Post Academic


The Best Kinds of Academic Snoozing

Posted in Absurdities by Arnold Pan on November 28, 2010
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While tripping on Tryptophan after multiple turkey-based meals over Thanksgiving, I realized that familiar feeling I was feeling reminded me most of…snoozing in lecture.  There’s a reason why I was willing to overlook students sleeping in class even when I was a stickler for texting and YouTubing during my lectures: it’s not just that I remember dozing off while I was an undergrad or that a lot of the kids are taking a ton of classes and working too.  But deep down, I think I also appreciated that there’s a kind of deeply relaxing sleep you can only get when the lighting is right and you’re bored out of your mind.

"Louis & Chanel taking a nap" by Macphreak (Creative Commons license)

Here are some of the situations I found myself as a grad student where I liked to sneak a quick catnap:

Seminar: I know it’s shameless, but you know how hard it is to stay awake for three hours in the mid-afternoon, maybe after you’ve taught earlier in the day and/or been studying/prepping/grading all night.  I didn’t do it very often and I’m betting my profs saw it, since it’s not like you can hide in a group of twelve around a not-that-big table.  Most of the time stopped myself from indulging, though that neck-snapping whiplash-y thing — you know what I’m talking about, right? — is probably more conspicuous and distracting.

More below the fold…

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A Hamster Thanksgiving

Posted in Housekeeping,Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on November 26, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionHappy Thanksgiving! In this special Post Academic holiday episode, I wanted to count my blessings regarding my job choices. No one’s job is ever completely bad unless you’re working for an asshole–and if that’s the case, try reading Bob Sutton. You’ll be glad you did!

Since I am a grad-student-turned-hamster, I have days when I wish I were still an academic. But I am truly thankful to be a hamster, for many reasons:

Clear goals. The best part of being in the Hamster world is that I don’t feel like I’m flailing. I am assigned tasks, and I finish them. Some of the tasks require long days and boring meetings, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something on a regular basis. I help build what you see on the web, and I’m not working on one big project whose finish line is years away.

More after the jump! Image of a heritage turkey by stu_spivack from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.
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Being Thankful for Academics Who Aren’t Assholes

Posted in Housekeeping,Surviving Grad School by Caroline Roberts on November 25, 2010
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PhotobucketIf you’ve been reading Post Academic lately, you might justifiably believe that I think academics are either straight-up assholes or, to borrow the colorful language of Melissa Rivers on the “Celebrity Apprentice,” “whore pit-vipers.” That is not true. I made some of my closest friends in academia, and I had excellent advisors. Assholes just stand out because, according to Bob Sutton, interactions with assholes are five times more powerful than interactions with nice people.

Assholes know the extent of their power, which is why they do what they do. Why not undercut that power by giving a Thanksgiving shoutout to the nice people in academia?

I’m happy to start. I am thankful to all my grad student friends who checked up on me when I was sick, which was most of grad school. I am thankful for my friends who subbed for me at the SAT academy when I had to leave town. I am thankful for the advisors and friends who attended a certain weekly lunch meeting at UCI. And I am most thankful for everyone who stayed positive and didn’t let workplace gossip get to them.

More after the jump! Image of a Thanksgiving dinner by Alcinoe from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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