bad rec's and bad luck
chale at SAGE.NRRI.UMN.EDU
Wed Nov 27 12:08:34 EST 1996
Paula recently posted the hypothetical scenario enclosed below. Please
don't take this as a person attack Paula, but it was the straw that broke
the camels back.
I am completely sick of hearing (reading) all the whining that goes on
about "poor us" having to try to manuever around this shark pond of egos
and politics. Well, you chose it! If you are in pursuit of knowledge and
truely interested in what you are doing then who cares what others think!
BUT, if you are in pursuit of academic credentials and a "good" job then,
welcome to the game. I know you are going to say..." but I NEED a job to
survive". Yes, you do, but does it NEED to be as a professor at a
prestigous university? What about a small university or college. What
about a community college? What about contract work? What about a mirad of
other choices? You can complain all day that you "shouldn't have to choose
between these things" and maybe that's true. If you choose to stay in that
system and work for change from within for yourself and others, then great,
you have my support and likely the support of others. But if you want to
whine and complain about how unfair it all is to you, grow up!
Let's at least be honest about the choices WE have made and the
responsibility we must take for being in the situation we are in. Only
then can you take real action to examine a situation or system that may
need changing. I personally, have made many choices throughout my life,
some easy and some difficult, not to play the academic game. there have
been time that I had to really sit myself down and say "if you choose this
course, what are the potential adversities you may face and are you willing
to accept them. Sometimes that means I choose to work long hours for a
short period of time to get a project done OR it may mean choosing to take
a stand knowing that the worst case scenario may be leaving my position.
None of it is done without a great deal of personal investigating and
deciding what my bottom line is for how I want to live my life. I am
active in research and plan on publishing several papers this year. I am
excited and thrilled to be in an environment that allows me the freedom
to do this. But, it didn't happen just because someone handed it to me.
I research, I made choices, I turned down very flattering offers. I
will never regret these choices. I know many others who have made the same
choices. We have jobs which provide us with the needs of a simple life.
We are able to pursue our loves and interests and we are, more often than
not, able to find ready support and recognition for our efforts. AND, we
University of Minnesota-Duluth
The Natural Resources Research Institute
Here's a scenario- not so hypothetical-
As a grad student or postdoc you decide to work on a project (with
advisor's blessings/ encouragement/ support etc...) and well, nothing
publishable comes out- effects are too small, you get scooped etc...
Does a great letter really make up for no publications? Should the
student have had the foresight to bail out on the project (assuming
the advisor didn't)? What if the advisor chooses to publish
infrequently (and still retains funding)?
Just some topics for discussion.....
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