Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sunday Open Thread. Let Loose. Nobody's Reading Anyway.

The best seven years of my life!

30 comments:

  1. I'm always lost on the pre-Super Bowl Sunday. By the time the playoffs are over, I'm so invested in my couch time that the week off throws me all out of whack. Thank you.

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  2. I share your pain, Hiram. I like college football too. After a glut of bowl games then the NFL playoffs, this is a shock to my system.

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    1. And the we must wait 7 months for the fun to start again. If only football-free weekends actually increased my productivity!

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  3. I might actually have to get some grading done today. I miss you, Football!

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  4. Hockey becomes my post-football vice. You really only need to pay attention when the announcers' voices get excited.

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    1. On the other hand, there's the joke that people go to watch a fight and a hockey game breaks out.

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  5. My dissertation defense has been scheduled. I'm trying not to think about it too hard lest the hyperventilating begin. I still have a round of revisions before I get to that point, anyway.

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    1. Sounds like you're nearly there. Congratulations! (and get some sleep. everything is better with sleep.)

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    2. Best of luck!

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    3. Break a leg!

      Seriously: wonderful news. You'll be great.

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    4. Who else knows as much about your own topic: you'll be great! :)

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    5. Beware of questions coming out of left field. Sometimes they're meant to see how well you know your material. Sometimes they're intended to humiliate and embarrass you due to personal politics between you and whoever asked them. Sometimes they're used by one committee member to prove a point to another and you, the poor student, are the unwitting pawn.

      Should that happen, stay calm, try to give a reasonable response, but admit if you don't know the answer.

      (Yup, it happened to me during my Ph. D. defence. I'm sure my supervisor--who didn't particularly like me--did it for his own entertainment and to remind me who was boss.)

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    6. If any of your committee members falls asleep, don't freak out. Sometimes they just get tired. Or maybe that's just in my department.

      And don't be intimidated! You know your shit, so stand up for yourself and your work!

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    7. Quarter Wave Vertical: sometimes the question's usefulness depends on the perspective. For example, "zingers" to start off a biology PhD defense include "How can you tell if an object is a living organism?" "What is a control, and what is a treatment?" "What is a system?", the point being that you shouldn't forget about the simple stuff down in the mud while you're too busy fiddling around up high with the complicated stuff; and if you remember the simple stuff it'll make it easier to explain the complicated stuff.

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    8. Prof PH:

      What my supervisor did to me during my defence was just one more thing in a long line of efforts on his part to keep me from finishing my degree. He wasn't particularly interested in my topic which was completely different than what he was working on.

      Eventually, I pushed him out of the way, so to speak, and finished my thesis with little assistance from him.

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    9. While on the subject of thesis defences:

      http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1676
      http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1677

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  6. Is it just me or are there random Amazon links all over the place on the blog?

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    1. It's a (revived) CM (and perhaps RYS) tradition. I'm not sure what the history is, though.

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    2. Whew, I thought I might have been infected with malware...

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  7. A couple days ago I went to congratulate one of the office administrators for being chosen to be the new admin person for a department just given it's own status and no longer under a larger department wing.

    My mistake.

    The truth is my department was looking to make cuts and her/his position was one of them. The other position just happened to come up. He/She doesn't want it, but was given no option.

    It's not just faculty being asked to bend over.

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  8. Night school starts next week and I haven't written my syllabus yet and I still haven't gotten the lab schedule from the professor they just chose for the TT, who has no experience and padded his resume with "took attendance" as a skill. And now I'm jealous of Snarky b/c I should have written up and graduated so they'd hire me instead of people who can take attendance and have PhDs. I can take attendance too - I didn't think to put that on my CV - I thought it was assumed that someone with a MS and 8 years of experience could do that.

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    1. I'm sorry. Kindergartners can, with a little training (and perhaps a picture-based roll), take attendance. Anybody who lists that as a skill on his c.v. should be disqualified for not having any sense of what to put on a c.v.

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    2. CC:

      At the same time, whoever accepts that taking attendance is a skill shouldn't be involved in hiring people. However, considering what one is, apparently, supposed to put on a CV in order to get an interview nowadays (according to what I've read), that might not be so far-fetched.

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  9. The student you let in as a force add will turn out to be more trouble than half of the rest of the class put together. The student you let in as a force add WILL turn out to be more trouble than half of the rest of the class put together. THE STUDENT YOU LET IN AS A FORCE ADD WILL TURN OUT TO BE MORE TROUBLE THAN HALF OF THE REST OF THE CLASS PUT TOGETHER.

    I should have remembered the above last week, when a charming young person showed up at the end of my second class with a plausible reason for needing the class. Now I've paid for my mistake by having to write a very long email 5 days later explaining why a list of exceptions to course policies cannot, in fact, be made for this very special snowflake. At least I'm now well-armed to resist similar blandishments for the remaining days of the add/drop period.

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  10. I thought I was making light-hearted banter with you. But then you blew up at me and wanted my head on a platter. I remember someone telling me years ago, when I first started, to be careful with you as you were "irascible". I didn't know what the word meant and I forgot about the comment, and we've barely crossed paths over quite a few years. After our recent encounter I went and looked it up. Oh yeah, you're irascible. In spades. In fucking spades.

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  11. My problem student from last term is back again for another try at passing the course. He's already asking for special treatment again and it's only the second week of class.

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  12. I stayed up until 2 playing Angry Birds instead of lesson planning. I guess this semester we'll start with projectiles instead of graphing motion.

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