Is an NSF Grant Just Another Cult Fetish?

I made a somewhat off-hand comment one of Ryan’s posts about graduate education on Savage Minds.Org some time ago.  I warned graduate students about “fetishizing” various types of grant sources like NSF, NIMH, Fulbright, and the various others sources of grad student funding which students compete to get.  This initially got me a deserved sharp … Continue reading Is an NSF Grant Just Another Cult Fetish?

Boldly go Towards Collaboration

Nicholas A Christakis' story in the NY Times is serious food for thought. Christakis starts "Let’s Shake Up the Social Sciences" with the following: TWENTY-FIVE years ago, when I was a graduate student, there were departments of natural science that no longer exist today. Departments of anatomy, histology, biochemistry and physiology have disappeared, replaced by … Continue reading Boldly go Towards Collaboration

Undergrad Seminar: Time Management

Here we are in the 2nd half of the academic year. If the 1st half got off to a rocky start, maybe this is a good time to talk about time management. Not the "The 7 habits of that smugly overambitious go-getter" variety. This is aimed more at the "How can I squeeze school into … Continue reading Undergrad Seminar: Time Management

How to Get Deported for Christmas

       File this one under…I don’t know what.  My story begins with the desire to get cheap airplane tickets to visit our family in Germany this winter.  Simple: Leave at an uncomfortable hour, fly Christmas Eve, save $200 per ticket, and still arrive at Grandma’s in time for Christmas breakfast.  Anyway, we arrived at … Continue reading How to Get Deported for Christmas

Undergrad Seminar: How long should this paper be?

Every student wants to know "How long should this paper be?" I think that's a pretty reasonable question, but for some reason instructors sometimes treat this question like one of the deadly sins. Ironically, when your instructor is asked to present a paper, they are given the answer to that very question at the beginning!  … Continue reading Undergrad Seminar: How long should this paper be?

Undergrad Seminar: Why Incompletes Are So Dangerous

Here we are in the 2nd half of the academic year. If the 1st half got off to a rocky start, maybe this is a good time to talk about time management. Not the "The 7 habits of that smugly overambitious go-getter" variety. This is aimed more at the "How can I squeeze school into … Continue reading Undergrad Seminar: Why Incompletes Are So Dangerous

The Importance of Mentors

As somebody who is going through same major transitions in life, I’ve been thinking about how important mentors are in one’s life. I would bet there are very few people in this world who truly believe that they got where they are in life completely alone. As in my case, there are many different people … Continue reading The Importance of Mentors