Re: Didn't You Used to Be Somebody?

1

Whoa.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 9:58 PM
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Now you have to give us clues as to the source of the pseudonym "Meekins" or we will out you to the entire job market...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:10 PM
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And it never seemed to me that the commenters on MR were unusually skeevy...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:11 PM
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The prior Meekins post was on cold-brewed ice tea. I read it and started making cold-brewed ice tea, which I still sometimes drink. Meekins added value.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:12 PM
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Brad DeLong! What the hell is this, a dream state? Am I now dreaming about comment threads?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:14 PM
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Good to see you, Meekins.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:19 PM
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Brad, lot of IQ "enthusiasts" & crypto HBD types - plus Randroid dickwads - in MR threads, by my count.


Posted by: Meekins | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:27 PM
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It would be fair to give Meekins clues, though, yeah. Also, thanks for the kind words, kind-word-typers.


Posted by: Meekins | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:31 PM
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I think the key word in Brad's 3 is "unusually"...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 10:41 PM
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Eric Cantor is Meekins? And he had this post set to go up if he ever lost an election?

Well, good luck at the American Family Association.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:08 PM
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This is too much of a coincidence. Meekins is Eric Cantor.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:09 PM
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I did not expect that pwnage.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:10 PM
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Holy shit, it really has been 6 years since that last Meekins post. Well I feel old now.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:50 PM
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is the source of the pseudonym "Meekins" itself.

Were you a less than Ace Attorney?

max
['Bigger than a breadbox?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:53 PM
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I also have minions out scouring the country for Bob.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 3:23 AM
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Yay! Welcome back!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 4:03 AM
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crypto HBD types

Crypto Happy Birthday types?

Anyhow hi, buttfucker.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 4:14 AM
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Of course, you still haven't actually expressed any opinions that would keep anyone from hiring you, unless they work for the Traditionally Made Ice Tea Board.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 4:22 AM
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18. I dunno. Willingness to use a fiendish stratagem to become ruler of earth would play well in a restricted number of jobs, but might be against you most places where the corporate chiefs believe they already rule it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 4:29 AM
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Wow.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:00 AM
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Neat!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:37 AM
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Of course, you still haven't actually expressed any opinions that would keep anyone from hiring you, unless they work for the Traditionally Made Ice Tea Board.

LB, on the other hand, has committed the unforgivable sin of referring to ice tea.

Iced. Iced.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:37 AM
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You eat iced cream, too?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:40 AM
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Is this going to be a fun fight? Let me get some popped corn.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:50 AM
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I love funned fight.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:52 AM
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I love lamped.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 5:56 AM
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Meekins!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:03 AM
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It's an anagram for "Ken Is Me". Referring to the anonymous poster's Ken doll-like anatomy, no doubt.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:06 AM
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Back home, people used to make iced tea by putting a few tea bags in a big jar of water and placing it in sunny spot. Then you'd pour over ice to serve, adding a lemon wedge if you were fancy. My family never did that because my parents didn't drink anything caffeinated but coffee. Obviously you can't ice coffee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:08 AM
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Sunned tea.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:16 AM
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23: ice cream is literally frozen cream. Iced tea is not frozen tea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:18 AM
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Iced bros aren't frozen bros either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:19 AM
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I used to be somebody, but after blogging died I became offended by anonymity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:19 AM
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Iced hockey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:20 AM
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I used to read MR, but then I stopped. I don't remember why, but I assume it annoyed me in some way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:22 AM
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Iced T


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:29 AM
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Well, well, well.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:29 AM
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Data point: there's a guy at my work who is kind of a dick. Once I was in his office and looked down at the open browser tabs on his computer: Marginal Revolution and Slate.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:29 AM
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Iced iced baby.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:33 AM
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A pleasappointed pseud.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:35 AM
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I hate it when I can't tell the typos from the in-jokes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:36 AM
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Icedman


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:37 AM
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Really, it should be "Ken doll–like anatomy".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:42 AM
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demand that the real me be given rulership of the Earth.

Halford already has staked a claim. Unless you are....


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 6:47 AM
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||

Hey, remember when we were talking about how we could safely say intelligence has developed multiple independent times on this planet because crows are just as smart as us? They ain't.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:04 AM
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43: Really? What style guide calls for using an en-dash there?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:06 AM
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45: I was amazed until they clarified that babies were two year olds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:06 AM
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Yeah, "babies," no.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:08 AM
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I want to know how they got the marbles away from the two-year-olds, because that sounds like the hard part. Maybe they used crows.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:08 AM
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Also they should have tested the two-year-olds with raw meat, just to be sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:11 AM
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If Game of Thrones has taught us anything it's that crows know nothing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:12 AM
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It's pronounced Gamed Thrones.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:14 AM
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Honestly, if I'd known LB was going to come out with this "ice tea" bullshit I'd've never agreed to this stunt.


Posted by: Meekins | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:20 AM
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I thought you weren't supposed to give marbles to two-year-olds because they are choking hazards. Its possible the crows aren't the stupid ones here.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:23 AM
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I assume if the children in the study died they would have had trouble publishing it without mentioning that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:27 AM
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"No crows and six children were harmed in the making of this study."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:28 AM
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What the kids do with the marbles is the next part of the intelligence test.

My younger kid is a cheeky fucker. He loves to put things like marbles into his mouth and then grin at us.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:32 AM
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My younger kid is a cheeky fucker. He loves to put things like marbles into his mouth

cheeks, surely!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:34 AM
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Kids like that are the kind you need to be careful to keep guns away from.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:34 AM
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Why do you hate the Second Amendment, Moby?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:40 AM
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43: Really? What style guide calls for using an en-dash there?

Chicago, IIRC.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:45 AM
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Specifically, en dashes replace hyphens with open compounds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:47 AM
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63

Or maybe "Ken-doll-like"??????


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:49 AM
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61: Huh. 5.117. Well I'll be damned.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:50 AM
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The Chicago Manual of Style, like everything else associated with the University of Chicago, should be burnt off the fucking face of the earth.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:54 AM
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En dashes are bullshit too.


Posted by: Meekins | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:54 AM
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♥ u, Halford


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:54 AM
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Oh hey neb you left this mic on the floor here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:55 AM
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68 to 62.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:55 AM
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Kendolled Ike.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 7:57 AM
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Kendolled Ike.

Eisenhower knew the military-industrial complex would resent the warnings in his farewell address, but he never anticipated the unspeakable form their revenge would take.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:02 AM
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43 and 62 are correct. 63 is an abomination.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:11 AM
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66: racist.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:12 AM
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70: Folked blogger.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:13 AM
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71: Mimetic Poly-Eisenhower!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:14 AM
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61 & 65

No. In the CMS hyphens are correct for "Ken-doll." An "en dash" is to indicate distance, as in "May--September" (simulated en dash there). An em dash is for "interrupted speech" and you can even use two of them if you want to (but not three --- "Count thee to two but three thou shalt never count").

Whether this affects the level of hate Halford has for UoC is left as an exercise for the reader.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:31 AM
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Typical. Halford refers to "ice tea" twice in comment 4 and gets a pass, but let a woman do it and you sexists are all over her.

I blame the patriaed archy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:31 AM
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I love blamed patriatria archie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:35 AM
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After I finish this glass of iced water I'm going to high five the patriarchy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 8:38 AM
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76: There are more reasons to use an en dash, DaveLMA, than your version of the CMS recognizes. They definitely recommend them for open compounds; they use the example "pre–Civil War" frequently, for instance.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 9:04 AM
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80

Ah, yes, open compounds. The CMS definitely goes for en dashes in that situation, but only to "increase clarity," since you might be referring to a War that was uncivil and then later become more mannerly.

The more of the CMS on hyphens I looked at, the more the attractiveness of Halfordismo increased.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:04 AM
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re: 57.last

xelA does that. He likes to put things he's not supposed to in his mouth and the cruise over and show us. Largely, non-deadly things like tissue paper or bit of card, or whatever. But he has done it with the pickup selector knob on my guitar [tele style], and with a plectrum.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:20 AM
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It appears that the Danes and the Swedes are making a serious effort to overcome historical antagonisms, though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:29 AM
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83 is in the wrong thread . Will some FPP please delete it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:30 AM
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||

Someone on my FB feed just forwarded the "how different cultures perceive time" piece without comment. I think she means she is approving of the piece. On the other hand, I normally think of her has quite smart and culturally sensitive.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:42 AM
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43 and 62 are correct. 63 is an abomination.

Huh. I found 63 the most pleasing option.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 10:54 AM
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I keep thinking people are talking about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Tangential fact I find amusing: apparently, that agency is abbreviated "CMS" because when the acronym was being decided upon, the Bush-appointed agency head said he would just mumble the two M's into one anyway.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 11:24 AM
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87.2: I've long wondered about that! It's weird, because it's not as if other government or medical acronyms really seem worried about ease of pronunciation compared to how they're spelled.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 11:26 AM
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||

Compassionate Conservatism:

David Cameron's spokesman said on Wednesday it was up to consumers whether they choose to eat prawns that had been produced through the work of slaves.

There is no law against trading in the products of slave labour.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 11:39 AM
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David Cameron's spokesman said on Wednesday it was up to consumers whether they choose to eat prawns that had been produced through the work of slaves.

In that case, is he amenable to ensuring that consumers are adequately informed in making such a decision through improved product labeling?

Maybe a "This product harvested by slaves" sticker, next to the nutrition information?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 11:52 AM
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Meekins, welcome (back) to this neck of the woods.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-11-14 12:44 PM
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Even if it is not an open compound, you would still want an en dash to indicate which association is closer. So ken-doll-like lets you know that ken and doll are together, and like describes the set. And in ken-doll-like ken is describing the set doll-like. Using hyphens in both places leaves it ambiguous which is meant.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 4:04 AM
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dammit. I just copied and pasted the en dashes from word. You will have to imagine where they go.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 4:05 AM
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‐ -> ‐ (as does the hyphen key)
– -> –
— -> —


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 4:54 AM
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Thanks Stormcrow.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 8:40 AM
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OT: Argh. I just had to have the talk with Sally about what the academic job market is like in humanities; she came home bubbling about having been particularly clever in a history class (which she was -- the teacher was asking for some reasons for the different political philosophies in Hobbes' Leviathan and Locke's Treatises of Government, and she managed to come up with the dates of publication of each and link them back to the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution respectively), and how much she enjoyed it, and talking about being a history professor.

And so she got the "It's like wanting to be a an actor or something; you do it if you can't bear to think of doing anything else, but planning to be a professor in the humanities is not a particularly practical life goal -- no matter how good you are" speech. Feh. I hate deflating the kids' ambitions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 9:56 AM
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Must've been even more awkward than the Doin' It talk.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 9:59 AM
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Now, when a dean and a department love each other very much, and they want to make a tenure line... well, they don't, actually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:01 AM
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96.2: what if she wants to be a blogger?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:02 AM
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I bet you could have waited until she was an actual history major for that talk, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:03 AM
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It's like the Doin' It talk -- one big talk isn't as effective as dropping information here and there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:11 AM
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102

You should have all the successful people you know who went to grad school in history talk to her abouty what a dead end it is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:12 AM
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103

Parent like a fox, not a hedgehog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:14 AM
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104

How she might end up in State College.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:15 AM
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102: It's a salient career path, because a good friend's father is a professor of history, and while he's personally impressive, he's not forbiddingly-out-of-her-league, ambition-wise; she looks at him and thinks "I could learn to do what X does" rather than "If you have to be like X to be a history professor, I couldn't possibly". And I had to talk about how X is in his fifties, and the job market has changed a lot since then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:18 AM
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And then she'll say, "Got it. Now I want to be a lawyer like you."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:21 AM
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107


There is an alternate universe in which I became a history professor. It features me having the focus and self-discipline to complete a dissertation, among other implausible counterfactuals.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:23 AM
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106: Oh, that one I've talked her out of long since.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:24 AM
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Seriously aren't there like twenty-five history dissertations in various stages of completion amongst the commentariat? She could be a programmer! She could do something or other with fancy knives! She could, yes, okay, be a lawyer. She could be a comics blogger! She could, uh, be a lawyer! Unfinished history dissertation is like the modal educational path among the commentariat and blogs people here read regularly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:34 AM
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Were we on opposite sides of "no majoring solely in the humanities?" Because I don't think I would have discouraged Sally quite yet (conciliatory qualifications omitted because I'm typing on my phone). I think I'd be worried about discouraging the activity/kind of thinking along with the profession.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:34 AM
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111

My kids are in the tub and one tried to put a bath toy up the other one's butt. I did discourage that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:38 AM
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112

They probably would have given up soon enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:40 AM
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"Some experiences you're going to want to save for adulthood, boys."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:42 AM
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114

There's money in putting toys up people's butts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:42 AM
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I wasn't saying 'don't major in history', really -- I just had a moment of panic about academic humanities job markets, and thought that it should be at least in the background of her thinking. (I did realize that she's at a point where 1066 And All That will be funny, and pulled it off the shelves for her.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:44 AM
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111: Damn, another career path gone.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:52 AM
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117

114: It's like the banana stand that way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:56 AM
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118

Honestly if history (or other humanities) grad school was framed more explicitly as a lifestyle choice for having a poor but relatively interesting, mellow 20s -- an option for bumming around aimlessly but interestingly for a few years in a university town, without making any money but without paying for school and accumulating more debt, with an extremely low-probability professional payoff but without causing much professional harm other than delay and lost opportunity cost -- it would be totally fine.

But the work is pretty tough and the culture is understandably relentlessly pre-professional so it's probably psychologically and institutionally impossible to frame it that way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:56 AM
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You could also write a history dissertation for fun during your downtime as a petroleum engineer in some isolated third world country. Would probably keep you from spending your riches on booze and prostitutes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:04 AM
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120

You should definitely tell Sally not to spend her riches on booze and prostitutes, LB.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:05 AM
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121

I'm listening to History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters at the gym, the woodworms are marvelous, I'm really rooting for them, but it's kind of dark overall as a book, might be a bit gloomy for your daughter.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:06 AM
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118: Don't people usually, or at least frequently, have to pay to go to humanities grad school? What you say makes sense for a subject like math, where you can pretty much always TA, but I think non-trivial numbers of people go into more debt in the humanities.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:11 AM
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123

Well that's just pure foolishness, unless you're paying for it through petroleum engineering.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:14 AM
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124

Standard advice is " don't go if you have to pay." Stipends are low , but most PhD candidates aren't paying.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:15 AM
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125

It really depends on the school, doesn't it? And within the school the department.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:15 AM
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126

I think even in the humanities most students at most schools get funded (of course with way less pay). However, since humanities grad school often takes so long, my impression is that it's much more common for people in the humanities to run out of funding.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:16 AM
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I was going to reiterate 124, which is what I'd heard too, but there are institutions where stipends give way to TAships for which the grad students have to compete after n years, or where you have to get funding on your own, or whatever, and it's not as if no one goes to grad school at those institutions at all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:16 AM
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Seriously aren't there like twenty-five history dissertations in various stages of completion amongst the commentariat?

I over-underachieved by not completing my master's thesis. That saved me a lot of time that I proceeded to waste.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:17 AM
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122: I think there are different areas. Generally, you're going to pay for an MFA. In a discipline like history, though, my sense is that mostly they should be paying you (at a starvation level stipend, but paying your tuition and in some theoretical sense your living expenses), and if they aren't either you fell through some bureaucratic hole, or your institution is signaling that they really don't think much of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:17 AM
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130

Oh, multiply pwned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:18 AM
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Also, given how low the funding can be, it's possible for someone to be fully funded and go into debt.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:18 AM
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Ostensibly, you shouldn't have to pay your way at all. But if you're not in one of the very top programs (and I think sometimes even if you are), if you want to live in a university town without several roommates and have a little fun here and there, you often do end up taking out some loans. Especially because funding only lasts 9 months out of the year, and hustling to get jobs during the summer can be difficult. If you've got family money behind you, or a sideline as some other job, or a spouse in a better career, you can avoid that, and it becomes much more reasonable. But living on $15,000-$20,000 isn't very easy. (Obviously.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:20 AM
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Even in math, if you're a bad teacher, an international student, or at a private school, you can find yourself unfunded after 4 or 5 years.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:20 AM
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Um, I added value?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:21 AM
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I don't understand discouraging kids from any career path, as long as they're not totally delusional. There are usually escape routes (and if there aren't, well, the whole economy must be fucked up, which happens, but affects most career options).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:21 AM
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Even in math!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:21 AM
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Seriously aren't there like twenty-five history dissertations in various stages of completion amongst the commentariat?

So "freelance dissertation completer" is a viable career? Maybe she should look into that.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:22 AM
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135: I don't understand discouraging kids from any career path, as long as they're not totally delusional.

This just seems like one where totally delusional is a real risk factor for a hardworking and academically successful kid. You can get stellar grades by working like a trouper (and being generally good at this sort of thing, both of which she's got in spades), and it's got to be hard to see that that doesn't necessarily mean a clear shot at an academic job.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:25 AM
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My son was telling me he wanted to be a video game tester. I tried to convey to him just how awful that job is reputed to be. "Son, you'll be repeatedly playing level 2 of the My Little Pony Game on Wii U with every single different pony and saddle combination for 80 hours a week." I don't think he believed me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:29 AM
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138: yeah, but by the time she got to the applying-to-grad school stage the realities would be much clearer. Or maybe she'd delude herself all the way to a faculty position.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:30 AM
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during your downtime as a petroleum engineer in some isolated third world country.

I know some of these guys. They have no downtime.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:32 AM
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140: Oh, true fact -- she doesn't really need the reality check this early.

I guess I'm a little less cautious about discouraging her from things than I might be with a different kid -- she's generally bullheaded. If that's what she wants to do, she'll do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:35 AM
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I'm always a little mixed up about these things, because although in my current milieu I feel like most people I know (including myself) want to have an interesting and fulfilling career, most of my relatives just work whatever job they can get and do okay for themselves and don't really think in terms of "careers" at all. The whole concept of having a "life goal" seems kind of presumptuous somehow.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:41 AM
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118 goes nicely with the acting analogy. It's really not so bad to spend a chunk of your 20s trying to act, so long as you know the odds are low and it's mostly for fun.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:42 AM
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If you want to waste your twenties productively, you should have kids.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:49 AM
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And eat lots of fiber.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:52 AM
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You can do that, but the kid usually comes out when it's ready.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 11:53 AM
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1221: that bit was great


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:17 PM
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you do it if you can't bear to think of doing anything else, but planning to be a professor in the humanities is not a particularly practical life goal -- no matter how good you are

This is the sort of shit advice that led to me being a lawyer. What is a practical life goal, in your mind, if being a humanities professor doesn't make the list? And why should life goals be practical, anyway? No big dreams are practical.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:19 PM
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My stepdaughter is making her way debt free towards a doctorate, having managed to work part time in a different field along the way (so no break in "normal" work history), and also gain a very high level of proficiency in a sought after 2nd language relevant to both her academic and non-academic fields. She has a ruthless dedication to frugality, an endless sense of fun, a devoted partner willing to move pretty much anywhere and no current or midterm desire to have a kid. She is basically the only person I know working towards a doctorate that I have few worries over.

Her circumstances are pretty much nonreplicable, which makes me question the entire social construction of humanities grad programs.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:21 PM
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Oh, I have no idea what anyone should do with their lives. By 'not a practical life goal' I didn't mean 'not something that should be pursued' but 'not something you can get pretty certainly by wanting it and working hard.' If you want to be an accountant, you can be an accountant. If you want to be a history professor, you can work your ass off through your twenties, and that gets you to maybe a one in five shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:24 PM
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I genuinely do not know what careers are considered "good" choices these days, outside of computer programming and various sorts of engineering. Is that it?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:25 PM
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If you want to waste your twenties productively, you should have kids.

Word.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:27 PM
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I've got a couple cousins who are trying to make it on Broadway/in theatre, and while they're both amazing and talented, I sometimes wonder if a double major in CS wouldn't have given them some indispensable skills that would help them get a foothold in different organizations. That is, I don't see discouraging my kids from any specific path, but developing some know-how with computers seems like it can set you apart in some of the hardest fields.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:27 PM
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152: Those and nursing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:27 PM
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If you want to be an accountant, you can be an accountant.

And if you want a history PhD, you can get one.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:30 PM
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If you want to waste your twenties productively, you should have kids.

It sort of sucks to contemplate how old I'll be when the last kid graduates, and how old I'll be when I have grandkids, etc. OTOH, my perennially-moving-to-NC friend is going back to school, with three kids, and the idea of having homework and classes and a family sounds like total hell to me. She's excited, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:32 PM
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'not something you can get pretty certainly by wanting it and working hard.'

That seems like a very risk-averse metric by which to career plan. It rules out a lot of interesting possibilities.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:46 PM
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Only if you use it to rule things out. If you want to be an actor, you go for it, but you need to walk into the process knowing that there's a good shot you'll never make a living at it, and thinking ahead for what you're going to do if it doesn't pan out. If you want to be an accountant, you probably don't need to do as much contingency planning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:50 PM
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152: Those and nursing.

And HVAC repair.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:51 PM
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One of my wife's coworker's/friends came up to hang out and grill in the canyon along with her husband and two year old. I had a great time with my kids when they were small but good lord I'm glad we're done with that. It's a full time job just to keep him from touching the fire, falling in the river, etc. Mine will be a senior and sophomore this fall and having the older one be able to driver herself and her sister around is great.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:53 PM
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Well, sure, and if all you did is convey that point to Sally, then fine. It's obviously good for her to have full information. Your earlier comment made me think you had communicated this information so as to discourage her from the idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 12:55 PM
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@162: I think a bit of warning is fair simply because very few people outside of academia have any idea just how long the odds are of ending up with a stable position in your chosen subject. I believe most people think that if you can get a PhD from a good school you're fine.

Unfogged commenters are more aware of the reality than most because so many former or current academics hang out here and complain.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:03 PM
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I understand there is a shortage of qualified hydrographers.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:04 PM
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Also forensic micro-biologists.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:05 PM
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gswift, you are so admirably and charmingly consistent in your delight over your children's great advanced age! (I am glad I'm on my current timeline, myself, because I am not at all ready to be done with little kid time, and also, man, would I have been an annoying and unhappy parent if I'd started much earlier.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:05 PM
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I am not at all ready to be done with little kid time

Me either. And I've been feeling depressed recently because I'm near the end. (How did it happen so soon?) Things I wanted to do with my little kids two or three years ago and still haven't done? Those opportunities are gone. We could still go do those things, but they're not little kids anymore, so it would be a completely different experience.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:22 PM
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I don't really care about slowing my own aging, but I'd kill for a magic potion that would slow the aging of my kids.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:25 PM
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I totally remember wanting them to stay small and cute forever. Then I started being able to take a shit in peace and it was like a whole new life.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:25 PM
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I don't exactly want them to stay small for longer. I like them, but I also spend too much time exasperated and feeling like something is very unbalanced. (Not at the moment, because summer, but in general.)(Also, duh I know we did this to ourselves. Questionable choices with our bodies. I just think I'm basically cut out for slightly older kids. Or babies. The first eighteen months are great.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:29 PM
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Without having planned it, because really how could you, I appear to have realized Halford's grad school ideal. I worked for a couple of years after college and saved some money, and then went to the UofC for graduate school in English. No money, but the whole thing, room in the old Shoreland included, cost me about 6K, late 70s. No loans. My dad carried me on his insurance, and I used his credit card for gas and an occasional truck stop meal, but that wasn't very much in my old VW, which I drove only every few days.

Coursework was only a year, but I got a job in the library and just read, while carrying some incompletes because I didn't really want to be done. Apparently did terrific on the MA Final, which several proctors told me, because the Chairman, whom I'd never met, sought me out to explain that my candidacy had been hotly debated, and while they weren't admitting me to the PhD program, they were strongly advising me to continue elsewhere. Which was nice for the ego, but my whiff of pre-professional style had decided me against it by that time.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:31 PM
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I am really digging age 4. Yay 4!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:31 PM
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167: Keegan has turned into a completely fascinating (and dryly hilarious) young man and he's dead set on going to college far away from here, leaving me with the two that are that horrible in-between age where they never stop talking but have absolutely nothing interesting to discuss.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:34 PM
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It's just so specific to the kid. One has been a handful at every age since 12 months. One has been a handful for a limited stretch of a few months. At times I feel quite conflicted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:35 PM
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I've really enjoyed every age, perhaps through lack of ambition never felt there were things I wanted to do left undone, but also think this due to having a kid with very string interests and opinions from a super young age so that has driven a lot of what's happened.

I am looking forward to a nice girlfriend for him as I have a hard time with the late night intense discussion going on and on and on ... delighted he brings that intensity to me up to the point he falls in love with a charming young woman, and then I will joyously hand him over for midnight confabs. Need my sleep, never get enough!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:41 PM
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173: Final decision made for the place you mentioned?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:50 PM
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I sound more dire than I feel. The last two months of the school year were so awful that I'm still in a defensive crouch, even though things are relatively lovely at the moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 1:56 PM
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You don't sound dire at all. At least not for somebody dealing with toddlers. They're assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:01 PM
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Not that I'd say that publicly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:02 PM
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Yeah, but I don't sound as rapturous as others.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:03 PM
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Maybe a whole bunch of drugs then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:05 PM
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Gee, four o'clock already? Let me go start the two-and-a-half hour process involved in getting the little dears to and fro and changed and snacked for swim lessons.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:06 PM
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(which should absolutely not be a pity party. Hooray for feeling conflicted!)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:07 PM
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So far, I've been happy with each passing year as the kid gets older; having the kid become both much easier to deal with and more interesting is great. I mean I miss some cuteness but the overall tradeoff is net positive.

I'm fearing an end point to this narrative of constant progress at around age 12 but maybe I'll get lucky. And am about to restart at age 0 with another one, so we'll see.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:23 PM
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Oh man, little kids. So fucking exhausting. At least once they hit three, every single moment that they're awake isn't spent on the edge of life-threatening. Also, fuck dirty diapers. My younger kid loves, just fucking loves, to shit just as we arrive at the park. I always have a diaper and wipes with me, but today, he shat twice. Fuck you, kid, we're going home.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:30 PM
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Maybe you rushed him on the first shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:33 PM
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I'm fearing an end point to this narrative of constant progress at around age 12 but maybe I'll get lucky.

At a month shy of fifteen, Sally's still getting more fun. I mean, teenage surliness is identifiable, but the trajectory hasn't really changed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:38 PM
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In Nurtureshock, which was the one parenting book I read, I recall some stat about how only 25% of teens go through a rebellious phase.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:43 PM
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Final decision made for the place you mentioned?

No final decisions as he hasn't even started filling out applications yet, but it's one of his top two. I'm trying to subtly nudge him toward staying on the east coast.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:53 PM
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189: I'd slipped a year -- thought he'd gotten offers and was making a final decision.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 2:54 PM
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The parents of teenagers in my FB feed seem universally charmed by their teenagers. Some of my colleagues are even overbearingly smug about it, but on the whole it's reassuring.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:04 PM
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Yeah, rising senior.


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

I feel like someone else mentioned this recently: spontaneously unfogged will stop refreshing and just give a white screen? It happens on all my devices. Anyone else?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:09 PM
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191: You know, anecdote isn't data and all that. But one of the things that makes me really open to the leaded-gasoline crime hypothesis is that the teenagers I know seem surprisingly nicer: harder working, pleasanter, more responsible -- than the teenagers I remember when I was one. I may just be an easier audience as a mother than I was as a peer, but Newt and Sally's cohorts are largely very good kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:11 PM
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We're having a mixture of tremendous fun and grinding irritation with four and six. For each one of them.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:11 PM
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193: Phone yes, computers never. Rebooting the phone seems to fix it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:13 PM
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the teenagers I know seem surprisingly nicer: harder working, pleasanter, more responsible -- than the teenagers I remember when I was one.

To be fair, memories from before age five are notoriously unreliable.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:15 PM
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Pretty sure that based on both family history and revealed temperament to date I'm going to have a teen in the rebellious 25%. But who knows. I guess teens today like bands that wear sweaters and play nice, boring music so who knows.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:19 PM
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I think Hawaii may be super anxious in the straight As sense, but won't generally be at risk for the risky sorts of rebellion. Can't tell yet with the other two except that pokey seems to be able to charm the heck out of everyone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:22 PM
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193: Yes, both iThingys. Often resolves if I add the "www." in the address.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:23 PM
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||

The organization that's taken over Mosul is ISIS? This is Archer's fault?!?

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:24 PM
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201: Yuuuup.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:25 PM
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You know, a show has to work pretty hard in making "Yuuup" a reference, and yet Archer managed it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:27 PM
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196,200: now that you mention it, it's just the iPad and phone, and maybe not the computer. Will try the www thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 3:31 PM
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Yeah I get that on my iPad and phone. I assume neb screwed something up with the CSS.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 5:23 PM
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189: are you guys crashing here on the college tour, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 5:24 PM
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For me it turns into a white screen in Safari, not on a Windows


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 5:31 PM
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Archer mere, surely.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 5:41 PM
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206: Are you offering?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 8:18 PM
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It's a full time job just to keep him from touching the fire, falling in the river, etc.

The Calabat climbs everything, and either dives off of things, or fails to notice that they have edges. It also takes him about five seconds to notice that the gate to the stairs is open and to charge up it. (Not walking, but he crawls at a dead sprint.) I assume at some point he'll gain a sense of self-preservation.

157: I sometimes wish I had had a baby sooner, because my kid is freaking awesome and he keeps getting more awesome. But I see a lot of the flipside -- people who had kids young, like gswift and his wife, but who didn't finish school or find a good career, and they're in my office crying about lost opportunities (especially sad when the marriage didn't last). Diagnosis: greener grass everywhere.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 9:13 PM
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210.1 -- Still waiting for my son to gain a sense of self-preservation. He's only 19.5 though, so it's early yet.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:33 PM
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210.2: Yeah, I know a few of those. Worked out well for us but things could have gone very differently.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-12-14 10:58 PM
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189 etc - so Keegan will (probably/hopefully!) be going to college autumn next year? Same as my eldest. Open Day season is just starting and she has a few booked up. She's looking at mostly reasonably nearby options, although she's interested in a couple of Scottish ones too as they offer such flexible courses. But even St Andrews isn't that far away relative to US distances.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 1:08 AM
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211: my parents would comment that I haven't managed to develop one even now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 2:53 AM
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209: you bet!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 4:14 AM
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re: 213.last

No interest in Glasgow?

[Similar flexibility]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 4:48 AM
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That's the other Scottish one! I think it's nearer to us than St A though?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 5:05 AM
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Yeah, it'd definitely be closer on either public transport or by road. Depends what you are looking for, I suppose. Glasgow's definitely the one with the better student life, if you like music and going out. Perhaps less 'collegiate'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 5:14 AM
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One issue with grad student funding, at least in some disciplines, is the top ranked schools aren't always the ones with the most money. This the case usually when a flagship state school is the highest ranked.

I'm in a discipline where most of the Ivies are considered pretty crap, and many of the top departments don't have awesome funding. It's also a discipline where people from only about 5 schools really get jobs, so there are people who have to choose between funding packages of 35K/year for 5 years from Low Ranked Ivy U and no stipend or maybe a 10K stipend one year with no future guaranteed funding from Prestigious But Broke State U. If you pick the Ivy, you have a 5% chance of TT job, and if you choose the other, you have a 50% chance of a TT job. There's enough outside funding in my field that it can be tempting, but also there's not enough that you can count on getting any. I would say if the school isn't at minimum waiving tuition and offering free health insurance, then it's a scam pure and simple.

But time to degree is also a problem. Even the most generous schools rarely provide more than 5-6 years of funding, and time to degree can be 9 years. I'm lucky to have gotten about 7 years of funding through various sources, but after that I'll be on my own.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:05 AM
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I think part of the problem might be the program can take nine years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:10 AM
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21 month old was forced to stay home because she had a fever for half an hour at school yesterday, reaction to immunizations. So let me narrate the last 10 minutes:
Got out all the kid cups from the cabinet, wanted each filled with a little water, arranged them in a circle on the ground, picked each one up, brought them over to the stairs and put them on the bottom step, drank each one then stacked them up.
Came back in the kitchen, found a crumb on the floor, spent a few minutes scratching the bottom of her foot with the crumb.
Found a pencil, asked to be picked up so she could poke me with it, I gave her paper and put her back down, she started scribbling but the paper got wet and tore so she screamed, I gave her another piece which turned out to be her brother's homework so she scribbled on that. Then an ambulance went by so she ran to the window to see it. Now came back in with her blankie and is asking for something that's very clear in her mind but the words are totally unrecognizable so she's freaking out that she can't communicate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:21 AM
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206: Are you offering?

Ditto Tweety on this one-- absolutely. We've got tons o' space now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:22 AM
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Now came back in with her blankie and is asking for something that's very clear in her mind but the words are totally unrecognizable so she's freaking out that she can't communicate.

Probably just wants to poke you with the pencil some more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:23 AM
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201 - I picture them wearing King Tut–style headdresses & using ankhs that shoot laser beams. Makes my twitter feed much more entertaining.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:47 AM
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215, 222: Excellent! I will be in touch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 6:47 AM
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Keegan will (probably/hopefully!) be going to college autumn next year?

Indeed.

relative to US distances

Right now his top desired locations are in the Boston area (~700 miles away) and the San Francisco area (~2800 miles away). I get the impression he sees the local options of UNC and Duke, while top-flight schools, as seriously lacking in adventure, having lived here his entire life.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:08 AM
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If he wants to visit central Texas schools, let us know.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:09 AM
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If he watched Kiss the Girls, the forests around Duke might seem adventurous in a Morgan-Freeman-chasing-serial-killer kind of way. At least it did for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:10 AM
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226 - so hard for us islanders to properly comprehend that sort of continental distance! Have just been looking. 700 miles from us would be Orkney, or the South of France, or almost to Prague. 2800 miles would just about get me to Halifax, NS, or Tehran! Or northern Africa - Ouagadougou university perhaps?

Kid A's current top choice is 30 miles up the road, where she was born ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:23 AM
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226: could you arrange for Kieran Healy to sneak up behind him and, like, pop a balloon unexpectedly?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:23 AM
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I assume he's on TaskRabbit. Nobody in the social sciences makes enough money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 7:34 AM
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The situation in 219 sounds really unsustainable to me. Why don't the ivies poach the professors at these broke schools?

Is there anywhere with a nice explanation of how time to PhD got so long in so many disciplines? Is it inevitable that time to PhD will continue to grow or is it stable in some circumstances?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:02 AM
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When I was failing to get my Ph.D., they were just starting a very big push to limit the time. They wanted five years, at most.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:04 AM
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so hard for us islanders to properly comprehend that sort of continental distance!

Relatedly: Just where were the Proclaimers walking?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:16 AM
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232: Pure speculation, but an arms race among whoever sets dissertation standards as to what's good enough? Standards creep upwards, and doing an acceptable job by the new standards becomes impossible in the old amount of time?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:19 AM
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The situation in 219 sounds really unsustainable to me. Why don't the ivies poach the professors at these broke schools?

They do. However, flagship state schools usually have enough money to keep many of their top professors. Plus there's an issue of prestige and loyalty. Many professors in my discipline would rather make $$$ and be at the top school in their field than make $$$$ and be at a school with a crap department. They'd also be perceived as a sellout by many of their peers. The same schools have been top 3 in my field for the probably at least the past 40 years or so, so it's pretty sustainable.

My discipline is famous for requiring very long periods of focused research in addition to coursework and writing. 1 year is the absolute minimum, 2 years is standard, but 10 years is not uncommon. If you factor in 2 years of coursework, 1-2 years of exams/proposal writing, 2 years of research, and 1 year to write up, you're at minimum looking at around 6-7 years. Add in another year to the write up stage or the any of the other parts and you're at around 8 or 9.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:23 AM
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232: Pure speculation, but an arms race among whoever sets dissertation standards as to what's good enough? Standards creep upwards, and doing an acceptable job by the new standards becomes impossible in the old amount of time?

This too. Plus, in many of the humanities and social sciences, there's no stigma to being a 20th year grad student but tons of stigma to being an unemployed PhD. Lots of people finish the diss, adjunct or do whatever, and only defend once they have a job in hand. If they they get a job the first go around, this lines up nicely. If not, there maybe a lag of several years after finishing up the PhD before defending, which adds to the statistics.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:26 AM
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Relatedly: Just where were the Proclaimers walking?

http://what-if.xkcd.com/58/
From the Battery to the Bronx, at a rate of 15 subway stops per second.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:35 AM
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232: ITS THE STUPID LEAD MAKING YOU STUPID, STUPID.


Posted by: OPINIONATED KEVIN DRUM | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 8:35 AM
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My impression has been that it's not that difficult for rich schools in desirable locations to improve their prestige rapidly if they want to. So that much stasis is quite surprising to me. Any theories on what would make one discipline more "sticky" in terms of prestige than another discipline?

What kind of moral code says it's bad to sell out but ok to have unfunded graduate students? That's messed up.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 9:02 AM
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Also, if they schools can afford to keep their top professors then they aren't actually broke, and their treatment of graduate students is a choice.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-13-14 9:03 AM
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