Category Archives: academia

The social construction of grades

At least once a semester I tell my students that grades do not matter. When I tell them that grades don’t matter, I am typically a little huffy about it. I recognize that it is a tough pill to swallow when we’re taught that … Continue reading

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Grading vortex

No matter how well I plan and no matter how hard I work, there comes a point in every semester when I am overwhelmed with grading. All teachers experience that moment when they stare at The Pile of papers in front … Continue reading

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Professor goes to Washington

Okay, so I did not exactly go to Washington. I did take some students to the capital building to watch a public hearing last week and returned yesterday to listen to testimony on other education committee bills. Before last week, … Continue reading

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Tackling “Should I Go to Graduate School?” (Part deux)

Last week I drafted a conversation between you and me if you asked me “Should I go to graduate school?” Thanks for reading (or for finding this post). I have to assume that I piqued your interest in graduate school … Continue reading

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The one where I tackle: “Should I Go to Graduate School?” (Part one)

Several former students have contacted me seeking letters of recommendation as they consider applying to graduate school, so I have been thinking about what I would say to them when we discuss their future plans. If you ask most grad students … Continue reading

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Students are people, too: When you’re the professor and the therapist and the career counselor…

Towards the end of last semester, a blog that I follow featured an essay entitled “I’m Your Professor Not Your Therapist.” In it, the author described feeling helpless and unprepared for dealing with students in crisis. The only advice offered … Continue reading

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Taking your own professional advice is tough: on teaching

This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve prepped plenty of new classes. Every time I do, though, I go through the same exercise. Where to start, what to include, what to exclude, how to structure the semester…. My desk starts to … Continue reading

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