November 1, 2012, 8:00 am
One thing any academic recognizes is the fact that there is always more work to be done. There’s always another article to read, another experiment to run, another set of data to code, or another archive to consult. And so this leads, reasonably enough, to some anxiety about just how much work one should be doing at any given moment.
Graduate students, especially newer ones, understandably need guidance in learning to recognize the norms and values of the academy. And so, a few weeks ago, an unnamed department in astronomy apparently sent this message (via AstroBetter, where there are great comments, too) to all the graduate students in their program:
First, while some students are clearly putting their hearts and souls into their research, and spending the hours at the office or lab that are required, others are not. We have received some questions about how many hours a…
September 4, 2012, 11:32 am
[This is a guest post by Academic Coach Taylor, the mashup of higher education and Friday Night Lights’s charming, straight-talking football coach. Find out more about Coach Taylor here, or follow on Twitter at @AcaCoachTaylor.–@jbj
You’re in your office, buried beneath ungraded tests, books to review, rough drafts of your latest article, and lengthy administrative emails. You’ve got your next conference talk or guest lecture fresh in your mind. But then we show up at your office hours, disrupting your honed focus. We ask you to be our advisor, in tones nervous or cocky—it hardly matters, we’re all insecure. You say “yes”, and thus begins what for many grads is our most fraught and tortured long-term relationship, the emotional and professional stakes of which are largely beyond our comprehension.
We, your advisees, know that you, our advisors, are beyond busy, stressed, and…