Post Academic

Last Week on Post Academic (4/18-4/24)

Thanks, new and loyal readers, for bringing more traffic to the blog than ever this week–and by a wide margin!  A lot of it had to do with Caroline’s wonderful interview posts with Adam Ruben for his book Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School.  We had a whole lot of other stuff going on here as well last week, and here are some of our picks to click that might have been lost in the shuffle:

* In the spirit of Adam’s book, we looked into ways grad students can persevere the average 9.3 years they spend (trying) to get their Ph.Ds.  Caroline wrote about how to improve grad student-faculty relationships and the kinds of part-time work grad students can find to make ends meet.  Arnold provided some advice on more shifty ways to subsist through freeloading.

* Some more practical, concrete help to improve the grad school experience would help, though.  Arnold found some possible solutions to the latest, greatest crisis in graduate education.

* Try typing “grad students” into a Google search and submitting a thesis topic to the new site, and see what you come up with!

* And please be a part of the Post Academic social networking experience by “fanning” us on Facebook page and following our Tweets.  You can join up by pressing the virtual buttons in the right column.  Or you can just drop us an old-school email–our address is in the right-hand column as well–to give us your suggestions for story ideas, more interesting interview subjects, and whatever else you feel like.

Is this a resource?:

Posted in Absurdities,Surviving Grad School by Arnold Pan on April 20, 2010
Tags: , ,

Via The Chronicle of Higher Ed, the latest in interactive entertainment is…thesis writing?  That’s right: must be part of some sinister plot by ProQuest to monopolize all half-baked grad student research on the way to a rush-job dissertation that they will eventually own as well.  You can participate in two ways, either by inputting your own thesis for dis/approval or by judging randomly chosen previously submitted theses, with a “hot” or “not” and/or a comment; there is also a pull-down tab at the top that divides the theses into very broad categories, like “arts, humanities, linguistics” and “engineering”–why linguistics is given such priority is odd.

Since the site appears to be relatively new, there are still a lot of parameters that have yet to be established.  There’s no accessible list of theses, so you just scroll through the samples that pop up on the screen one at a time.  So sometimes you’ll see titles to dissertations or papers, other times you’ll see long,run-on sentence length statements.  And the most common comment I’ve seen so far is, “That is a sentence fragment,” probably offered by proponents of the thesis-statement faction–or they’re just annoying grammar-police types.

Below the jump are a couple of random samples of theses and comments, for your reference: