• October 9, 2015

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October 09, 2015, 1:09:50 am *
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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
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 on: Today at 12:31:30 am 
Started by art_and_mystery - Last post by jones12345
Asking good questions gets easier the more you read and the more you can draw on when listening and responding.

 on: Today at 12:24:09 am 
Started by drsyn - Last post by pareadocs
I cleaned the humidifier.

 on: Today at 12:23:14 am 
Started by prytania3 - Last post by pareadocs
I didn't get as much writing done as I had wanted, but I did get some done.  I probably need 1 more hour on the results, and maybe an hour on the intro, and then I'll just have the discussion left.  So I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Pay that bill
Lab meeting
Misc. lab stuff
Buy a new fitbit battery
Write (if time)
Help Dad paint

Dino: finish lit review, finish analysis, discussion, study 2 results
Astro: data analysis
Wilma: data analysis
Casper: data analysis

 on: Today at 12:17:24 am 
Started by ellars - Last post by jones12345
We are gradually building more online courses. We are doing it because we need more students and more money and facing stronger competition,reduced demand in our traditional markets.

 on: Today at 12:09:30 am 
Started by merce - Last post by nezahualcoyotl
Actually, the Jewish Bible, Christian Old Testament and Muslim Quran are all essentially the same book.

I'm no expert, but IRC according to the Quran Jesus wasn't crucified and resurrected (perhaps the most central tenets of Christianity - and yes, I know that's the New Testament) but ascended to Heaven without undergoing the pain of death. That's a pretty central theological difference, I'd say. I also think, however, that the behavior of fanatics of any religion has little to do with the faith's holy texts. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" and "My kingdom is not of this world" never stopped Christian fanatics from setting up theocracies (just as what the Quran has to say about murder, such as "he who slays a man is as if he slew all men", etc does not stop IS). In any case, I don't see how one could meaningfully define "the center" of any religion.
Having said this, I don't see why poll numbers about, say, support for execution for apostasy cannot be validly compared among different societies. Nor do I think it unreasonable to conclude there is something deeply wrong in a number of Muslim-majority countries (not because they have a Muslim majority) - after all, something crudely equivalent to IS might be an insurgency in Spain fighting to restore the Inquisition, or Massachusetts bringing back witch trials, or Orthodox Eastern Europe restoring something like the theocratic totalitarianism of the Byzantine Empire. Or maybe IS is even worse than those analogies, because while medieval Christendom was pretty intolerant and barbaric (sure, we can argue they weren't proper Christians, but see above...), the medieval Islamic world was a heck of a lot more tolerant and enlightened than IS.

 on: Yesterday at 11:56:59 pm 
Started by fiona - Last post by mystictechgal
It went to the article when I clicked on it. It's not even limited to subscribers, only.

 on: Yesterday at 11:56:54 pm 
Started by vardahilwen - Last post by goaswerfraiejen
Stupid &!?E"* forum! Now I'm sick too. What the hell did you do? Cough into your laptop's speakers? Sneeze on an attachment?

 on: Yesterday at 11:56:07 pm 
Started by barred_owl - Last post by 2much2do
Compdoc, I'm so sorry about your Dad.  I'll be thinking of you. 

Zuzu_, thank you so much for the link.  Someone had told me about that story, but I couldn't find it on my own.  It's a great strategy, and I think that it might help with Mom.  But her problem is now that she is afraid and paranoid much of the time - I don't think the world makes much sense to her.  But maybe "yes, and ..." could distract her. 

My Dad is doing OK, but he is clearly struggling.  We are going to need to make some decisions about memory care - he wants to wait until "something happens".  Not sure what that would be. Not a good thing, for sure. 

 on: Yesterday at 11:31:16 pm 
Started by cat_fancy - Last post by bradley_headstone

OK, I will revise my wording.  It is theft and fraud (although fraud requires intent).  If an institution advertises X amount of contact hours and turns a blind eye, while knowing instructors routinely do not provide the agreed-upon amount of instruction, that is fraud.  If an instructor signs a contract to teach from 6 to 9 PM and only provides two hours of instruction instead of three, with no other value-added activity substituted, that's theft.

Suppose you paid $100 for an hour massage and the therapist routinely left after 20 minutes?  What would that be?

If we granted that letting class out early is theft, we'd have some conceptual problems. For one thing, one couldn't let the class out even a few seconds before the allotted time was up. For another, running over time would also constitute theft--of the next class's time, and the university would be stealing your time too. Theft would be widespread!

The problem only really comes in when, as you note, one is providing significantly less than the required number of contact hours, and for non-pedagogical reasons. If you let your 3-hour class out after 2 hours every time so that everyone can enjoy the sun, then you've lost 13 hours over the course of a 13-week semester. Or about 10 hours if you allow for a 15-minute break (theft!) every class. That amounts to between 26% and 33% of the allotted class time over the semester. That's pretty serious. An hour today and three weeks from now, however, is no big deal: that's 2/39 hours. Obviously there's a problem of vagueness at work, but it's pretty intuitively easy to tell what's OK and what isn't.

These are the points I was trying to make earlier.  Is a break of any amount of time allowed?  Is there ever a legitimate reason to let students out early?  If there's an emergency, and I have to leave, that would still be stealing (in the same way that I'm still guilty of theft even if I steal bread because I'm hungry).  I think the key is to look for patterns--slacking will out.  Also, I just can't compare a college class to a per-hour service like massage.  But I don't think we're going to reach a consensus.

I have long thought that undergraduate classes that meet in three-hour, once-a-week blocks are very commonly let out early for not-great reasons.  I get that those kinds of classes are in some sense necessary, but classes that meet more often for shorter blocks of time tend to get more done.  Obviously, a lot depends of the instructor.  I'm so glad I don't have to teach three-hour long classes and sympathize with those who must.

 on: Yesterday at 11:27:34 pm 
Started by quirkius - Last post by quirkius
I am reading scads of applications for a TT search at my uni right now. One of the biggest divides is between those with post-doc experience and those who are just finishing. Our job ad says that we prefer postdoc experience, but we're willing to hire freshly minted Ph.D.'s, and in fact, in our last search our top candidate (and eventual hire) was a new Ph.D. with no postdoc experience.

But here's what that successful candidate did that the 2015 PH.D.'s in this set of applications are generally NOT doing: he told us that he had more research ideas than what was in his dissertation.

When you apply as a new ph.D., we need to know that you're not a one-trick pony. Show us that you have an agenda! An actual research program, with several possible threads to pursue. You are not going to get our job solely on the strength of that diss.

I'm at a research-intensive SLAC, by the way, hiring in the quantitative social sciences.

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