Moving Out

I used to read research papers as one would read comic books, eager to see what comes next, reveling about the subtlety of the artwork and the colors. After getting an insider’s view of academe, I recognize that: 1. Now I would rather read comic books than research papers, and 2. The main, most pervasive, and powerful incentive in academe is … the ego. —Eduardo Zea
Moving Out (Chronicle)

At this stressful time in the year, I found this article was useful as salt to rub into my wounds. I actually feel like I’m having a great semester, but it has taken a while to fall into the rhythms of SHU culture. My TA was depressed today because, when she was announcing the hours she would be available to consult with students before their upcoming oral reports, only one person bothered to write down what she was saying. And, of course the pressure to teach well is affecting my ability to carry through on my research obligations. (Sigh.)

I just used in-class role-playing to introduce my students to the difference between scholarly publishing, publishing on a personal website, and journalism. Poor Nicole spent two and a half years (simulated time) trying to get her article published in an academic journal, and ended up publishing it in Golf Digest. Other students stood in as editors and peer reviewers.

After being rejected by one journal, Nicole submitted her paper to Carl’s website, and Carl didn’ t have to consult anyone else in order to decide whether to accept it or reject it.

Then Amanda role-played a reporter, and I role-played her editor. Amanda called on the telephone all the students who had been earlier role-playing as academic experts, and I followed her around barking reminders about deadlines, and you could see Amanda step up the pace in an effort to contact enough sources before the time was up.

I had only planned a very brief role-play, but the class took to it so well that I punted my PowerPoint. I had the scenarios all worked out in my head because I have actually been planning a comic-book style presentation of the same subject matter. I have the storyboards roughed out, but I have no delusions about my artistic ability. Anybody out there with drawing talent?