This Academic Life
Sometimes you just gotta bitch. And where better to do so than on an anonymous (or at least "discreet") blog?

1) I hate inconsistency. The ongoing methodology struggles around here -- which are actually about to end, because the important Powers That Be have already weighed in on the side of methodological diversity instead of forcing students to suffer through irrelevant statistics courses that have no relevance to their research projects -- seem in part fueled by a characterization of me as the evil corruptor of the youth. You see, somehow having me around here diverts people from the True Path of Science-with-a-capital-s-and-a-large-quantitative-data-set. And this comes out in very odd ways, such as in the following scenario: a student presented a summary of her work in progress, work that involves a method of data-collection not unlike mine (find documents, read, take ethnographic reading notes, study for emergent themes and commonplace tropes/gestures). Opponents of methodological diversity have a tendency to say that I don't do "empirical work" because I don't run regressions on large data-sets. But the audience made no such comment about the student's work. My students, and I, are regularly accused in this ridiculous manner, so I am perplexed as to why this student (who is not one of my students) was able to do basically the same kind of work and not be similarly confronted. I wonder what it is that I am doing that seems to strike some of my colleagues as "unscientific."

2) trying very hard to get out from under the massive backlog of work built up from earlier this semester, and increasingly frustrated by a) how little time I have to do anything during a given week except the things I have already scheduled (classes, office hours, outside of class time spent working on class-related stuff, basic triage of academic e-mail) and then by b) how much more crap builds up in the meantime. It's April, so all those "get me a rough draft by the end of the semester" papers are starting to pour in; plus the "can we have this review by the first of May" commitments from months ago are looming, along with the "it's recruitment season and since you don't have tenure you're kind of required to participate in the ongoing effort to convince kids to come here" luncheons and appearances and the like. I can't quite shake this feeling that if I had more time I could do this better…but then I look at it in a more detached manner and realize that I'd need so much time that I'm never going to get it. Let alone get enough time to spend the time reading that I really want to spend, and then write some stuff…there isn't enough time, period. There's never going to be "enough" time. I wonder if there'll be more time one of these days/semesters/years?

3) fucking Yankees spent way too much money on Jaret Wright, and he didn't get out of the fifth inning, and now the Yankees are being clobbered by the goddamn Orioles.


All right, enough bitching for now.

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"Academia als Beruf," or, an occasional record of the various aspects of my life as an academic. Written by "21stCWeber," an arrogant handle I know…but I must confess that I do want to be Weber when and if I grow up :-)



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