wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
A roundup of anonymized comments from professors (mostly) regarding the effects of budget cuts on their own universities, colleges, and departments:

http://amps-tools.mit.edu/tomprofblog/archives/2009/04/tp_special_anno.html#comments

(Tomorrow's Professor is a great blog, by the way.)

Just thought it might be interesting (for really depressing values of "interesting").

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] antiacademia and probably Facebook, sorry.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
...or if you do go, realize that you've made a career choice that's really no more safe or assured than deciding to be a painter or rock star,* really.

I got this from [livejournal.com profile] starfishncoffee over on Facebook:

Grad School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go.

He's not kidding.

Read those bullet points. Go back and note the parts about being willing to live almost anywhere and so on. I kind of started to catch on to this while I was at Stanford, and it's partly why I started looking into MLIS and MATESOL. (Although much of this could go for either of these, at least MATESOL gives you options for self-employment and other things.)

People are hostile to these harsh facts, just as someone asked me angrily/plaintively when I wrote previously about some things that are NOT good reasons to get a PhD*, "What IS a good reason to get a PhD?" See the bullet points in the article, I fear, unless you're in the sciences.

I know you know exceptions (and so do I), but the fact that few people will talk honestly about this kind of situation means this kind of article is important.



*This is only safe if you're [livejournal.com profile] theicequeen.
**You like doing research, you like campus life, etc.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Here are several blog posts on the nature of finding an academic job in this economic climate. The links to the other posts are at the top of the linked post.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I know there are a lot of grad students on here, so I thought I'd pass this on. I'm hoping I can find some people to help me out there. We'll see. Anyway, I got this from the excellent Tomorrow's Professor mailing list, which I recommend to anyone in higher ed.

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] loveandacademia.

The Graduate Junction
http://www.graduatejunction.com/site/about


The Graduate Junction, www.graduatejunction.com, is the first website to bring together Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral researchers from any discipline around the globe. It aims to provide an easy way to meet and
communicate with others who share common research interests in a global multi-disciplinary environment. Through The Graduate Junction you can learn about current research being undertaken by other graduate
researchers all over the world. The Graduate Junction also aims to become a central source of relevant information.

This new free online resource has been developed by graduate researchers at Durham and Oxford University (UK). They have designed a simple, easy to use platform which only provides relevant information and
functionality. More information about The Graduate Junction’s vision, its Team and university testimonials are available online.

Launched in May 2008, early versions of The Graduate Junction, with limited publicity, attracted more than 8000 researchers from over 70 countries to register. Now with a redesigned site, an expanded Team and articles in well established press such as The Chronicle of Higher Education (US) and The Times Higher Education (UK), the community is growing rapidly.

Please help us to build an online global graduate research community. If presently you cannot find exact matches to your research interests, fill in some very basic details about your own research and as the news
spreads, others will be able to find and contact you! The information listings have only just been added so it will take some time to provide comprehensive coverage. If you are organizing a conference or involved
with a graduate journal and want to list it for free please contact us. If you support our vision please help us spread the news to other researchers at your institution.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Summer Academic Working Group
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lpowner/workgroup.htm

"This voluntary forum allows academics to collaborate electronically for feedback and mutual accountability during the long, unstructured summer months. Many participants are working on their prospectuses, but others are doing pre - prospectus research, field exam reading, dissertation chapters, lab or archival research, or working/conference papers. Participants are divided into clusters of 4 - 6 individuals in the same academic division (social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, etc.), who post work in progress on a regular basis and provide each other with feedback. Participants from all fields of academia and all institutions are welcome."

Hmmm. Maybe I should do it.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
10% increase approved for the CSU system. UC is looking at one too.

If you're still in community college, I hope you're saving money, because there will probably be at least one more hike before you get there. And they are NOT improving the schools with this money, either--they're trying to keep up with budget cuts from the state (and, er, giving administrators big raises, but anyway...).

Another thing to remember is to start checking out the course listings for your areas now. They vary wildly just among the CSUs in the Bay Area. For example, this fall, if you want to take Japanese, here's how it looks:

SJSU: 6 different classes (+ multi sections)
SFSU: 13 different classes (+ multi sections)
CSUEB: 3 different classes (no multi sections--and I bet you at least 1 will be cancelled)

Of course, people make a difference, too--my CSUEB MATESOL program had very few courses and no electives, but the director of the program was so excellent that I didn't care. But I do think that going to the course schedule (not the catalog, which lists classes that they may in theory have someday) and checking the areas you're interested in for the past, current, and upcoming terms, if possible, will tell you a lot about the school. That goes for local community colleges, too--they are definitely NOT all the same.

Speaking of community colleges, by the way, I had a chance to check out Mission College in northern Santa Clara this week. Based purely on support staff (admissions, counseling, etc.) and course listings, it looks far better than Ohlone. They also have what may be the first community college "welcome center" in the Bay Area--it's a one-stop shop for students who will be first-generation college grads or have limited English. This is a wonderful thing. If your parents and such didn't go to college, it's so confusing to figure out things because the entire system assumes you already know the basic procedure, the jargon, etc. The welcome center puts you in touch with individual people who can pull together all those requirements and all the services you might miss out on otherwise (tutoring, etc.). I can't stress how valuable it would be to have access to someone who has the big picture about everything you can do and need to do at a particular school. MOST excellent.

Nice campus too (and NO STAIRS! Campus is flat!).

Bad times

May. 7th, 2008 12:46 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-taiwantea-me)
Seriously, I can't believe UC Berkeley is contemplating reducing East Asian language classes (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) to the extent that only majors in those languages could take the courses. Where does that leave people in general linguistics, business, journalism, etc.?

I guess this is ultimately due to Ahnold's slash-happy budget, which targets all the wrong things, but it also sounds like Berkeley may not be choosing the best way to distribute the projected budget cuts.

Anyway, you can go sign a petition, for what that's worth--one for those with Berkeley IDs and one for those without:

http://petition.berkeley.edu/

Hat-tip to [livejournal.com profile] woquinoncoin.

(I noticed my friend who's in the admin levels of Asian Studies at Stanford signed it, too. Aww.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Not my sekrit projekt, but anyway: New [livejournal.com profile] m_cat post, for all Stargate fans and members of academia!


For some reason it wasn't showing up on friends lists, so it was re-posted and I've just changed my link to it.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (longtailkitty-happy-me)
That was the most chaotic event I've ever attended. Good grief! I'm considering writing a cranky e-mail. I've been to graduations before, and they're always mildly chaotic, but this was just WAY out of control.

Hanging out with my classmates was great, though (one of them made us all hand-signed and decorated "Congratulations!" sashes, awww).

Mortarboards are made to torture the innocent, I swear. I do want one of those PhD getups, though. ;) Those tams rock.

Afterwards we went to Bombay Garden for dinner, as the barbecue place had closed early.

Tomorrow there's a potluck at our advisor's house, yay!

I am so sleep-deprived.

I DID IT

Jun. 13th, 2007 03:00 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Hikaru no go-OHMYGOD!-michishirube)
the thesis is written and the portfolio is assembled
it's 208 pages
of course, some of that is figures and stuff not created by me
and the actual thesisy part is, like, 80 pages or something

Not counting my degree till I have it in hand, of course. BUT the thesis/portfolio is DONE.

And that's one heavy folder.

Oops.

May. 23rd, 2007 09:20 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-mimi-writing-me)
So, apparently, if it looks like I can't totally finish my thesis by June 11, I won't get my degree until...sometime after fall quarter ends in December. Great.

(There was some invisible and unannounced deadline in May for delaying official graduation till the end of summer quarter, and we all missed it. Whoops.)

Right.

Maybe if I get up at 7:30 AM every day...

OMG

May. 17th, 2007 10:52 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
In a month I'll have graduated!

Holy cow.

AAAGH! I'm not far enough along on my thesis project!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (yamamoto-bowed-me)
When I left [livejournal.com profile] kikibelle and [livejournal.com profile] dataknife's house yesterday, I wondered why the entire stretch of road approaching "the 8" (as they say down south) was barricaded off, full of evidence collecting folks ... and with one semi-crumpled bicycle. Turns out a local PBS station host was hit by a car while riding his bike, but he's expected to make a full recovery. Which, you know, is better than most of the other news I've read recently.

The Virginia Tech incident is something I don't want to address here, because I have no claim to it, and yet it's still too close to me, because of a much-loved professor of mine who was shot and killed by a disturbed graduate student (pretentious eulogy by my younger self).

(In somewhat more pleasant news, I had no idea about the John Locke Memorial Garden, but now I plan to visit it next time we're in Fayetteville.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Another article about the recent explosive growth of LinkedIn I especially love the example of the guy who got his friends and family back on a flight after being bumped by using LinkedIn to contact the general manager of the airline. Heh. Anyway, the article also confirms that I'm not nuts, and that last year, indeed, LinkedIn was not a big deal, and this year it is.

Anyway, I'm not in the target markets of "headhunters/people who get headhunted" or "VCs/people looking for investors," but I am amusing myself with the questions and answers sections. I think it could wind up being a really good thing for freelance photographers, nonprofits who are actively seeking funds, etc., if only more people in those groups would join up.

You can find me there with my real first and last name, and my sbcglobal.net e-mail address.


Well, I guess I'm ready to start my week. The weekend went OK. On Friday, we drove to Sacramento by way of Pittsburg for a conference at CSUS. [livejournal.com profile] lunza, your directions were great: we got there faster than some of the people who drove straight there. (It took about 3.5 hours including gridlocked traffic on Foothill Blvd in Hayward, the detour to Pittsburg, and backtracking. Coming back on Saturday? 2 hours flat. :p) Then we went to dinner at Marrakech, which I mentioned before. I'm not sure I'd recommend it, honestly. The bellydancer was excellent and some of the food was good, but there were other issues. (For example, I think it's pretty rude to suggest a $25 per person family-style dinner thing, even after having been told there was one vegetarian out of the 7 guests who wanted food, and then serve only one vegetarian dish--EVERYTHING else except the baklava and tea had meat!--and then charge the vegetarian the full $25. Also, "jokingly" telling one of the 2 non-eating guests that you were going to charge her after she ate a small piece of something that the server pushed on her is just not funny.)

Anyway, our presentation went well, except that we had about 50 people when I had expected about 20. People REALLY LIKE the idea of using games in writing centers. Go figure.

Okay, off to coffee and to school!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (wachifield-pirate-me)
as of tomorrow afternoon, for the Northern California Writing Center Association Conference. We're going to take a bizarre route there due to the detour to Pittsburg to pick up Clint. We're staying north of CSUS, so we'll be refreshed and ready to go Saturday morning, thanks to my awesome tutoring center boss. Friday night, we plan to go to Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant with bellydancing, to celebrate our head tutor's birthday. She's from Korea, is two years ahead of me in the MATESOL program, and is really smart and an inspiration to all of us. I hope that Marrakech is fun and doesn't drain our pocketbooks too badly.

The session I'm involved in is another tutor's idea, on using wordplay--as in games--to develop writing skills. He also happens to be a gamer geek, so that's made putting the presentation together fun, even if we DID get mashed into a "panel" with someone presenting on metaphors. (We're like, "Not THAT kind of wordplay!" D'oh. But it was too late.)

If you want to see the handout of recommended games and so forth, there's a PDF of it right here.

I'm a little nervous because I think this is the first time since I started using CPAP that I'll be sharing a room with someone who is not Clint. (I'm sharing a room with my friend and classmate who is my partner for the CATESOL conference in April.) Meep.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be online from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening, because the Best Western only mentions having internet access in "Business Plus" rooms. (Are they being run by an airline, perhaps? Grr.

And no. I didn't feel the earthquake. *slightly miffed*
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (get fuzzy-footnotes-me)
To some extent I think of academic writing as a process of expanding and narrowing meaning by precisely choosing my words. I can feel an almost physical movement in my sentences as I change a word to its synonym. I want to include certain interpretations and exclude others through my control of the semantic shapes. Expansion, contraction.

In its own way, it's a fun game.

(I can't imagine writing academically in a second language. I'd go insane second-guessing myself.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (get fuzzy-footnotes-me)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] krystynayt for bringing my attention to this: The entire editorial board of the prestigious mathematics journal Topology has resigned to protest the pricing policies of the journal's publisher, Elsevier, a giant European editorial company. (That's the CHE article; here's a New York Sun article.)

GOOD. The academic journal system is insane. Writers don't get paid, yet institutions pay skyrocketing amounts to subscribe to the issues. Publication is hardly optional for serious academics, and subscribing to these journals is hardly optional for any school that wants its students and faculty to be aware of current research. There needs to be an information revolution, beyond the various attempts at open access journals here and there. I know it's expensive to conduct peer review, but there still has to be a better system.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Vocab notes for anyone unfamiliar with this stuff:
Quick and subjective glossary )

So I wrote a few days ago about how disappointed I was by the apparently low standards of teaching at Ohlone (the local community college) along with how incompetent many of their administrative employees seemed to be. Today I was thinking about why I was so bothered that all of [livejournal.com profile] jenniferward's and [livejournal.com profile] siderealengine's classes base their grades mostly on tests, with no papers or anything. I was wondering if I was just being a snob or if it was a case of "I went through it; now you must suffer too!!!"--as is all too typical in academia. But I've seen some of their homework assignments, and honestly, it's not even preparation for the California State University system (based on the undergrad classes I've seen at CSUEB). For Berkeley, which is where they want to go? Forget it. It's almost like deliberately preparing students to fail. I had more advanced assignments in seventh grade, and I'm not exaggerating even a little. I am really hoping that this is some bizarre fluke and things will improve, because I can't imagine being lulled into thinking that college = multi-choice tests and end-of-chapter questions straight out of the textbook, and then transferring into university only to be hit with research papers, open-ended projects, and critical essays.

Part of the reason I'm so stunned is that I've always been a big advocate of community colleges, since my mom taught at one and [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor's parents both do. I think the various role they fill are extremely important. In California, the system is thought of somewhat differently than in most of the rest of the US; CCs are viewed as natural steps to 4-year colleges/universities for anyone who's somewhat thrifty, for one thing. Compared to some other areas, there's less of the attitude of "it's for people who barely passed high school and couldn't get accepted into any college anywhere."

That said ... one of the big roles of CCs here really is getting students up to a minimum level of competence in English and math, the level they should have been at when they graduated from high school. I was shocked by the lack of grammar, sentence construction, and logic skills in many of my English 3000 students at CSUEB, and at the time I said I was appalled that they had been allowed to graduate from high school--and they were juniors in college!. Well, having heard more about the way high schools work in California (and Arizona), I understand better now. For many of the students, K-12 simply failed. Whether you want to chalk it up to funding, ill-prepared and uninterested teachers, underpaid and overworked teachers, or whatever, the fact remains that the educational system isn't working for many students, especially those without educated parents. It's not exactly fair that they were allowed to graduate without the minimum skills, but it's not exactly unfair, either, since I don't believe they were presented with a genuine opportunity to learn. This is an extremely complex problem that needs to be fixed.

For college, including community college, it's a different matter. There is no free pass. Today there was a headline in the Fremont Argus reading "Colleges opt to raise standards: English, mathematics requirements increased for associate's degree." Well, good, I thought. Maybe we'll get fewer ill-prepared students at the 4-year level. What are these standards? "Beginning in fall 2009, students will be required to complete [first-year] English composition and intermediate algebra before they qualify for an associate's degree."

Um.

What exactly was an AA before that? Your receipt for paying for two years of community college?

"I think it's hard enough as it is for students to balance studying, work and family," (an Ohlone student) said. "It's just not fair."

Okay, sorry. This time it IS fair. An AA is optional; it's something you choose to try for. If you can't pass those two classes, you haven't earned an AA. An AA is not a receipt. It is supposed to be proof to universities and employers that you have certain minimum skills. If you don't have those skills, you don't get the degree. Sorry. Since it is community college, and it is California, with the lowest CC tuition in the entire country, you have the chance to take plenty of developmental (remedial) math and English classes. Nearly every CC also has free math and writing tutoring. There is every opportunity to get yourself to that bare minimum level. If you can't, it is possible that you should pay attention to "work and family" only. (I admit that this would be a better solution if we had widely accessible trade schools in the US and more respect for trade certifications. Ohlone does have various certifications available, though, so students who can't qualify for an AA should at least consider those.)

"I came here because it's cheaper," said (another Ohlone student). "I think those kinds of (new) requirements should be at Cal State instead."

No, sorry again. The way transfer usually works is 2 years at a CC and then 2 years at a 4-year college/university (Cal State schools are universities). You can spend more than 2 years getting ready to transfer, but you can rarely spend more than 2-3 years after you transfer. At the CC, you're supposed to get rid of your general education requirements and any developmental classes you need to be able to pass the GE classes. This is good for two reasons: 1) it's a lot cheaper to pay the CC tuition rate if you have to take a lot of catch-up classes, and 2) you get to take your major courses at the 4-year institution, which will probably be in greater depth, with more opportunities for research, better libraries and other facilities like labs, etc. If you have scholarships or grants, you probably won't be allowed to spend more than 2-3 years at the 4-year institution. Those 2-3 years are supposed to be all higher-level courses, junior and senior classes that are more advanced and focus on your major. By the time you get there, you had better be ready for university-level work right off the bad.

This attitude may not be the student's fault, though. Very little about college is intuitively obvious, and if you don't have parents and siblings who have gotten their bachelor's degrees, it's hard to know how things work. CCs need to clearly articulate the system, procedures, and jargon to new students.

That would be assuming that the school itself is taking its transfer preparation task seriously. Obviously, many of the students don't take it seriously or don't understand the stakes, but community college staff and faculty must do better than that. The impression that I'm getting from Ohlone is that they are not focused on university-level academic preparation. I'm not sure what to do about this, not counting complaining in my blog, but I know this is not an acceptable situation. I'm hoping it's temporary and unusual and there won't wind up being anything that needs to be done other than encouraging [livejournal.com profile] siderealengine to write some accurate complaints on the end-of-the-semester evaluation forms. If it continues to be the case, though, something will have to be done.

(I don't think our roommates would take too kindly to being assigned research papers by [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor and me, do you? No, I don't think so, and I wouldn't blame them either.)

Profile

wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
wintersweet

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 17th, 2017 03:33 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios