Category Archives: Supporting the Next Generation

Generational Mobility

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The great immigrant experience is often told in terms of the plucky Irishman or Slav who came over on a crowded boat, got through Ellis Island, and managed to raise his family here in the land of the free. And while those stories are fascinating and plentiful, they’re also partial,… Read more »


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Not being a Marxist economist, I can’t add much to the concept of the commodity fetish, except to point out its multiple connections to contemporary higher education. The simple commodity is a product that has absolutely no differentiation by producer and no intention of a relationship between producer and consumer…. Read more »

Oversimplifiers of the World, Unite!

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For years, I’ve made the case that every faculty member plays three roles for their students, even without knowing they’re doing it. There’s the teacher, the person who introduces students to the material of a field and the rigor of its investigation. There’s the supervisor, the person who takes an… Read more »

America’s Most Ignored Holiday

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At first they were afraid that the celebration was going to be a failure. Many of the workers in the parade had to lose a day’s pay in order to participate. When the parade began only a handful of workers were in it, while hundreds of people stood on the… Read more »

Eighty Dollars an Hour!!!

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As a member of the select board in my small town (and the board clerk), I receive a stipend of $700 per year. I’ve never actually done the arithmetic, but as close as I can tell, that comes to about a buck or buck and a half an hour. The $700… Read more »

On Academic Writing

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I was writing to a friend this afternoon about her dissertation work, and remembered a story I’d forgotten until today. I finished my dissertation in November 1996. I’d explicitly structured it as a series of stories, each about a particular kid in a particular place, and then pulling it together… Read more »

Learning to Teach

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I remember being a TA for ARCH302, Architecture and Human Relations. It was my second year of grad school, and I got to give three or four of the semester’s lectures. And because I was still pretty new to the field, and because I didn’t trust either my knowledge or… Read more »

Trade School

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In his funny, funny book Class (Ballentine, 1983), Paul Fussell makes regular mention of the class insecurity of those not born to power, and the often inept ways that they (well, okay, we) attempt to purchase the trappings of higher-class life, usually misreading the cues and heading down well meaning… Read more »

Empiricism in the Service of the Already Known

I’m working on another book proposal now, and as part of that, have been reading bits and pieces in a new literature. And one of the articles I’ve come across is this one: Amir, Rabah, and Knauff, Malgorzata. (2008). Ranking Economics Departments Worldwide on the Basis of PhD Placement. Review… Read more »

Post-Dissertation Support

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Every summer, a friend and I lead a writing workshop for faculty at a college near Baltimore, helping their teaching-focused faculty develop journal articles, convert dissertations into books, and write grant proposals. Along the way, I’ve learned an infinitesimal amount of chemistry, enough nursing practice to be better able to… Read more »