Filter & Sort

The Missing Link in Teaching

When I was a graduate student and was assigned to teach (and design) a course, the first thing I did was order the textbooks for that particular topic. It seemed to me then, that everything would fall into place once I had accomplished the major task of choosing a textbook and figuring out the readings. In contrast, now, when I am about to design a new course, the specific readings sometimes end up being one of the last things I choose.

Networking aka Getting Outside the Comfort Zone

This semester I signed up for the University of Venus Networking Challenge. The challenge asked readers to reach outside of their departments and meet people in other disciplines, in other institutions, and/or in other countries. Because of my current employment position, I find myself getting in touch with a lot of people from other departments. Thus, I thought it would be unfair to count that as part of the challenge. However, the U Venus challenge prompted me to think about my interactions with faculty and staff from other schools and offices differently.

When Worlds Collide

In the days preceding my wedding in a Cambridge College chapel, my brother would perform a spot-on imitation of George Costanza from Seinfeld and shriek, "Worlds Collide!" each time the English and American in-laws to be or my husband's Oxonian undergrad buddies and our shared Cantabrigian graduate cohort threatened to run amok.

Teacher as Team Leader? Maybe.

In response to my last post, I received a thoughtful email from a colleague (an administrator) reflecting on the difference between managing and leading. This has been a theme for a lot of our on-campus professional development directed at faculty moving into administrative roles.

Administration Ambitions

I have something to admit: I know that I eventually want to go into administration.

Social Capital in Academia

The advent season invariably leads me to engage in a self-reflection on whether (and to what degree) I have been naughty or nice. Oftentimes, I am very confident I have done more good deeds than bad, mainly because I have little occasion to potentially do ill to somebody. As long as I did things on my own (as a professor, researcher and writer), my actions bear little direct consequence to others. I would like to think I have a modest amount of social capital after being in the academic profession for 20 odd years, which I could bank on in case I veer towards the naughty territory.

What’s New at University of Venus? 7 January 2012

A weekly update on what's happening with the University of Venus writers.

To publish or not to publish NOW?

Long ago, when I heard or read about the huge pressure continuously faced by serious and appreciated academics to publish as much as possible (following the overused and abused slogan “publish or perish“), I was extremely surprised – if not automatically cynical. How could an academic do anything else but write?