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Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

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Evaluations [May. 25th, 2007|01:41 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

lollardfish
One of my goals this year was to walk away from my current 1-year position with at least one set of great teaching evaluations. The ones from last fall had some issues (the word condescending showed up twice, very frustrating), but this spring's batch are pretty good. One student was disgruntled in one class, ruining that set, but the other two classes were all glow-y.

Given the insanity of this semester - birth of my son, his diagnosis with Down's Syndrome and all that entailed, job hunt (successful), marriage, and with 2 of the 3 classes new ... I'm thrilled.
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MA exams [Mar. 31st, 2007|11:43 am]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track
neogrammarian
Greetings, all,

I am in the process of compiling an efile of MA exams as described by program websites, as MFI is talking about revising ours. It's an English department, at a school with a literature MA, but no PhD. The thesis-option will remain unchanged, but there has been concern that the exam option is a travesty. (Ok, that's my term for it, but there is larger interest in revising it).

Can anyone hit me up w/a link to programs I might study for ideas? I'm willing to use MA exams in PhD-granting depts, but my colleagues are unwilling to use these for ideas for our dept. MA-only depts would be prime. Ideally, I'd like to come up w/a list from all over the country- and hand them quite a range at the next meeting- our MAs deserve better!

Cheers!
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Rant [Feb. 27th, 2007|07:12 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

lollardfish
I am so deeply unprepared for classes tomorrow.

I'm not sure I've ever been less prepared. I do not have a class prepared on the Viking conversion to Christianity, the formation of the Kingdom of Norway, nor the Danish empire (8:30 AM).

I do not have a class prepared on Nestorian Christianity and other heretics on the Silk Road (9:40 A.M.).

I do not have a class prepared on 1453, but I can do that one in my sleep, and it's not until 2:20 so I've plenty of time.

I am unprepared because I have a 6-week old baby (with Down's Syndrome, but he's fantastically healthy so it's really just the usual parenting madness of adapting to life with baby). I am unprepared because I have been in various places the last two Sunday-Mondays with on-campus interviews, trying to get to a place where I might be able to chase tenure with a little better idea of the goal (i.e. having a tenure-track job). I am deeply ambivalent about one of the jobs, though I'd take it, and excited about the other one, so I am feeling pessimistic about being offered it. Both are teaching colleges and I'm really not sure why I am not competative at research universities (other than having just finished in September, so less publications). I wonder if I am not selling my dissertation highly enough as groundbreaking, pathfinding, and important. It actually is pretty new stuff that I discovered, maybe I need to sell it harder in my letter. I suppose that next year I'll have a second article and be close to a book contract, maybe, so that'll make a huge difference. I am very distressed about having to leave my current institution - I'm visiting, I have a second year, I believe the person I am replacing will not return, they want me, but I have to take a tenure-track position if offered one.

I shall rise at 5:00 tomorrow and prepare for class. Gonna go eat some lamb.
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(no subject) [Dec. 27th, 2006|11:05 am]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

lollardfish
Does anyone use software for syllabus creation that they really like? I tend to just type out all the dates in a given semester and do it manually, but I'm sure there's good calendar software that could be much more efficient. The catch is that at the end I need to be able to export it into an html document. Any ideas?
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Panic [Nov. 29th, 2006|09:28 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track
neogrammarian
Have sample chapers.

Have book proposal.

Have c.v.

Have additional short definition-of-terms.

Have coverletter.

Tomorrow or Friday I'll mail out the first book proposal.

Go, little book, go.
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Chapter Summaries, etc. [Oct. 30th, 2006|07:06 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track
neogrammarian
Well, folks, I'm in the process of pulling together My First Book Proposals. Most of the presses want chapter summaries, so that's coming together first. Anyone want to beta them? (Yeah, I know, "Hah!") What kind of things do these chapter-summaries need to do? Demonstrate sexxxayness of project, sure. Demonstrate accessibility of project? Identify how much is done/progress to date? Suggestions, stories, all would be appreciated.

In addition, what all does one put into the coverletter on one of these badboys? Generally speaking, I'm looking at proposals that require chap summaries and per-press bits- most (but not all) also require a c.v. and a short abstract. I assume a coverletter is in order, but how long & what do I say? ("Oh god, please take my book," is out, I know). I'm guessing short- 1-2 pages, single-spaced, including a "please consider my book" plea, how it would fit So. Well. into their series, 1 parag abstract, pleasantries & offers of further assistance, lawnmowing or dogwalkies, fin. Sound close?
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Publication dilemma [Oct. 23rd, 2006|10:29 am]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

eulistes
[Current Location |Office]
[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Okay, here's a question: what do you all think about publishing an article (or multiple articles?) just to get the line on your CV? I was discussing book manuscripts with my colleague in English this weekend, and she was saying how she thought she had 2 chapters that she could basically just pull, and send out as articles which would then be double-published when her book comes out. (Like me, she's at the proposal-but-no-contract-yet stage, but neither of us figures we'll fail completely at getting the book published.) She said in her field this was considered fine by pretty much everyone involved as long as less than a third of the book, when it finally comes out, had been previously published. (She also said Ashgate didn't seem to care if ALL of the book had been previously published, which strikes me as odd.)

My book manuscript is basically done, and so far I haven't published any of it as articles, though I have cannibalized several chapters of it for conference papers. I didn't figure there was a point in publishing separately if it was going straight into book form. But my colleague seemed to think that doing it just to have the separate line on the CV was worthwhile, and I wouldn't wish to shoot myself in the foot tenure-wise if (as they say) everyone's doing it.

Thoughts of a Monday morning...?
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Another Introduction [Oct. 20th, 2006|03:00 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

eulistes
[Current Location |office, during fall break]
[mood |blankeh]
[music |KCRW online]

Greetings all! I'm another medievalist in the rat race. I teach at a place I usually refer to as SPLAC (for Small Public Liberal Arts College), which is on the Gulf coast of Florida and is one of those crazy honors colleges with no grades. This means I get to teach pretty much whatever I want (a major perk), but instead of handing in grades every semester I have to write several-paragraph-long evaluations of each student; I esteem the principle but could do without the work. I'm now in my 3rd year here, so I'm finally feeling like I have a clue as to what's going on.

Continued...Collapse )
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(no subject) [Oct. 20th, 2006|02:18 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track

dracsmith
Hi, y'all! My name is Anne and I want tenure. [Hi, Anne!]

I've been through the mill once and didn't get tenure. (Insert long ugly story involving appeals, lawyers, and unemployment.) I've started over at a new place where I am *much* happier - truly feel like I belong here - and I'd really like to get it this time. This is my third year here.

One happy thing I can share is that I was pleasantly surprised to find that having a tenure denial on my record didn't seem to hurt my job search. I got a job the first year I tried (there was a two-year gap for personal reason). I thought I would look shopworn next to the shiny new Ph.D.'s, but they were looking for someone with experience. Last year I was on a job search committee (so weird to see things from the other side of the table!) and one of the people we interviewed had been denied tenure. We didn't count it against him.
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Medievalists? [Oct. 19th, 2006|08:08 pm]
Academics On or Near the Tenure Track
neogrammarian
Since I happen to know a number of you are- how do you deal w/the deep institutional ignorance of nonmedieval faculty about what kind of resources we need to teach and do our research? The next facultymember who blithely suggests that I "use JSTOR" next time I am asking about finding money to increase out library holdings may get a book to the head. (Perhaps am I am just crabby today. An American Modernist was insisting that the hurdles I face I share w/others in the dept and I finally just asked her how many languages she uses in her research, and how many of those she uses in her teaching. Not my best moment. Sigh).
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