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Showing posts from August, 2013

What are you looking forward to this semester?

For many of you, the new academic year is underway or soon to be.  While it is typical to feel a good deal of stress the first few weeks of the term, it's also exciting!  New colleagues, new students, new courses to teach, and in some cases, new universities.

What are you excited about this term?  And what are you planning to do to help manage your workload and your stress?


Don’t Let Flattery Drain Your Battery (3 ways not to let flattery trick you into saying “yes”)

We all know the importance of saying "no."  We've heard it time and time again, from our professors, mentors, and colleagues, and yet many of us still find it hard to do. Why does this happen?  We're smart people, right?  Why is it so hard to put into action what we know will work for us?

In part, it's because the irregularity of our schedules makes it difficult to know how much time we actually have available. But I think there's another reason academics find saying "no" so hard.  We’re programmed to please.  We were the "good kids," most of us, the students at the top of the class.  We were taught that being offered a responsibility was a good thing.   When people ask us to do something, they affirm our sense of self-worth, particularly when they say something like "we thought you'd be good for this."

Be careful when you hear that phrase!  Make sure that you pause and evaluate the request, no matter how thrilling this praise…

Are you in thrall to the "rigid markers of academic success?"

From blogger The Professor Is In (Karen Kelsky):
"Accepting the rule of external validation and the incredibly rigid markers of academic success makes only for chronic anxiety, insecurity, dependency, and depression." (Link from Kerry Ann Rockquemore  via Laura S. Logan)My favorite quote is from one of the commenters, Barton Fink-Nottle, who writes,
"The way to end the cycle of cruelty that mars the profession is for individuals who have a modicum of power in the system to exercise said power humanely. Above all, those of with tenure need to see adjuncts as colleagues in need of solidarity, not underlings, and campaign for them to receive a living wage. Only by working with our adjunct colleagues can we begin to solve the mounting problems afflicting higher education."Amen, Barton, Amen.