to do so?

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