Re: Aid

1

Is there any consensus on exactly why college tuition costs have exploded? It makes no sense to me that they would rise the way they have.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:39 AM
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re: 1

Price gouging.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:41 AM
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That's the only thing that makes any sense, but you'd think there's a limit. Perhaps I am just naive.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:43 AM
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Aren't statements like "federal education loans are available on less attractive terms than car loans" misleading to the extent they imply the rates are uneconomically high? Unlike car and home debt, student debt is unsecured, so if we want it to pay for itself, it would need to be at higher rates than those. Not that we should expect it to pay for itself, or use debt as a vehicle for education generally, but still.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:47 AM
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A rebuttal, of sorts.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:50 AM
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Also, the answer: "Cut the EFC!" is sort of bogus in the absence of getting more money from any source besides families.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:52 AM
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6: Right. Doesn't the federal ECF mainly determine eligibility for federal student loans (and federal grants, though those are a small part of the picture)? It surely isn't binding on what colleges do in terms of need-based student aid beyond that. So I would think the only thing lowering the federal ECF would do would be to allow students to take on more debt.

Also, I have no idea if it's still the case, but back in my day the wealthier universities were surprisingly willing to disregard their EFC determinations if you asked nicely and had a half-decent argument.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:09 AM
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Ugh, EFC, not ECF. I have electronic case filing on the brain.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:11 AM
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To 1:

The consensus explanation, at least the simplest and economically orthodox one, seems to be that the government has dramatically altered the market for higher education by making student loans so freely available. Just as work expands to meet the time allotted to do it, as if by magic, the cost of goods increases when money available to spend on them becomes more readily available. (See, e.g., home prices in the mid-2000s).

Anyone have a better one? Love to hear it.


Posted by: Llewelyn Moss | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:15 AM
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1,9: State government support for public universities has fallen a bunch. That's not the whole explanation, but it's significant.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:19 AM
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There's been a significant change in the level of state support for public universities, yes?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:19 AM
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At the same time that huge amounts of money are flowing into this system, half the classes are taught by adjuncts, and assistant professors lose job offers by requesting $65 K a year. Which leaves me wondering where all the money is going.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:20 AM
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5.link is a piss-poor rebuttal (although that particular place could conceivably be a better performer). Of course they have low or negative operating margins, precisely the way the poor little rich Chicago law professor has almost nothing in the bank at the end of the month. The question is what the money goes toward.

The administrator argument.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:22 AM
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Which leaves me wondering where all the money is going.

This is the other half of my question. Someone is making bank on this and it's not the professors.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:23 AM
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Someone is making bank on this

One thing people point to is the dramatic increase in the number of administrators, and to a lesser extent the salary of administrators.

The implication is that this is completely wasteful. But that's not entirely true. Colleges are becoming more full-service in that they are providing all kinds of support--emotional, practical, logistical--for students. My cc, for instance, needs more advisors, and we need to better organize the whole advising process. There are also a host of social services we wind up providing, including things like short term loans, transportation, and mental health stuff, because no one else around here is doing that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:37 AM
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One explanation I've heard that sounded entirely plausible was that a school that is funded primarily by some combination of financial aid-driven tuition and grants needs a lot more administrators than one that is funded by, say, state budgets or an endowment or whatever, just because the funding streams are a lot more complicated and heterogeneous and piecemeal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:41 AM
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The local university is in labor negotiations with its faculty union; the faculty union flyers all point to the massive increases to administrator wages.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:47 AM
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At Heebie U, it is pretty much 15/16. I'm willing to believe there are bloated administrators getting rich at some institutions, but not across the board.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:48 AM
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14, 15: There are plenty of places the money goes in competition for easy money (e.g., fancy new buildings, marketing, administration). Just like houses got bigger and fancier when mortgages required little more than the ability to fog a mirror.

The more interesting question to me is just when the higher education bubble will pop. College costs won't keep expanding because they can't. (The canary in the coal mine here is lower-tier law and business schools, which are seeing crippling decreases in applications). Technology (MOOCs, basically) will kill it all soon enough. Higher ed. is on the short list of industries that haven't been truly disrupted just yet. I have little doubt that college for my kids (3 and 1) will look little like it did for me, or today. But it will probably come quicker than that.


Posted by: Llewelyn Moss | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:50 AM
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All the brand new luxury apartment buildings for students going up in town makes me wonder whether we're not charging enough in tuition!

My main theory is that colleges and students are successfully collaborating to extract more money from their parents for the students to have a higher standard of living.

I'd really love to see a real in depth report on what's really going on.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:00 AM
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Can't administration be outsourced to the internet? Where is Massively Online University Administration?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:02 AM
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As to where all the money goes, it's worth distinguishing between inflation of nominal price of tuition and average tuition paid. If fewer students are paying the sticker price (ie, are being subsidized) then it's a mistake to think that there's some relatively bigger pool of tuition that's going somewhere.

Also, IT costs, licensing fees, athletics subsidies. And yes administration and state budget cuts.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:05 AM
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I think the wonkblog series on this question was actually pretty decent (at least in diagnosing causes, less so in offering solutions): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/26/introducing-the-tuition-is-too-damn-high/

Highlights include major cuts in state funding to public colleges; all sorts of unfunded mandates for both public and private colleges (ADA accommodations, plus a lot of data reporting); and price-insensitivity by at least some UMC families.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:14 AM
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The thing is though is that MOOCs will lead to shitty educations. Education wasn't disrupted by closed-circuit TV or VCRs, and there's no necessity that it be disrupted here. Some rich person will get to extract the rents created, since that's what the US economy is for, but as a society we'd be better off funding cheap schools with low faculty salaries and low administrative overhead.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:17 AM
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Technology (MOOCs, basically) will kill it all soon enough.

Not a chance in hell. Do you know what completion rates on those things are? Higher ed, just like every place else, is moving to performance-based funding. I keep telling my bosses, the easiest way for me to raise completion rates without grade inflation is to take all my courses off line.

MOOCs will have basically the same impact on colleges that exercise videos had on gym memberships.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:33 AM
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Assuming that MOOCS or something else does 'disrupt' the higher education market, what you'll get is a much greater divide in the prestige and value of higher education than already exists. Not so much when it comes to the very top schools, but between those a tier or so below that manage to survive the shakeout while retaining the current model and the rest. If government guaranteed financial aid is also reduced then you'll get a lot less people in student debt traps, but also even less social mobility than we have now. And this also means that for the kids of the typical commenter, the situation won't look much different than it does now except perhaps in the relative amount paid for by second mortgages vs. student loans.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:43 AM
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25:

I know about the completion rates for the free, not-for-credit MOOCs (in fact, I've started and not completed more than one Coursera/EdX myself). Not sure that has any bearing on my statement, though.

I'd be interested to know the completion rates for for-credit courses vs. non-credit. Of course folks enroll for free, no-credit courses and drop them if they lose interest -- it's costless, so why wouldn't they? I imagine it's quite a different deal when you're part of a degree program and you're paying for an online course that's required for graduation. Do you know of illuminating data on that?


Posted by: Llewelyn Moss | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:08 AM
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The series in 23 has a lot of good stuff, thanks for the link, but it doesn't actually get into where the money is actually going. It focuses on the why and not on the how. I want to understand where the increased spending at public flagships is going. The underlying mechanism (you charge what you can get away with and then find things to spend it on) makes sense to me, but that doesn't explain why so many parts of universities are under financial stress. Said otherwise, those articles are (sensibly) aimed at users of educations and I want something aimed at insiders.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:17 AM
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27: Lee is currently teaching at a for-profit school where they've recently switched from having a dean call every student who misses a once-a-week class to having the teacher call as soon as there's a break so the student can still be encouraged to show up.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:21 AM
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29 to 25, sorry.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:23 AM
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How about the role that the investment industry plays in getting everyone into high fee tax advantaged plans? More money, more to skim.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:33 AM
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I know about the completion rates for the free, not-for-credit MOOCs (in fact, I've started and not completed more than one Coursera/EdX myself). Not sure that has any bearing on my statement, though.

I'm not sure the completion rate thing is so bad. I too have started and not completed several free MOOCs. But the alternative wasn't me starting and completing traditional educational courses. It was buying and maybe finishing, maybe not, a book. And in the meantime I've learned a lot, whether or not I finished the courses.

If the idea of MOOCs is to get people qualifications, or educations which would merit a qualification, then sure, the dropout rate could be a bad sign. But if it's just to teach people stuff, then it's working for me.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:21 AM
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32: This. I've only finished two MOOC courses, namely two of the three offered by Stanford before they started Coursera. (Why yes, I did ace them, thanks for asking.) I've taken a bunch on Coursera and one on Udacity that I eventually dropped out of (maybe I finished the Udacity one, been a while) because real life took over. But I learned stuff! It was good! It was free!

MOOCs are really good for people who want to learn stuff but don't need to learn stuff. As such, they're great for college grads who want to a refresher or to slightly expand their knowledge at their own pace.

(Disclosure: I work for a for-profit educational entity that is, contrary to Stormcrow's belief, not a MOOC.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:26 AM
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I just finished my first Coursera the other day; I will probably do others. It was fun, and I learned some stuff. But I'm glad it didn't lead to a qualification, or part qualification, because it simply wasn't at a high enough level. I suppose it would do towards a GCSE or equivalent.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:39 AM
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||

Just got a 419 in my inbox. Haven't seen one of those for years.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:46 AM
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If the idea of MOOCs is to get people qualifications, or educations which would merit a qualification, then sure, the dropout rate could be a bad sign.

The idea is to drastically cut funding to education. If the idea were just to spread the joy of learning for free, then MOOCS are a great idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 1:54 PM
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I think the likely endgame for MOOCs is going to be as a tool to keep in touch with the alumni base and increase their donations. What they're great for is for continuing enrichment for people who already know how to learn.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 2:01 PM
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The idea of MOOCs is to disrupt education, but they are a failure at that. At best they'll end up being an adjunct to regular courses and serve as continuing enrichment as Upetgi suggests.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 2:20 PM
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@10: There are apparently two DaveL's. I remember posting here for the first time and being told "wait a minute, you aren't DaveL" by someone (forget who). After much time passed without seeing that DaveL, I posted under that name, which I use here and there on other sites.

Since the other DaveL has priority (unless this is a third one?) I'll try something else if he objects.

@9: And all that being said, I agree that the flood of loans explains much of the price rise. There are other factors though, such as increased demand due to "You MUST have a degree to get a job as a barista", which may, alas, even be true.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 4:33 PM
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Wry Cooter is still available.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 4:41 PM
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39: I had used a different name for a while, then mostly drifted away for a while, and more recently drifted back under the plain old generic 47 year old balding basement dweller that I started out as.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 4:44 PM
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I say we have either a duel with broadswords, and the winner gets to keep the DaveL name. Let's turn these pseud confusion lemons into lemonade.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 4:57 PM
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Loser is Davelle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:04 PM
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Wouldn't it be more fun to just see which of us LB manages to put an arrow in first?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:04 PM
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A lot of people don't really want an education, so much as they want whatever goddamn credential they need to get past the trolls in HR. MOOCs can do this, and can do it cheap and, yeah, that's going to cut into the money that currently goes to college professorts.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:27 PM
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43 -- Maybe something Shakespearean. Or not.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:45 PM
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So I have now read all the way through the series linked in 23. It's an ambitious project and there's some interesting stuff there, but his overall argument lost me in Part IV when he asserted that college and university revenue streams are fungible. The example he cites -- restricted donations to fund scholarships turn into unrestricted tuition revenues -- is well and good, but that doesn't mean that hospital revenue or federal research grants can be used to water the athletic fields.

Nobody who sat down to figure out how best to perform the various functions of a modern research university would design the institutions we have, and there are enough disruptive forces at work that there's lots of good work to be done teasing apart all of the cost drivers and cross subsidies and plain old stupid stuff. But the task that series set for itself was to figure out what's driving the price of undergraduate education across the full range of institutions, from Rob's to Sifu's, and it's not too surprising that it fell way short.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:48 PM
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46: I went Prufrockian for a while, but for whatever reason am not feeling that way at the moment.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:49 PM
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Federal research grants can't be used to teach people with. Except incidentally.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:55 PM
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"that doesn't mean that hospital revenue or federal research grants can be used to water the athletic fields."
Apparently you've never heard of 83% overhead rates.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 5:57 PM
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OT: Sunglasses doge. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:04 PM
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83% indirects? Or is that something different. We don't get anything close to that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:06 PM
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50: Apparently you haven't read Circular A-21 very carefully. Turns out those F&A costs -- which, yes, are fungible money when they come back -- have to be justified by costs incurred for indirect support to research. Which doesn't include watering the athletic fields. But snark aside, I was thinking more of direct costs.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:07 PM
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51: wow much cool


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:26 PM
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That's a pity 'cool', but I'll take it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:30 PM
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Let's all post our F&A rates for sponsored on-campus research.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:31 PM
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That's a dog wearing sunglasses cool. Double cool if he also has a bandana on. Triple cool if he's skateboarding.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:38 PM
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44: I have given up on trying to enforce proper pseudonym hygiene. I hate you all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:41 PM
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Hate the player, not the name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:46 PM
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"you haven't read Circular A-21 very carefully."
Guilty as charged, but as you note, fungible, so more central funding freed up to water the grass. Yes, 83% indirect, although of course there's a whole schedule of different rates depending on blah blah blah.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 6:55 PM
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60: What's fungible is the cash that comes back to reimburse for money already spent building buildings and staffing research support offices and that sort of thing. So there's no net revenue there, although like so many university funding streams, the account that paid for the cost doesn't necessarily get the associated reimbursement. In practice that can mean more hookers and blow for whoever does get the reimbursement, but it's not really free money.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:10 PM
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58: I remember your saying ages ago that my original name+initial combo was grandfathered in before pseud hygeine became a thing, and if switching back to one's original name/pseud is good enough for urple, it's good enough for me.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:14 PM
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It is really unacceptable to have two DaveLs, DaveLs. One of you, whoever lives further east, shall be Davela, and the western one shall be Davelb. Or pick different pseuds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:16 PM
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DaveL and LaveD?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:18 PM
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63: I think I win either on seniority or westerliness.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:19 PM
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Davelb!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:24 PM
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DaveLB and DaveLA? I like this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:24 PM
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And DaveLA is west but DaveLB is east! This is the least confusing plan ever devised.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:25 PM
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Wait it's so not-confusing that I just got confused. DaveLB is west and DaveLA is east, obviously. And DaveTeo and DaveGuatemala are south and north, respectively.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:26 PM
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We already had/have a DaveB.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:27 PM
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Exactly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:27 PM
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LA is a city in the west, and LB lives in the east. Got it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:27 PM
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72 before 69. Stupid not being confused. Or being too confused? Yes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:28 PM
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70: yeah but he changed to BaveD like a normal person.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:29 PM
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It's alphabetical, like reading the US from above, orienting the North Pole as "up".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:29 PM
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It's alphabetical, like reading the US from above, orienting the North Pole as "up".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:29 PM
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Just kidding. It's alphabetical facing the South Pole.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:30 PM
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75 was to DaveL, and then 76 was to DaveL.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:30 PM
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Er, wait, 78 should be the other way around.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:30 PM
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Davesla/b follow the rising sun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:31 PM
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Let them share the pseud, DaveL West posts on Mon/Wed/Fri and DaveL East posts on Tue/Thur/Sat. Sundays will be alternated based on whose has the lexicographically first license plate number.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:33 PM
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whose has? Sigh.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:35 PM
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83

The best way to do this is to go to SMBC and hit random and pick a name based on what you see in the strip.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:35 PM
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Prefenestrated would be a great pseud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:37 PM
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It sounds so underage.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:38 PM
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No. It's a window-tossing reference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:40 PM
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I suppose "Ass-Grabbing Frank" is too something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:42 PM
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Medusa's Pubic Hair?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:44 PM
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that is, contrary to Stormcrow's belief, not a MOOC.

Oh, I guess we never finished that "conversation."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:44 PM
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And sanctity of off-blog misapprehension, dude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:46 PM
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And DaveLI is even "easter" then DaveLB.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:50 PM
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<insert preemptive racist self-criticism remark here>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:52 PM
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I hadn't been around enough lately to realize that another DaveL had cropped up, and on re-reading, I realize that I misread his comment and that he plans to be here and doesn't plan to change. Ugh. I don't particularly feel like bringing back the pseud, and I don't particularly feel like making up another one, but I guess I'll think of something or just wander off again.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:53 PM
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Yeah, it's not a MOOC, it's an upwards mobility generator predatory Pell Grant consumer for-profit university. It has physical campuses. The stuff that I work on in online but it's generally taught as part of a small class by an actual human teacher. There might also be online-only courses but in that sense it's no different than online correspondence courses at traditional universities.

What are the rules for meetups? If I live blog something, has it been entered into evidence? If I don't live blog it, does it forever go down the memory hole?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:53 PM
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I am too a person!


Posted by: DaveLC | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:54 PM
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DaveLD kills.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:54 PM
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Alternatively a lot of DaveLC contains a multitude of DaveLDs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:55 PM
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- "a lot of"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:56 PM
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WE ARE DAVELEGION


Posted by: OPINIONATED MASS OF DAVELS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 7:58 PM
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We are 6.02214129×10^23 Daves.


Posted by: Moledave | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:01 PM
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DaveLT(schmerz) has trouble getting out of bed most mornings.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:02 PM
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Let's everybody change our pseud to Dave followed by three letters.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:04 PM
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102: I've got mine all set, thanks to Sifu in 69.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:06 PM
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LB will find us and kill us. With arrows.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:07 PM
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101 raises a big question: how is that "veldtschmerz" is not a thing? Google says it isn't in TFA but I find it hard to believe no one here made this joke.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:07 PM
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"I went to the EvPsych talk, but left early because it was giving me veldtschmerz."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:09 PM
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104: That's DaveLZB to you.


Posted by: DaveJPS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:14 PM
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I blame DaveSKY.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:16 PM
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109

Oops, pseud slip.


Posted by: DaveJPS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:16 PM
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Veldtschmalz for living off the fat of the land.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:20 PM
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110 reminds me that I had an egg-and-gribenes scramble fried in schmaltz this morning and it may have been the most delicious thing ever.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:48 PM
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God damn, I love this chaos. Identities are confused and it's a war of all against all.


Posted by: DaveHalford | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:01 PM
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Chaos in 8 dimensions!


Posted by: DaveBigboote | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:11 PM
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58.last to all of you assholes.


Posted by: Spartacus | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:17 PM
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(I got DERP Doge. What number is he again?)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:18 PM
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1024.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 12:05 AM
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I have insomnia.


Posted by: Davie-Gavie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:14 AM
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Aw.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:15 AM
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You could try unicycling 100 miles in Alaska in the winter. I bet that would put anyone to sleep.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:27 AM
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I like "Davela" as a pseud. It makes him sound like a Scouser.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:24 AM
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Wait. I think derp dog is 2048.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:08 AM
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Derp Doge is definitely 1024.


Posted by: DaveHal | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:31 AM
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I DON'T SEE A PROBLEM HERE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MRS. MCCAVE | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:35 AM
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If you name a kid 'Soggy Muff,' he's really going to get teased at school.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:40 AM
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Now I'm confused. This is my first post in this thread. Are there two other DaveL's posting now? Are there two others posting in this thread?

(Another DaveL showed up in the allergies thread yesterday, and now this.)

I hadn't noticed any other DaveL's posting recently. There was another a year or so ago when I first started unfogging, as someone mentioned it, but I think I only posted one or two times back then.


Posted by: DaveL? | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:46 AM
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Did one of you lead a slave rebellion against the Romans?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:48 AM
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I'll link to it again because I'm ass: this CSS will display the tiles' numbers in flashing rainbow text.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:49 AM
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Rats, that wasn't my first post in the thread. I posted 39, thereby kicking this off.

So does that make me DaveLA or DaveLB or are there three of us? Four? It's like a bad episode of Star Trek.

I could be DaveLMA (since I live in MA, if that doesn't collide).

We should all just post under our social security numbers or Public Keys. This is too serious to trifle with!


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 5:54 AM
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Change your pseud to your income.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:05 AM
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QUIT MUSCLING IN ON OUR TURF! LOOK AT ME!


Posted by: OPINIONATED MR MEESEEKS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:06 AM
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Seventy-one percent of college students graduated last year with an average of $29,400 in debt.

What I want to know is how ogged can possibly describe any article that contains that sentence as "very clear". It's an abomination.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:12 AM
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It's amazing, right? I would have expected only about 20 to 25% of college students to graduate in any given year.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:15 AM
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In the UK, fees have increased significantly, but pressure on university funding has gotten worse, because the government withdrew pretty much all state funding for non-STEM subjects, and has continued to cut year-on-year education funding for those subjects that still receive funding for teaching. So, the students [and presumably their parents] pay a lot more, and accrue more debt, but the income the universities receive has dropped.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:40 AM
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re: 128

In my office, I used to be the only Matt, then a new one started, so we had to adopt a spelling convention in emails so we know which Matt is being referred to, and since we sit near each other, anyone calling our names caused confusion. Then, we recruited another Matt, a few months back. I've contemplated just killing the other two.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:42 AM
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I have no idea how, but I've avoided having any close coworkers with my same first name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:45 AM
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There are three of us in my workplace now as well. It's very confusing. I think we should switch to last names but people seem reluctant. The department chair for a while took to calling me "Hugo" which was inexplicable but at least distinguishing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:45 AM
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136: "dino-man"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:46 AM
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Or maybe you should go for an unusual short form of your name, like just the last few letters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:47 AM
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My section used to have three Lizes, but we're down to two now. The only real problem was the day last summer when I was racing around the building under high pressure trying to get various unavailable people to participate in tense settlement negotiations, and some idiot who used to work with the first Liz kept on running into me and calling me "Evil not-Liz". Yes, funny, I get it, but I'm actually trying to save the state money here, can you stop making the same not-exactly-a-joke?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:49 AM
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134: I have a commonish name with an uncommon spelling (in line with half my ethnic make-up). I've always ended up in places with other people with my name and usually I just get called, say, oudemia-with-an-o. But then! When I worked at CNN my boss had my very same first name. It was super weird and neither of us liked it much frankly, because we became Big Oudemia (her) and Little Oudemia (me). [This was a height thing.]


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:49 AM
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139: and now he's dead.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:50 AM
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CNN: the grey gardens of news.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:51 AM
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Not dead, but he did change jobs to head up the division of cemeteries. So, the first to go in the zombie apocalypse.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:52 AM
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I used to have a boss with the same first name as my girlfriend, which, combined with autocomplete on Microsoft Outlook, led to a few entertaining mistakes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:53 AM
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May I also add that a friend jacked my internet pseudonym for her OK Cupid account? She is also a classicist and "I just liked it. Are you annoyed?" Grr. Yes, actually? But one can't admit to such things. There is also a woman in Italy named Chiara somethingorother who is actively trying to wrench oudemia-named things from me. Constantly writing to Google to get my password changed etc. She actually successfully took over my eBay account.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:56 AM
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Stupid having the most common male given name of my generation.

It's worth mentioning that Davel is a valid given name (Indian, I think Gujarati or maybe general North Indian).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 6:57 AM
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145.last: That would piss me off soooo badly. Luckily my pseud is unlikely to get hijacked.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:06 AM
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145: Isn't there cash in ebay accounts?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:07 AM
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148: Not mine! I didn't really do anything with it, except look at stuff. But one day I tried to log in and got a "Forgot your password?" prompt in Italian.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:11 AM
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I'm more worried that somebody would want my real name google account than my pseud one. I my name.mi.name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:12 AM
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144: My PhD advisor's wife and I have the same name, but hers is with an "i." I met her and said something like, "He remembers my name but always spells it like yours." (He mangled lots of names.) She replied, "Well, he's dyslexic, so it's hard for him to get spellings right." The "you asshole" was left implied.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:12 AM
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I used to work in a small team with three guys called Mark, usually referred to as Mark I, Mark II and Mark III, in the order in which they started, or as Huey, Dewey and Louie, if the boss was in that kind of mood.

There are almost always more people with my first name around, often with my second name as well. Excellent camouflage.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:13 AM
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151: ydniw?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:19 AM
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145.1 is really weird. Wouldn't people google okcupid usernames that clearly look like usernames and see if, maybe, that person says funny things about Negroni season or whatever?

The only time lots of people had my name was when I volunteered in a nursing home, so it was pretty easy to differentiate between patients and the teen volunteer. It was a great conversation-starter, though, because everyone remembered Thorn So-and-So who was also in the seventh grade in 1932.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:21 AM
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Really, you Daves should have something worked out by now. This has been going on your entire lives.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:24 AM
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Pratchett suggests Big Dave, Wee Davie, Medium Dave, Bigger-Than-Medium-Dave Dave, etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:26 AM
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I kind of like this pseud, it's like Hal (aka my Internet persona) is taking over and coming alive.


Posted by: DaveHal | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:28 AM
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153: udniw ecam


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:28 AM
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145, 154.1: there were a couple of script kids who adopted my handle for a while in the late '90s because, I guess, they didn't think of me as a person they were ever likely to interact with online and just figured it was like naming themselves after Batman or Rob Halford or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:31 AM
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re: 152

One of the other Matts works for me. So we get a lot of emails addressed to: Dear Matts, ...

re: 156

That's the Brazilian football solution, isn't it?

Big Ron, Wee Ron, Really Wee Ron, Ron from the North, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:31 AM
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My wife and I probably locked some random person's computer account just the other day. Basically, we were logging in and got the initialslastname user name the wrong way around (unfortunately due to lack of discipline we've use both in various different places). Very confident in the password, we blundered on assuming typo until we were forced to security questions which were ones that we recognized we would never use ourselves due to having ambiguous answers. That triggered the recognition of the username error and we got into to occurs no problem.

It was one of those with a "pass picture" or whatever they call them, but who remembers those.

Sorry, random person.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:37 AM
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Well, hell, this is a great chance to get some epithets going. Pick some of the good ones from the Ottoman Empire. Options include Dave the Conqueror, Dave the Lawgiver (Dave el kanunyi), Dave the Magnificent, Dave the Grim, Dave the Sot, Dave the Damned, Dave the Thunderbolt, Dave the Affable, Dave the Fortunate, Dave the Deranged, Dave the Orderly, or Dave the Devout.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:38 AM
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161: Their credit card computer account.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 7:42 AM
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I spent most of my insomnia catching up on this doge meme thing. It's really pretty fantastic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 8:50 AM
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162: Or European bigwigs. I'm fond of Dave the Unready, Dave the Gouty, and Dave Skullsplitter.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 8:59 AM
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Or Dave the Memorable (sometimes known as Dave the Unforgettable).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:05 AM
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@162,165. Wikipedia has a huge list of "royal epithets."

"Dave the Albanian-Slayer"
"Dave the Bewitched"
"Dave the Bookish"
"Dave the Debonair"
"Dave the God-like One"
"Dave the Ill-tempered"

I am so tempted...


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:10 AM
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Be the Albanian-slayer you wish to see in the world.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:13 AM
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Better claim "Dave the Bookish" quick if you're gong for that one. Likely to be much sought after.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:15 AM
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Dave the Boneless and Dave the Unspeakable, likewise.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:17 AM
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In my field there are two David K/pl/ns. The younger one was the PhD student of the older one's wife.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:22 AM
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There are also two David M/rshes, both of whom work in the same sub-sub-subfield. One is now a postdoc at the place where the other one just left grad school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:23 AM
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I was once surprised to find that there were two Sean Carrolls who might plausibly have written a pop-science book; I saw the name on a "New Non-Fiction" table at a bookstore, thought, "Hey, that physicist with the blog" and picked the book up without actually looking at it closely. And then found that it was by some entirely different biologist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:29 AM
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Of course, there is Old Dave and his son, Young Dave. Young Dave's son is older than Old Dave. Nobody could figure out how that happened.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:38 AM
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It's his mother, you asshole.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:39 AM
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Maybe I should have posted in this thread.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MRS. MCCAVE | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:40 AM
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You calling LB and asshole just because she didn't know that Sean Carroll named her son Sean Carroll?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:45 AM
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-d


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:47 AM
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Remember that time all the Sean Carrolls were going to get killed unless they could correctly guess their own hat color with their eyes closed?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:50 AM
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Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Dave's on first, Dave's on second, Dave is on third...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:50 AM
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I'm coming late to the thread, but I have to say that I'm getting increasingly annoyed by the cute little two-step that people seem to do when they talk about MOOCS:

------------------------------------------------------------
Step 1: MOOCS are going to innovatively disruptify high education! All you lazy perfessorz will be out of a job!

Step 2: Completion rates are consistently around 4%? Well, that's not really a problem. After all, MOOCS were never intended to replace in-class instruction.

Step 1: The traditional university is doomed! Doooomed I tell you!

Step 2: So, that experiment at San Jose State showed that students do significantly worse with MOOCS than with normal classes? No big deal. After all, MOOCS were at most going to supplement traditional coursework.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Repeat as long as desired...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:52 AM
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...
Sean Carroll's not here.

No, man, I'm Sean Carroll, man.
Hey, c'mon, man.

Who is it?
It's Sean Carroll, man, will you open up? I got the stuff with me.

Who?

Sean Carroll, man, open up.

Sean Carroll?

Yeah, Sean Carroll.

Sean Carroll's 's not here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 9:58 AM
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181.last -> 182


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:00 AM
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Good grief. You lot have kicked up more fuss in 24 hours than IRL friends and colleagues have with generic name issues in years.

I first posted here as DaveL maybe 10 years ago, give or take a couple. I'm pretty used to being who I am and picking the right pseud just seemed like too much work. Some years later, I adopted a pseud, partly for work-related reasons and partly in deference to LB's feelings about such things. It came from a line in Prufrock that had some resonance, but I was never all that happy with it. And then work got crazy and various people drifted away from here for various reasons and I dropped away to mostly just periodic lurking and very occasional comments. Lately I've noticed that more of the old community is back, and my life is a little more manageable, so I started commenting again under my original name. The end.

I see above that the other Dave has come up with the same convention that makes sense to me, proving again that generic minds think alike. DaveLHI it shall be until I think of something else or leave in a huff.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:09 AM
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181: MOOCs are not the only way to disrupt higher ed, innovatively or otherwise. There is some reason to think that Stein's Law will kick in sooner or later.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:12 AM
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A true DaveL would be delighted by being the subject of all this silliness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:14 AM
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DaveLHI may call you,
Any night, any day


Posted by: Bloody Mary | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:23 AM
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Come on, Heebie, the "No true DaveL" fallacy isn't useful. And further, how do you know what it's like to be a DaveL? Stop Heebsplaining DaveLism.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:31 AM
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The coming of the False Dave L will signal the coming of the end times for the blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:35 AM
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Silliness is more a heebie sort of thing.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:36 AM
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190 was me.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:36 AM
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The False Dave L will be known by having an extraneous L is his pseud.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:38 AM
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If ever there was a time to use the pseud "DaveL" 191 was it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:45 AM
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I await the emergence of the Twelth, or Hidden, DaveL.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:46 AM
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193: Yes but it's still early here.

194: He's called "ogged".


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:47 AM
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by having an extraneous L space isn his pseud.

Jesus. Not early here, but am ostensibly paying attention in a meeting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 10:56 AM
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Ugh, meetings. I feel like it's all I ever do now. I'm contemplating sneaking out of my office now to go home and do some work. In the last four work days I've had at least 14 half-hour to hour-long meetings with students, two meetings with postdocs, attended four talks, and spent four or five hours talking with a visitor. Someone just knocked on my office door while I was starting to write this comment, and I pretended not to be here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 11:05 AM
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Essear's not here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 11:08 AM
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Stop Heebsplaining DaveLism.

It's not a religion, it's a way of life.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:54 PM
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Pratchett suggests Big Dave, Wee Davie, Medium Dave, Bigger-Than-Medium-Dave Dave, etc.

At uni, I only knew one Dave, and he was still called Big Tall Dave.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:55 PM
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195: Ogged did not bring cargo, or smite the unbelievers. He's basically a fraud.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 1:59 PM
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I felt sure 197 was referring to this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:05 PM
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202: Huh. That doesn't seem to bear that much resemblance to where my time goes. I'm spending a huge amount of time answering questions from students, either who are taking my class or who are trying to do research. I'm spending basically zero time on class preparation since I taught the same class last spring.

I've had five grad students recently come to me wanting me to be their advisor. I have no idea what to do with them. I'm already advising two students and that's a huge time drain. I guess I'll have to turn most of them away, but no one else in our group is taking students right now and a lot of the senior faculty seem to think I should be handling all of them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:35 PM
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Huh. Isn't that the sort of thing that would be an organized, required part of the job? Like, the department assigns you to teach X classes, the department assigns you advise Y students? If not, how do students keep from falling through the cracks with no advisor?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:49 PM
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No, you're definitely not assigned students, and I don't think I've ever heard of a school with a minimum. Instead what happens is that number of students is typically a significant factor in raises and promotions.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:51 PM
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I think the basic underlying problem is that a lot of students want to do theory, but they've heard that it's hard to get into a good grad school as a theorist, so they apply and say they want to do some kind of experiment. And the experimentalists desperately need students because they have labs to run. So a bunch of students get admitted who then try to not do what they said they would do. And there aren't enough slots to go around for theory students, so eventually they find their way into one of the experimental groups where the department thought they would go to begin with, but they're unhappy there, so they go into banking or whatever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:53 PM
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Some undergrad came to me recently wanting a summer research project and then went to someone else and decided theirs was more interesting, and told me really apologetically that he wasn't going to work with me. I tried not to let my face show how happy I was that I didn't have to deal with him.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 2:58 PM
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198: I have consumed many, many, many beers at that very place.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:07 PM
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In the places I'm familiar with, there's a person who's in charge of the grad program (Vice chair for graduate education or somesuch) and an important part of their job is trying to deal with the students who do fall through the cracks. It definitely happens though. One of my good friends in grad school had a really tough time of it (though now he's very successful).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:14 PM
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I'm going to have to get much better at saying no, which I'm not managing to do so far. They all seem like nice kids! They want to come talk about physics! I feel like an asshole if I turn them away.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:20 PM
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I fell through a spectacular crack, which no one in my department seemed very inclined to do anything about. I was going to quit but then a faculty member volunteered to advise me while we were chatting during a fire drill.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:26 PM
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Can you make your grad students manage the undergrads who are doing projects?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:31 PM
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211: If there aren't regular drills, start a fire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:41 PM
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213: And so we come full circle to adding administrative costs to fund the Assistant Dean for Arson.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04- 2-14 3:57 PM
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211: IIRC, I was wondering how that resolved itself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:40 AM
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214: ADA compliance is very important.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:42 AM
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215: but if you don't recall correctly, you weren't wondering?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:43 AM
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Right! About L. at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:46 AM
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Also url to original narrative of diachasmation?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:47 AM
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It seems essaer didn't really understand what he was getting into when he became a professor at a university as opposed to a researcher somewhere else.

Oops.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:54 AM
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213: I think that's the chemistry department's job.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:55 AM
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The False Dave L will be known by having an extraneous L

I wouldn't go so far as to call her "extraneous".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 6:58 AM
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I did my PhD in a recently established interdisciplinary/interdepartmental program in which it was unclear who, exactly, was responsible for what. From that perspective, I can say that there is a fine line between "students falling through the cracks" and "students shamelessly exploiting the lack of oversight in order to collect their stipend while spending most of their time playing in a local band".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:04 AM
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Also url to original narrative of diachasmation?

Asssphinctersayswhat?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:09 AM
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I am mostly pleased, as an elderly PhD student with my own kooky ideas of what I want to do, to have a nice capacious crack that I can hide out in and nobody will bother me. If I was younger and less self-directed I would probably be at an absolute loss with my adviser/lab situation. My cohort-mate who is in the same subfield (and same physical lab, but with a different adviser) has a much more elaborate support network, and really uses and needs it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:12 AM
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At my undergrad, there was an ugly system for the grad students to find an advisor in my program. Everyone had a couple months to go around and meet profs, sit in on group meetings, etc. The official day to join a group was mid-October, say Oct 18. The grad students knew that popular spots might fill quickly, so they'd arrive ridiculously early, a couple hours before their preferred prof (maybe 5 am) to wait in line to ask to join the group. Then, the prof would say yes or no to each in turn (privately, at least), depending on whether he liked the student, the student's grades/course performance, entrance exam scores, etc. and how much funding was available. The students who were turned down then had to go to their second choice, who might or might now have already filled his available positions (and who will know he wasn't the first choice because the student wasn't waiting in line) and so in in a game of musical chairs.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:13 AM
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I've written and deleted four different responses to 220.1. I guess I'll just leave it at this: I can't think of any other job that involves such a large number of tasks that other people ask one to do, all of which one is expected to do, where if one fulfills all of those tasks to the best of one's ability one will be summarily fired in five years.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:22 AM
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And yet so fluffy, with such adorable big brown eyes and cute floppy ears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:26 AM
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229

228 to 227.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:32 AM
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The metaphor should be rewritten in terms of different kinds of doge. "Should I take the derp doge, which is kind of dumb but will be around for a long time, or sunglasses doge, which is cooler but will burn out in a few years?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:32 AM
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Oh wait. It actually was. Good one, Sifu.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:33 AM
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227: Sorry to be a jerk, and all. But 227 really does seem like you are agreeing with me rather than disagreeing.

Also, plenty of jobs pile on the expectations and will summarily fire you well before the 5th year elapses if you don't divine quickly the unsaid "what really matters" and adapt your expectations for everything else.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 7:58 AM
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232: No, I mean, I did understand what I was getting into, which is that the "what really matters" is research accomplishments and absolutely nothing else. But knowing that that is the thing that really matters doesn't really make it any easier to figure out how to deal with all of the people who are asking me to do other things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 8:02 AM
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I actually recently met L.'s VC for grad students (it turns out we're in the same field). I silently judged him. But I'm glad you've found an advisor! How's it going with the advisor?

I think I have a student now, but I'm not sure. He might still be deciding between me and one other person. It seems awkward to ask.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 8:08 AM
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"doesn't really make it any easier to figure out how to deal with all of the people who are asking me to do other things."

Ah, I see. Well, saying "no" does suck.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 8:17 AM
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232, 233: I think getting a job at Here's a Dying Puppy University is unlike most tenure-track jobs as professors. If essear were at Serviceable Big Ten University instead, things would be quite different.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 8:29 AM
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Is Here's a Dying Puppy University related to Wolf Cub University? Maybe their part of the same athletics conference.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 8:42 AM
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I am mostly pleased, as an elderly PhD student with my own kooky ideas of what I want to do, to have a nice capacious crack

Helps when flying with contraband, certainly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 11:44 AM
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I have no idea how that took that long. Come on, not-apo commenters!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 11:51 AM
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The real question is whether the size of the crack affects the accessibility of your low-hanging fruit.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 11:53 AM
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If essear were at Serviceable Big Ten University instead, things would be quite different.

Yes, but then we'd all be making fun of him for moving to the middle of fucking nowhere.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 11:55 AM
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234: VC = venture capitalist? victorious crusader? I need help here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:02 PM
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242: chancellor of vice


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:03 PM
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Vicious cur.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:04 PM
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Voluminous crack.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:06 PM
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VC Andrews.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:09 PM
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Viet Cong?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:16 PM
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Voice Coach. I mean Veldt Crotch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:23 PM
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volatile compounds


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:32 PM
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Vry Cooter


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:33 PM
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Vanuatuan Cocksucker.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:41 PM
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Veiled Conceits


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 12:48 PM
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Venedict Cumberbatch


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 1:15 PM
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I just got an email from a student in my class that, slightly paraphrasing, says "Can you send an email to all students in the class explaining your answers to the following bulleted list of questions about your expectations for the final project."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 1:54 PM
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241: Ahem! There is a SBTU that is not in the middle of nowhere, you know.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 2:14 PM
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Whatever it stands for, he/she should be known as "DaveVC" from here on out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 2:26 PM
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And in one of those stupid convergences of meta that I overly delight in, I'm intend to use "Dave" next time I go Presidential.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-14 2:29 PM
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