Friday, March 16, 2007

Productivity update

Hey, I got some stuff done! See:
  • gather my student evals and prepare a (yet another) summer teaching request packet
  • research tickets/hotels/etc. for upcoming conference
  • email two profs to pick their brains (one down)
  • call dissertation partner
  • finish studying that book’s structure (I may become brain dead soon and not be able to do this one) no maybe about this, that's for sure
And today's list of wonderfulness:
  • doctor’s appointment
  • turn in teaching request packet
  • pick up chapter ( it's still not in my box! Bleah! )
  • pick up ILLs
  • return borrowed CD and DVD to friend
  • meet w. dissertation partner and write? (read a useful book instead)
  • grease the wheels of collegiality?
Nah, I was on campus, in the library, reading away, instead of being "collegial" and attending that screening and talk. The book I read today was only ok in terms of usefulness to my chapter, but if I get this summer teaching class it would be an interesting anthology to teach the students. Ok, actually, a soul-killing slog for them that only a sadistic grad student like myself would find fun and stimulating, but I'm still interested in using it.

And now that I have done many wonderful things, I may get a movie and cook something fancy and delicious, or maybe just lie around on the couch going "Aaaaaarrgghhh!", 'cause my brain is fried.

1 comment:

heu mihi said...

Hi Sisyphus--just read your post of Tuesday, March 13, and am replying here because it seems more likely that you'll see it that way. Hope you don't mind!

My (private) grad university is currently undergoing some funding and structuring changes that are giving rise to exactly some of the concerns you voice in your post: they're limiting funding (for the vast majority; there will be "about 60" exceptions per year) to five years, period. For all Ph.D. programs. Which makes no sense. And any external funding that you might receive during those 5 years will not take the place of university-granted funding. Somehow, this is supposed to make us "more competitive," but it's unclear to just about everyone how adjuncting during your 1 or 2 or 3 dissertation-writing years, and struggling to come up with health insurance, etc., is going to make us "more competitive." Anyway. I'm graduating, and thus lucky enough not to be around while the administration sorts out this latest absurdity, but it's pretty alarming.

Alarming, too, because virtually no one gets a tenure-track job immediately upon coming out of here anyway (I mean, it happens, but to a small percentage), and, like you, I'm unclear on how we're supposed to professionalize ourselves within this much shorter time-frame.

One thing about it that's kind of insidious is that, because they're cutting out so many funding options, our stipends have gone way, way up (about $7,000 since I started here in 2000). This is really nice, of course, but it's also going to lure in more grad students--which means an even greater financial crunch further down the line, and yet more unemployed Ph.D.s out wandering the streets. One wonders where it will end.

Anyway--this is a ridiculously long comment, but it's hard to be brief on this subject--your worries about the structural problems with the whole grad school system are felt in the private universities, too, and it's hard for me to imagine that any but the very very top-level departments aren't in similar situations. It's scary, really, what a lunatic business model academia seems to be based on once you start looking into it....

And hi--this is my first time at your blog!