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Posting Hall of Fame

Started by polly_mer, May 29, 2019, 06:44:41 AM

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Quote from: acrimone on November 18, 2006, 08:29:48 AM
As the OP, I'd like to set a few ground rules for this, which I consecrate as the Hall of Fame for the Chronicle Forums.

1) You may not post your own posts here.  You can only quote someone else's.  There is not, however, a limit on the number of posts you may submit.

2) Please use the quote function (it's like an HTML tag that just has brackets instead of greater than/less than, and uses the words "quote" and "/quote") and clearly identify the person quoting.

3) No commentary on the posts, please.  This thread is hereby established solely to contain those posts which someone sees as truly exceptional, in a good way.  It may be because they are insightful, funny, sagacious... the criteria are entirely subjective.

4) Do try to be discriminating.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


Quote from: downer on May 29, 2019, 06:31:53 AM
The features that the article mentions are nice enough but personally I'd run a mile from being on a committee for shared governance having to sit around with Deans.

Gimme money, that's what I want.

Well that, and students who want to learn.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


Quote from: spork on June 02, 2019, 04:42:15 AM
I'd say someone's answer to the "is college worth it?" question is probably heavily affected by what kind of student the person was. The person who believed that a bachelor's degree was by itself a magic ticket to an effortless, lucrative career is probably going to be disappointed by their earnings after four years of box checking.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


Quote from: ergative on June 11, 2019, 11:04:42 PM
(The jar has now been emptied with extreme prejudice and coriander seeds are no longer welcome in my kitchen. If it wants to be my friend, the coriander will need to sprout some leaves like a grownup.)
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


From The best predatorial journal come-ons thread:

Quote from: Scout on June 14, 2019, 04:24:24 AM
I mean, I'd be doing the common man such a service!

ETA: my sister, who is also a faculty member, suggested this title:

Title - The Papers of the Very Esteemed, Most Famous in World and Often Very Busy Dr. Scout written in Lay Language so that Nobody will be Left Out
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


From the Limerick thread...

QuoteThere's a rhy-thm to lim'-ricks, you know,
An-a-pest-ic-al-ly they should flow
So it's not just the count
Reverse dac-tyl we flount
We like our ducks all in a row.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.


From Examples of Why Fabulous Candidates Still Don't Get the Job:

Quote from: Hegemony on June 29, 2019, 10:14:18 AM
But being a fabulous person does not automatically translate into being a fabulous candidate.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


From Something I Just Realized:

Quote from: pedanticromantic on July 20, 2019, 08:13:09 AM
Me at start of semester: "ah! Don't ask me to do something for you, it's the start of semester! I'm busy!"
Me in middle of semester: "ah! Don't ask me to do something for you, it's the middle of semester! I'm busy!"
Me at end of semester: "ah! Don't ask me to do something for you, it's the end of semester! I'm busy!"

Me in summer: "ah! Don't ask me to do something for you, it's summer! I'm busy!"
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


Quote from: Puget on July 22, 2019, 09:57:19 AM
As promised here's the guide I wrote, lightly edited to be non-campus specific. As warned it is long. Use at your own discretion and risk-- not a substitute for professional guidance or your own campus protocols!

Talking with a student in distress

Every conversation is going to be different and you need to take your cues from the student, but this may help give you an idea of how a conversation can be productively structured. Use your own words that are appropriate to you, the student and the situation: these are just some examples to help get you started.

Remember, you don't need to do this perfectly (there really is no perfectly)— just having an empathetic conversation were the student feels cared can make a huge difference!

1. Let them tell as much or as little of their story as they want to. You don't need to probe for content.
"I'm concerned and wanted to check in about what's been going on for you lately" can be a good way to start the conversation if they don't initially volunteer anything— this allows them to either talk about emotions or events to the extent they feel comfortable. You may also follow that up with what you've observed, said in a non-judgmental way,
"I've noticed that you [seem upset, don't seem like you've been taking care of yourself, haven't been coming to class, etc.]"

2. Paraphrase what they are telling you— this can include both emotional and content paraphrases, e.g.,
"It sounds like you've been feeling. . ."
"It sounds like your class work is really overwhelming right now"

3. Let them respond. Express empathy and paraphrase some more— the goal is to help them feel heard and validated.

4. Ask about suicidal thoughts—
"Sometimes when people are feeling/experiencing [use their words for what they are feeling/experiencing] they have thoughts about wanting to die or killing themselves. Have you had any thoughts like that?"
This is hard and takes practice, but there is strong evidence that asking directly and openly decreases risk- just telling someone decreases risk that they will act. You will not "put ideas into their head" or otherwise harm them by asking.

5. If yes but doesn't elaborate—and only if you feel prepared to do so in a calm and nonjudgmental manner, try to get a rough assessment of risk:
"What kind of thoughts have you had?" / "What have you thought about?"
"Have you thought about a plan?" "How close would you say you've gotten to acting on that plan?"
The goal is to get rough idea of risk so you can communicate that when you make your referral. You don't have to probe too much, just get an idea of risk.

6. Express care and support—
"I'm so glad you told me, that's a really important, brave step and now we can work together to make sure you're connected to the resources to help keep you safe and get to a place where things don't feel so [hopeless, overwhelming, however they've described it]."

Emphasis that there is a whole team on campus ready to support them, they are not alone. Avoid minimizing but normalize and reinforce hope— many students go through something similar and have gotten help and gone on to thrive.

7. Ask if they have told anyone else or are currently getting any care (e.g., going to the counseling center).

8. Let them know what is going to happen now and make the referral. If they have concerns about you making the referral, you can address their potential fears that they will automatically have to leave campus (can't promise that this will never happen, but it is rare*). *Find out what the protocol is on your campus-- in the US it's not actually legal to force students out just for reporting mental health problems, as these are disabilities, but some campuses have a bad record on this.

If the have expressed or you suspect they may be suicidal, or you have heard/observed other things that really concern you (trust your gut):

•   Tell (don't ask) them that you are going to call now and make a referral.
•   Make sure you are clearly communicating to the person who answers the phone that you are making an urgent referral for a suicidal student who is currently with you. If the student has expressed having a plan tell them that right away.
•   The therapist will likely ask to speak directly to the student on the phone. Stay with the student during this conversation—the therapist will likely need to speak with you again afterward.
•   If possible, keep the student with you until there is a plan in place for their care.
•   If the plan is for the student to go to the counseling center right away, offer to walk over with them ("How about we walk over there together? is more likely to get a yes than if you make it sound like a real choice).

If things seems less urgent: 
•   Suggest it might help to talk to a therapist.
•   Ask if they would like your help in doing that, and if so offer to sit with them while they call or call yourself and put them on the phone.
•   Give them info on urgent care walk-in hours (if your counseling center has these), and if it is during those hours offer to walk them over.

In either case, consider submitting a care team report (if this exists on your campus), as this will mobilize additional resources for them.
Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. ~ Dirk Gently


From: How much does "face time" matter in today's digital world?

Quote from: ciao_yall on July 27, 2019, 08:14:08 AM
A lot.

Because nothing is funnier than all the conferences all about the Digital World where everyone gets together and schmoozes about the end of Traditional Education and the Rise of Online Learning and the Death of the Sophocles-Style Classroom.

Over coffee, donuts and cocktails.

In big hotels, with nametags, passing business cards around.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!


From: The Venting Thread

Quote from: LibbyG on August 15, 2019, 10:49:52 AM
Dear president, provost, and dean,

Please accept my warm invitation for coffee so that you three can get acquainted. Apparently you don't know each other. Why else, in the last two years, would ALL THREE OF YOU add all-but-mandatory re-education professional development sessions, each one four-six hours long, in the week before classes start?

Don't get me wrong. I love, with the heat of a thousand suns, those exercises that reveal to me with rapturous revelation what kind of leader I am. I'll laugh, I'll cry, I'll never be the same. And those table-by-table summaries of break-out discussion! I must stop talking about it, lest I audibly groan with pleasure.

But, y'know, maybe I should be at my desk instead? Fielding calls from students needing last-minute scheduling changes and, I dunno, prepping my own classes?


Quote from: Caracal on October 10, 2019, 11:34:11 AM

Seems like part of this particularly American belief that you can fix everything through education, oddly married to consistently underfunding the same educational systems that are supposed to fix everything.


From: What's the longest you have been on the job market?

Quote from: jerseyjay on December 20, 2019, 04:03:09 PM
I understand the anxiety, the vulnerability and fear of instability.  I would be feeling the same--I did feel the same when I was on the job market.

But there really is no answer to your question. If I tell you I spent 3 months on the job market before being hired at Harvard (not true), that wouldn't help you get a job. If I told you I spent 20 years looking for full-time work (which is actually almost true if you factor in the time while I was ABD), I don't think that would help you either. If I tell you have X amount of time before you have "expired" stamped on your forward--would you look for work any harder?

The only thing you can do, in my opinion, is to expand your search as wide as possible (i.e., don't limit yourself to only one type of school, be willing to commute a bit, etc.) and look for non-academic positions. Then hope you get something--maybe you will, and maybe you won't.

In other words, there are things you can do to improve your chances of success on the job market, but there is nothing you can do to guarantee success. And much is beyond your control.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.


Quote from: mamselle on December 31, 2019, 09:02:35 PM
The thing about being scholars who appreciate witty remarks and the occasional display of well-crafted wit In discourse is that we have to remember the human side of our discourse and rein in the wit when it has the potential to hurt someone.

I agree, Wahoo's post was very funny and well-written, but it might have been better posted on the 'Asides' thread.

There is a serious component in this thread which is being overlooked, and that is that innocence, a certain measure of unwitting ignorance, and simple human need can get people entangled in things that create certain levels of confusion as they progress.

When something like the need for an unbiased letter heaves its head up in what has been a pleasant, unstressed ocean of calm connection, the sudden need to define things that were going on pleasantly undefined can be a shock to that pleasant system.

I was also raised to think well of people, work towards best ends, and base my expectations of others on the belief that they were doing the same. In my case it landed me in an abusive marriage because I had no idea of what to look for. Thankfully, the OP's situation is less dire.

But they are being brought up against this sudden wall of confusion that they might--but also, reasonably, might not--have foreseen or realized earlier as they went down that pleasant path. There are really two crises going on at once: one is the momentary question of whether to seek a reference letter from someone (In this case, I'd probably avoid doing that if possible: optics for younger females are still a minefield and you don't need that potential complication going forward). The other is the feeling of being brought up short by the larger question of defining a relationship that has seemed like something pleasant and non-threatening that didn't need definition: in fact,, a loss-of-innocence thing.

I can be as cynical as the next one, but I happen to think that innocence is a precious, tender commodity that should not be ripped at and torn away when it needs to be shed in some specific setting. When someone trusts you to share a crisis that involves its loss, I'm in favor of respecting the person who maintained the courage to go on in their innocence as long as they could.

Human beauty in behaviour is a rare thing, and even if (as it may, rightly, here, I think, need to be abandoned, either because, optics, or because the situation may have run its course) that's a hard thing to do alone. We're being asked, respectfully, for wisdom on the issue.

The least we can do is be respectful in return.



Quote from: nescafe on January 01, 2020, 01:37:37 PM
Quote from: writingprof on December 31, 2019, 07:44:58 AM
I, for one, am having trouble reconciling the politics of this thread.  I mean, presumably you all hate Mike Pence and the "Pence Rule," but it seems that most of you also instinctively dislike the OP's mentor.  Why?  Is it really just that he's white and old?

You're not known for your exercise in good faith debate when it comes to this topic, but here goes: it's not appropriate for faculty mentors to maintain close personal relationships with their students. It's a blurring of the hierarchical boundaries that exist in the mentoring relationship, and it puts the student in a potentially difficult space of having the navigate "optics," socially injure their mentor, or risk retaliation for non-academic reasons. No, it's not purely about sex, but it is often the case that advisors that push for these blurry relationships are also sexual harassers.

Reading only what OP reports in this thread, I don't see evidence of sexual harassment or tension. But that doesn't mean the advisor hasn't crossed a line they shouldn't have. That the OP is questioning themselves is one natural manifestation of the problem. It's the least toxic outcome of a poor mentorship style... but it's still a toxic outcome that could easily have been avoided.

TLDR: they are students, not buddies. Trying to make them buddies is usually about the advisor's ego, and that is toxic.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.


Quote from: secundem_artem on January 26, 2020, 06:24:21 PM
Many years ago, I got phoned at home one night by an extremely angry helicopter mom.  I had had one of those "reply all" disasters and turned out her darling baby was on the distribution list
I tried multiple times to apologize to helicopter mom  but she was not having it.  She wanted to chew me out - over and over and over.

As the conversation went on, I knew we would eventually get to the "I pay your salary mister!" part of our little talk.

So....  like a hitter waiting on the fastball he KNOWS is coming, I sat back, took her insults and anger and waited on my pitch.  Sure enough....

Helicopter mom: Listen you, I pay your salary.

Your worthy correspondent: Uh, no ma'am.  Actually the university pays my salary.

HM:  Well where do you think they get the money????

YWC: Oh, ma'am.  University budgets are really very very complicated.  For all I know, my salary dollars come out of the sale of basketball tickets.

HM:  Sputter, sputter, sputter, but, what, huh, sputter, but, but, but sputter what?.  Silence.

Our conversation ended shortly thereafter.  She kicked it all up to the dean and I was forced to write a letter of apology to her idiot kid for the lapse of judgement that started this whole fandango.  The kid transferred to the business college later that week and I never saw him again.  Not sure what happened to HM.  Writing my entirely fake apology was a small price to pay for driving one batshit crazy parent apoplectic with rage. 

Ain't I a stinker?