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February 26, 2012
Let’s face it--a lot of us in graduate school are perfectionists. I could go a step farther and argue a lot of us made it into graduate school in part because of our perfectionism. Graduate school is exactly the kind of environment where perfectionism thrives. There’s a constant striving to tackle our significant workloads without error and folly. There's the pressure to publish well and often. There's the pressure to do something that's never been done before. We’ve got lots of people counting on us--students, colleagues, professors--and of course, those same people are constantly watching us and will know when we’ve screwed up.  Comparing ourselves to others is, like biting nails, a bad and nervous habit that we could quit if we only could relax a little.
February 26, 2012
I ask students this all the time. If money and geography were no object, where would you go and what would you do? My job is to help their wildest dreams become reality. This week someone asked me what I would teach, if I could teach anything. I panicked.
February 26, 2012
The Razzie awards are given each year to movies and performances that truly, impressively, memorably stunk.  Adam Sandler is up for several this year, which seems about right.
February 26, 2012
While options are advantageous for obvious reasons, there is a point at which too much choice might actually make life more difficult.
February 26, 2012
An invitation to a Twitter chat between high school English teachers and first-year composition teachers.
February 26, 2012
One of the problems with the whole Predictably Irrational oeuvre of behavioral economics / social psychology literature is that I've lost much of my confidence in my ability to hire well. Turns out, we systematically overestimate our own abilities - in everything from driving to teaching to blogging to (yes) interviewing. Like the children of Lake Wobegon, we are all above average.
February 26, 2012
All my suits are either a shade of blue (usually dark) or a shade of gray varying from medium to dark. My blazers are all differing shades of blue and the accompanying pants are either gray or blue.  My shirts are all white and my ties vary from shades of blue to sometimes shades of maroon or dark red. Why am I writing this?  Is this my application to be a model for GQ? Or am I about to start a fashion consulting business?
February 26, 2012
As noted previously, my son has not "applied himself" as thoroughly as he might have in high school. He has instead focused on music, and we have fought to keep him in music electives and after-school band projects against the efforts of teachers and administrators who felt strongly that his music was a destructive distraction from more serious academic studies.
February 24, 2012
Sure, it's a good time, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better.
February 24, 2012
I really like Facebook Scrabble – I spend far too much time on there, with only a vague justification that it “increases my vocabulary.” Over my Christmas holidays, I spent the vast majority of my 10 days off napping and finding new Scrabble opponents. All my grandiose plans of completing my Special Studies proposal (Sex and Jane Austen – woo!), preparing my section of the introduction for the book I’m working on, editing chapters for said book, submitting papers to journals and/or conferences – yeah, none of that happened. Well, the barest minimum of it happened anyhow.

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