Saturday, July 2, 2016


1. John D. Cook has an interesting take on why student group projects don't work.
The best teams have people with complementary skills, but similar work ethic. Academic assignments are the opposite. There’s not much variation in skills, in part because students haven’t yet developed specialized skills, and in part because students are in the same class because they have similar interests. The biggest variation is likely to be work ethic. [...] The person doing most of the work learns that it’s best to avoid working with teams.
 2. Don't be a Grammar Nazi. A linguist lashes out:
What changed me was realizing that language isn’t some delicate cultural artifact but an integral part of being human. I found this out by reading what scholars of language — linguists, grammarians and cognitive scientists — say about the subject. It fascinated me. Language — which all human societies have in immense grammatical complexity — is far more interesting than pedantry.
3. Academic Administration as a Calling:
To be sure, no one completes a Ph.D. (as opposed to an Ed.D.) in order to enter campus administration. But for some of us, at a certain point in our careers, administrative work is no longer something to dread or to apologize for. For some of us, serving as chair of a department or dean of a college comes unbidden as a second, midcareer calling. Too often, perhaps, it calls us away from the work we were destined to do, and those tend to be the stories we hear. But sometimes, taking on administrative duties is precisely the culmination and fulfillment of that scholarly work, allowing us, for the first time, to recognize our past as prologue.

No comments: