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June 16, 2008 - 9:58pm
A new correspondent writes: I'm in my first tenure track job in my mid-40s. I just got my Ph.D. this last December. College faculty is definitely a "second career" for me. As I was having some trouble landing a job, I was arranging some "fall back" positions with some well-known-distance-learning companies. I pursued one and not the other. Here I was, in my first gig, trying to do another job and arranging some free-lance journalism jobs from myself.
June 16, 2008 - 9:43pm
This past week there've been several articles about balancing work and family that interested me. Scott Jaschik reported on the Irvine study that analyzed academic women's "quiet desperation" in Inside Higher Ed last Thursday. The same day, a pseudonymous writer in the Chronicle of Higher Ed wrote about being unable to talk about her children in a job interview.
June 16, 2008 - 8:57pm
Way back when I was fresh out of college, I tried to augment my meager salary by taking on some part-time sales work. As a result, I was exposed to some sales training. It didn't help much at the time -- my commissions didn't pay for more than my gasoline (even though a gallon then went for the price of a pint now). But I learned things which helped me later in life, so some of it must have stuck.
June 16, 2008 - 1:33pm
First, an update: I haven't yet contacted anyone about going shooting, but I will.While I'm arranging that, I plan to go to a gun show in in Virginia, near Dulles Airport, on July 27. I'll write about it here at IHE. ----------------------------------------------------------------------Over the weekend, I checked out what I figured would be the fervent gun-control writings of some of my colleagues at George Washington University. After all, professors and guns don't mix...
June 15, 2008 - 8:38pm
When we started the Mama, PhD blog, coeditors Caroline Grant and Elrena Evans really wanted to have a career advice component – a place where our readers could ask your burning career-related questions and get support in your transitions and challenges. Thus, my Monday “The Career Coach Is In” Q&A was born. As the newness of our blog wears off, and the school year winds down, the individual email questions I’ve received has diminished.
June 15, 2008 - 8:21pm
Although I kinda expected it to suck – which it did – this weekend I took TW to see the new Indiana Jones movie. She's had a thing for Harrison Ford ever since Star Wars, and she loved loved loved the first three Indy movies. Nobody warned me that it was a comedy. I actually laughed out loud, hard, at this one: The Dean: It's the FBI. They've ransacked your office! Indy: But you're the dean of the college! Couldn't you stop them? Me, in audience: HA! Nobody else in the theater laughed. I thought it was the highlight of the movie.
June 13, 2008 - 9:47am
In a world where ignorance is bliss, 'tis foolish to be wise. That saying's probably been around for a long time, but I first heard it decades ago, from the mouth of a drunk who said his name was Eddie Cornell (never found out if he was related to Ezra) at a bar near or in (I forget which) the Montreal train station. (Yup, the same one that's downstairs from the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, which is sold out for this year's SCUP conference.)
June 13, 2008 - 5:00am
With gas around four dollars a gallon, the seventies-era idea of colleges closing on Fridays to reduce travel is making a comeback. The idea, which I've already heard from several people on my campus and read about in a few places, is that switching to a four-day workweek will reduce commuting by twenty percent, thereby reducing the college's carbon footprint and the cost to employees of gasoline and/or mass transit fare. It would also (theoretically) allow colleges to save on HVAC, lighting, and other utilities on Fridays.
June 12, 2008 - 8:36pm
In exactly two hours I am buying my first house as a single mom. I am not a first time home owner it's true, but I am a first time single mom home buyer and I must admit it is simultaneously amazing and terrifying. To go from a world of carefully monitored small debt to a giant world of massive debt is daunting. To go from street parking to a driveway with a garage parking is relieving. To go from a town where everyone knows Koosh to a town of strangers is well, a leap of faith.

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