Carnival of GRADual Progress, 16th edition
Welcome to the February edition of the Gradual Progress Carnival. By now, even the slowest universities are well into the second semester (or quarter) of the year, which often means that many graduate students are in the thick of work, teaching, deadlines, and defenses. As a result, there’s been a lot of blog talk about graduate school problems, challenges, and questions, although there’s been some progress and celebration as well.
Finding the motivation to keep up a regular work schedule has been a concern for many this past month. In early January, the Martini Method approach to productivity popped up over at Academic Productivity. Geeka’s modified the Martini Method to help her get through a paper. Quiche is attempting to set internal deadlines for chapter drafts while Psycgirl ponders the best kind of motivation to get her through her remaining time in grad school. And for those of us who prefer to listen to music while writing, Billie at Parts-n-Pieces has given us a sample of her favorite dissertation writing music.
Free Exchange on Campus has hosted a series of posts about why people teach. For the full list of posts, go over there. However, k8 at Harmonia’s Necklace has written eloquently about why she loves teaching composition and rhetoric while Anastasia explains some of the reasons she believes teaching religion is important.
Another extended conversation in the blog world has involved the issue of class in academia and what being of a certain class means in terms of intellectual preparation for graduate school and what it means for one’s potential career path. A lot of bloggers have participated in the class survey (too many to link here). Anastasia talks about the ability to pass as one of the intellectual elite and how it affects those trying to rise through academia. Often coupled with class (but not always) is the issue of adequate preparation for graduate-level work and climate, a topic Anastasia also addresses in two related posts where she describes being sneered at because she happened not to know a certain fact that others had assumed was common knowledge. History Enthusiast writes an amazing piece about exposure to theory and how a lack of exposure can handicap students who can no longer participate in the academic discussion at hand. She’s responding to another post by Dr. Crazy addressing this same subject but from the point of view of a professor trying to fix this situation as she teaches undergraduates.
Searching the blogosphere this month has yielded a wide range of questions and answers, tips and suggestions. At (Almost) Me, PhD, supergradstudent tackles the daunting but essential task for historians of writing the historiographical essay. Field Notes outlines one way of studying vocab for the GRE, which could probably be applied to other memorization tasks. Earth Wide Moth provides a link to CSPAN’s interview with a prominent historian, with reference to her work habits for writing and reading. The bloggers at Scatterplot have begun a weekly question: the first question is about whether or not graduate students should have junior faculty members as their advisors. Read the comments for a variety of perspectives on the issue. Fabio at orgtheory posts his own two cents. And finally, in my eclectic blog browsing this month, I stumbled across a great resource of tips and suggestions for getting through the various stages of graduate school written by academic bloggers and compiled by Horace at Delight and Instruct. The “Grad Compendium” is several months old and some of you may already know about it but it’s a worthy resource to promote every now and again.
Lastly, there is some good news. PhD Ladybug had a successful defense of her dissertation: many congrats! And Do Thy Research reminds us (or maybe just me) to get a life if possible with her discussion of spy stories. It’s good to know that I’m not the only person whose childhood involved listening avidly to Adventures in Odyssey followed by a love of Spooks and Alias!
I’ll be hosting the next carnival, unless someone has a burning desire to host the March version. Please continue to send submissions my way and I’m looking for volunteers to host over the next several months (April’s taken already!) Happy reading!
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