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…
May 31, 2012, 3:00 pm
A few weeks ago, I wrote to announce the Digital Humanities Winter Institute. While I wanted to make sure as many people know about this training opportunity as possible, I was also personally interested. I’m lucky enough to have some professional development funds for next year, and I thought that this could be a great opportunity to put those funds to use while learning R.
All of that changed, however, when I looked pulled up the DHWI dates on my calendar. Running from 7-11 January, the Institute starts the day after the 2013 MLA ends. Since I’ve already committed to be at the 2013 MLA, and because I’m co-leading a pre-convention workshop, I will be flying to Boston on 2 January; attending the DHWI would mean that I would be away from home for 10 full days. And as a father of three and a husband of one, I knew that such a proposal would not pass the approval process. Just for…
May 11, 2012, 8:00 am
[This is a guest post by Aimee L. Pozorski, an associate professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. The president of the Philip Roth Society, her book on Roth and Trauma is just out with Continuum. Her prior ProfHacker posts focus on working with student veterans, responding to criticism and on creativity and academic research. Weirdly, she's not online at all.--@jbj]
I first returned to teaching in August of 2003, three months after my son was born. Distracted about leaving a nursing newborn, I hit the house with the side of the car as I backed down the driveway and cried all the way to campus. The dent left in the car door remained for nearly a year afterward, a constant reminder of how I felt that day – battered, vulnerable, and a little bit broken – part memento of a turning point, part reminder of my guilt for leaving.
The next day, during a…
May 27, 2011, 11:18 am
A perennial sore point in academe is the phenomenon of work-life balance. As Amy noted last year, there’s always *something* you could be doing. What’s more, there’s a good chance you *like* at least some part of the work, since it’s what drew you into the profession, and so you gladly take on more and more, until you realize that you’ve forgotten that you have a third child or sick parent, or your partner starts taking out personal ads in the campus paper, or your dog mauls you as a stranger when you come home before 7pm. The incentives in academe have always been set up to encourage more (free) work, a situation that’s only gotten worse as students have embraced the myriad forms of electronic contact as an apparently endless source of work-related responsibilities.
So, work-life balance is a genuinely hard thing. For ProfHacker posts on working toward it, see Natalie on the…