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Tag: grad school

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…

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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…

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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…


UNL Grad Students

This week I am eagerly recommending the blogs of some of my fellow UNL grad students. I would be remiss not to mention the original UNL grad blogger, Jason Heppler. His blogging helped convince me to begin my own blog. From his blog posts, he has published an electronic book on beginning to code, The Rubyist Historian. He is also posting reflections for our digital humanities seminar as I am. Michelle Tiedje has recently taken her first steps into the blogosphere. Her initial posts have quite eloquently advocated for scholars to engage more with the public. Sean Kammer is the…

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Is it a Dissertation or a Book?

When it comes to writing a dissertation, I have heard both “remember it’s a book” and “it’s not a book it’s a dissertation.” So clearly, there is a consensus. Though it is a little frustrating to have such conflicting advice when beginning to formulate a dissertation topic, it is pretty clear both sides are correct. A dissertation is not a book. As Leonard Cassuto, writing for The Chronicle, points out, virtually no dissertations are publishable without major revisions, not all dissertations should be books anyways, and the dissertation is part of your education. As such a long project, it seems…



I have been thinking more about entering graduate school this year, perhaps because I am technically a new student (new to the Ph.D. program). Whatever the reason, though, one of the best resources for any new or existing graduate student is the blog GradHacker. Modeled after ProfHacker, GradHacker covers virtually every aspect of life as a graduate student with blog categories ranging from “Personal Life” to “Research” to “Software.” The GradHacker contributors have great posts for new graduate students, like How to Read a Book (a deceptively difficult task) and Banishing Impostor Syndrome (I’m always faking it, but one day…

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Work-Life Balance

ProfHacker: So, don’t “expect” work-life balance, but please do take whatever steps you can to achieve it. Work together with others when you can, and support policies that are flexible and inclusive about work-life balance–but don’t ever expect anyone to give it to you.

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Just Keep Swimming

Once again, the end of the semester is near, which means each night’s sleep gets progressively shorter. I keep telling myself that graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint, but it seems that every few couple of miles I need to sprint. The work to complete graduate school is a tough enough task on its own. When coupled with the stress of low pay, dim job prospects in the future, and the type of personal problems that hit everyone regardless of career, it is enough to question what you are doing with your life. And with that lovely introduction,…


Managing your career

The Chronicle: Julie: As wrong as it may feel, it’s important to think strategically about your post-Ph.D. plans early on in your graduate-student career. It’s helpful to have a plan. Be realistic about your possibilities and review them at least a couple times a year. You may find it helpful to check in with a career adviser or someone in campus counseling to help you assess what you should be doing, careerwise, at different stages of your graduate studies. We stress that because we’ve seen people drift off after finishing their degree and, because of the vicissitudes of the job…

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#sarnackigate (two links)

Jonathan Nash: Can the Graduate Student speak, & if ze can, will anyone listen? I’m not really interested in the content of @briansarnacki’s post from yesterday (Sorry B!). I am, however, interested in the criticisms it generated. Most follow this pattern: grad student + “naivety” = dismissal of opinion. It seems the same formula is used often to systematically silence graduate student voices throughout the interwebz. The exact same formula is used to silence graduate students who complain about the so-called “job market.” And the exact same formula is often used when graduate students critique their graduate school experiences. The…

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