Category Archives: Attempting to Stay Sane

The Bright Side of Office Politics

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I used to work pretty hard at managing upward—saying the same thing, gently, to my provost or president enough times to eventually hear those ideas come from them as though they’d just thought them up. You can take credit for the work, or you can get the work done. From The Office… Read more »

Happy Mother’s Day

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I am not, myself, a mother. Nor am I a father. So I have no personal grounds to make any comments about the nature of parenthood within an academic structure. No endearing little stories, no heartwarming tales of family life. In fact, I almost posted the book’s entry on children… Read more »

Cycles of the Day

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I’m old enough to remember (I start a lot of sentences that way now…) when computers were something of a novelty, when the bowling alley I worked in started installing arcade games like Asteroids and Missile Command and Centipede. But there were low-tech versions as well, and one of them… Read more »

Words When You Can’t Sleep

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You know that wonderful, lingering state just before you fall fully asleep, when you’re just roaming back and forth between awareness and bliss, and the dreams are showing you their previews? I had that last night. And sometimes when I have that, it emerges in sounds and words. The word… Read more »

The Anonymous Professor

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Her son was murdered, and she began to study sociology as a way to understand the world her son had travelled in. She now teaches at a small college, a 5/5 load, trying to bring other students to understand of the duties of friends. He grew up in wheat country,… Read more »

Relatively Undisciplined

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The world works in funny ways. I sent out a number of e-mails to friends in the past week, letting them know of the birth of the book, and have subsequently received dozens of lovely notes that remind me of why they’re my friends. But none among them was more… Read more »

The Alluring Lie of Balance

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When I first went to grad school, we had a half-day orientation for new TAs. And the first diagram on the whiteboard explained how to balance our time. That speaker posited that we needed to use 50% of our time for our own coursework, 50% of our time for our… Read more »