Posts tagged academia is shit
I’ve written over 2,500 words today - that’s longer than my students’ essay!
My supervisors have given me until the end of the month to get my shit together and produce work, which I haven’t done since my PhD/mental/nervous breakdown 13 months ago.
My tally of 2,500 today is added to the 12,000 total from yesterday. … That’s right; I’m submitting well over 60 pages. …
Maybe I did have a year long crisis, but I’m doing DAMN WELL now.
GIVE ME A DOCTORATE TO OCCUPY THE 4TH POSITION ON THE WALL OF SHIT THAT DIDN’T KILL ME!
Most Ph.D. students spend their days reading esoteric books and stressing out about the tenure-track job market. Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old economics grad student at UMass Amherst, just used part of his spring semester to shake the intellectual foundation of the global austerity movement.
There are several things that are great about this story:
We don’t often push our students to ask questions and challenge the authorities. We should. This guy is inspiration because he had the confidence, persistence, and fortitude to take apart a highly influential study.
You also have to give credit to his professor, who gave the assignment: Go out and replicate and existing study. And then working with the student to refine the findings and double-check the work.
And you also have to give credit to one of the original authors of the study, who sent the student the dataset. Without that dataset, there would be no “take down” and no discovery. The original author knew she was exposing herself, but freely passed along the data.
This is how the scientific method works, and why it’s superior to other forms of knowledge. Science is a collaborative project. The student needed guidance from the professor; the original author shared her data. Together—collectively—they are engaging in a debate and uncovering knowledge (in this particular case: the relationship between public debt and economic growth).
In the end, it doesn’t matter that the student is a “lowly” graduate student at UMass Amherst and he “took down” two Harvard economics professors. In the most scientific sense, they stood as equals and worked together to solve a problem. The idea that “experts” have superior intellects and should not cooperate if they disagree, is the exact opposite of how science is supposed to work.(via pol102)
i made a thing
uh…. I kinda sorta really want to make this more school appropriate and use it as a review for writing essays…
Kinda sorta love this.
Teaching resumes Monday and Friday. Out of my 40-something students, 4 came last class, and guess what we covered - yup, essay prep. So, guess who wants to forward this along to all the little miss/mister-can’t-be-bothereds.
Welcome to the everyday subconscious of an intellectual.
If they had invented this sooner I bet fewer academics would have died of the drink… just saying - we can be a destructive bunch.
H/T: Tastefully Offensive
Just before lunch I sent an email to Geneva asking for help arranging an interview with the Director-General of certain international organisation.
This interview, in addition to another interview request (pending) with the Secretary-General of another international organisation, will make or break my doctoral thesis and possibly my career in the international civil service.
I.am.quite.sick in the belly.
I often make reference to this article from the Guardian about why women leave academia and why Universities should be worried when I post about my PhD blight - yes, I mean blight, not plight, as it’s become more of an infection I’m always fighting off than a difficult situation. The article is fantastic either way; if you are an academic (male or female) or academic-in-wanting, it’s a must read. The statistics show by year 3 (British PhDs are 3-4 years typically) the number of women who want to go into academia drop from 72% to 37%, and the article details why excellently.
Yesterday, a big name political economist came to Manchester and met with me to talk to me about my thesis. I don’t envy big name academics; there’s so much pressure when your title begins with ‘Distinguished’ instead of just ‘Professor’. I get that there are issues with travel, exhaustion, many new names, new faces, and new places to adjust … but if you’re going to meet with a PhD to discuss research, the least you can do is treat her better than a ‘fan girl’.
It didn’t go well, tumblr. Hopes were dashed; interest was feigned, and expectations were dwindled. The worst thing about meeting this big name political economist was that for the days leading up to, I actually started to reconsider going into academia instead of the international civil service, mostly out of the sheer respect I have for this person’s distinguished career.
But all these mind games, these egos, these inward reflections of well-you’ll-never-be-as-good-as-I or I-don’t-think-you-interpretted-my-framework-properly, what person (male or female) willingly subjects themselves to that?! To hierarchical subjugation based on status, to such belittling, just disregard for commentary.
At least with international civil service, if you’re wrong, you’re told you’re wrong; if you’re being an ass, you’re told to shape up; if you’re blowing hot air for 20 minutes, you’re openly and publicly mocked. I know it’s not all green pastures in the civil service but the sort of open-faced, self-acknowledging pomp is not tolerated - the charter says we are equal, and, we are.
Point is: with academia, you never know where you stand, and that’s part of what (theoretically) drives you to keep publishing, keep improving, keep striving. But it’s also what makes academia incredibly unrewarding, isolationist, and self deprecating. With civil service, you check in and check out, knowing whether you’re paid to be an ass or you’re paid to be an arbitrator - you know where you stand.
As us women types gain confidence in role in the professional world, we’re realising we don’t have to take the shit that’s dealt out at the highest levels of academia, BUT academia does need to worry about retaining us to meet their demographics and quotas. So what’s it gonna be, yeah?
I do not think Microsoft Word knows what a fragment is…
this is all.