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Author Topic: How many campus visits before you begin to suspect "it's not you, it's me"  (Read 17591 times)
sagit
And... we're off!
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2012, 10:40:07 PM »


Newsflash: It doesn't on here, Gramps. This is the internet. I'm pretty sure the tenure/search/bake sale committee does not give a flying fart. You're obviously a bitter academic that would, in real life, try to make my and everyone else's life a living hell.

Enjoy your evening, good sir! :-)

Yes, search committees and tenure committees do care about grammar.  They also care about the maturity level of their potential colleagues.  I would recommend that you consider that many of the people posting on this thread have a lot more experience in these matters than you do, given your status as an ABD (for example, I have been on numerous search committees for a SLAC).  I would not say that our expectations were ever lower for ABD.  We are still looking for someone with the right skills and ability to fit in with our department and our work with our students.

But seriously, who comes on an academic forum and calls someone "Gramps"?  Are you 12?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 10:40:46 PM by sagit » Logged

I like to think of the student as a mischievous badger.
voxprincipalis
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2012, 10:42:01 PM »

Grammar matters.

Newsflash: It doesn't on here, Gramps. This is the internet. I'm pretty sure the tenure/search/bake sale committee does not give a flying fart. You're obviously a bitter academic that would, in real life, try to make my and everyone else's life a living hell.

Newsflash: It *does* matter on here, anklebiter. It's in the forum posting rules, to which you agreed to abide when you registered for the forum.

Also, is this your demonstration of your alleged social competence? Glowdart is nothing like what you describe, but if you would prefer to eschew facts in favor of assumptions ... oh, wait, you've already done that! I shouldn't be surprised, then.

VP
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ptarmigan
grad student & chief dork dumpling
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2012, 10:43:32 PM »

What's weird is that I don't think Glowdart was making a prescriptivist point about proper grammar. I think she was saying that word choice matters and if you use the wrong types of words and sentence structures, people will understand something different from what you may intend.
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He's on my roster, but if I've taught him anything, it isn't math.
abd_jhs
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2012, 11:26:52 PM »

Sure. If you critique a person's grammar in an informal setting, you will get flamed. You SHOULD get flamed. Did someone imply or outright state that I am immature? Yeah. I can't argue there. I have been known to be both sarcastic AND immature to a particular audience. Thank GOD I've got a great publication record and a funded grant proposal so my apparent social ineptitude often gets overlooked by the SC.

I had NO IDEA that bad grammar was disallowed in these forums. I wish someone had told me before. My God. What have I done? My account might get....what? Deleted, you say?! No, please, anything but that!

I'm obviously pissing off a great many highly-sensitive, tightly-wound people. Guys-this is an internet forum. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 11:27:39 PM by abd_jhs » Logged
ptarmigan
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2012, 11:40:14 PM »

Glowdart used the word grammar but she did not critique your grammar in the way you're suggesting. She critiqued the fact that you didn't qualify your statements properly to make them say what you later claimed to have meant. If you're not going to make an effort to say what you mean (or to read other people's posts for content), then stop wasting our time. There are cat videos I could be watching.
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He's on my roster, but if I've taught him anything, it isn't math.
glowdart
that's a thing that I keep in the back of my head
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2012, 11:43:44 PM »

Gramps?   Bless your heart. 

And yes, I care about my colleagues' abilities to convey information with specificity and precision.
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janewales
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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2012, 11:53:38 PM »

Sure. If you critique a person's grammar in an informal setting, you will get flamed. You SHOULD get flamed. Did someone imply or outright state that I am immature? Yeah. I can't argue there. I have been known to be both sarcastic AND immature to a particular audience. Thank GOD I've got a great publication record and a funded grant proposal so my apparent social ineptitude often gets overlooked by the SC.

I had NO IDEA that bad grammar was disallowed in these forums. I wish someone had told me before. My God. What have I done? My account might get....what? Deleted, you say?! No, please, anything but that!

I'm obviously pissing off a great many highly-sensitive, tightly-wound people. Guys-this is an internet forum. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.

abd_jhs, this is the point in a thread where some people will assume you are a troll, looking to push buttons to inaugurate a flame war. I can't do a thing if that's your intention, except to tell you that the thread will shut down soon enough; DNFTT is a mantra around here.

However, on the off chance that you're a (relatively new) academic who is serious about engaging with people on these boards, then it's worth considering that the norms here are different than on many fora, and that's a good thing. There's an enormous amount of accumulated experience to be tapped here, and it can be really useful as one moves through an academic career to have a safe place to ask questions

This is also a good place to get a sense of how your tone works in informal settings, and that's actually useful for a professional career too. A lot of our work these days is done via e-mail, and many people inadvertently antagonize colleagues because they (mistakenly) believe they needn't be as careful in e-mail as in other forms of communication. In other words, if you're getting negative pushback here, it might be worth considering that you're not quite as socially competent, at least in casual settings, as you might think/ hope. You mentioned elsewhere that you've received several job offers, so you're going to be in a setting soon where you need to get along with people.

Finally, it doesn't hurt to be nice (that's why I'm trying to assume the best rather than the worst about you). The people you're tangling with here can be wonderfully supportive and helpful; wouldn't it be better to engage with them gracefully?

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canuckois
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2012, 12:49:35 AM »

Sure. If you critique a person's grammar in an informal setting, you will get flamed. You SHOULD get flamed. Did someone imply or outright state that I am immature? Yeah. I can't argue there. I have been known to be both sarcastic AND immature to a particular audience. Thank GOD I've got a great publication record and a funded grant proposal so my apparent social ineptitude often gets overlooked by the SC.

I had NO IDEA that bad grammar was disallowed in these forums. I wish someone had told me before. My God. What have I done? My account might get....what? Deleted, you say?! No, please, anything but that!

I'm obviously pissing off a great many highly-sensitive, tightly-wound people. Guys-this is an internet forum. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.

We have a lot of poorly-socialized people crawling out of the woodwork these days.  Surely even honey-badgers could mentor brighter students than this. 

I'm with VP -- may academic Darwinism shuffle you people off the professorial coil.
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Your opinions are welcome, of course, unless they suck, in which case the Fora will reward you with snark, if all goes well.
polly_mer
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2012, 5:45:18 PM »

500 quatloos that Abd_jhs is in a field adjacent to mine and will one day be that guy who is a star on paper, has funding out the wazoo, and yet never gets recognized with any of the awards of the field.

My field accepts people like that, but those people are high-profile marginalized people...at least the ones who keep it together long enough to get the first million in grants.  I don't know what happens to the other ones, but the fairly nice people who are just minorly sarcastic tend to do ok.
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username2
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« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2012, 12:27:29 PM »

500 quatloos that Abd_jhs is in a field adjacent to mine and will one day be that guy who is a star on paper, has funding out the wazoo, and yet never gets recognized with any of the awards of the field.

Unfortunately people like this will just attribute lack of recognition to the department/academy/life being "unfair" rather than to themselves.
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wmr333
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2012, 4:24:57 PM »

4
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mleok
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2012, 5:51:30 PM »

I'm sorry, but anyone who graduated from a R1, who responds in such a inflammatory way to reasonable comments about precision (as opposed to grammar) in language (which is particularly important in STEM), and has a job at a place which even has "teaching demonstrations" as part of the interview process, probably has a huge chip on their shoulder due to being considered an absolute failure at their R1 for having to teach at a SLAC.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 5:52:57 PM by mleok » Logged
federale
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« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2012, 12:32:33 PM »

Hey OP,

It seems like you are asking the right questions. It is great that you are getting to campus. I assume you have an interesting CV and can craft a good letter.

I would agree that once you pass 4-5 on-campus interviews with no offer, your batting average is falling below average for the interviewees (assuming most schools invite 3-5 people to campus), though you don't sound too out of line, random things can happen. Obvious things like research would be longer term goals, whereas getting someone to review your job talk would seem to be warranted for the actual interview skills. If it were me, I would also research a bit about the people hired over you for those posts. Is there a pattern of something they project that you do not? If not, perhaps it is just the luck of the draw.

The impression I get from reading bios here is that for most people who are not on the far end of the applicant age spectrum, they seem to improve their prospects over time (current recession not withstanding). Sounds like the problem should be soluble.

Best wishes!

A parting question for the forumites. Do many interviews have a clear favorite? I recall that as a graduate student, we helped review applicants for an open ecology post. In the final three, we had one semi-eminent scholar and one really promising ABD, and another pretty strong, but not so memorable candidate. The school (a highly ranked R1) went with the bigshot, and I wonder if the other two really were ever strongly in the running. If there is often one eminent rockstar (not as clear how that would jump out at a SLAC-bestselling book?) and several very good but in actuality, distant competitors. If that is common, would that inform the OP's question? Can we differentiate rockstars from "also rans" in interview pools?
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msparticularity
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« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2012, 3:08:28 PM »


A parting question for the forumites. Do many interviews have a clear favorite? I recall that as a graduate student, we helped review applicants for an open ecology post. In the final three, we had one semi-eminent scholar and one really promising ABD, and another pretty strong, but not so memorable candidate. The school (a highly ranked R1) went with the bigshot, and I wonder if the other two really were ever strongly in the running. If there is often one eminent rockstar (not as clear how that would jump out at a SLAC-bestselling book?) and several very good but in actuality, distant competitors. If that is common, would that inform the OP's question? Can we differentiate rockstars from "also rans" in interview pools?

I can tell you that, at the two RU/H institutions I have been associated with, rock stars are often regarded with some caution. To some extent I think they may come in as favorites--at least on the Dean's part--but there is also a question in everyone's mind of whether a bigwig will behave like a prima dona, or act like a good colleague. I have also seen a lot of concern that they will demand spousal hires, salaries well beyond the planned amount, and/or a lot of "goodies" in the form of drastically reduced teaching loads, funding for multiple TAs, and/or fabulously-equipped facilities. I have seen more than one search fail because of protracted negotiations with a rock star that fell apart, long after the other perfectly acceptable candidates had taken other offers.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
mleok
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« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2012, 3:22:32 PM »

I can tell you that, at the two RU/H institutions I have been associated with, rock stars are often regarded with some caution. To some extent I think they may come in as favorites--at least on the Dean's part--but there is also a question in everyone's mind of whether a bigwig will behave like a prima dona, or act like a good colleague. I have also seen a lot of concern that they will demand spousal hires, salaries well beyond the planned amount, and/or a lot of "goodies" in the form of drastically reduced teaching loads, funding for multiple TAs, and/or fabulously-equipped facilities. I have seen more than one search fail because of protracted negotiations with a rock star that fell apart, long after the other perfectly acceptable candidates had taken other offers.

That seems reasonable, while being a star certainly is a big help when looking for a job at a highly ranked R1, it might be less appealing to a R2 due to the expectations that stars carry with them. This goes to the issue of fit, and I think it emphasizes the fact that different types of schools have different criteria for judging the quality of a candidate, and not quite making the cut in R1 jobs does not mean that one will be much more successful applying to R2 positions instead.
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