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Michael J. Augustin
Santa Barbara, CA
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Here are my thoughts, for what they're worth. First and foremost, setting a daily plan and sticking to it is very important. Figure out working when and where is ideal for you. Second, echoing Marcus, quality trumps quantity every time. In addition, I would not worry about friends who, at their "regular jobs," work 10/11 hours days. In many ways graduate/academic work is more taxing than other occupations; 5/6 hours is all about all many of us can handle without losing our sanity. Keep in mind it's not a sprint, but a marathon, and pace yourself accordingly. Finally, writing (or at least taking notes) each day on something that you have been reading will prove immensely helpful. Whether it's with your ability to structure your thoughts, or articulate them clearly, you'll see a benefit in this daily practice.
I have had similar experiences (i.e., some, but not the majority of, students complained). Glad to hear that you've got a good group of students down there!
Toggle Commented May 17, 2013 on Oh ye of little faith at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I'm certainly up for a Cocoon conference.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2013 on Cocoon Conference? at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I am very pleased to see Epicurus on this list!
Mark, I will begin looking at your paper tonight, with a view to sending you comments on it by tomorrow evening.
Welcome!
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2013 on New Contributor at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Thanks!
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2013 on New Contributor at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Hrm. Well, if I understand Rachel, then the idea is that trying to be a great or outstanding teacher could take time away from other areas that should be cultivated in order to increase one's chances of landing a tenure-track position. Say, for example, one's own research. If a (roughly) balanced dossier is important, then this seems right. Operating in the background is, it seems, the assumption that there is always something one can do to improve one's teaching. It might be, for instance, holding extra office hours, staying late after class to answer last-minute questions or providing more detailed feedback on midterm papers. Doing all of these (and more!) would certainly count in favor of one's being an outstanding teacher. At the same time, though, they take time away from other responsibilities, including taking care of oneself both physically and mentally. So the advice to be good, but not great, is, again, plausible. I'm not sure what to make, though, of the alleged connection between being great and landing only visiting positions.
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Apr 13, 2013