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robertogreco : gradschool   53

is everything an MLM
"When I tweeted out the piece, a fellow academic responded: “This sounds….familiar: ‘CorePower churns out thousands more “certified” teachers than the company offers to employ.’”

She’s referring to the overproduction of PhDs: too many people coming through grad school, and too few sustainable academic jobs. And as anyone in any field understands, when there’s way more qualified applicants than jobs, the existing jobs can demand more of applicants (more qualifications, less money) while applicants lower their own expectations (for compensation, for benefits, for job security, for course load and service, for location).

So why don’t academic departments just decrease the number of PhD students they accept? Because those students have become an integral cog in the contemporary university. A recent report by the National Research Council on"Addressing the Nation's Changing Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists" found that the number of new PhDs awarded every year “is well "is well above that needed to keep pace with growth in the U.S. economy and to replace those leaving the workforce as a result of retirement and death." The report suggests that there should be no increase in the number of PhDs, but does not call for a decrease: “to change suddenly the numbers of people could be very disruptive to the research that’s going on at the present time.”

Put differently, those PhD students are providing (cheap!) labor in labs; to decrease the flow of incoming students would necessitate a dramatic rethinking of the funding/viability of various labs. The Humanities don’t have labs, but they do have massive numbers of undergraduate courses that need teaching. In English programs, it’s some version of “comp,” or composition; in foreign language programs, it’s intro language classes; in communications, it’s public speaking. Many of these courses are mandated “core” in some capacity, ensuring an unwavering stream of students, and an unwavering demand for (again, very cheap) graduate student labor to serve them. To decrease the number of graduate students, again, would be to decrease the supply of cheap labor. To rectify the loss, you’d either have to hire adjuncts or more professors (both more expensive than graduate students) or decrease the number of admitted students (and a loss, to the university, of an income stream).

Some schools start PhD programs — even though they know that their institution is not prestigious enough to place its graduates in “good” jobs, unless they are truly stellar — as a sort of labor generator: lure students with the promise of tuition remission, and you’ve got at least four years of their labor. Some MA programs also provide tuition remission in exchange for TA’ing; others are simply “money makers,” with no opportunity to TA, just the opportunity for 10-40 students pay full tuition, even if the chances of moving on to a PhD program (or full-time employment in their field) is small.

We talk a lot about how “for-profit” colleges (Cappella, Phoenix, dozens of others) exploit students’ internalized belief that the only way to pull themselves and their families up through the capitalist system is a degree — no matter if they have to take out massive amounts of debt to do it, no matter if they’re steered towards degree programs (massage therapy) in which there’s little chance to find employment that will even cover your loan payment, let alone allow the student to pull themselves up the class ladder. (Of course, a degree can provide that route — but usually it can be obtained for much, much less at the local community college.)

For first generation college students with little or no inherited knowledge of how college or student loans work, for-profit colleges can be incredibly appealing. They target you; they tell you that you could have a different life, a secure life, a career, everything you’ve dreamed of, just by enrolling. (For the twentieth time, read Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Lower Ed for an in-depth account of how for profit colleges target, recruit, and exploit these populations)

But academia — specifically, higher ed — does something different. Like my yoga teacher, they affirm what so many of us wanted to believe about ourselves: that we’re good enough, smart enough, potential-filled enough, to go to grad school. Maybe it started when you wrote a paper you were particularly proud of, and your professor told you, off-handedly, “maybe you should think about grad school.” Maybe someone else in your life — the parent of a friend, someone you nannied for, your parent — told you the same. When my undergrad professor told me as much, it was like someone had unfogged the windshield of my life: oh, yes, there’s the road in front of me!

Everyone I met in grad school had some version of this story. Once the aptitude was discerned, in our minds, into something like destiny. You ask for letters of recommendation, and your professors write them. You apply to grad schools, and some accept you. Instead of thinking about should I go to grad school, it becomes which grad school should I go to? And because you’ve already made the decision, it’s difficult to divert when the road conditions become more and more difficult.

Bad funding situation? You’ll make it work. Too many MA and PhDs means you have to “professionalize” (go to many conferences, publish many peer-reviewed papers) on your own dime? You’ll make it work. Take out loans to cover that conference travel; take out loans to live over the summer because there’s no funding available; take out loans to finish your dissertation because your school ran out of it; take out loans to travel to MLA to be one of 15 people interviewing for a job you don’t want. Again: You’ll make it work. You’re already too far down the road.

Job market’s so tight that you have to move away from your partner for a year of a post doc, then another post-doc across the country, then a job in a place far from family that pays less than a high school teacher? Again, you’ll make it work. You get to do something you love, the refrain goes. All jobs are bad, someone will tell you.

To give up is shameful, but why? Where does that shame come from? We internalize the failure as our own, instead of a failure that was set up, save for a select few, from the start. Put differently, getting spit out by the contemporary academic establishment isn’t a mark of failure; it’s a sign that the system is working as intended. Those who aren’t spit out are absorbed into the pyramid — as adjuncts, as tenure track. And no matter how much they advocate for ethical treatment, no matter how much they support graduate unions, there’s only so much you can do when your university keeps admitting graduate students.

Which isn’t to say there’s nothing. I’ve always deeply admired the Communications program at the University of Wisconsin, which only accepts as many PhD students as it honestly believes it can place in jobs. That means incredible selectivity, but it also means keeping its numbers incredibly low. (I didn’t get accepted there, which maybe should have been a sign that I should’ve have kept going!) I know a number of professors who are increasingly working with graduate students, from the beginning, on how to “professionalize” towards career paths that may or may not lead outside of academia. I know tenured professors who fund graduate student travel to conferences, and who only publish in open-source journals, and who speak frankly to their undergrad students about the realities and debt and burnout incurred through the graduate school process.

There are so many good and ethical actors within the system. But it’s not enough to counter the absorbing, flattering, hope-igniting energy of contemporary academia, which subsists on the infinite stream of students so eager for someone to tell them that the thing they love to think about it, the thing that feels nourishing and explosive and electric, they can have that thing all the time. That’s how I used to talk about my path to grad school: I wanted a way to think about the things I was thinking about for the rest of my life. All I needed was that one teacher to tell me I could. What I didn’t realize is that there were, and are, so many paths, professional and otherwise, to think about those things for the rest of my life.

To suggest as much, though, feels subversive — or at least un-American in some weird way. Of course you should pursue your dream! But what if “my dream” was actually just a fear of other options + an addiction to compliments + a few well-written undergraduate papers?

When I first suggested that yoga teacher training was an MLM, someone rightly responded: “it feels like everything today is an MLM.” That’s what happens when an industry is fully enveloped by capitalism: When a hedge fund buys a yoga company — or when universities are figured as money-making businesses, with actual consultants hired to lead them. You can blame massive constructive initiatives intended to lure students, but the real problem is the one no one wants to talk about: the massive divestment of state funds, aka tax dollars, across the board. Over the last thirty years, our elected officials have decided that higher education isn’t a societal investment. It’s a capitalist business that must sustain itself. It doesn’t matter how much the head of a graduate department wants to increase graduate pay when the budget has been squeezed so tightly and tuition has already exponentially risen to counter it. There’s no there, there.

The fault with thinking of academia as a pyramid scheme is that there’s no one at the top — just the increasingly ambivalent structure, the ever-reproducing base. You could say administration profits, or football coaches profit. But it increasingly feels like a system in which no one wins: not the students, not their … [more]
capitalism  academia  annehelenpetersen  labor  work  markets  highered  pyramidschemes  ponzischemes  yoga  mlms  multi-levelmarketingschemes  exploitation  colleges  universities  srg  gradschool 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Opinion | What Straight-A Students Get Wrong - The New York Times
"A decade ago, at the end of my first semester teaching at Wharton, a student stopped by for office hours. He sat down and burst into tears. My mind started cycling through a list of events that could make a college junior cry: His girlfriend had dumped him; he had been accused of plagiarism. “I just got my first A-minus,” he said, his voice shaking.

Year after year, I watch in dismay as students obsess over getting straight A’s. Some sacrifice their health; a few have even tried to sue their school after falling short. All have joined the cult of perfectionism out of a conviction that top marks are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers.

I was one of them. I started college with the goal of graduating with a 4.0. It would be a reflection of my brainpower and willpower, revealing that I had the right stuff to succeed. But I was wrong.

The evidence is clear: Academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence. Across industries, research shows that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and trivial within a handful of years. For example, at Google, once employees are two or three years out of college, their grades have no bearing on their performance. (Of course, it must be said that if you got D’s, you probably didn’t end up at Google.)

Academic grades rarely assess qualities like creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence. Yes, straight-A students master cramming information and regurgitating it on exams. But career success is rarely about finding the right solution to a problem — it’s more about finding the right problem to solve.

In a classic 1962 study, a team of psychologists tracked down America’s most creative architects and compared them with their technically skilled but less original peers. One of the factors that distinguished the creative architects was a record of spiky grades. “In college our creative architects earned about a B average,” Donald MacKinnon wrote. “In work and courses which caught their interest they could turn in an A performance, but in courses that failed to strike their imagination, they were quite willing to do no work at all.” They paid attention to their curiosity and prioritized activities that they found intrinsically motivating — which ultimately served them well in their careers.

Getting straight A’s requires conformity. Having an influential career demands originality. In a study of students who graduated at the top of their class, the education researcher Karen Arnold found that although they usually had successful careers, they rarely reached the upper echelons. “Valedictorians aren’t likely to be the future’s visionaries,” Dr. Arnold explained. “They typically settle into the system instead of shaking it up.”

This might explain why Steve Jobs finished high school with a 2.65 G.P.A., J.K. Rowling graduated from the University of Exeter with roughly a C average, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got only one A in his four years at Morehouse.

If your goal is to graduate without a blemish on your transcript, you end up taking easier classes and staying within your comfort zone. If you’re willing to tolerate the occasional B, you can learn to program in Python while struggling to decipher “Finnegans Wake.” You gain experience coping with failures and setbacks, which builds resilience.

Straight-A students also miss out socially. More time studying in the library means less time to start lifelong friendships, join new clubs or volunteer. I know from experience. I didn’t meet my 4.0 goal; I graduated with a 3.78. (This is the first time I’ve shared my G.P.A. since applying to graduate school 16 years ago. Really, no one cares.) Looking back, I don’t wish my grades had been higher. If I could do it over again, I’d study less. The hours I wasted memorizing the inner workings of the eye would have been better spent trying out improv comedy and having more midnight conversations about the meaning of life.

So universities: Make it easier for students to take some intellectual risks. Graduate schools can be clear that they don’t care about the difference between a 3.7 and a 3.9. Colleges could just report letter grades without pluses and minuses, so that any G.P.A. above a 3.7 appears on transcripts as an A. It might also help to stop the madness of grade inflation, which creates an academic arms race that encourages too many students to strive for meaningless perfection. And why not let students wait until the end of the semester to declare a class pass-fail, instead of forcing them to decide in the first month?

Employers: Make it clear you value skills over straight A’s. Some recruiters are already on board: In a 2003 study of over 500 job postings, nearly 15 percent of recruiters actively selected against students with high G.P.A.s (perhaps questioning their priorities and life skills), while more than 40 percent put no weight on grades in initial screening.

Straight-A students: Recognize that underachieving in school can prepare you to overachieve in life. So maybe it’s time to apply your grit to a new goal — getting at least one B before you graduate."
education  grades  grading  colleges  universities  academia  2018  adamgrant  psychology  gpa  assessment  criticalthinking  anxiety  stress  learning  howwelearn  motivation  gradschool  jkrowling  stevejobs  martinlutherkingjr  perfectionism  srg  edg  mlk 
december 2018 by robertogreco
GRE Not Required – a running list of PhD programs that cut the cord
"This website lists PhD programs which do not require GRE scores. This is an ongoing project — I am looking for collaborators willing to take charge of building lists in the social sciences, sciences and in other fields.

This information makes it easier for more departments to move away from using GRE scores and allows applicants in some fields to avoid taking this test altogether.

Applicants should confirm this information by consulting department websites themselves. (This information is normally listed in a section of a department website dedicated to applying to the PhD program.)"
gre  gradschool  standardizedtesting  srg 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Data on Community College Grads Who Earn Graduate Degrees
"The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center this week released new data on the numbers of graduate and professional degree earners who first began their postsecondary studies at a community college."

Roughly one-in-five master's degree earns, 11 percent who earned doctoral degrees and 13 percent of professional degree earners originally began at a two-year college, found the center, which tracks the progress of almost all U.S. college students.

“Community college is typically viewed as a portal to the baccalaureate degree, but this study shows that it also helps many individuals access the lifelong employment benefits associated with a master’s or doctorate,” Suzanne Ortega, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, said in a written statement. “I hope this study will inspire new strategies for helping community college students chart a path to graduate school.”

[via: http://2017trends.hackeducation.com/2017/12/16/more-for-profits ]
communitycolleges  data  2017  colleges  universities  highered  highereducation  gradschool  graduateschool  education 
january 2018 by robertogreco
A Letter to Past Graduate-Student Me - The Chronicle of Higher Education
[via: https://twitter.com/davidtedu/status/746017338625953794 ]

[my response:
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/746022572936986626
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/746022887371345920

"Why this inventory first at grad school?
1. “grades are no longer the yardstick”
2. “be critical”
3. “colleagues-in-the-making”
4. “conversation between you & the other students”
5. “skimming”
6. “curtail your competitive nature”
7. summary: responsibility ]

"Your grades. I know you’re pretty pleased with yourself for earning an A- on your senior thesis, but you need to learn that grades mean something different in graduate school. Nearly everyone gets an A- or an A in every history class, and after a certain point everything will be pass/fail. Sure, if you decide to change programs, you’ll want a high GPA. But you should stop stressing over the outcome of each semester because your grades are no longer the yardstick by which your successes will be measured.

What your professors expect — more than anything — is for you to want to learn because you’re passionate about a topic, not because you’re passionate about doing well. Stop trying to figure out grading criteria, and start wrapping your head around new trends in your subfield. "Success" is measured, in part, by your ability to identify omissions in current scholarship, and to win funding to write about them and why they matter.

Your seminars. Another thing your professors will want you to be enthusiastic about is their seminars. The hours we spend teaching graduate students are when we as faculty are most able to draw upon our own research.

Go to class regularly but remember that, at this level, professors are not here to chase you about attendance. If you have to miss seminar for a reasonable reason (you’re legitimately sick, you have a job interview, or you have a childcare or family crisis), let us know, as most of us will be sympathetic. But if you need to miss seminar because you’re hungover, didn’t do the reading, or planned a vacation without looking at the semester’s calendar, don’t explain any of that to your professors. Just take the absence, and assume that it reflects poorly on you as a student.

When you do come to class, it won’t be the same as your senior-year seminars. You’ll encounter more challenging readings. Many professors use graduate courses to both run through established, canonical texts, and to catch up on the newest scholarship in the field. So get ready for some easy readings, some articles that will make you want to throw things, and some texts that will prompt you to question why you were asked to go through them at all. As you read, remember that graduate school should transform you into a good scholar and colleague. It’s OK to be critical of a book, but you need to learn how to be critical in a constructive, respectful way. (Keep in mind: The professor might be friends with the author.)

Our teaching style might also surprise you. If it does, it’s because we are thinking of you as colleagues-in-the-making, rather than students. That means: Expect less guidance on what to make of the readings, and minimal stretches of time when we seem to feed you information. Don’t count on being told whether your comments on the reading are on track or not — you may even find that you’re expected to lead discussion and to tell fellow students whether their assessments of the reading seem convincing.

Perhaps the most significant change is that you and your fellow students’ contributions are expected to fill almost the entirety of the seminar time. You are our peers-in-training, and we expect to hear you speak more than we do during these meetings. Don’t use class time to try to have an extended conversation featuring just you and the professor. Think of seminar as a conversation between you and the other students, with the professor there to moderate discussion.

Is there someone in class who always seems to have grasped the author’s argument and the book’s significance? You should be picking up tips for strategic reading from them, rather than wondering why no one else besides you had a problem with the footnote on page 394. And while we’re at it, learn to skim (and no, Past Me, "skimming" does not mean putting the book on your lap and turning the pages faster than usual), and become best friends with book reviews.

You should be getting the sense that graduate school — starting with the master’s — is about strategic study. Spend the most time with the texts and sources that interest you. But be smart about how what you’re reading will help you write your M.A. thesis, how it will help you study for comprehensive exams, or how it will aid you as you conceptualize the dissertation (if you plan to go that far).

Be deliberate about your end-of-semester research papers. Many professors will be willing to let you bend the chronological and geographic scope of our classes if it means you will write the seminar paper that is most useful for you in the future.

Your work versus your life. So, Past Me, that’s a lot of advice about coursework — but graduate school should have work/life balance.

You’ll need to curtail your competitive nature in graduate school. Don’t get me wrong: You can and should be aware of what other people in your cohort and the cohort above you are writing and planning to publish, and you should have a sense of the significant grants in your discipline and who’s recently won them. But do not try to write "better" or faster than other people. Figure out your writing and reading styles, do what works for you, and remember that a few of your fellow students might be future colleagues. Save your competitiveness for your department’s intramural sports teams, which will provide excellent opportunities to pursue work/life balance and to get humiliated by undergraduates who are in much better shape.
You should also be a good citizen. Turn up to departmental seminars, and, if graduate students are invited, to job talks. Seminars and university lectures are good opportunities to take the pulse of a given field, and sitting in the audience might spark research ideas you hadn’t considered for your own work. Attending job talks will give you an excellent opportunity to see what works — and what doesn’t — as A.B.D.s and new Ph.D.s try to sell themselves on the job market.

Finally, banish the following phrase from your vocabulary: "No one told me that …"

Graduate school is an exercise in people not telling you things. It’s also an exercise in learning when to ask questions, and whom to ask. Make it your job to be informed. Read your graduate school’s handbook, and go speak with your department’s amazing administrators if you have initial questions. They will not say no to chocolate. Read The Professor Is In, but also ask people who were recently on the job market whether her advice worked for them in your discipline. When senior scholars come to give talks, take the opportunity to go for drinks with them if that option is available to graduate students, and seek their advice about research and publishing. Read The Chronicle’s forums. Meet regularly with your adviser, but keep in mind that you are the one who should request those meetings.

Most of all, take responsibility for your graduate-school experience. It’s going to be tough; but it’s going to be fun, too.

Hugs, caffeine, and work/life balance,

Future Me"
via:davidtheriault  skimming  howwelearn  gradschool  responsibility  highered  highereducation  sfsh  conversation  learning  criticism  criticalthinking  competition  grades  grading  measurement  assessment  seminars  rachelherrmann  tcsnmy 
june 2016 by robertogreco
How to Read for Grad School | Miriam E. Sweeney
"In graduate school the work load increases and students will find that they are expected to master two to three times the material that they were used to as an undergraduate. This can be intimidating to the point of overwhelming a student into paralysis. Following these tips should help you master your readings instead of allowing the readings to master you!

1. Read Strategically, Not Linearly. Reading for graduate school is different than reading a book for pleasure. When we read for pleasure we often start at the beginning of the book, reading carefully in a linear fashion. If you do this with your academic material, it will take twice as long and it is likely you won’t retain the right kind of information from the reading. Instead of reading linearly, read strategically. As an academic reader your job is to mine the text you are reading for information. Instead of cruising along the narrative, you need to dive in, find the information you need, and move along to the next stack of readings for class.

If you are reading a book this means you should look over the table of contents, then read the entire introduction carefully. In academic books, the introduction is where the author states all of their main points, the framework they will use, and an outline of what information will be covered in each chapter. Next, look over the last chapter. This is the conclusion, which will restate the main arguments of the author and will often contextualize these arguments in a broader context, suggest next steps, or speculate solutions or alternatives. From here you can go to the parts of the book you want deeper knowledge about. Individual chapters will be laid out similarly to the book structure with an introduction, and middle and the conclusion. Skimming the beginning and end of the chapter will give you the main points, then you can gather evidence by browsing the middle parts of the chapter. Remember, you are not really expected to read every single word of the book; your mandate is to understand the author’s main ideas, arguments, and be able to articulate why this discussion matters.

If you are reading a journal article, start by checking the name of the journal that published the article. This will key you in to the scope and boundaries that the article is working within. Next, carefully read the title and the abstract of the piece. A good abstract should clearly explain the main argument of the article, the kind of evidence the author uses, and a succinct conclusion, or what the author found out. Armed with this information, look over the introduction to see how the author is framing their work, paying attention to the citations they use. This tells you who the author is trying to be in dialogue with. Next, flip to the discussion section. Sometimes this is separate than the conclusion, sometimes not, depending on the disciplinary standards of the author and journal. Read the discussion and conclusion carefully. These sections will explain the author’s main arguments and the “why you should care” piece. Now you can go back through the article armed with the knowledge of where the author is leading you and browse over methods and results sections. Pay attention particularly to images and data visualizations. Note how these things relate to or support the discussion and conclusion sections you read.

Reading strategically instead of linearly will make you a more efficient and effective academic reader. Getting familiar with how different formats of writing are structured will give you the confidence and control to find the information you need in them more efficiently.

2. Take Notes! As you are reading strategically, you absolutely must take notes simultaneously. Otherwise it is guaranteed you will not remember the kinds of details you need to recall in class, in your paper, in your own research down the road. Develop a system of your own whether it is sticking a post-it note in the book and jotting something down, or opening up RefWorks or Zotero, or Word and throwing some notes down as you read. Whatever you do, remember that future you will have NO IDEA what present you is thinking, no matter how brilliant a thought it is. Be specific, include detailed citations and pages numbers for direct quotes so you don’t have to chase them later.

If you are reading as preparation for a class, make sure you are also jotting down 3-5 questions, observations, or provocations that you can use in class for participation. In grad school, everyone is expected to participate on a high level, so have something to say ahead of time to avoid the high-blood pressure that comes from your professor’s cold, hard stare.

3. Be purposeful. Being purposeful in your readings means that as you are moving strategically through the text you are also being deliberate about what you want to glean from the reading, what are meant to glean, and how this fits with the other readings and conversations you have had in class, along with your own life experiences. Ask yourself, “What is the author trying to say? What is motivating her exploration of this topic? What does this research contribute? What academic conversations is the author trying to align with? What are the main arguments of this piece? How does this relate to my other assigned readings?” Going in with these questions in mind will focus you as you read and aid you in pulling out the most relevant information.

4. A Critical Perspective. Lastly, applying a critical perspective in your reading is helpful for situating a reading in broader contexts. Contrary to how it sounds, being critical does not simply mean being negative or criticizing wantonly. Critical perspectives are those that trace and name flows of power: Who has power and who does not? Who benefits from particular social arrangements, and whom do they marginalize? Critical perspectives also question assumptions and values that are implicit in arguments: What values are underlying this work? What experiences and perspectives do these values privilege? How might centering different values or experiences re-frame the argument or conversation? Asking questions like this will help you have deeper conversations about your readings, and really, isn’t that the whole point of graduate school?

Time to make your reading work for you- good luck!"
reading  pedagogy  teaching  2012  miriamsweeney  howto  tutorials  studying  notetaking  criticalthinking  gradschool  howtoread  academia  academics 
february 2016 by robertogreco
tricia the wolf en Instagram: “#triciaaftergradschool - One thing that I learned over the last 8 years is that I now know the difference between commitment and co-dependence. In the process of being committed to finishing #gradschool, I became #codepend
"#triciaaftergradschool - One thing that I learned over the last 8 years is that I now know the difference between commitment and co-dependence.

In the process of being committed to finishing #gradschool, I became #codependent on finishing. Co-dependence is when you allow your emotional state to be triggered by another entity. For me, this entity morphed from student drama to fieldwork to waiting for a grant to finishing a paper and in the end writing my dissertation #synthesisnow. I used to think that it was great that I couldn’t fall asleep due to a fast beating heart because then I had the adrenaline to write more. I used to feel good about being woken up with heart palpitations because it gave me energy to process more fieldnotes. The list goes on. In the process, I stopped asking why. Why am I doing this? What is my purpose here? Why do I have to write this grant? Why do I have to panic over this paper?

In all these unnoticeable ways, I had absorbed the temporal logic of #gradschool EVEN THOUGH I didn’t even want to get an academic job! Isn’t that crazy!?!?! I allowed my own identity to become so tied to what I was doing that I stopped asking why.

But now that I’ve been done for a year and in rehabilitation to join society again, I found out that I experience insomnia, anxiety, breathing issues, writers block, and guilt when relaxing. So I’ve been working on all of that over the last year and it feels GREAT to become human again.

So now that I’m mindful of co-dependent behavior, I am also more aware of what commitment feels like. To me, commitment is a mindful decision to do something on terms that make sense for you and the parties involved. I always want to make sure wellbeing, joy, trust, and presence are the axis in which I align myself with whatever I commit to. I never want my identity to be so wrapped up in something that I can’t see the difference. I want to do this with every relationship I have whether it is with a person, job, or movement. Good bye co-dependence, hello commitment.

#triciainsandiego #sociology"

[Also here: http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119633986686/triciaaftergradschool-one-thing-that-i-learned

related posts:

https://instagram.com/p/3AGuI8t8F_/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119634222266/

"#triciaaftergradschool - I am now wondering why I never spoke to the dpt about the cruel and stifling #microaggression directed towards me and other students during #gradschool. I mean wasn’t the only one who struggled - 50% of my cohort dropped out the first year.
It was hard to even recognize the pattern because these things happened over a period of several years.

But ultimately, I didn’t think it was easy to talk to the dpt because they never explicitly encouraged or condoned any of this petty behavior. But I am realizing now that they have created and participated in a measurement obsessed structure that allows such terrible behavior to flourish.

Ultimately, sociology #gradschool as it is set up now, can model corrupt regime behavior - it’s a party of a few people creating and enforcing policies that justify their existence. This justification is done through measurement & ranking in the name of “professionalization” of #sociology. This professionalization pressure is on top of existing departmental and institutional budget cuts that decreased research funding, a broken tenure system (that no one talks about openly), and the department’s failure to help graduates get good teaching positions. In addition, the majority of cohorts are made up of young students who lack real life experience. So all of this creates a competitive anxious group of homogenous students who will engage in selfish behavior and gang up on others if they feel threatened. The people who suffer the most in this system are the few students of color or working-class backgrounds who are allowed into the program.

So while my dpt has never condoned cruelty amongst students, their policies and values foster it. It’s similar to how no US city approve of police brutality, but it happens because the system creates conditions that allow it to flourish. The macro enables the micro - that is sociology 101.

#triciainsandiego (at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AHPVPN8G-/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119634502396/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Walking into the graduate lounge is triggering memories of so much petty shit that I witnessed and was subjected to during #gradschool. Here are just a few things that come to my mind:

1. Students made fun of me for wearing high heels and reading gossip magazines.

2. Students reported to faculty that I was texting with another student in class, disrupting seminars.

3. I was repeatedly told that I wasn’t theoretical enough or fit to be a sociologist. In #sociology speak, this means you don’t belong cuz you’re too stupid to be in this program.

4. I was told by students to keep it a secret that I didn’t have plans to go into academia because the dpt will not give me grants & professors won’t engage with me. I didn’t keep it a secret. My research was never funded.

5. I was told to never publish #livefieldnotes or any blog posts about my research or else I’d never find a job.

6. Faculty reminded me several times that studying cellphones and the internet was “not sociological enough.”

7. Professors would say the dumbest shit that students would repeat & accept as truth! For example, a few faculty told us when we get tenured positions we will be more free than people who have jobs because we can do whatever we want and we’re smarter than people without Phds.

8. I dealt with sexual harassment from students and a professors.

9. A group of students told the grad director that I was creating problems amongst the grad students because I didn’t invite the to the parties that I was hosting at my house. Seriously high school shit.

#triciainsandiego #sociology (at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AIs5Nt8Jg/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635295101/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Having just visited the Stasi Museum in Berlin (above) and UCSD #socialscience building (below) for #gradschool reflections, it’s interesting to note the similarities between totalizing institutions.

By NO way am I conflating #sociology #gradschool with East Germany/GDR under the Eastern Bloc. However, I think think the line between micro individual agency & macro structural forces are so thin that my personal processing of how the Sociology dpt created a cruel environment amongst grad students is helping me understand how people can turn on each other under institutional forces.

Totalizing institutions creep into people’s lives in benign ways. A few seemingly logical policies to measure & organize people into categories can create such terrible behavior.
These policies are always created by privileged elites who use it to justify their own existence & actions. And then a few sane ones start to question their own sanity, & perhaps to survive they go along with some of the policies.

I saw this happening in my #sociology department on a very small & benign scale. It happened even to me. The professionalization of sociology is treating people as ranked numbers to be slotted into categories that deem intelligence. Individual well-being is cast aside for the sake of the institution’s mission. If a student doesn’t perform like a normative #sociologist, then you’re marked as abnormal.

During my time, I eventually performed “sociology”. I wrote in the 3rd voice to appear more objective. I generated undecipherable intellectual garble papers. I formulated causal models, hypothesizing all sorts of variable isolation. I excelled in theory classes & became successful at obtaining funding from scientific instit. But I was miserable.

Eventually my mentors helped me realize that I had lost my voice as a writer. I wrote like a boring sociologist removed from society. That scared the shit out of me. Doing ethnographic work saved me, by observing humans I became human again.

All totalizing institutions become experts at removing the human experience, because once they do that, they can program people to do anything."

https://instagram.com/p/3AJO0Gt8KP/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635578466/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Today, I voluntarily came to UCSD #socialscience #sociology building for the first time post #gradschool. Lots of memories are coming back. When I first started grad school, I so badly wanted to enjoy it. I had this vision that I would weave a fun life between working in NYC and reading sociology books on #sandiego beaches.
Man was I wrong. I was so miserable in the program but I didn’t realize how terrible it was until this trip. I don’t think I ever truly allowed myself to acknowledge or even admit how traumatic it was on me while I was in the program. Why do so many experience #gradshcool as isolating, dark, and depressive? Why does it have to be this way when getting any degree, much less a PhD, is such an act of privilege and luck. Brilliant people around the world don’t even get the chance to read books much less step inside a university just because they were born into failed systems. I think I felt this weight of privilege on me, so I didn’t want to even allow myself to come off as unappreciative of this fabulous life I have as a Westerner. But that’s my reason, is there a larger reasons that cuts across all programs?

#triciainsandiego #gradschool #sociology

(at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AJ6efN8LO/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635943301/

"#triciaaftergradschool - I am a fucking doctor. That’s right, I have a fucking phd. I am so proud of myself for getting this credential.

Although I think it’s important to remember that credentials do not reflect the quality of a person’s skillsets or intelligence. It makes me sick that #gradschool promotes intellectual superiority within our degree obsessed society.

… [more]
triciaang  2015  ucsd  gradschool  education  commitment  co-dependence  sociology  academia  richardmadsen  thewhy  purpose  triciawang  capitalism  highereducation  highered  2014  socialsciences  measurement  ranking  funding  research  behavior  groupdynamics  professionalization  control  dehumanization  elitism  privilege  isolation  objectivity  self-justification  bullying  systemicracism  institutions  institutionalizedracism  abuse  institutionalizedabuse  classism  class 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Where Do English Ph.D.’s Get Jobs? It Depends on Where They Studied. | Vitae
"First off, tiering is a powerful force. If you go to one of the top six English programs, like those at the University of California at Berkeley or the University of Pennsylvania, you’ve got a roughly 54-percent chance of winding up in a tenure-track job. (We’ll get into the caveats later.) But if you go to a program in a lower tier—say, at the University of Texas at Austin or Boston University—your chances become slimmer. Those institutions belong to the second tier (programs ranked seventh through 26th) and the third tier (the 29th through 62nd ranked programs), respectively. In those groups, the percentage of Ph.D’s who have landed tenure-track jobs sinks below 50.

From Ph.D. to the professorship, the market moves downward. Of the graduates who get tenure-track jobs, most end up at universities ranked lower than the ones they attended. Virtually no one moves up. Even moving from a fourth-tier Ph.D. program to a tenure-track professorship at a third-tier one is nearly unheard of.

Here's a breakdown of where graduates from each tier end up—if they take tenure-track jobs at other universities with graduate programs, that is. (Liberal-arts and community colleges are taken out of the equation this time.) Not only do graduates of third-tier programs almost never move up to first- or second-tier ones; they almost all move down from the third tier, too.

Overall, the top-six programs get almost 60 percent of their tenure-track professors from other top-six programs, Colander writes. And over 90 percent from programs ranked 28th or higher. They get no professors from programs ranked 63rd or lower."
academia  labor  colleges  universities  gradschool  2015  economics 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Why I didn’t go to grad school the second time. | Ordinary Times
""And then I experienced a moment of clarity. Within my head I heard a dialog with two distinct voices:

“What are you going to do after you finish your Ph.D? Do you want to teach?” said the calm voice.

“Maybe. I don’t know,” said the angry voice.

“Well what do you know you want to do after you get your doctorate?”

“After I get my doctorate I want to build a big boat.”

“Will getting your doctorate help you on your way to building your boat?”

“It might. If I get my Ph.D I might be able to sell more DVDs or a book and get more money.”

“Do you need to get more money to build your boat?”

“No.”

“Is there some reason you can’t start building your boat right now?”

“No.”

“Then why do you want to get a Ph.D?”

“Because I want to show them.”

“Show them what? What do you want to show them?”

“I want to show them that I’m right and they’re wrong.”

And just like that, I stopped think about going back to school and started thinking about what I needed to do to build my boat.

And then I built Mon Tiki.



Who are them? Who knows. My parents? Teachers? The bloggers who would delete my trenchant comments instead of responding to them? All of them? Does it matter? Probably not.

I don’t know what the good reasons are for going to grad school, but I’m pretty sure “to show them” isn’t one of them; not for me at least, not where I am in my life. There are more interesting and important things for me to do.

That doesn’t mean I’m completely over it.

My USCG Master Captain’s license and Mon Tiki’s CIO are only meaningful certifications I’ve ever received, and I’ve got to tell you, after a lifetime of being an uncredentialled outsider, it’s nice to be on the inside of something, to have a stamp from Authority that says “QUALIFIED”, and I still think it would be nice to get my creative work similarly endorsed.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I applied for an internship with a Brand Name media company. The pay was ridiculously low, less even than what I paid my unskilled laborers on Mon Tiki. But I wasn’t doing it for the money (which is not to say we couldn’t use the money. Building Mon Tiki has left us drained.) But more than the money, I thought it would be nice to have my writing appear under the aegis of a Brand Name media company. I thought would be nice, just for once, to be a part of an organization. I thought it would be nice, just for once, to not have to explain Who I Am as a preamble to what I think.

So just like when I thought I needed to wrap my films in a Ph.D, I asked some important people I know to sign on as references. And they did and wished me good luck. Affirmation!

And unlike the Ph.D thing, I didn’t bail. I went after the job full tilt, all in, do or die. Interview and everything.

And you know what happened?

They didn’t hire me.

They said that the spirit of the internship was educational, and that giving a 47 year-old man with an established career (albeit in another field) would be taking away from a younger person who could really use the break.

Whether that was a dodge because I wasn’t the best candidate, or their were concerns about my age, or it was the simple truth I don’t know. I have no reason to think it wasn’t, but whatever. That’s not the point.

The point, if I have one, is that if you’re considering going to grad school, or your considering writing for free, or your considering taking an internship at a Brand Name media company, or your considering building a big boat, you probably have more agency than you realize. You will probably do okay if your priorities doing what you want to do, if you can actually manage to figure out what that is. This might not be easy, but I think it’s easier than the other options."
education  davidryan  via:kio  learning  doing  glvo  edg  srg  gradschool  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  credentials  academia  making  2013  selfeducation 
january 2014 by robertogreco
How to be less of a jerk to students with anxiety disorders | Critical Spontaneity
"This list is dedicated to all of the brilliant and emotional and scared students out there:

1.) The only way to get rid of anxiety is to stop procrastinating and just do it. Anxiety is a result of your guilt and procrastinating will only make your amount of anxiety grow!

Thanks, Nike. I’m pretty sure that Anxiety Disorders are a serious mental health issue that can’t be overcome by recognizing they’re not helpful. Those of us with anxiety issues don’t choose to have them because it seems like a reasonable choice for overcoming procrastination.

2.) Maybe you should just do what makes you happy and find an occupation or program that is easier for you.

So I understand that victim-blaming is easier than shifting the dominant elite framework that academia is founded upon, but struggling is not a sign that a student is less intelligent. It perhaps says that the institution itself is ableist and psychophobic. You know what would make me happier? Being able to stop kicking myself for having self-doubt and feeling overwhelming guilt when I don’t perform in an exceptional manner. You know what would make things easier for me? If people would realize that it’s not my fault for being afraid of authority, mistrusting counselors and administrators, or being afraid to ask for help. There is a lot of stigma out there for people with anxiety issues. It would be easier for me if that stigma was challenged, rather than me as an individual.

3.) We all went through it. We’re all tired and overworked.

Cool story bro, but I didn’t realize I was going through fraternity initiation. This is the most annoying answer. I’m super tired *yawn* of these one-upping competitions people engage in to dismiss mutual hardships. “I only slept 4 hours” and then the next person says “I only slept 3 hours and had an energy drink instead of breakfast!” doesn’t fix anyone’s problems. As a woman of color, I have heard “be less emotional” or “try harder to overcome” enough times.

4.) Have you been to the counseling center? A counselor would be a better person to talk to right now. …

5.) Have you considered taking medication? My friend Joe Smith takes medicine and he’s much better now. …

6.) You should just do yoga or start running. …

7.) Did you finish yet? How about now? How about now?

8.) You can’t prove that your dad is dying. If you have trouble coping, you should have filed your issue with Student Disability Services at the beginning of the semester.

9.) You should be less public about this. It might hurt your career.

Oh you mean like that one time I didn’t get a position because I talked about mental health advocacy as one of my most passionate topics? You mean like that one time I talked about my mental health issues and was magically seen as “crazy” whenever I had a legitimate critique of patriarchy at meetings? Pathologizing has always been a swift tool of dismissal. Guess what? It has hurt my career, but I don’t want to be a part of a space that can’t make room for mental health issues to be at the table. Even in “progressive” spaces I experience the same militancy and policing around emotions and mental health. We can’t dismantle systems of oppression by emulating them!

Furthermore, I’ve lost track of the amount of other students who message me about eating disorders, anxiety, and guilt because they don’t know who else to talk to. I do have to be public about it even if it alarms or annoys you because of all of these people who matter (just like me).

10.) You’ll get through it if you’re meant to get through it.

There are some very warm-hearted and lovely people I know that have quit graduate school because it felt more like The Hunger Games than a collaborative learning environment. We need to stop applying a “survival of the fittest” mentality to academic success, wherein intelligence is linked to ability to endure rigor. I think it’s a huge loss of the academy that people I know to be brilliant and life changing have quit due to a lack of support.

11.) Social media and your blog should be a marketing tool for you to boost your voice and platform, not a diary. …"
highered  highereducation  empathy  mentalhealth  health  hazing  2013  sueypark  anxiety  anxietydisorders  compassion  procrastination  guilt  work  life  careers  academia  gradschool  support 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Real Reason I Dropped Out of a PhD Program
"I was disillusioned by the institution of higher education. I still am. But my disillusionment about grad school involves much more than simply the unhappy prospects for the academic job market. I saw the university care more about sports than learning. I saw undergrads care more about getting their diplomas than learning. I’d once believed I wanted to be part of a scholarly community, but “community” was sorely lacking, as was oftentimes the scholarship. And while I wanted to spend my life immersed in learning and teaching and writing, I just couldn’t reconcile “the life of the mind” with the whims of university administrators, state politicians, state budgets. I couldn’t reconcile “the life of the mind” with the demands of the physical world, the demands of the physical body."



"I quit because I’d lost the stomach for being part of the institution of higher education — one that wasn’t sustaining me intellectually, financially or spiritually; one that wanted me to teach classes for very low wages — as a grad student and then likely as an adjunct faculty member. I quit because I was exhausted and couldn’t handle the obstacle course that grad school and the academic job market still required my running through. I quit because I needed to heal from the trauma of watching Anthony die. I quit because far from that so-called Ivory Tower being a place of solace and contemplation, it had become a nightmare of bureaucracy and politics. I quit because I didn’t want to be a cog in that machine. I quit because I felt the system was broken. And at the time, I was broken too."
adjunct  healthinsurance  death  life  2005  2004  2012  education  markets  labor  exploitation  highereducation  highered  audreywatters  academia  gradschool 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Amanda Krauss -- Pulling the Plug - Worst Professor Ever
"Only when the humanities can earn their own keep will they be respected in modern America…will only happen when you convince majority of people to be interested, of their own volition, rather than begging/guilting them into giving you money to translate your obscure French poem on vague grounds of “caring about culture.”…either figure something out, or shut up & accept that the humanities are an inherently elite activity that will rely on feudal patronage. Just like they always have. (If you think of Maslow’s hierarchy, it’s obvious why leisure class, which generally has money, sex, food, & security taken care of, has been in charge of learning.)

You have no idea how much it pains me to say this, but speaking from experience I now believe that private industry is doing a better job of communicating, persuading, innovating, of everything university has stopped doing. I do not take this as indicator of how well capitalism works…[but] of how badly universities have failed…"
education  change  academia  criticism  higheredbubble  highereducation  capitalism  2011  amandakrauss  humanities  relevance  money  gradschool  autodidacts  unschooling  deschooling  importance  via:ayjay  irrelevance 
august 2011 by robertogreco
DIY GRAD SCHOOL: HOW TO: Start Your Own Creative MFA Program
"We all truly believe that with enough passion, self-discipline, hard work and persistence, we can support each other to go far in our respective creative fields. And the beauty of this educational model is that anybody can replicate what we--along with many other informal groups, tribes and collectives all over the world--are doing within the comforts of someone's living room, coffee house or library."<br />
<br />
[Also posted with video here: http://www.intent.com/yumi/blog/how-join-diy-self-education-movement ]
diygradschool  diy  gradschool  mfa  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  howto  tutorial 
july 2011 by robertogreco
DIY GRAD SCHOOL
DIY Grad School is a self-curated MFA graduate program that seeks to question our current higher educational system through the use of technology, multi-media interaction, peer groups of learning, community art and music events, and the praxis where theory and practice meet.

This is an on-going performance piece that seeps out of a yearning to comprehend the world, using 2D drawing and painting, performance, theory, writing, music, film, etc. to articulate the journey as artists living in this new decade.
diy  highereducation  gradschool  highered  learning  art  mfa  performanceart  education  unschooling  deschooling  diygradschool  leisurearts  artleisure 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education | The Nation
"…leadership will have to come from somewhere else, as well. Just as in society as a whole, the academic upper middle class needs to rethink its alliances. Its dignity will not survive forever if it doesn’t fight for that of everyone below it in the academic hierarchy. For all its pretensions to public importance…the professoriate is awfully quiet, essentially nonexistent as a collective voice. If academia is going to once again become a decent place to work, if our best young minds are going to be attracted back to the profession, if higher education is going to be reclaimed as part of the American promise, if teaching and research are going to make the country strong again, then professors need to get off their backsides and organize: department by department, institution to institution, state by state and across the nation as a whole. Tenured professors enjoy the strongest speech protections in society. It’s time they started using them."
education  culture  teaching  politics  economics  highereducation  highered  hierarchy  society  voice  speakingout  2011  williamderesiewicz  colleges  universities  labor  gradschool  money  efficiency  markets  fairness  inequality  inequity  disparity  academia  liberalarts 
may 2011 by robertogreco
How Grad School Is Like Trying to Make the NBA - storify.com
"What do you tell a smart, committed undergraduate who wants to become a professor and pursue a PhD?"
education  highered  highereducation  timcarmody  sports  gradschool  teaching  nba  basketball  comparison  2010 
april 2011 by robertogreco
CIEL-The Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning
"The Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning is a growing network of distinguished, progressive higher education institutions.

Faculty members share ideas among faculty in the network, broadening their resources for teaching, curriculum development, assessment, and research.

Students present their academic work in the online student journal and at annual symposia.  Students also participate in exchanges at CIEL member campuses or in study abroad programs offered through the network.

CIEL also engages in outreach to the higher education community to share best practices in place among the CIEL institutions.

We share a common goal: to advance innovations in student learning."
teaching  collaboration  education  learning  online  highereducation  highered  progressive  ciel  evergreenstatecollege  prescottcollege  hampshirecollege  pitzercollege  fairhavencollege  alvernocollege  newcollegeofflorida  universityofredlands  altgdp  gradschool  learningenvironments  lcproject  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  alternative 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Goodbye academia, I get a life. – blog.devicerandom
"One of my first memories is myself, 5 years old, going to my mother and declare to her, as serious as only children can be: “I will be a scientist.”

Yesterday night I was in my office in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge packing my stuff, resolved to not go back to research again -at least not in the shortcoming future.

What has gone wrong?"

"It has been long and painful to discover that it was just an illusion. When I found that academia was not working for me, I got immediately depressed -my whole worldview was crumbling. Then I remembered that I had a life. I liked my life. I had a billion things that I loved to do. I want to do them again. Quitting and reclaiming back your life is not failing. It is waking up and winning."
academia  science  education  research  life  profzischeme  ponzischemes  highereducation  highered  gradschool 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: How and why I'll do a PhD
"I will (and have already) publicly declared my commitment to understanding and attempting to apply the apparent rigor, depth and discipline required for recognition as a Doctor of Philosophy, but will do so informally. That is, without enrolling or submitting to an institution, faculty, discipline area or assigned supervisors. Instead, I will direct myself, using online social networks, professional contacts, all workshop and seminar opportunities that present themselves, and family and fiends to test my ideas, check the quality of my work, and help build its worthiness in line with the criteria I aim to discover. Through open documentation of our dialog, this network will play the role, and reflect an equivalence of traditional PhD supervisors. When I feel confident that I understand and have met the requirements of the PhD, I will submit a summative body of work to an assessing organisation, if there is one willing to play this role, and await their verdict."
leighblackall  phd  autodidacts  research  informal  highered  learning  education  highereducation  gradschool  alternative  openeducation 
november 2010 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » WCYDWT: Dirt
"Frankly, Dan, graduate school will be mostly a waste of time for you. You’re already so far ahead of the thinking of so many mathematics teachers and, dare I say it? mathematics teacher-educators that I wonder if what you’re going to be exposed to and expected to conform to in a doctoral program will improve or dull your mind. Maybe that’s unfair to Stanford, or merely reflective of my own ambivalent relationship with doctoral programs and academia. And perhaps also part of my fond wish that more folks with really great, original minds just forego the rigidity of traditional Ph.D programs if at all possible and carve out their own ground, establish legitimacy through the high quality of their work (as you are CLEARLY well on your way to doing), and let the paper chasers do what seems to pass for establishing their bona fides as insiders who alternately sneer at and quake from fear of originals and iconoclasts."
gradschool  education  academia  alternative  altgdp  unschooling  deschooling  schools  learning  iconoclasm  cv  breakingout  closedsystems  rigidity  convention  degrees  credentials  legitimacy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
What Is It About 20-Somethings? - NYTimes.com [This piece has popped up everywhere.]
"KENISTON CALLED IT youth, Arnett calls it emerging adulthood; whatever it’s called, the delayed transition has been observed for years. …“It’s somewhat terrifying,” writes a 25-year-old…“to think about all the things I’m supposed to be doing in order to ‘get somewhere’ successful: ‘Follow your passions, live your dreams, take risks, network w/ the right people, find mentors, be financially responsible, volunteer, work, think about or go to grad school, fall in love & maintain personal well-being, mental health & nutrition.’ When is there time to just be & enjoy?” Adds a 24-year-old: “…It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”

While the complaints of these young people are heartfelt, they are also the complaints of the privileged.

The fact that emerging adulthood is not universal is one of the strongest arguments against Arnett’s claim that it is a new developmental stage. If emerging adulthood is so important, why is it even possible to skip it?"
babyboomers  change  culture  education  future  millennials  greatrecession  generationy  adulthood  2010  life  maturation  society  parenting  parenthood  growingup  adolescence  prolongedadolescence  childlaborlaws  sociology  psychology  us  generation  youth  generations  marriage  careers  highereducation  gradschool  intimacy  isolation  possibility  jobs  work  neuroscience  brain  cognition  puberty  helicopterparents  developmentalpsychology  emergingadulthood  self  autonomy  independence  schooling  schooliness  decisionmaking  uncertainty  helicopterparenting  boomers 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Anhoek School
"Our aim is to foster a reckless kind of genius that rips across disciplines and is always conscious that the work of the classroom should not stay in the classroom. Are we a training camp? Are we an observatory? Are we a university? It is yet to be determined.

What is certain is that we opt for a hands-on examination of marginal pedagogies that stress horizontal teaching methodologies (i.e.: the student is not an empty vessel filled with the teacher's knowledge. The student is a free agent responsible for applying a certain rigor and specificity to their investigation, interpretation and school-based collaboration with the teacher) In keeping with this sentiment, future teachers will curate syllabi that ricochet between their own field of investigation and materials that confound their expertise. Students and teachers will aid one another in navigating theories, strange and beautiful or say, repulsive but persuasive."
activism  gradschool  nyc  pedagogy  brooklyn  self-education  economics  education  nomadic  lcproject  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  tcsnmy  art  community  nomads 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Neither a Trap Nor a Lie - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"We must operate with the understanding that graduate school is not necessarily a successful professional degree for most students. That may mean we need to recognize the emotional reasons why many students decide to attend graduate school. And yet I am aware that the current job market rewards skills such as focus, expertise, analysis, and productivity. We must somehow inculcate those professional skills while appealing to the contradictory desires that bring our students to graduate school in the first place despite its obvious dangers.
gradschool  academics  academia  humanities  careers  education  employment  highered 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Transdisciplinary Design Transblog | Parsons The New School for Design
"Transblog is a space to explore at greater length the questions and the issues that are fueling Transdisciplinary design theory, practice, and education. It is an extension of the culture of the Transdisciplinary Design graduate program in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design—the ideas, conversations, and disagreements that make the program so exciting. And it is a chance for you to take part.

The graduate MFA Transdiscipinary Design at Parsons is an open experiment that gives form and substance to the emergent design practices that go beyond traditional disciplinary ones. Because of that, we are constantly in the process of defining Transdisciplinary design, and in a certain sense we will always be. For this reason, discussion, dialogue and reflection are central to the process."
parsons  mapping  transdisciplinary  maps  nyc  mfa  universities  education  blogger  design  schools  methodology  graphicdesign  us  technology  gradschool  designtheory  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  practice  blogs 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Journeyman again
"In 1997, after leaving academia for a job in the corporate world, I wrote the first version of this essay, and argued that the life of the mind could be pursued as effectively and happily outside the academy as inside. Others have since made the same discoveries and similar arguments; all challenge the traditional views of scholarly life, and the comfortable provincialism of academic culture. The world of learning is a big place; the number of worlds that will find good uses for young scholars is far larger than you think; and the limits your advisors think you live under don't really exist. It's time to find out how to live differently."
alexsoojung-kimpang  humanities  philosophy  academia  jobs  academics  gradschool  phd  highered  writing  life  learning  gamechanging 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Just Don't Go, Part 2 - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"There is, however, another category of student that I would like to see going to graduate school, although I would not ask anyone to take on such a collective responsibility. Perhaps members of a generation that enters graduate school with no expectations of an academic position — who never even consider, for one moment, that they will become tenure-track professors — will bring about positive change in the way things are taught. Such students will be less beholden to advisers, and empowered to demand that courses have some relationship to existing opportunities. With an eye to careers outside academe, they will challenge the tyranny of the monograph; they might seek technical skills; they will want to speak to a wider public; and they will be more open to movement between academe and the "outside world" than previous generations, who were taught to regard anything but the professorial life as failure from which one could never return."
academia  thomasbenton  colleges  universities  gradschool  humanities  capitalism  money  education  jobs  truth  advice 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Big Lie About the 'Life of the Mind' - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Some professors tell students to go to graduate school "only if you can't imagine doing anything else." But they usually are saying that to students who have been inside an educational institution for their entire lives. They simply do not know what else is out there. They know how to navigate school, and they think they know what it is like to be a professor.
thomasbenton  education  gradschool  economics  academia  humanities  criticism  jobs  commentary  highered  phd  admissions  advice  universities  money 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"most prospective graduate students have given little thought to what will happen to them after they complete their doctorates...assume that everyone finds a decent position somewhere, even if it's "only" at a community college (expressed with a shudder). Besides, the completion of graduate school seems impossibly far away, so their concerns are mostly focused on the present...It's hard to tell young people that universities recognize that their idealism & energy — & lack of information — are an exploitable resource. For universities, the impact of graduate programs on the lives of those students is an acceptable externality, like dumping toxins into a river. If you cannot find a tenure-track position, your university will no longer court you; it will pretend you do not exist and will act as if your unemployability is entirely your fault. It will make you feel ashamed, & you will probably just disappear, convinced it's right rather than that the game was rigged from the beginning."
education  gradschool  humanities  academia  capitalism  advice  tips  phd  teaching  future  academics  jobs  reality  graduateschool  learning  unschooling  deschooling  society  hierarchy  exploitation  universities  colleges  thomasbenton 
january 2010 by robertogreco
College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara
"A former student once described the CCS as "a graduate school for undergraduates." This is an apt description, not in the sense that we expect freshmen to enter CCS with a disciplinary knowledge base equal to that of a graduate student, but we do expect the same level of passion and commitment to the discipline. ...
ccs  ucsb  ccsucsb  colleges  universities  gradschool  academics  undergraduate  education  learning  progressive  alternative  art  altgdp 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: Anti-Teaching [see the comments too, quotes below are from them]
"I was always so frustrated by the private parallelism of school - 100 people all writing the same report at the same time. Or writing the same report year after year after year. What a waste...[CCS at UCSB is] just 1960s alternative education...I've tried to avoid letter grades in my seminars at Penn & the students hate it. They're conditioned to judge themselves that way & I think rightly fearful that an anti-grade orientation on individual projects is just a mask for an arbitrary grade at the end of the course. My arts students at UArts go for it & portfolio grading seems to be the prevailing trend in writing programs at least; I think it could work for literature courses as well. Ideally I think education is more about modeling tools than transmitting information -- although...Next semester I'm experimenting with a course structure that frontloads content & backloads research & writing tools -- exactly so students have the time to do something synthetic."
anti-teaching  michaelwesch  snarkmarket  teaching  education  learning  synthesis  content  tools  alternative  assessment  grading  classsize  colleges  universities  lcproject  tcsnmy  grades  ucsb  ccsucsb  ccs  deschooling  unschooling  progressive  unlearning  gradschool 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The Case for Working With Your Hands - NYTimes.com
"If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college. Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things." ... "Those who work on the lower rungs of the information-age office hierarchy face their own kinds of unreality, as I learned some time ago." ... "A good job requires a field of action where you can put your best capacities to work and see an effect in the world. Academic credentials do not guarantee this." ... "The visceral experience of failure seems to have been edited out of the career trajectories of gifted students. It stands to reason, then, that those who end up making big decisions that affect all of us don’t seem to have much sense of their own fallibility, and of how badly things can go wrong even with the best of intentions"

[so much here to quote, see also: http://www.slate.com/id/2218650/pagenum/all/ ]
education  learning  well-being  life  cv  making  doing  crisis  highereducation  colleges  universities  middlemanagement  matthewcrawford  alternative  careers  unschooling  deschooling  careerism  society  class  failure  moralhazard  credentials  gradschool  degrees  meaning  happiness  fulfillment  economics  mechanics  macroeconomics  philosophy 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - End the University as We Know It - NYTimes.com
"Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education & create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses & every 7 years each one should be evaluated & either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water. ... a Water program ... more pressing problem than oil ... pose significant scientific, technological and ecological difficulties as well as serious political & economic challenges. ... would bring together people in the humanities, arts, social & natural sciences w/ representatives from professional schools like medicine, law, business, engineering, social work, theology & architecture. Through the intersection of multiple perspectives & approaches, new theoretical insights will develop & unexpected practical solutions will emerge."
education  interdisciplinary  gradschool  colleges  universities  problemsolving  gamechanging  reform  change  tcsnmy  learning  deschooling  humanities  academia  tenure  collaboration  curriculum  disciplines  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  interdepartmental  graduateschool 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Anthony Grafton on graduate school, and the uncertain nature of big decisions
"bigger problem that people & organizations face when thinking about future: we tend to confine our research to cases that are relatively easy to find & look only at successes, not at failures. Getting a handle on that space-- or at least a more realistic appreciation of likelihood of unexpected happening-- is one of the toughest things you can do...After all, success is what we want & it's easy to understand; failure is what we want to avoid & people fail for all sorts of unpredictable reasons. Success if what a strategy, good decision or first-rate school can bring you; failure is what'll happen if you don't get those things. We don't explore the possibility that we could get those things, execute properly & still not reach our goal; but it happens all the time. Success, we think, is comprehensible & predictable; failure is random, or something that'll happen to others. But in reality, we're probably going to end up one of those others. We're better off if we know that in advance."
success  failure  planning  future  parenting  education  gradschool  learning  academia  schools  tcsnmy  blackswans  unpredictability  predictablity  alexsoojung-kimpang  predictions  organizations  behavior  psychology 
april 2009 by robertogreco
What You Should Consider Before Education Graduate School - On Education (usnews.com)
"If you're thinking about going into teaching, take heed of this message from Katherine Merseth, a senior lecturer and director of the teacher education program at Harvard University: "The dirty little secret about schools of education is that they have been the cash cows of universities for many, many years, and it's time to say, 'Show us what you can do, or get out of the business.'"" No new news here, but I wish more people were aware of this fact.
teaching  credentials  academia  gradschool  education  wasteofmoney  cashcows  cv  residencies  deschooling  waste  corruption  worstpractices  via:cburell 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Don't try to dodge the recession with grad school | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist
"1. Grad school pointlessly delays adulthood. 2. PhD programs are pyramid schemes 3. Business school is not going to help 90% of the people who go. 4. Law school is a factory for depressives. 5. The medical school model assumes that health care spending is not a mess. 6. Going to grad school is like going into the military. 7. Most jobs are better than they seem: You can learn from any job. 8. Graduate school forces you to overinvest: It’s too high risk."

[via: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/03/was-recent-productivity-growth-an-illusion.html ]
gradschool  education  investment  money  finance  learning  economics  management  advice  medicine  mba  recession  crisis  2009  risk  penelopetrunk 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The importance of stupidity in scientific research -- Schwartz 121 (11): 1771 -- Journal of Cell Science
"Productive stupidity means being ignorant by choice. Focusing on important questions puts us in the awkward position of being ignorant. One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. No doubt, reasonable levels of confidence and emotional resilience help, but I think scientific education might do more to ease what is a very big transition: from learning what other people once discovered to making your own discoveries. The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries."
science  methodology  agnotology  education  learning  academia  thinking  research  skills  creativity  philosophy  motivation  gradschool  phd  via:migurski 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The New School – A New York College | University
"The New School is a legendary, progressive university comprising eight schools bound by a common, unusual intent: to prepare and inspire its 9,400 undergraduate and graduate students to bring actual, positive change to the world. From its Greenwich Village campus, The New School launches economists and actors, fashion designers and urban planners, dancers and anthropologists, orchestra conductors, filmmakers, political scientists, organizational experts, jazz musicians, scholars, psychologists, historians, journalists, and above all, world citizens-individuals whose ideas and innovations forge new paths of progress in the arts, design, humanities, public policy, and the social sciences. In addition to its 70 graduate and undergraduate degree-granting programs, the university offers certificate programs and more than 1,000 continuing education courses to 13,000 adult learners every year."
design  education  nyc  gradschool  altgdp  psychology  academia  highereducation  colleges  universities  alternative  progressive  newschool  parsons  graduate  schools  learning  philosophy 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: If you could change your life
"'m offering an apprenticeship/not-internship/graduate school/charm school track-changing opportunity to a few people this winter. It's free, it's fairly audacious and I hope you'll check it out. It might not be for you (in fact, it probably isn't) but I have no doubt that you know people who might be interested.

I'm convinced that there are people out there who--given the right teaching, encouragement and opportunity--can change the world. I'm hoping you can prove me right. You don't have much time and there are only a few slots, so if you're even flirting with this idea, check out the lens here.
Two years at business school is a lot of time (and money) to spend to change paths these days. Most people over 20 can't afford either. I think six months might be a lot more do-able."

[see also: http://www.squidoo.com/Alternative-MBA ]
education  learning  leadership  careers  sethgodin  mba  alternative  apprenticeships  lcproject  gradschool  internships  marketing 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Don't go to business school - Instead of getting an MBA, consider spending six months in my office
"If you're stuck in a dead end job in publishing, or if you made a not-so-great choice in getting your career started, or if you thought Wall Street would be a different place, or if you just got laid off, or if you're not crazy about fretting away the next six months waiting to get fired and you're not quite ready to start your own gig... this might be the turbolift you were hoping for. Yes, it's free.
It's a chance to get off that track and onto a new track, faster and cheaper than most of the alternatives. And it might even be fun."

[see also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/12/if-you-could-ch.html ]
education  learning  leadership  careers  sethgodin  mba  alternative  apprenticeships  lcproject  gradschool  internships  marketing 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The American Scholar - The Disadvantages of an Elite Education - By William Deresiewicz - "Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers"
"What happens when busyness and sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection, I put it to my students that day, is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspecti
education  assessment  culture  academia  colleges  universities  academics  admissions  elitism  diversity  criticism  gradschool  ivyleague  psychology  society  success  learning  meritocracy  intellect  identity  humanities  humanism  motivation  money  happiness  hierarchy  scholarship  pedagogy  teaching 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Calit2 : California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
"Calit2 represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of the best minds (both on and beyond UC campuses) in a way that had been impossible earlier."
sandiego  ucsd  lajolla  glvo  calit2  classideas  math  education  engineering  art  academia  research  science  telecom  mobile  phones  mobility  communication  interdisciplinary  collaboration  gradschool  telecommunications  multidisciplinary  innovation  prototyping  design 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Conclusion: Interdisciplinarity is Dead
"has always been compelling, but terribly naive and awkward. Getting everyone together in one room...spend time together...a start. I think it’s absolutely vital — a requirement — that you practice the other disciplines that contribute to the projec
interdisciplinary  design  education  research  art  trends  julianbleecker  future  academia  gradschool  alternative  altgdp  learning  mentoring 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Grockit - Learning 2.0
"Grockit's mission is to abolish Education and replace it with Learning...to develop our MMOL (Massive Multi-Player Online Learning) game."
MMO  homeschool  social  socialnetworking  games  mba  business  multiplayer  collaborative  education  entrepreneurship  gradschool  alternative  tutoring  testing  gmat  elearning  simulations  finance  learning  teaching  study  software  collaboration  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  online  internet  web 
september 2007 by robertogreco
You and Your Research
"If you read all the time what other people have done you will think the way they thought. If you want to think new thoughts that are different, then do what a lot of creative people do - get the problem reasonably clear and then refuse to look at any answers until you've thought the problem through carefully how you would do it, how you could slightly change the problem to be the correct one. So yes, you need to keep up. You need to keep up more to find out what the problems are than to read to find the solutions. The reading is necessary to know what is going on and what is possible. But reading to get the solutions does not seem to be the way to do great research. So I'll give you two answers. You read; but it is not the amount, it is the way you read that counts."
reading  writing  research  teaching  reference  academia  advice  collaboration  communication  creativity  design  education  engineering  science  planning  people  management  howto  ideas  innovation  knowledge  learning  life  tips  wisdom  society  attitudes  methodology  methods  motivation  cooperation  success  strategy  simplicity  pedagogy  productivity  gradschool  philosophy  gtd  happiness  procrastination 
february 2007 by robertogreco
The Best Design Schools
Business Week's design school issue including focus on demand for creatives in business
creative  future  education  gradschool  innovation  management  reference  schools  colleges  universities  business  design 
november 2006 by robertogreco
Confessions of a Community College Dean: Ask the Administrator: Stopping the Cycle of Abuse
"At the risk of alienating my entire readership and everybody with whom I work, I’d strongly advise against targeting a career as a college history professor."
academia  schools  life  gradschool  economics  culture  careers  colleges  universities 
november 2005 by robertogreco
THREE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AN ACADEMIC AND AN INTELLECTUAL
"1. An academic has and wants an audience disproportionately made up of teachers and students, while an intellectual has and wants teachers and students in his audience only in proportion to their place in the general educated public. 2. An academic is a specialist who has disciplined his curiosity to operate largely within a designated area, while an intellectual is a generalist who deliberately does otherwise. 3. An academic is concerned with substance and suspicious of style, while an intellectual is suspicious of any substance that purports to transcend or defy style."



"Tenured faculty, the aristocracy of the university, have been disgracefully complicit in the creation of an academic helot class to subsidize their own upper-middle-class salaries, but the helots are progressively replacing the aristocrats as the latter retire and are replaced by helots rather than by other aristocrats. What is being phased out, in short, is the very career which tenured faculty once enjoyed and to which new Ph.D.s still vainly aspire.(5) This career, although it included teaching, was not narrowly confined to teaching in the way that the work of adjunct faculty is narrowly confined -- indeed brutally reduced -- to teaching. For a while to come, some of the many aspiring professors who enter the academic labor market each year will find tenure-track positions and be awarded tenure in due course. More, however, will fail to obtain tenure or even to be hired for a tenure-track position. Barring a labor movement of unprecedented scope, the less talented among them will then sink into academe's permanent underclass, while the more talented will leave academe and seek other employment."



"To return to my premise, if the role of academics in the preservation and propagation of liberal learning is shrinking as the liberal arts are crowded out of the university curriculum, then either the role of intellectuals -- men and women of humane learning whose gainful occupation is not teaching -- will grow, or the humane tradition will slide further into decline. If and when that compensatory growth comes about, however, there may come with it a number of now only poorly predictable changes.

As academe eliminates the liberal arts, institutions and forms of organization that are now secondary will become primary by academe's default. Peter Drucker does not predict that university libraries, museums, databases, and computer networks will be gone in thirty years when the university as we know it is gone. But if their likely survival throws their importance into relief, it does so as well for kindred institutions that have never been under university auspices at all: endowed research libraries, independent museums of various kinds, and the many voluntary associations and working groups that the Internet already makes possible. Already, a scholar in search of an out-of-the-way, out-of-print book may have better luck with Bibliofind.com, which offers "nine million used, antiquarian and rare books, periodicals and ephemera offered for sale by thousands of booksellers around the world" than with a local university library, even a large one. Whether or not venture capital invested in online education succeeds in capturing much of the revenue flow that now sustains traditional colleges and universities, the Internet stands ready as a monastery-on-demand for the dark age after the Rome that is the academic establishment has fallen. When Rome fell, the Roman Empire did not vanish. Its separate parts lived on in other forms. So it could be for the campus liberal arts empire: When it falls, it too will not vanish but live on as its separate parts assume other forms.

Academics are farmers. They have fields, and they cultivate their fields well. Intellectuals are hunters. An intellectual does not have a field but a quarry which he pursues across as many fields as necessary, often losing sight of it altogether. Hunters cannot replace farmers, or vice versa; but if liberal learning in America, hitherto mostly a farm culture, becomes progressively a hunt culture, there will surely be consequences. By the standards of farmers, what hunters do seems reckless and undisciplined, but hunting has its own interior logic, the logic of an agenda that is individually rather than collectively determined.

One cannot easily be either a farmer or a professor by avocation. The strength of these vocations is that they demand full commitment. Mirroring their strength, their great vulnerability is their inability effectively to reward and sustain partial commitment. By contrast, one may rather easily be a hunter or an intellectual by avocation. Like hunters, who join the chase when they can and leave it when they must, sharing the kill with the tribe when they are successful, so intellectuals study when they can and stop when they must, seeking ever to please themselves but sharing their intellectual pleasure, when they write, with their readers.

The agricultural revolution did not occur for no reason. Hunters are more likely to go hungry than farmers. If academics, reliably supported by their universities, are succeeded by intellectuals, only unreliably supported by the work they pick up here and there, the post- and extra-academic humanities will often go hungry and homeless. But hunting does not differ from farming only by being more hazardous and less reliable. Off campus, the liberal arts may, at least on occasion, enjoy a wild adventure and an extraordinary feast. Only time will tell -- but less time, if present trends continue, than we might think."
society  learning  education  culture  teaching  gradschool  intellectualism  academia  curiosity  dilettante  cv  generalists  jackmiles  publicintellectuals  labor  capitalism  corporatism  us  policy  helots  liberalarts  intellectuals  1999  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  inequality  tenure  specialists  humanities 
january 2005 by robertogreco

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