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Category: Academia

The Stupid Student Problem Part II

Let’s deconstruct some of the thinking of our “stupid students.” I may have been guilty of some of this thinking as I mentioned in Part I, which briefly speaks more generally about why we as teachers need to better articulate the logic behind our courses. I don’t need to go to class because -the notes are online -I took the same course in high school -I’m 18 and think I know everything -I could be doing something more fun like sleeping This is just students being lazy/unmotivated/immature right? Well yes, but what do students hear as to why they need… Read The Stupid Student Problem Part II

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Grad School Advice

Tufts University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences recently blogged some advice for first year graduate students. While I’ve blogged on this topic before (here and here), I wanted to add some thoughts. I’ll break it down by section. Section 1: Get A Head Start (You’ll Thank Yourself Later) I tend to procrastinate. Ok, I procrastinate all the time. And that’s at the heart of why I wanted to write this post. I’ve struggled keeping up with the numerable different schedules (daily, weekly, and monthly) I have created. Considering I make a new list or schedule pretty much once a… Read Grad School Advice

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The Myth of Academia

Academia’s great. It’s a job where you get to do something about which you are passionate, read/write/think for a living, and have a flexible schedule. And if all else fails, it beats working in an office, right? Well, sorta. Let’s break it down: You get to do something about which you are passionate: Not all the time, unless you are passionate about teaching, research, grading, committee meetings, faculty meetings, advising, and everything else academics do. And if you’re not at the right kind of institution, you may rarely get to do what you love. If you love to research, but… Read The Myth of Academia

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Every couple of months it seems that one of my friends teases me about one of my first blog posts [re-posted here]. I’ll admit liking Pomplamoose is pretty hipster, but hey I like the music. I also really like their success in going around the traditional gatekeepers of the music industry. They first gained success by posting music on youtube (free of charge, of course), but what really struck me was when I saw that half of Pomplamoose (Nataly Dawn) raised over $100,000 to record a solo album after asking for $20,000 on Kickstarter. Then a gaming company raised over… Read Kickstarter


A Reflection on Coursework

Normally, I try to blog every week, but I haven’t blogged for three months (not the most successful run in the history of blogging). Last semester was pretty busy, with organizing a conference and taking an extra course so I could finish up this summer (my final week of coursework is this week—woot). I hope the more flexible scheduling of studying for comps will allow me to return to more regular blogging. After finishing up all my history courses this spring, I did take some time to think about my coursework experience. I learned a great deal and I think… Read A Reflection on Coursework

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In the works

I haven’t blogged all that much this semester, but here are a few blog posts I’ve been working on: Rickrolling your students and other attempts at bonding through Internet phenomena Typos, bad grammar, and misunderstandings: How and why you should expose your students’ writing to the world for a laugh How to grade papers in under a minute Update on the dissertation: Using notecards to write Great Man history Good pay, light work, and other obvious reasons of why you should go to grad school The “DH” fad Stanley Fish: My Hero How to decide which R-1 tenure-track job to… Read In the works

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Another day, another debate

Another day, another blog post on the whole why you should/shouldn’t go to graduate school. I’ve harped on this before but I am so sick of hearing people talk about graduate school as if it’s a place that is only a waste of time with no job prospects whatsoever or as if it’s a religious calling for “intellectuals.” So a quick disclaimer: I am sure David Z. Morris has much more nuanced views than he posted on his blog. And I agree with many of his basic points. I agree that many people are too cynical in their discussions about… Read Another day, another debate

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Am I a Historian?

The question “am I a historian?” first bothered me after reading a blog post written by colleague Jason Heppler, in which he writes: I am a young historian — heck, I barely even qualify for that title when I have no book to my name and don’t hold a PhD yet. But as a researcher very early in my career… In fairness to Jason, I talked with him about it and he backs off of calling himself a historian in this post as more of a rhetorical device. However, when Sara Mayeux did the essentially the same thing, tweeting I’m… Read Am I a Historian?

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Creative Academic Writing

[This post stems from one of my courses this semester. Like UNL_DHS, reflections from and on this course UNL_H951 (Comparative History of Women and Gender), will appear relatively frequently for the next few months.] On the first day of my Comparative History of Women and Gender course taught by Margaret Jacobs, she asked us to discuss our writing habits. This question made me think of something Thomas Andrews said when he visited UNL last fall. He said that when writing a dissertation you need to move beyond “binge” writing. By “binging” he was referring to exactly what I do when… Read Creative Academic Writing

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Going to Grad School

I have been neglecting posting links to other articles (“scribbles”), but here is a short (ok, not so short) round up (I briefly comment at the end as well) of a very interesting week of blog posts about deciding whether or not to go to graduate school and proposed reforms to graduate school. Larry Cebula’s “No, you cannot be a Professor” provides an overview of some of the main reasons that students ought not to go to graduate school. The reason you are not going to be a professor is because that job is going away, and yet doctoral programs… Read Going to Grad School