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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

You Know Your A Grad Student When...

Not sure where I found this, if I could remember I'd give them credit... I suppose the smart thing would be to Google it, but that would take more effort on my part this early Saturday morning....

1) You and your fellow grad students view researching as a "treasure hunt"
2) You hang out with your cohort on a Saturday night to talk about the readings for Comm. Theory
3) You become way too excited about the Georgia football game--and stop whatever you are doing to watch your team win on TV (since no one informed you about buying season tickets! Curses!)
4) You hang out with your cohort at the bar and talk about the difficulties of communication in dating and relationships--and don't feel awkward about it
5) Your graduate department begins its own discussion blog
6) You become excited about the possibilities of a research paper after spending your entire Friday in the library
7) You play "Catch Phrase" and use GRE words to describe terms--and EVERYONE understands you
8) You talk about the future of writing a journal article with a fellow classmate--and laugh hysterically when you realize that people will only continue to confuse both of your names upon reading this future article
Any others to add...

Tags: graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Careful about what you blog

Over the summer, I posted an entry Be careful about your web presence where I described how as individuals who are looking for employment in the academy after graduation that we needed to be careful about what our web presence said about us. I specifically mentioned blogging and what might appear if someone were to Google you. This has become even more true for me this past week and I would extend this caution to not nly doctoral or graduate students, but everyone.

This semester I am teaching or co-teaching courses in two different departments. In working with one of the other teaching assistants, just checking things out and really just wasting time, we came across the blog of one of his own students.

Talk about irony the worst teachers and the most bs department i have to attend class through is the education college and the department of XXXXXXX, my XXcourse nameXX is an ass to put it nicely and my XXcourse nameXX teacher as looney as she is, is completely lost. Go FIGURE!! I am at my witts end.

So classes set, books in the process of being bought, and tons of homework already it must be UGA in the fall! Seriously why do some teachers treat their class as though teaching 5 yearolds? I dont need a name tag or need to be adressed in a funny voice and patronizing tone to understand the syllabus or the material I am in college people really!
This was from a student who will be applying to get into the department that they specifically names in the first post and the teacher assistant referred to as an "ass" and also the one who used name tags for the first couple of weeks will be one of the individuals deciding whether or not this individual gets into the program at the end of this semester.

I don't know whether to feel sorry for the fact that this student obviously doesn't realize that some professors/instructors are technically savy enough to be able to find these things on the Internet or for the fact that in all likelihood that this young person has pretty much ruined any chance that they have for their chosen future career.

But then there is a part of me that doesn't feel sorry for them again, as I have to be honest and say that this is pretty dumb. I don't consider myslf to by much smarter than the average person (maybe a little more applied and driven), but I can honestly say that I wouldn't write something into a public sphere about someone or something that I would say directly to that individual. For the life of me I can't figure out why there are others who can't understand that if you're going to post your thoughts to the web, in a blog format or otherwise, to make sure that it is something that you wouldn't mind that individual seeing (as the chances are that they will be able to).

Anyway, just some thoughts for a Thursday afternoon...

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Back to gaming

Okay, now that I am finding some more time to post here again, let's go back to one of my own interests... gaming. You may recall my postings on Are computer games a boon or our ruin? and Gaming in education.

First, here are a collection of blog entries that I have come across about gaming that have struck my interest. As there are a lot that have built up over the past five or six weeks, I can't speak to each one individually.

All of these entries have brought me back around to thinking about something that obviously is of little interest to my dissertation topic, otherwise it would have appeared somewhere in my comprehensive exam questions (see Methodology Question, Practice question, Comps Foundations question, and Theory of interaction?). However, it is something that continues to puzzle me.

I know myself, how I can sit down for hours playing Civilization. I have watched younger cousins sit for hours and play other computer and video games. I have seen elementary school students, virtual secondary students, and my own pre-service teacher education students creating these Powerpoint Games. In all these instances, I see people that are totally engaged with what they are involved in. I see people who can tell you the ins and outs of the worlds that they are exploring through these screens.

These realizations lead me to two lines of thought.... The first is that there has to be something educational going on here. But the second, which I think is more applicable to me as an educator, how do we translate that into the way in which we teach?

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Well, I passed...

Just a quick note today, since it has almost been a month since I posted to this blog. I passed the oral defence of my comprehensive exams a week ago Friday (so eight days ago now). It was interesting, the faculty always tell students that it should be a conversation and that one most topics that you have written about that you are the expert sitting around the table because you've spent more time thinking about your interests than anyone else in the room. However, most of the ones that I had sat in on prior to my own, I have to be honest and say that defence was an accurate term for what I had witnessed. Mine wasn't so much...

Mine did become a conversation, and the interesting thing was that it was a conversation that I wasn't even involved in at times. I can specifically remember three separate occasions where the faculty were talking about and forth to one another, discussing something that I had written or said and I wasn't even involved in the conversation (which was fascinating for me, to listen to their thoughts and ideas). I have to say that the two hour process was thoroughly enjoyable and I would have sat there for another two hours had they wanted to.

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