- What is your role in higher ed? Professor, part-timer, student, just an interested observer?Part-timer currently, seeking a tenure-track (or at least full time) position.
- Why do you read CM? Is it useful? Are you learning anything? Are you just eager to hear about the demise of the planet through the activities of horribly prepared freshmen?
I read it partly for the entertainment value (I have a soft spot for reading stories/rants about snowflakes in any arena, things like Tales from Retail, etc.), but it also gives me a window into the world I've convinced myself I want to be in. There's a lot to be said about academia from sites like the Chronicle, but it's always felt filtered and edited. CM feels raw, and more in line with the day-to-day life of faculty.
- Why don't you participate through posting or commenting?
Many reasons. Though I enjoy reading the bitches and rants of others, I'm not much of a complainer myself... and as I said before I don't really possess the snarkiness that makes for the best CM posts. Also I'm not generally a frequent commenter, even on other sites. As a newbie prof, I don't feel I have much to offer those seeking advice. Finally, there does seem to be somewhat of an in-crowd of the same people making comments on every post, and while I don't feel that they are in any way hostile to other commenters, there is a sense that I would be intruding a little.
- Is there anything about CM that you don't like? Or several things?
I don't dislike them, but I tend to skip over things like the haikus and other weekly features (not the Thirstys though... those are great!). It seems like there's not always enough content to make it interesting week in and week out.
- What do you think CM could do a better job of?
Honestly, not much. There are a few tweaks I might make if I were in charge (such as being less jargon-y), but I'd be worried they'd mess with the formula that's made CM what it is.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Round Three of "The Others" Interviews. With Nikola From New Castle.
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Thanks for sharing, Nikola!ReplyDelete
I'm enjoying this series, and very much appreciate the willingness of "the others' to share. I also like Nicola's "or at least full time" qualifier. That shows insight into the market. The number of full-time contingent positions is growing, which is a good thing in some ways (certainly better than the same work being done by part-time contingents/adjuncts), but not so good in others (full-time contingent positions are, in most cases, not only less secure but also less well paid than tenure-track positions, and they contribute to the general decline in faculty governance, increase in the number of faculty who feel especially vulnerable to student complaints and/or administrative whims, etc., etc.)ReplyDelete
I'm wondering what strikes Nicola as "jargon-y." Maybe I spend too much time in other higher ed circles, but I thought we used jargon mostly to mock it. But maybe we don't realize how much of the kool-aid we've consumed. Do references to snowflakes count as jargon? What about the compound, the duck, the alpacas, etc.? Or do we use too many abbreviations (e.g. TT, NTT, etc.)?
Hi Nikola! It's good to hear a new perspective. I do hope you comment, too, to add spice and variety to the comments. The only way we'll get new insight is if people participate.ReplyDelete
I view the "jargon" on here to be comments that we use: duck, flakes, thirsty, etc., and sometimes, when people refer to other articles from that day or week, just like happens on any blog. I don't view it as a bad thing; it's what develops community. ANY time I go over to another blog, I encounter the same feeling from people who have been keeping up and and those of us who just drop in from time to time. It's the nature of jumping into any new environment in mid-sentence.
The title says "round three," but the image says "#2". Either I'm drunk or dyslexic--or being gaslighted by Cal.ReplyDelete
Or, in preparation for Halloween, maybe this is Nightmare on Elm Street: The Others.Delete
I'm seeing #2, too, and, to the best of my knowledge, I'm neither drunk nor dyslexic.Delete
I do, however, regularly neglect to update every instance of a date, assignment number, etc., on recycled/revised teaching materials, so I'm not going to assume malign intent where simple oversight may well be the explanation. Or maybe I'm just so naive/so thoroughly gaslighted that I fail to notice Cal's malevolent plots.
This series of interviews is the SECOND one we've done. We did the FIRST series of interviews with a mix of veterans. The first question was: What's wrong with the current crop of undergrad students? I think we posted 4 of those back in August of this year.Delete
Aha! That makes sense. I just gained some sympathy for students who can't understand my perfectly-logical systems of numbering Discussion Board posts, assignments, etc.Delete
Y'know, I'm beginning to get the feeling of why newbies and lurkers, while they might be sympatico, don't comment: I've been commenting here, and posting now and then, for years, but it's hard to find something to say after some of the more articulate (or snarkier) regular commenters have filled in. That's not a bug, it's a feature; but it's also why you don't see me commenting after more posts.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure more snark is warranted. Thoughtful responses are also appreciated. :) I I suppose it can feel like a 'popularity contest' if people say funny things and get a laugh, but I always appreciate when someone also provides an additional insight that goes beyond the quick chuckle. :)Delete
Yes, but my point was that by the time I get to a post, often enough I can't think of anything to say that hasn't already been said.Delete
Yeah, there's always that.Delete
FWIW: I know when you have commented, I've appreciated your insight. :) Some posts lend themselves to more comments, and often, those that garner the most comments are as a result of someone's comment on the post being inflammatory or interesting and not all posts need comments.
But at least you're not NOT commenting because you feel like you don't belong to the community. :)