Friday, March 06, 2009

Advice for the Newly Hired

A few nights ago I had a cocktail with a junior colleague from another department. After an hour, I couldn’t believe the yarn that ze was weaving. Sometimes junior faculty have legitimate concerns and sometimes they have an astounding sense of self entitlement. This was definitely the latter (e.g. “I should have a full year off, with pay! – I should be given classes no larger than 10 students – My salary should be higher (even though I haven’t actually produced anything yet)! – My research is clearly so much more difficult to accomplish than all of my junior peers! Why don’t they get that?”). Usually such tales of woe end with, “At my former graduate institution, they always did such and such.”

I don’t mention this to dismiss or even criticize ze’s feelings of frustration or worry. While I think some of ze’s expectations are out of touch with reality, I also recognize that they partly emerge from the stress, fear, and pressure of how ze will attain tenure while being pulled in a thousand different directions. Having to balance your own research with the demands of teaching and service work do seem insurmountable. For many, the task appears so daunting that having a year off appears the only way it will actually get done. Nobody, though, gets that year off without doing some hard work to attain it (Find a grant, young man (woman/genderqueer), find a grant).

It got me to thinking that the transition from graduate student to junior professor is often the most difficult one that people make. Few people ever discuss how hard it really is.

There are definitely good parts to that transition. Your annual income triples or even quadruples. You get genuine office space. You also can finally claim to have a real “career” rather than appearing as if you made “poor life choices.”

But there are also real struggles to that transition. As a graduate student, you are given free reign to do almost anything that you desire and have few demands placed upon you. Your adviser and/or committee members probably read things that you wrote with a critical eye and gave good feedback. You are shielded from internal squabbles between faculty members, if you are even aware that they are occurring. With the exception of the occasional TA assignment, your job has been one of luxury, simply reading and writing all day. It’s a rude awakening to find out how many other things that you will have to do as a professor. Dirty, dirty things.

I also think that most junior professors have such a hard go of it their first couple of years because it is often the first job that they have ever had, ever. Since I have been working since I was 14 or 15, this astounds me. As an undergraduate, I also worked full time or virtually full time as a secretary. So, I feel that I had a sense of what it means to be an employee in a way that many (most?) of my junior colleagues didn’t. If you have never actually worked for wages before, it can be jarring to find out that your paycheck comes with many expectations about how you spend your time. You also won’t appreciate what a sweet, sweet gig that being a professor actually is.

This is the time of year that many people are learning whether they were hired into a junior professor position. I would never hold my own career out as a model (trust me), but I’ll offer advice to all those newly employed folks anyhow.

    * Publish or perish.

    The oldest cliched advice is still the best. If your department/college has specified that you must have a book and two articles (or equivalent) and you don’t have them by the time your tenure clock runs out, they will deny you tenure. It might break their heart to deny you tenure because you might have been a great colleague or a fantastic teacher. Or, if you are in a hostile department, they might delight in denying you tenure. Whatever the case, if you haven’t produced the scholarship, expect the worst.

    * Wear comfortable shoes.

    It's just better for your legs and lower back during an active day.

    * Don't confuse yourself with your dissertation adviser.

    Did you study at the feet of the most renowned scholar of the ancient Olmec? Is your adviser the ultimate authority on Beatlemania? That’s fantastic! It means that we all think that you received some very solid training.

    It does not mean, however, you are the most renowned scholar of the ancient Olmec. It does not meant that you are the ultimate authority on Beatlemania. Until you have the publication record, your position in the field is more speculative. Your adviser became that expert through decades of hard work. That’s work you have yet to accomplish.

    * Learn to drink as if you were a cast member of Mad Men.

    Drinking helps ease the stress. Or I suppose you could learn yoga instead, but, whatever. . .

    * Remember that teaching is seductive.

    Teaching, while rewarding, is simply easier than writing and researching. You also get more positive feedback from it. It is therefore easy to allow it to consume all of your time. Fight this urge. Figure out a way to block teaching from your mind and your schedule to get those publications out. Six years can disappear real fast.

    * Don't skimp on your home surroundings.

    Many of us are still in grad-student mode when we move to our new town. We therefore get a crummy, but affordable, apartment. Given, though, that most of us in the humanities do a lot of our work at home, make sure that it is a pleasant place to be. The quality of both your work and rest will vastly improve if your home is a mini-sanctuary from the daily toil.

    *Be generous to your fellow junior colleagues.

    All of us are in the same boat. All of us have the same stress. It therefore astounds me when I see junior colleagues going out of their way to be unnecessarily rude to other junior colleagues. If a junior colleague asks a reasonable favor (proofreading, helping out on a committee, etc), do your best to be a member of the community and a friend.

    I also highly encourage you all to read each other’s work. My own research has benefited immensely from the advice and close reading of junior colleagues, even those far outside of my own field. Give your time (precious though it is) to do the same for them. Being secretive and coy about your own work will only make it weaker. Refusing to help others with their work will make you look like a selfish jerk.

    If, though, I can’t appeal to you on the basis of common humanity or notions of polite society, let me remind you of this: Every junior person hired before you will advance to associate professor before you will. This means that they will vote on your tenure file, too. If you think that kissing up to the existing senior faculty can offset terrorizing your junior colleagues, you are mistaken. They will weigh whether they want to live with such an uncollegial and self-serving colleague when pondering granting you a lifetime appointment.

    * Getting a job involved a lot of luck in your favor.

    There were probably other candidates who were just as qualified, if not more qualified, who got passed over. Maybe people didn't read their files closely. Maybe they forgot to wear comfortable shoes. Whatever the case, good fortune smiled on you.

    If you were hired with the rest of us, also assume then that we are all basically the same. We were all the stars of our individual graduate programs when we graduated. Don’t imagine that we didn’t all hear about how our work was so great and fabulous. Get over yourself.

    * Manage your career for the expectations of your field, not your current university or your department.

    There might be a general consensus about the requirements for tenure, but every university has its own set of rules and assumptions. Moreover, if you are in a department that praises one type of scholarship over another, they might offer advice and/or requirements that actually are out of step with where you want to be as a scholar. So, for instance, let’s say that you are hired into a department that specializes in legal history, but your work and training is all in cultural history. Chances are that the legal people are going to push your work to conform to their expectations. If, though, you never solicit advice from cultural historians outside of your department, your work will appear weak to them when it does come out. Even if you succeed at meeting local requirements, but aren’t well regarded in your field, then you will be trapped. If, on the other hand, you build a national reputation in your field and have a reputation of being a responsible colleague, you will have a secure place in your home unit.

    * Think of yourself as an independent contractor.

    There is no such thing as institutional loyalty. In any particular circumstance, an institution will have little trouble dismissing an employee. So, don’t imagine your career as being the same as the institution’s. If they hired you to put up drywall, satisfy the contract and put up the drywall.

    Do not believe people, however, who tell you that moving jobs in academia is impossible and you must be committed to that university. This is especially true if you are in a hostile department. Is it difficult to move? Oh, yeah. If you are in a super competitive field (20th Century US History, for example), it might take several years of trying to find a new job. It is totally possible, however, to change jobs and institutions. Sometimes a move can be a really healthy thing, especially if your current work environment isn’t supportive.

    * There is no “in” crowd in academia.

    In the years that I have been around, I have encountered many, many academics who have felt excluded from the “in” crowd and felt like misunderstood outsiders. Yet, I have never seen an actual “in” crowd. Sure, there are cliques (some are vicious). There are also people whose scholarship receives more attention than others. In the end, though, we are all working to the same goals and find our own niches and friends. Stop searching for the “cool kids” lunch table.

    * Tenure is not the end.

    I have seen many newly tenured people think to themselves, "Ok, now I've made it! It's all a breeze from this point forward." Alas, the academic world doesn't work like that. Don't get me wrong. Tenure is a very nice prize indeed.

    However, you still have to pay your dues and you still have to continue to work hard as an associate professor. While not a meritocracy, your status in the university will depend heavily on the number and quality of your publications. Gaining the label "trapped in rank" will start to feel mighty bad six or seven years from now.

    * Never start a blog.

    Seriously, it’s a bad idea.

UPDATE: Dr. Crazy has offered a fantastic alternative to this post here. My experience and advice are limited, especially in regard to SLAC's. Go read that post for important counterpoints to this post. My only quibble would be about the blog thing. What type of foolish junior professor would start a blog?


vuboq said...

Not enough good things can be said about wearing comfortable shoes!

I do take slight umbrage at your suggestion that teaching is easier than researching/writing. It has been my experience (as a former high school teacher), that teaching is exceedingly difficult. Research and writing were a joy in comparison. Perhaps it is different at higher levels of education ...

Have a lovely weekend! *smooches*

GayProf said...

VUBOQ: Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that teaching was not also difficult. Trust me, I obsessive over it. Nonetheless, I have seen too many junior faculty become seduced by the immediate rewards/concerns of teaching and neglect the writing and research.

Anonymous said...

I've found that the transition between grad studenthood and being an assistant prof is more challenging than I had expected, and appreciate your practical advice. I second the point about choice of living quarters. Staying in a crummy place is depressing, and it has had a negative impact on my productivity.

As for "publish or perish"--yup. Unfortunately, as a grad student I developed some work habits that presuppose large blocks of time for writing, quiet and undisturbed space to think and to do it in.... Not adaptive for the situation that I am in now.

A Starbucks addiction, while very hard on the wallet, also can help soothe the transition, I find. At least, it keeps you awake.

susurro said...

can I go back in time and attend your grad school please? Oh wait, no. Good as you make it sound I like it on this side of tenure just fine.

I 2nd don't start a blog, people will know. And that goes for social network sites too, muscle shirts should be left for Saturday nights at a club far far away from your college town and any cameras.

High heel shoes on the other hand . . .I'm sorry but I look good. And the click sound warns my students I'm coming and to stop talking about how they didn't do the homework.

Roger Owen Green said...

When I graduated from library school, a professor who I knew, not from the library school, suggested that I go for my Ph.D. As a black male with a doctorate, I could "write your own ticket".
What would I DO with a Ph.D.? I could teach. But I don't WANT to teach. I passed. Aside from not being called doctor, I've never regretted passing on that.

Dr. Crazy said...

I'll chime in with vuboq about the teaching issue. I think your advice is likely right on in a R1 context, but I think that in a teaching uni context that the mistake people make is that they think they can phone it in with teaching because that's what they saw their mentors in grad school do. I may do a post over at my place about advice for the transition if one is at a teaching-oriented university....

GayProf said...

Anon: Think about moving. I also recommend looking for an apt/house that has windows on at least two sides of every room (something that is actually quite hard to find).

Mmm -- coffee and sugar: The key ingredients to great scholarship.

Susurro: What happened in your grad program?

Alas, I probably would disregard my own advice and prefer to look fierce and fabulous.

ROG: Ironically, once you get the Ph.D., having people call you "doctor" no longer seems all that interesting.

Dr. Crazy: I'll add a link to your smart post as an "update." Given that I have only ever been in R1 institutions (from undergrad to now), I really don't have the experience to speak authoritatively there (As an aside, I've never liked the notion of "R1" because it makes it seem like SLAC's are "R2's?" Many smart people are producing lots of good research in SLAC's, it seems to me).

Still, and correct me if I'm wrong, if a t-t jr. prof doesn't do the basic publishing requirements (whatever they might be), they won't get tenure, right?

I also wonder if, in addition to R1/SLAC differences, there are discipline differences. So, I have never really seen a jr colleague in the humanities totally phone it in, but I have gotten the sense from some junior people in science and engineering that teaching is the absloute last thing that they consider.

What do others think?

Historiann said...

GayProf (and all commenters)--unfortunately, I've already posted today so I can't do it now, but I'm going to post a link to this tomorrow with a note that I second everything GP says here.

GayProf, you have posted so many great Vade Mecums for people on both sides of the job search process this year, all of them full of practical, common-sense advice, humorously and self-deprecatingly presented. Your obvious humanity and decency shine through in everything you write that I wish you were MY colleague, as I'm sure do all of your readers.

As to GP's advice about teaching vs. research: I second that too, although I certainly take Dr. Crazy's comments about teaching at a regional/directional university and the different demands there. In my nearly-12 years on the tenure track, at both a regional/directional and at an R-1 (of a sort...), and hearing stories from all over the world, the vast, vast, vast majority of tenure denials were due to research productivity reasons, not teaching deficiency reasons. (And the few I've heard of that were allegedly due to bad teaching were, I suspect, using that as an excuse to cover other unfairness and nastiness.)

One last thing: I also heartily concur with GP's advice to be a good colleague and read each other's work. Forming a reading group is a fun and convivial way to set and meet deadlines for your scholarship and helping others with theirs. And, when you get together to discuss each other's work, you can hoist a few tankards (or whatever you prefer).


Ink said...

Just wanted to commend you--it's wonderful that you would take the time to articulate such thoughtful advice!

Historiann said...

Slightly O/T, but may I respond to Roger Owens Green's comment in which he reported being told that if he earned a Ph.D. he could write his own ticket?

I'm amazed to see this particular urban legend still circulating. At least History remains overwhelmingly white, and apparently happy to remain that way. Anyone who thinks that all POCs or all women have some kind of "Affirmative Action" free ride is clearly delusional. From what I've observed, the historical profession wants the appearance of diversity without the reality of it. They may say they want to hire more XX people or more brown people, but since many of "those people" tend to really be committed to things like antiracism and feminism, they're frequently judged un-hireable because their work is "too political," or they present themselves in ways that are "too radical for our students." Because apparently, history profs should just tell the same reassuring tales over and over again, rather than introduce new ideas or real research findings to our students...

/end of rant. I'm glad ROG is happy with his career choice! I'll call him Dr. ROG if he would like it.

GayProf said...

HistoriAnn1: Thanks, HistoriAnn. It would be a real blast to have you as a daily colleague, too. At least, though, I can consider you a "virtual" colleague.

Ink: Thanks, Ink!

HistoriAnn2: This does veer a bit off topic, but (as you know) it's something that I think about quite often (if I don't actually consider it my hobbyhorse). In the social sciences and humanities, only economics is less diverse than history departments on average.

I think that you are absolutely right about many departments looking for "safe" minority candidates who won't rock the boat in terms of racism, sexism, or homophobia. Also, one of the major problems with history departments is that their only outlet for "diversity" hires are minority scholars who work on minority topics. So, the chances of even training, much less hiring, an African American historian who works on ancient Greece is almost zero. African Americans are most often hired to teach African American history. Since most departments only have one or two slots for African American history, then the department remains almost all white because other fields of scholarship are not diverse.

But I also think that scholarship on minorities is sometimes imagined to be an undifferentiated mass. The notion that there are internal divisions (or even that a minority scholar might have retrograde notions of their own minority group) doesn't quite register. It's all imagined to be interchangeable (and seemingly something that one can avoid reading if you aren't in that subfield).

I'm not sure that I did a good job explaining that.

Anonymous said...


You did a pretty good job Explaining That. I am having a number of conversations attempting to Explain That in several arenas of life, and have yet to find a satisfactory way of doing so. Out of one ghetto, into the next... Sigh.


susurro said...

I've written about the process of intellectual ghettoization in the disciplines on my blog before. You hit it on the nose gp, and it isn't just history, most disciplines in the humanities channel poc to poc topics and then only hire poc when hiring about poc topics. I think the latter is what gives people the perception that poc can "write their own ticket" b/c, as I have also written about before, perception matters more than numbers and the perception is that there is a "diversity hire" every year so we poc are good to go . . . I get a lot of emails from disappointed grads of color thru the blog on this issue b/c they too were promised the pot of gold.

no more o/t from me.

Rebecca Hickman said...

A must-read for newbies in almost any field. Nothing is more annoying than a 24 year old know-it-all.

tornwordo said...

As a true independent contractor, I can say that even though it keeps one on the poor side, the liberty counts for at least 50k.

Dr. No said...

Brilliant. I would only add:

You have 2 years to publush your dissertation as a book or series of articles. After two years, any mention of your dissertation is tiresome and annoying.

GayProf said...

aRLY: It's a conversation we need as an entire discipline. Until we aren't afraid to confront some unpleasant elements in the profession, some mighty smart people will continue to make some mighty dubious decisions.

Susurro2: It seems to me that part of this problem is also the assumption that minorities who work on minority scholarship somehow intuit their research. There is a notion that, while other scholarship is rigorous and must be held to certain standards, minority scholarship flows "naturally" and without the same amount of serious effort.

Rebecca Hickman: I know, right? Then again, I am not sure I'm keen on a 34 year old know-it-all. Or a 44 year old know-it-all. Or. . .

Torn: Being a professor is as close to being an independent contractor as I think one could get while still having a regular employer. We have a surprising amount of freedom, even if our employment options are restricted.

Dr. No: Note to self: Never mention how long I've been working on NERPoD to Dr. No.

Belle said...

Like you, I had a series of pre-academic 'lives' that involved 40+ hour work weeks. Prof'ing is definitely the best gig I've had.

At a distance, the horrors getting here seem worthwhile. But then, I was never, ever supposed to Get Here.

Jason said...

Enjoyed the post. Any reason though that you've adopted the incredibly difficult and inelegant "ze" in your blog post? Was the person your describing someone who actually used this construction?

thefrogprincess said...

On the issue of people of color writing their own ticket, it's not just that history departments want to believe this. I've been told by fellow students of color that I'll be a shoe-in for a job because I'm a minority whose official field of study is not minority history, even though people of color certainly feature in my work. I've refused to believe this b/c I've seen no evidence to suggest that departments are racing to hire historians of color, regardless of field. Plus, given the current job market, I'm sure it'll be even easier to find "justifications" for why minority scholars can't be hired.

susurro said...

gp - definitely. I'll never forget when a friend at a prestigious grant agency told me one of my recs could be boiled down to "well she's afra-latina and she speaks spanish so of course you'll give her the money to study latinos from a completely different area of the world." this is a much larger and meatier convo then I bet you intended when you wrote this.

belle - I too worked before joining academe (started with menial labor at age 13) and honestly, hanging from the side of trails being chased by burrow bees occasionally seems less treacherous than staff meetings here, especially in this economy; but there are definitely more perks than most of us write about in the blogosphere.

StinkyLulu said...

The only thing I would add in the wake of the unfettered brilliance of GayProf:

Get Ready for Piles of Admin Stuff that You Never Asked For and you certainly don't want...
Yeah, yeah, everybody parrots the line about "your senior faculty should be keeping your admin load light"...including those very same senior folks who will pile it on at your next meeting. Sure the piles aren't that big but they are piles. And if you happen to be a joint-hire or in an especially overtaxed (ie. underfunded) or small (ie. underfunded) department even at an R1, just saying no isn't always an option. Moreover, with the ongoing fetishization of "assessment" at all levels of the uni, new hires are seen to be "starting from scratch" anyway so "you should really put this in your syllabus" and "while you're at it, can you do this one for the dept/program/major too". Some places might be kind/er to their new hires than others but, with the shrinking full-time ranks, there are fewer and fewer t-t types to shoulder an ever-expanding admin load. Be warned.

GayProf said...

Belle: Being a prof is definitely the best job that I can imagine (except maybe talk show host). Still, because so few professors did any other job, I feel like academia can be less professional than other work environments.

Jason: Would you prefer "s/he"? I was looking to be ambiguous.

theFrogPrincess: Given that most history departments (and larger universities) are still white-men majorities, it is interesting to me that these sorts of discussions occur at all.

Susurro3: Yeah, I once heard of a tenure case where one of the outside letters went something along the lines of, "She's a woman of color in a small field. Of course you should grant here tenure." Way to marginalize!

StinkyLuLu: You point to a serious oversight on my part. It's also worth mentioning how much of your week will be consumed by simply sitting in meetings. These are meetings that most often lack a clear purpose.

Professor Zero said...

GREAT post. And I learned these things in graduate school and they were true.

And I wish I had not been talked out of them by my official mentors at my tenure track jobs, who told me repeatedly that this advice did not apply.

I knew they were lying and events confirmed this.

Professor Zero said...

Although I'd add:

* I haven't seen people who actually teach well get "too much" into teaching. I've seen people with poor preparation do it, imagining they can and should teach anything and everything, but this is dying out in the worlds I am familiar with as the faculty gets more cosmopolitan, more professional, better educated, more research oriented, etc.

* Teaching freshman and sophomore courses is REALLY difficult, especially in states where a high school diploma is more like an elementary school one. If you are doing that (and learning how to do that) and you are also covering multiple out of field surveys at the junior and beginning grad levels, then teaching is hard, hard, hard. It's the grad seminars in your field, the surveys in your field, the intros to your field, and the juicy senior specialized courses in your field which are easy.

* I was always a practical person and always put the right amount of effort into everything. But I was exhorted many times not to put too much into teaching because people assumed I would, that I thought they were telling me I was putting too much into it. So I cut down, and I still catch h*** for not putting enough into it. Moral: if you're a competent person, do as you see fit, not as some blowhard exhorts.

* Although I personally hate the exhortations to publish because it was what my parent screamed at us during dinner in elementary school, we had to publish, publish (ze was on the tenure track and drinking), it really is true. It's the most creative thing you can do, and of all the things you can do it is the one you have the most control over, and research and writing is why you got into this in the first place (unless you were deluded about the nature of the profession and not disabused of your delusions soon enough).

* I have received so much academic advice during my life that one more drop feels like torture. However there is one piece of advice I never got: PUBLISHING IS EASY. There are lots of journals and presses out there trolling for submissions! And look at all the imperfect articles you read daily ... and they are published in decent places! I think one of the most - actually THE most - destructive piece of advice I've gotten is that YOU HAVE TO PUBLISH and that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE ... and that WHAT YOU PUBLISH MUST NOT OFFEND and that YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL OFFEND. And on and on ... but mostly that publishing is both necessary for physical survival and also so difficult as to be nearly impossible.

* In sum: I think the worst feature of academic advice - and I have been receiving it since I was about 3 - is the DOOM associated with writing. You MUST do this and publish it, but nobody WILL publish it, and because of that you will be KILLED. Alternatively, someone WILL publish it but reviewers will not LIKE it enough and you will be KILLED.

Professor Zero said...

Or to put it differently - I went into this whole thing because of research and writing and what I most despise about the profession is the way in which there are so many threats made around these areas - and so much suspicion that one wouldn't be there for research.

Also, and on the other hand, in my first job I was directly told that research and writing were unfeminine and I should get with the program. This was from a saboteur, of course, but it was the senior person in a small department.

I have Issues, obviously. What I have least enjoyed in the whole profession is having had what I came for used on me as an instrument of torture. It has been disturbing.

GayProf said...

General Clarification: My original wording here was a bit sloppy. I didn't intend to state that teaching was "easy." Teaching is difficult, requires a great deal of work and thought, and is often emotionally exhausting. Rather, I wanted to merely warn against a tendency (one that I often have myself) to use teaching as a means to procrastinate from doing our other duties. My caution was more about time management. Even the most stellar teachers won't get tenure if the publications aren't there.

Professor Zero: I agree that the discussion around publishing is often demoralizing and defeatist (though I am not sure I would say that it is "easy" either). Stick-to-it-ness, however, pays off in terms of publishing.

My sister, who is in an article driven field, prefers to think about finding the right "home" for your various pieces of research. Rejection is inevitable, but she contends that rejection from one journal should not be a dead stop for scholars. Instead, they need to think about the critique, weigh how it will change the article, and send it out again as soon as possible. Repeat until published.

Professor Zero said...

"Stick-to-it-ness, however, pays off in terms of publishing.

"My sister, who is in an article driven field, prefers to think about finding the right 'home' for your various pieces of research. Rejection is inevitable, but she contends that rejection from one journal should not be a dead stop for scholars. Instead, they need to think about the critique, weigh how it will change the article, and send it out again as soon as possible. Repeat until published."

This is of course true but don't we learn that in graduate school if not before ... ? ... Why is it that in professordom men start acting as though people haven't learned that already?

Professor Zero said...

HMMMM, sorry I keep harping. Someone IRL just pointed out that most people including most grad students and many faculty think becoming a professor is about going into teaching, as in a secondary school. I did not realize that.

Professor Zero said...

And P.S. - I still say it's a great post and so is Dr. Crazy's.

susurro said...

At both of the journals I review for, we always say "we hope this essay finds a better [or more suited] home" to remind people that just b/c something is outside the bounds of what we want it doesn't mean it is outside the bounds of what everyone wants. And while it can tend toward overhelping,or worse feelings of being set up, I have even on occasion suggested publications or CFPs I know of that seem more suited to their work with the caveat that I have no say on the editorial decisions there and that it still might not end up fitting. Editors really aren't the evil that goes "I don't think so" in the night. (That said, publishing is not "easy" and rejection is not something every grad school teaches, some don't even teach grad students how to be gracious or at least silent when they are turned down and some carry that into their junior years to their own detriment)

I was thinking of doing a post on the process (and how not to respond to a rejection if you want to be published in the future) but it looks like historiann has already done it! :D

David said...

That's like one of Elaine Stritch's famous quotes.

Some young actress came up to her all a-quiver and said "Ms. Stritch, I want to follow in your footsteps!"

"Wear comfortable shoes" was the reply.

I'll drink to that.

Steven said...

When I started reading this post, the first thing that came to mind is NEPOD, the Never-Ending Project of Doom. :-)

I recall hearing too many professors complain that they had to publish way too much just to get tenure.

Aji said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


eda said...


eda said...


Successful Researcher: How to Become One said...

Never start blogging before you are tenured :)