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Author Topic: Wish your family understood  (Read 30528 times)
pandamonium
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Determined to live life with flair and laughter.


« on: June 26, 2007, 2:28:18 PM »

I have been having some problems lately getting my family to understand what I do everyday and why it matters so much to me. It got me wondering, if we could all press a magical "understanding" button, what would be the one thing you would want to make your family understand about grad school, being a student, or academic life in general?


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dundee
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 2:32:44 PM »

I can't limit it to just one thing, but here are some biggies:

1. Reading is work
2. Writing is work
3. Teaching is work
4. Grading is work
5. I work really hard, for many hours a week

Notice a pattern?
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big_giant_head
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 2:42:55 PM »

Yes, I'll play!

Taking 3 classes and teaching 2 does not, in fact, mean that I am only occupied 15 hours each week.  Please stop assuming that I can come to the neighbor's second cousin's birthday party because you think I'm not doing anything most afternoons.

Oh, I know, that was just another riff off the previous post, but it felt good.
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carthago can haz delenda
dr_stones
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пошлите законоведами пушки и деньг


« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 3:04:59 PM »

Yes, I'll play!

Taking 3 classes and teaching 2 does not, in fact, mean that I am only occupied 15 hours each week.  Please stop assuming that I can come to the neighbor's second cousin's birthday party because you think I'm not doing anything most afternoons.

Oh, I know, that was just another riff off the previous post, but it felt good.

Just for fun:

Tape ONE work day for them, and send it to them.  All fourteen hours. 
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"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." Samuel "Steroid Free" Clemens
imawakenow
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 3:21:40 PM »

Graduate school is my job, and my job is in the real world.

While I will admit that even to me it sometimes seems that academia is an alternative reality, my university is, indeed, just as "real world" as selling insurance (obnoxious cousin), accountant (father-in-law), drifting from job to job (even more obnoxious cousin), etc.

How I've come to loathe family reunions. At least this year I can say I'm on the job market.
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caracal
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 3:25:58 PM »

As the son of an academic I don't really have these kinds of problems. I would say it can be important to not be too defensive. Of course we do a lot of work. There are some perks though. Flexible time and all that. Just try to make the point that it is actually a job, just not the same as a 9 to 5 job. Sometimes that can be really nice. Other times, that is exactly the problem.

I have been having some problems lately getting my family to understand what I do everyday and why it matters so much to me. It got me wondering, if we could all press a magical "understanding" button, what would be the one thing you would want to make your family understand about grad school, being a student, or academic life in general?



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mdwlark
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 3:36:37 PM »

That, Yes, I have applied to all of the colleges in the surrounding area and, No, they were not just thrilled to get the opportunity to hire me.  

That I don't want a job at the local hospital.  

That it does hurt if I apply for something I know I am not qualified to do or to a school that is beyond my league.  It hurts me personally and it may burn a bridge that I want to keep open for the future.  


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normative_
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Check, please.


« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2007, 3:37:17 PM »

I can't limit it to just one thing, but here are some biggies:

1. Reading is work
2. Writing is work
3. Teaching is work
4. Grading is work
5. I work really hard, for many hours a week

Notice a pattern?

Add: thinking is work.
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Fortune favors the bold.

Quote from: mountainguy
Excellent analysis by Normative.
Quote from: tenured_feminist
All hail Normie!
Quote from: systeme_d
Normative, that was superb.
normative_
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Check, please.


« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2007, 3:41:50 PM »

I have been having some problems lately getting my family to understand what I do everyday and why it matters so much to me. It got me wondering, if we could all press a magical "understanding" button, what would be the one thing you would want to make your family understand about grad school, being a student, or academic life in general?




The one motivation I'd mention is that I influence many people through my work. Through my writing, teaching, and shaping of minds. Vary to fit your specialism.

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Fortune favors the bold.

Quote from: mountainguy
Excellent analysis by Normative.
Quote from: tenured_feminist
All hail Normie!
Quote from: systeme_d
Normative, that was superb.
my2cents
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2007, 3:46:19 PM »

My family lacked complete understanding of my job, until I started sharing my findings and readings for them... Then they finally grasped that I actually ... WORK.

My2cents: Just start rambling off on all the cool research and reading you have been doing...

"It's really fascinating, I just learned that..."

Trust me -- they will grasp your work much better... and chances are they will never ask about it again.
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abdbiz
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 4:13:31 PM »

I have an easier solution. Stop caring so much about what other people think.
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joey_fan
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 4:14:39 PM »

1. This is a job = real work (OK, we all agree on this one).
2. My summers are not "free."

I have been having some problems lately getting my family to understand what I do everyday and why it matters so much to me. It got me wondering, if we could all press a magical "understanding" button, what would be the one thing you would want to make your family understand about grad school, being a student, or academic life in general?



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normative_
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Posts: 10,828

Check, please.


« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 4:18:57 PM »

I have an easier solution. Stop caring so much about what other people think.

It's not just other people. It's family. We have to see them on a regular basis.
It tends to help family gatherings when we don't tell them to shove off.

Think of it as marketing.
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Fortune favors the bold.

Quote from: mountainguy
Excellent analysis by Normative.
Quote from: tenured_feminist
All hail Normie!
Quote from: systeme_d
Normative, that was superb.
goingcrazy
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Posts: 387


« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 4:49:18 PM »

Good luck with that! People don't understand that teaching is EXHAUSTING! "Oh, you are only teaching 5 classes? That is only 15 hours a week. It must be nice to have all of that free time!" My favorite was when I was in graduate school working as a GA and someone (no longer a friend) said, "It must be nice to sit around and read all day."

Also, I was just hired in a tt position where I had been teaching as an adjunct for 2 years. People just looked at me crazy and asked, "I thought you were already a professor?" I didn't even try to explain that it will take me about 10 years to obtain that title. 
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confusedsoontobegrad
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2007, 4:54:11 PM »

I would like my family to understand WHY I need time to ponder whether or not I will pursue the PhD after graduating with the MA.  They seem to think I can just go pick up my PhD at the corner store and perhaps have a job waiting for me in my post office box.  I suppose tenure will float in on a colorful hot air balloon.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 4:54:59 PM by confusedsoontobegrad » Logged
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