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October 15, 2008 - 9:35pm
Today I travel to my lone academic conference of the year (not counting conferences within driving distance). Like many professors who teach at regional state institutions, one conference a year is all my university pays for. When I was starting out, I attended more, and paid for much of the costs out of my own pocket. While some conferences feel like a waste of time and energy, at their best conferences can be exciting ways to meet other interested scholars, learn about ground-breaking new research, get feedback on developing ideas, and network.
October 15, 2008 - 8:16am
Isn’t it funny how after you learn a new word you are suddenly aware of it being used all over the place? I feel like this happened to me with the academic career-family balance thing. Although there was general talk about balancing career and family as I went through my schooling, until recently I lived in a zone where there really was no recognition of the intricacies of balancing kids and academia; you just figured it out (or not).
October 15, 2008 - 12:47am
I wrote a while back about my feeling that the complexity of technology is accelerating so rapidly that we can’t even understand how little we understand about it anymore, so I was interested to read this essay by John C. Orr over at The Kenyon Review, called “Back to the Future: The Continuing Appeal of The Education of Henry Adams.” (The book for which this blog is named.)
October 14, 2008 - 10:25pm
This story didn't surprise me. Having been on this side of the desk for a while now, I can attest that I've heard deans, HR directors, department chairs, and even vice presidents say candidly that adjuncts are underpaid. We pretty much all agree on that. (I've never heard a counterargument beyond "nobody put a gun to their heads.") It may be surprising to hear it from a podium, but it's nothing that hasn't been floating around for some time.
October 14, 2008 - 7:39pm
I don't want to say that I have as much contact with students as a typical faculty member, but I suspect that I work with more students over the course of a semester than some faculty members do. And I don't just mean the emeriti who teach one seminar section each summer -- I probably work, in one capacity or another, to educate and enable and coach and facilitate the efforts of something like forty or fifty students each semester.
October 13, 2008 - 11:31pm
I have the relative misfortune of following in the footsteps of some pretty good managers. Right now a brain-dead predecessor would come in handy.
October 13, 2008 - 11:29pm
This fall has been busy. I'm pretty sure I say that every year, but with three full classes, several important committees, and some significant deadlines looming, this one feels particularly so. And I came back to work this fall a little out of shape for teaching; after a quiet sabbatical, I found myself literally losing my voice mid-way through my second class every day for the first several weeks.
October 12, 2008 - 9:51pm
Dear all, This is the first time I come to this site. I have a question, and wasn't sure how to start a new thread. So I hope it is OK that I post here. I am a 30 year old female PhD student, and I will graduate next year. My husband and I plan to have two children in the next 4-5 years. And I would like to take a leave for a year for each kid, which accumulates to 2 years.(For medical reasons, I don't want to wait till late 30s to have children.)
October 10, 2008 - 4:41pm
Maybe I'm a heretic, but I think a sustainable society/economy/environment can be nicer than the one we've got now. (And I even thought that 2+ weeks ago!) So when I use the word "gospel", I'm not being sardonic. Which is a good thing, because sardonicism doesn't win you a lot of converts, and winning converts is a big part of my job.
October 10, 2008 - 3:54am
This blog doesn’t count for scholarship. My published essay in Mama PhD doesn’t count for scholarship. My participation in a panel on motherhood and academia later this month? That might count as service, but not scholarship. Unless I take the essays and turn them into a musical (and subsequently get the musical published and produced- on Broadway preferably) there just isn’t any way these issues of motherhood and academia can connect to my discipline. Not conventionally anyway.

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