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Black turtlenecks, cigarettes, red wine, and Derrida

I'm defending my dissertation next week and the process has wrung all enthusiasm for academia right out of me. The whole enterprise has come to seem like nothing but an anxiety-ridden grind. In my small amount of free time before the defense and during the break I'm allowing myself afterwards, I'd like to read some novels that will delude me into thinking that being an intellectual is kind of, well, hot. Examples and extended description below. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Oct 26, 2013 - 19 answers

I'm (no longer) hot for teacher, can I attend his class?

How bad of an idea it is to attend a university class given by a lecturer I've secretly dated? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 15, 2013 - 33 answers

Need help with a difficult professor

I'm a first-year masters student taking a course that is supposed to be the core curriculum of my discipline. My program is in systems ecology. I find myself increasingly frustrated with this professor and increasingly unable to hide it, and now he wants to "meet with me to talk about student-instructor dynamics". I need some help coming up with some strategies to deal with this professionally. Difficulty level: I'm a new graduate student, and he's the director of my program. The program is brand-new (just started spring semester of last year) and this is one of two core courses, both of which are taught by him. His course is so terrible that I'm considering transferring to another program within the university. Excruciating detail inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 1, 2013 - 45 answers

Academics: Explain open-access publishing in your discipline!

I'd like to know more about SSRN, Arxiv, PLOS, and other open-access publishing platforms and how they work in your discipline. Do you publish in them? Do they keep you from publishing in other (more prestigious) journals later? Etc. [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Oct 1, 2013 - 9 answers

Moving from academia to consulting

I recently left a tenure-track position(!) for geographic reasons (spouse's job). At this point I am not wedded to staying in the faculty track, and have been applying for admin positions as well as faculty ones. However, I recently saw an ad for an analyst job in a higher ed consulting firm in a topic area where I have experience and interest, and I am very seriously considering applying. I have some questions about how to format my resume and cover letter . [more inside]
posted by pamplemousse of love on Sep 27, 2013 - 8 answers

How can I get the most out of my first major academic conference?

I'm a second-year grad student in the humanities going to (and presenting at!) my first major academic conference in about a week. I already have business cards, a list of sessions I'm interested in, and a probably absurdly high amount of anxiety. Fellow academics of MeFi, what do you recommend to maximize my conference experience?
posted by naturalog on Sep 25, 2013 - 14 answers

Academia and travel/living abroad

I would like to become a professor but I'm a little worried about picking a spot in the U.S. to live for the rest of my life... [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Sep 20, 2013 - 23 answers

What are the five most seminal books in whatever field you're interested

Imagine you're allowed to give a nobel prize for five of the most seminal books of the past 50-60 years in whatever field you're interested and/or invested in. What would they be? The Nobel is usually given out to applied research and application and theory is eschewed. In this case you can give it to theoretical works as well. [more inside]
posted by RapcityinBlue on Sep 6, 2013 - 9 answers

Reapplying for an academic job I didn't get, what to change?

I'm on the academic job market and last year applied for a faculty position at a liberal arts school. It was basically my dream job, and I honestly thought I was a great fit for the position, so I was disappointed when I didn't get an interview. This year they're advertising the same job again, and I'm planning to apply again. How do I know what to change in my application? Should I mention the fact that I applied last year and was rejected, and if so how? [more inside]
posted by zeri on Sep 5, 2013 - 21 answers

Have patience, young grasshopper. Also, revise your drafts.

I need someone to mentor me as I learn how to mentor. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Sep 1, 2013 - 4 answers

We Can Dissertate If We Want To

How do you force yourself to work hard when you just don't care? I'm looking for practical tips/tricks, cognitive/behavioral strategies, and MacGyver-ish life kludges for pervasive procrastination. [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on Aug 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Free/Low Cost Therapists in Berkeley/Oakland?

A friend is in a bit of a tough spot right now and needs to talk to a therapist as soon as he possibly can. Money is a bit tight right now. I'm looking for all free/low cost therapy options in the Berkeley/Oakland area, who are familiar with depression and burnout.
posted by melodykramer on Aug 19, 2013 - 3 answers

How can I make my work experience relevant for a job in academia?

I am in need of some help... I've just completed an M.A. in Anthropology, I'm trying to pull together a CV for a job teaching as an adjunct professor or community college professor. I don't have professional teaching experience, even though I've got loads of experience teaching to my peers in graduate seminars. (I'm also not sure how to convey that, other than in a cover letter.) I've got some of my written work (Academia.edu), and one of my presentations on YouTube. I'm in the process of revising some other papers to put on Academia.edu... Hoping, I suppose, that displaying my work will make me a better candidate. Now, here's the question: How can I make my existing (non-teaching!) work experience relevant to applying for academic jobs? [more inside]
posted by ScarletLark on Aug 12, 2013 - 10 answers

How can I unbind my life?

I'm in a bind. Six years ago I made the mistake of entering grad school in a humanities field, in which pretty much the only career trajectory is to become an academic. I'm now pretty sure I wouldn't be happy in a standard academic job. However, I have few other marketable skills. There's the added complication that I'm a foreign student without a green card, so if I quit the program, or finish and fail to find a job, I'd have to leave the US and go back to my home country, which I don't want to do. I feel there must be possible courses of action which I'm not seeing, and would appreciate help finding them. [more inside]
posted by zeri on Jul 28, 2013 - 16 answers

Washington state labor lawyers

I'm looking for recommendations for labor lawyers in Washington state. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 28, 2013 - 1 answer

Switch from academia to counseling?

I've been working as a non-tenure-track professor in the humanities for the last few years. I'm considering a career shift, and I'm thinking counseling might be a good fit for me. I imagine myself having a private practice where I primarily provide therapy to women. I am hoping this kind of change might offer me more career options and personal fulfillment than what I’m doing now. Still, I'm cautious. I need your wisdom! [more inside]
posted by okaynow on Jun 30, 2013 - 6 answers

Book recommendations in the field of psychology?

Not looking for pop psychology, but for fundamental texts that are unmissable. Work covering specific topics/subtopics (e.g., "this is the best book about borderline personality disorder") is fine too. I'm not going to be able to pursue another graduate degree for a while, so I'd like to start background and introductory reading for pleasure now (but I'd eventually like to work in the field). I have university library privileges! I've seen this ask, but it's a few years old and answers were rather thin. Go!
posted by sevensnowflakes on Jun 23, 2013 - 13 answers

What do you know about being management in a union environment?

I may, in the future, have the opportunity to move to a management role in a union environment at a state university. Some state universities have professional unions and some have service employee unions. Do you have experience working or managing in an environment like this? How is it different from working in a non-union academic environment? If I were to make a move like this, how could I be the best manager for both union and non-union people possible?
posted by eleanna on Jun 22, 2013 - 11 answers

Yet another "Should I stay in grad school?" question...

...but this time there is a newborn baby! This fall I will begin my 5th year in an English PhD program. I have been ambivalent about staying in my program pretty much since the first year, but have always come down on the side of staying in, even though I long ago decided I don't want to even try to become an English professor. Three weeks ago my husband and I had a baby, and that is making me less confident I want to continue. I need some help sorting this out. [more inside]
posted by apricot on Jun 9, 2013 - 7 answers

How difficult is it for a US citizen to work in the UK/Europe?

What are the options for a skilled US citizen (advanced background in structural engineering) to get a work visa in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, or Switzerland? [more inside]
posted by pianohands on Jun 6, 2013 - 5 answers

Take me to your ivory tower.

I like novels that take place in boarding schools (or in colleges that feel like boarding schools). I've been to Brakebills, Ault, Hampden, Devon, the Concent of Saunt Edhar (totally counts), the University of Missouri, Enfield Tennis Academy, and Hogwarts.* Where should I go next? [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Jun 5, 2013 - 75 answers

First World Problems: Academic edition

Academic sabbatical +/- having a baby: how does that work? What is the most "logical" time frame for either of these to occur? Is this a bad idea altogether? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 4, 2013 - 11 answers

How to: Have a good summer vacation

I'm in academia and during summer my workload goes down quite a bit. I'm earning enough money through a part-time appointment and a grant stipend so that I don't necessarily need to work extra to make ends meet, and as such I anticipate having a great deal of free time. I have a few projects lined up with deadlines far in the future, and I'm looking for advice on ways to structure having a lot of free time without wasting it getting stuck in a social media / video game k-hole. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 3, 2013 - 6 answers

Moving Cross Country on Budget: Book Rate/Media Mail and Other Questions

I'm an academic, and am moving across the country (SF to Boston) for a one year gig. The new university is unfortunately not paying my moving expenses (nor a very high salary), and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my stuff there. I'll be driving with a station wagon full of stuff, which should be fine for most of my stuff. But I'm not sure *all* of the boxes will fit, and I have a piano and couple of pieces of furniture that I would like to, but don't have to, bring. More below. [more inside]
posted by betsbillabong on May 31, 2013 - 14 answers

Are you a neuroscientist? Happy in academia? Want to do science...

So I have been working in an entirely different field for the last years and was never entirely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I am certain at this point that I want to work in a field which involves, you know, nervous systems. Unsurprisingly, I am thinking of academia. [more inside]
posted by epibatidine on May 26, 2013 - 18 answers

What was academia like before different IT revolutions?

I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
posted by codacorolla on May 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Do you have advice for an MPP student ISO research position job?

I'm starting graduate school in the fall: yay! I need to learn an entirely new set of norms around interviews, resumes, etc: oh no! I have a meeting set up with the head of a research institute where I'd LOVE to work there while I'm studying. What do I say? What's OK to ask for? [more inside]
posted by blandcamp on May 13, 2013 - 3 answers

help me manage a hybrid library?

After years of academia & the endemic rootlessness that comes with it, I have finally gotten myself a Permanent Job (yay!!) which means, among many things, that I can finally consolidate my book diaspora into one place. I've a huge number of books which are both physical and digital. Here's the problem: I want my library space to reflect both. Any suggestions? Details below. [more inside]
posted by idlethink on May 11, 2013 - 10 answers

how to describe myself for an academic job not quite in my field?

Bear with me, this is a little bit abstract out of necessity: I'm interviewing for a great job which is posted as somewhat outside my social sciences field. Let's call it Field X. One of the things I'm hoping to do in this interview is say that precisely because I am not directly in field X but come from somewhat-related-field Y, I can bring new and important insights to field X. How do I say this without sounding like I'm disparaging field X, which I definitely don't want to do? More thoughts after the jump. [more inside]
posted by starcrust on Apr 26, 2013 - 5 answers

What's it like being a university staff lifer?

After three and half years as a university staff member, I'm trying to figure out my next step. Tell me about your college staff career and help me decide whether the field is right for me, longterm. [more inside]
posted by serialcomma on Apr 11, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I handle a job opportunity out of nowhere?

I have a newly-discovered opportunity to go after a senior academic appointment. Applications close in a few days. How should I handle this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 4, 2013 - 6 answers

Academic job in Kazakhstan: take it or leave it?

I was offered an academic job at Nazarbayev University, a new English-medium university in Astana, Kazakhstan. I am in a STEM field. Help me decide whether I should accept it. [more inside]
posted by auctor on Apr 3, 2013 - 37 answers

Making an academic workshop work?

What techniques have you seen working in practice to get people to talk when they come from quite different backgrounds? [more inside]
posted by Grinder on Mar 25, 2013 - 9 answers

The Transatlantic Librarian

Give me insight, tips, and strategies for transitioning from American to British librarianship. [more inside]
posted by Isingthebodyelectric on Mar 12, 2013 - 4 answers

How to deal with an inefficient bureaucracy-- from the inside?

What are your strategies and best practices for being a cog in an inefficient bureaucracy? How do you compartmentalize the frustration and leave it in the office? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 11, 2013 - 14 answers

Best Academic Percussion Programs

What are the best academic percussion programs in the United States and Canada? [more inside]
posted by sleevener on Mar 5, 2013 - 4 answers

Useful social network, or waste of time?

What is FacultyRow.com? [more inside]
posted by Dr. Wu on Feb 28, 2013 - 7 answers

PhD that keeps on giving

Did you do a PhD that you are proud of? That you loved working on? That has helped you in your career going forward? [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Feb 6, 2013 - 24 answers

How to get into academia later in life?

What possible avenues are there to get 'back' on an academic career path in your late 30s? Are there any unusual paths that I have not considered? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Jan 28, 2013 - 6 answers

I want out of a toxic relationship with a research team. How do I do it?

Hello fellow academics. I have a situation, that I am sure you're familiar with: I want out of a research team that has been, rather pitifully, working toward a publication for the last 2 years, the end result of which is a majestic, incoherent piece of garbage that has already been rejected by various top conferences and journals. I want out but the problem is that I've done most of the work as second author and I'd rather not see my hard work be attributed to the first author on the manuscript should it somehow get published. What is the best solution in this case? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 15, 2013 - 7 answers

How to tell a reviewer they are wrong?

I am an academic, and I need advice on how to word my response to a review for a journal article. [more inside]
posted by pamplemousse of love on Jan 10, 2013 - 22 answers

I have no idea how to start writing my dissertation.

I don't know how to write my dissertation. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 3, 2013 - 19 answers

I want to be Cher when I grow up.

What makes the difference between a good academic campus interview and a great one? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 21, 2012 - 9 answers

What am I worth?

OK, I'm officially fed up with my university job. Now what? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 17, 2012 - 3 answers

Is it OK to ask at a job interview whether I'm suitable for this position?

I have a job interview for an academic position. In the interview, is it OK to ask them what they think they are looking for? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by starcrust on Dec 17, 2012 - 13 answers

Critical Contexts for Writing : a reading list

I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 14, 2012 - 8 answers

Industry or academia for an aspiring scientist?

Very-early-career scientist at a fork in the road: choice between working in industry and in academia. Hive mind, please help me make an informed decision. [more inside]
posted by escapist53211 on Dec 8, 2012 - 4 answers

Help me figure out my life post-PhD

Having trouble figuring out what I want and committing to a career path and figuring out how to decide 'what I am', and crippled by perfectionism. About to finish a PhD and could use guidance on now to navigate the next step. [more inside]
posted by anybodys on Dec 7, 2012 - 11 answers

Am I doing the wrong thing here?

Science grad school application filter: I have informally (but explicitly) accepted a graduate assistant position (in conservation biology) at my current undergraduate institution. I am now having second thoughts and am wondering what, if anything, I should do about it. Help me, Hive Mind! I don't know what to do! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 28, 2012 - 8 answers

what tools and models do we have for collaboration in the humanities?

what tools and platforms exist right now which humanists can use to do collaborative research? what models exist of successful humanities collaboration? [more inside]
posted by idlethink on Nov 26, 2012 - 3 answers

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