Re: Slackers, All Of You

1

But it doesn't work, except perhaps for sexual poaching.

Investment bankers hardly get any benefit from their jobs at all, except perhaps for the money.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:19 PM
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I don't remember where, but I recently read a response to that article that convinced me it was utterly worthless.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:21 PM
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sexual poaching

Like, hanging around in hot tubs, naked?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:21 PM
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We're also one of the worst paid, compared to other things requiring this goddamn much education.

But mostly it's just nerds surrounded by nerds. Blind leading the sartorial blind. This seems to be a bit generational, as the junior faculty tend to dress up.

Or, maybe the tailor just FORGOT TO TAKE IN THEIR SUIT JACKET and they've worn sweaters ever since.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:22 PM
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sexual poaching

So that's why they say it's an ivory tower.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:22 PM
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The tie is important because it's always been important; its importance makes it important.

See, ben? In fact the article's worth the tuition cost of an introduction to rhetoric.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:23 PM
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I thought it was more like waiting in the woods on the king's land for the hart to leap by. Poached!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:23 PM
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when I get self-loathing
I want sexual poaching


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:27 PM
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The tie is important because it projects phallic authority, and because boys don't have a lot of options to make themselves pretty.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:28 PM
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This piece is totally off. My continental philosophy professor was easily one of the three best-dressed human beings I've personally met in my life. Of course, he was Belgian; I don't know how much that skews things.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:30 PM
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The problem with 9 is that ties without jackets look stupid,l but jackets are hot to teach in.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:31 PM
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I see the article was written by someone teaching at a law school. I suppose they have to specialize in some audience, and the Chronicle has the Loser Midwestern English Prof market cornered.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:31 PM
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Ties can look okay under v-necked sweaters.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:32 PM
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14

If I wanted to wear pantyhose all the time, I would have gone into a more lucrative line of work.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:32 PM
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(So that I could afford Wolford stockings for every day of the month, obviously.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:33 PM
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10: I think there is pretty extreme variation among academics. That's really what is unusual about typical academic dress. Where else do you have people in the same job who feel it's appropriate to wear everything form shorts to bow-ties & tailored suits... in the same meeting?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:33 PM
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I don't remember where, but I recently read a response to that article that convinced me it was utterly worthless.

Me too. Must have been the same response, but I can't recall where I saw it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:34 PM
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The problem with 9 is that ties without jackets look stupid, but jackets are hot to teach in.

True and true. But ties without jackets are worn by salarymen the world over, so the students might as well get used to the look.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:34 PM
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13 is true but doesn't really help with the warmth problem.

As others have noted though, it really doesn't pay well enough to develop any sense of requirement for dress. Which is one of the trade offs that some, not all, academics like.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:35 PM
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The article is laid out like a law review piece (I, II, III a. b. c. ...). At least it wasn't 45,000 words long.

If you think the regular world of academia is a sweet gig, consider law schools. Twice the salary, everyone gets tenure, and the professional journals are edited by your students. Nice.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:35 PM
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Where else do you have people in the same job who feel it's appropriate to wear everything form shorts to bow-ties & tailored suits... in the same meeting?

True. It's lovely, really. When everyone's dressed similarly, you cannot choose among them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:36 PM
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Cosma?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:37 PM
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I have a large tolerance for variation in standards of dress, and generally am turned off by clothes snobbery, but even I considered the line crossed a couple years ago when a prof lectured in tight cycling shorts and a jersey. Dude, I know how proud of your fitness you are, but I really don't want to see your ass that clearly!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:43 PM
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John Rawls and Umberto Eco wore ties whenever I happened to see them. The professor for whom I worked when I was in college wore ties until stifling spring came. The Pater wears bow ties* when he teaches the occasional class at a local institution of moderately higher learning. Except for Eco, all of them were lifelong citizens of the United States of Khaki Pants and Navy Blazers.

* In unrelated news, you'd be surprised how difficult it is to have somebody committed these days.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:46 PM
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Just goes to prove that trolling existed long before the internet.

I wear a jacket no tie to teach, and more casual on other days. Occasionally jeans but never shorts.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:48 PM
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22 is correct. Cosma debunked this quite admirably.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:48 PM
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The article is laid out like a law review piece

It was a law review piece.

By the standards of "funny" law review articles it wasn't too bad.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:48 PM
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23 is totally something I could see my uncle doing. Were you at Wisconsin?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:49 PM
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28: UCSF


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:49 PM
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16 is right. I think I dress well, but maybe that's why I can't get a job.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:50 PM
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I'm at the extreme edge of the scruffiness curve. I haven't worn a tie since about 1970.

What's at stake in an event or a job where a tie and coat is required? I think it coincides with the job / career, worker / professional, wage / salary divide, though there's a lot of downward creep.

Wearing a uniform seems to have something to do with requiring people to at least pretend to identify with their job. "Professionalism" is a code word now for many non-professional jobs -- when they trained me at McDonald's in 1968 ($1.25 / hr.) they talked about professionalism.

My feeling is that jobs more and more require people to identify totally with the company or profession, so that just doing the job is no longer enough. It seems to be especially true in sales and business middle management, but increasingly elsewhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:53 PM
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when a prof lectured in tight cycling shorts and a jersey

Uggh. One of my laugh lines with my students this term was that since I ride my bike when the days get longer they may see me wandering the halls with my bike - a pudgy middle aged man in lycra.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:54 PM
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I do have a friend who said she couldn't become an academic because of the clothes - she felt permanently insulted by some scruffy philosopher she'd had as an undergrad.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:55 PM
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I'm not sure I can become a consultant because of the clothes. How do you business types resist the temptation to just wear orange one day to blow everyone's mind?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:56 PM
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31.last seems about right to me.

Typically in business the emphasis is not on dressing well, it is on dressing `acceptably'. With a result that very few dress well, but almost all manage `acceptable' within fairly narrow constraints.

Academia is one of those areas where the narrow constraints are off, so you see lots of different approaches. Some people dress very, very well. And some very, very poorly. But most do some variation on comfortable, most days.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:57 PM
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33 is strange. Did she think she'd have to dress scruffily? Or did she just mean she couldn't handle working with people who dress scruffily?

Most academics I know will dress for occasions, but for day to day stuff it's definitely got to be comfortable. Probably falls under the heading of `you'd have to pay me an awful lot more to dress uncomfortably'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 1:59 PM
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34: Law isn't that rigid. I've got an orange/pink/other colors madras dress I wear in the summers sometimes. As long as you look reasonably put together, people don't bother you about your clothes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:00 PM
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This reminds me that my first ever set of student evaluations contained the feedback, "No more tucked in shirts without a belt."

Incidentally LB, last semester's did in fact contain a Harry Potter comparison. ("I liked it that he kinda looks like Harry Potter because it makes it easy to focus on him.")


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:00 PM
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16: I think there is pretty extreme variation among academics. That's really what is unusual about typical academic dress. Where else do you have people in the same job who feel it's appropriate to wear everything form shorts to bow-ties & tailored suits... in the same meeting?

There's less variation within departments, surely? As I remember classes I took for my political science major, "dressed down" was a sweater-vest, and a jacket and tie was more normal. As for classes for my English major or a couple other random language classes, a sweater-vest would have been dressing up, but I don't remember anything as informal as shorts. (Well, except for a very beat-up jean jacket... never mind.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:00 PM
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20 is right on. Unfortunately, the law school jobs are, like, really hard to get. Because all that's required is a J.D., and everyone in the field has one of those, and I'm complaining because my grades weren't good enough nor was I on law review nor did I even apply for clerkships because of said grades and so I am so not getting one of those jobs ever and I'm bitter ok?

Actually my dream is to be a clinical professor and do the same kind of work I do now, but get paid by a law school and have ten students to do my bidding.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:00 PM
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This reminds me that my first ever set of student evaluations contained the feedback, "No more tucked in shirts without a belt."

You know, while obnoxious, that's at least constructive criticism. And I do love the student who's unable to focus on those of her professors who don't remind her of adolescent wizards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:02 PM
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42
Are ties that important?
For men, yes. The tie is important because it's always been important; its importance makes it important. You don't change norms without good reasons for doing so.

But this man is trying to change the norm back to the previous norm. Get over it, dude.

Ties show seriousness -- respect for the subject, the students, and oneself (whether or not you really respect any of them). Fussell says ties "serve no purpose except vanity," but striking a blow for civilization is a good purpose.

Pretty good indication that the guy is exactly what everyone else is quite rightly trying not to be.

I've given a moderate amount of time to trying to figure out why ties are important. Because, actually, not wearing a tie is important to me, and people think that's silly. But often they're people who think that it's not silly to think that wearing ties is important. So the silliness or triviality of the issue is not what's at stake.

I tend to think that it's some kind of mark of bondage or loyalty, whether sincere or coerced.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:02 PM
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39: It varies even within department. Mine: plaid shirt & jeans all the way to tailored Armani suit, stopping everywhere in between.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:03 PM
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44

Cosma indeed.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:03 PM
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Wait, this is a different article on the sartorial habits of academics from the one in the Chronicle a few weeks ago? Good gravy.

Oh, and stras? It certainly does matter that he was Belgian. One year we had a handful of extremely well dressed profs running about, and I was baffled. Turns out, 2 were College de France, one ENS, and the last was from the Centre Louis Gernet.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:04 PM
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You know, while obnoxious, that's at least constructive criticism.

Oh, I followed it all. Things on the sartorial front were pretty good until a hiccup last year, when I wore a new pair of pants to class that still at the 34-34-34-34-34-34 leg-length clear plastic sticker attached to the right leg.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:04 PM
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Law isn't that rigid. I've got an orange/pink/other colors madras dress I wear in the summers sometimes. As long as you look reasonably put together, people don't bother you about your clothes.

And at some firms "reasonably put together" can be pretty loosely interpreted. Much to my good fortune.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:04 PM
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48

Not to mention the splendor of the Swedish Lur, of whom Ben can speak.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:04 PM
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47: At my prior, smaller, firm, I analyzed the dress code through careful inspection of the partners. I determined that the rules were: 1. No thongs as outerwear. 2. Nothing currently on fire.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:06 PM
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2. Nothing currently on fire.

Had previously been on fire was OK?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:07 PM
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Among certain classes of business people, it's a sign of power not to dress up -- I can come in casual clothes because I'm fucking rich, and my minions have to dress up and wear ties while they make presentations to me. Perhaps some academics conceive themselves as participating in this aristocratic privilege.

You can be quite stylish and interesting in jackets/ties now though, if you move beyond blue pinstripe/red tie, etc.

Best dressed academics: Art historians, followed by English professors.

Worst dressed: mathematicians, followed by social scientists.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:08 PM
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To continue 42:

Ties show seriousness -- respect for the subject, the students, and oneself (whether or not you really respect any of them).

To me that's exactly what ties do not show. They basically show "going with the program".

Whenever I see or meet a very well-dressed, confident, persuasive, articulate, competent-seeming spokesman for or representative of anything, I immediately mistrust them. I ask myself "OK, what's his angle? What's he selling?" I don't rule out the possibility that my first impression might turn out to be wrong, but I think it's a pretty good null hypothesis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:08 PM
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50: That rule was arrived at after noting a partner wearing visibly singed jeans. I believe there had been a cigar accident.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:09 PM
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42: Ties aren't important. From an aesthetic point of view, jackets look goofy with a gap in the middle, a tie fills it in. This is the duality to ties looking goofy without jackets.

However, where people are hung about about wearing a tie or not wearing a tie --- it's not the tie that's important, it's the conformity.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:10 PM
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Yeah, European professors dress well, but is that just because they're European? Italian professors dress worse than other Italians, but are still incredibly spiffy by American standards. If they dressed like American professors they'd be stoned to death before they even reached their classrooms.

BTW, did anyone watch the first season of "The Tudors" on Showtime? Best clothing I've ever seen anywhere.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:10 PM
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I tend to think that it's some kind of mark of bondage or loyalty, whether sincere or coerced.

Nowadays, certainly. Consider when Prince Claus of the Netherlands removed and cast aside his tie in public, calling it "a snake around my neck."

Of course, Beau Brummell would disagree, the dandy being the freest of men.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:12 PM
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Worst dressed: mathematicians, followed by social scientists.

Like the mathematicians who wander around all day with their bike helmets perched on their heads? Because it's such a pain to carry that thing to your office and drop it off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:13 PM
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the dandy being the freest of men.

yeah, it's actually fun to (really) dress up. Takes money to do it right though. A spouse or servants to do ironing is also helpful.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:13 PM
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re: 55

I, for one, intend to rock into class in peascod-bellied doublet, hose, and cod-piece. If they let me carry a whacking great sword, bonus.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:13 PM
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You can be quite stylish and interesting in jackets/ties now though, if you move beyond blue pinstripe/red tie, etc.

You can, if you put the work into it. Of course, there is nothing special about jackets and ties there. You have to go a fair ways not to be boring in a jacket & tie, though.


Best dressed academics: Art historians, followed by English professors.

I think architects may have the edge over english here.

Worst dressed: mathematicians, followed by social scientists.

The first is absolutely true, but not universally true of mathematicians. There are some real standouts (mostly European, natch)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:13 PM
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I feel extremely fortunate to have a job that I can wear pretty much anything for. At my new college, I feel the need to at least wear dress shoes, since all my students are in skirts, and I'll usually, like today, wear black slacks, a button-down, and a nice sweater. At my other teaching job, however, it's quite often Vans sneakers, jeans, and a button-down, with my hair up. Part of it's the traveling---no fucking way I'm wearing heels for a two-hour commute that involves a mile of walking. Also, I think the students at that school tend to be really baffled when I dress up. None of the profs there are natty or dignified in the least, and I'd hate to throw the curve.

That said, when I get paid more, I'll dress better to teach. I don't like looking like a slouch, but on $14K/yr, slouch is all I can manage.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:14 PM
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Or my favorite, the guy who took a hacksaw and cut off the front 1/4 of his bike helmet. And then wore it leisurely. Free your forebrain!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:14 PM
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but on $14K/yr,

Holy crap, Bear. We made $18K, and cost of living was way cheaper. How the hell do you stay afloat?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:16 PM
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62: That is bizarre. Did he continue to use it as a bike helmet? Did he somehow know he wouldn't fall on his forehead?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:17 PM
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63: Sometimes, apparently, I don't. But Co-op groceries are cheap and I live very simply.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:17 PM
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66

Maybe it was a cooling system for his massive, ah, intellect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:18 PM
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67

How the hell do you stay afloat?

She is a witch!

Dressing well is not that hard. Go for the B to B+ look. It is relatively inexpensive and relatively easy.

Go for the A+ look and you run the risk of failing.

As LB has mentioned in other threads, dressing as a lawyer is really easy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:18 PM
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Ttam confronts his class:

http://l.yimg.com/img.tv.yahoo.com/tv/us/img/site/87/61/0000038761_20070327162232.jpg

Actually, a major thing is he awesome jewelry -- giant gold chains:

http://www.intensevibe.net/henry/photos/moviestills/tudors001.jpg

Gangsters always dress great, and the medieval aristocracy were basically gangsters. I'm sure the church and humanist scholars dressed like crap.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:18 PM
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69

68 to 59.

60: true on the architects, but they generally don't have a separate department.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:19 PM
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... and I live very simply.

In meifumado, following the assassin's road, seeking vengeance against the treacherous Yagyu clan.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:20 PM
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Article: totally sexist. Men should spiff up, while women should "dress frumpily." Mr. Jensen can bite me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:20 PM
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72

AWB, that's your stipend (post tuition, I assume) ? Wow. It's a different world. Where I did grad school they dept wouldn't take on a new student without being about to guarantee 18k for the entire time (2 year or 4 anyway) they were there --- as a minimum. I believe they moved this to 21 in my last year or so.

The top stipends I know of are really quite generous.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:21 PM
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Yeah, to 68.

Those clothes are great. However, given a choice, I think it's the late 18th century. Or maybe the late Victorian/early-Edwardian period.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:21 PM
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46: If I ever get into a pair of 34s again, I'm leaving that on to brag.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:22 PM
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For men, Fussell's default rule works: "You can't go wrong with the classic navy blue blazer and khakis."

Probably the wrongest part of a wrong thing, I think.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:23 PM
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Art History Departments have an incredibly high percentage of "independantly wealthy" scholars.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:23 PM
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68: As (almost) always, the clothes look authentic but the teeth do not.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:23 PM
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From the small sample I have known, that is.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:23 PM
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73: true. I realized when looking at the photos that it's hard to separate the beauty of the cast members from the beauty of the clothing. Jonathan Rhys-Myers, whew.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:24 PM
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I am fond of dandies. I'm a schlub, mostly, but I like looking at interesting clothes, and feel vaguely guilty about not providing spectators with more to look at.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:24 PM
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72: I don't get a stipend. That's my pay, if I teach 2&2, plus a summer class. This year, I'm upping my teaching load because I can't survive on $14K like I did last year.

Fortunately, my school has been able to guarantee $18K without teaching in the first year, for five years, to incoming students now, but we're not grandfathered in from the bad old days. Next year, I'll be eligible for a $35K/yr no-teaching fellowship, though. Feast or famine at Ye Olde Publick Grad School.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:24 PM
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I don't think I've ever met an independently wealthy scholar.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:25 PM
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"Independently wealthy" is an interesting phrase, because what it usually means is "Wealth wholly dependent on the labor or luck of others."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:25 PM
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Guys who dress well are very attractive, but unfortunately, they tend to date women who dress well. Bastards.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:26 PM
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Best dressed academics: Art historians, followed by English professors.

BZZZT! Nope. You make up for it a bit in 55, but really: English professors have nothing on other Euro language department professors. It's khakis and crewnecks vs. black pants and v-necks.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:26 PM
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81: I should have specified --- that's guaranteed by the dept can be made up from TA/RA and teaching (possibly, if you are a ph.d candidate or already have a masters.) So they have to offer you this much a year, and they can use a nominal 10hr/week on it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:27 PM
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You can't go wrong fail to look a cunt with the classic navy blue blazer and khakis


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:28 PM
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86 continued (i don't know what happened)

So it could be pure stipend, or it can be mostly work (at a pretty decent rate), but you always knew what you would have as a minimum income.

Courses, if you got them, were the same rate as a sessional. Somthing like $6k/course, if I recall correctly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:29 PM
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59 cracked me up.

I wore a new pair of pants to class that still at the 34-34-34-34-34-34 leg-length clear plastic sticker attached to the right leg.

God, I'll never forget the time two young women approached me at the *end* of class to tell me that my cardigan was on inside out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:29 PM
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Gangsters always dress great....

Counter-examples:

Vincent "The Chin" Gigante
Tony Soprano
Miami gangsters of the '80s
Billy the Kid


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:29 PM
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72: What field are you in, soupy?! The very fanciest humanities fellowship at Chicago was, until recently, 12K. It has since been raised to 15K -- still way the heck under 18-21K!!!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:29 PM
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God, I'll never forget the time two young women approached me at the *end* of class to tell me that my cardigan was on inside out.

I bet five quid that's the opening sentence of the "Letter to Penthouse" you wrote but never posted.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:31 PM
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87 also funny. Since when are the Brits the ones to listen to about sartorial matters?!?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:31 PM
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94

92: You owe me a fiver.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:32 PM
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86: Yeah, it's a little funky where I am because there are no undergraduates at my school, which is solely a Ph.D.-granting institution. (That narrows down where I go to school to, uh, one place.) But it's affiliated with 18 undergraduate institutions of diverse quality and prestige, to which we're farmed out, though one can also use connections to get teaching at one of the bazillion other college in NYC, which is what I've done.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:32 PM
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Since when are the Brits the ones to listen to about sartorial matters?!?

See above. Since 1580, but not since 1930.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:32 PM
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Do universities pay graduate students so little because there's an oversupply of willing masochists and they hate to disappoint or because they just like messing with aspiring humanists?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:33 PM
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85: You got me. I should at least have said "literature".


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:33 PM
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93 would be right in most circumstances, but this time 87 is completely true.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:34 PM
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81: It's feast or famine most places, I think. I had quite an argument with some other students the last couple years I was there. The university (and several others) was awarded some extra funds to `promote excellence blah blah blah' and it dribbled down to department level. What they ended up doing was giving all of us who already had national scholarships/fellowships (so almost by definition didn't need it) an extra $10k/year fellowship. Which meant that for every two of those, we could have funded another grad student. It was interesting to see how self-interest got involved. I lobbied against it, but when that didn't work I'm a little remorseful that I didn't refuse mine.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:34 PM
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71: Seriously. It's like he completely forgot the existence of women. Dress frumpily? Why?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:34 PM
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My obscenely rich institution claims that they pay us so little because they want us to get done in a timely manner, and so it wouldn't do for us to get too comfortable and try to drag it out.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:34 PM
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It's like he completely forgot the existence of women. Dress frumpily? Why?

You might draw attention away from today's tie, otherwise.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:35 PM
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Dress frumpily? Why?

Because stylish women are Not to be Taken Seriously.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:36 PM
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On stipends: ten years ago when I was in grad school (jesus fucking christ) I was on 8k/year for the first three years.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:37 PM
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Because stylish women are Not to be Taken Seriously.

And the frumpy ones are easily ignored.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:37 PM
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not since 1930.

Yeah, see, this would have been my point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:38 PM
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My institution claims that full funding would encourage us to linger on, because we love making poverty level wages so much. It has nothing to do with the abysmal job market.

The dean brought this up in a student meeting and I made a face which prompted a discussion.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:38 PM
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104: are you kidding? Hilary dresses great. If you like pants-suits, but still.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:38 PM
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Dress frumpily?

Also, schoolmistresses are not to be married or seen in the company of men, and should spend their time in their homes from the hour of six o'clock on.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:38 PM
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104: And I figure, fuck them. If I can kick their ass with half my brain tied around my back, I can do that in nice clothes, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:39 PM
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93 is odd, at least in a conversation about mens business fashion, which in the US at least in finance/capital areas is sartorially a pale shadow of those in `the city'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:40 PM
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Oh god, I love you for 108, Cala. Reminds me of the time I made a similar face when my advisor (!) said in a department meeting that he knew that it was completely unrealistic to assume that we'd graduate in 5 years (which was the cutoff date for regular* funding), but that it was "good to hold up an ideal to aim for."

*I do not say guaranteed, because in fact, funding wasn't guaranteed; there were indeed people who were not funded in my program.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:40 PM
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101, 104: I think he (in a maddening but completely conventional manner) confused stylish with slutty -- "If I encourage chicks to dress well, they'll be teaching class in sequined pasties and thongs. Better tell them to stay frumpy."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:40 PM
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Any word on whether yoga pants are ok to wear?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:40 PM
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Guys who dress well are very attractive, but unfortunately, they tend to date women who dress well. Bastards.

I've nothing to add. I just thought this worth repeating.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:41 PM
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111: Well yeah, me too. But you have to consider who wrote the damn article.

112: Okay, you have a point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:41 PM
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I'm not sure what the tuition costs are supposed to be, but a prof at GSB who was talking to me about the PhD program said their TAs earn around 4-5K a month in salary. If they're paying a bit less than me in tuition, that would work out to about $20-25K a year in stipend.

And academics should be allowed to embrace their sartorial freedom. I chose my current employer based upon three factors, and being able to wear t-shirts and jeans to work everyday was a big one.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:42 PM
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114: Then he needs to pull his head out of his ass. With respect. And a tie.

I have taught in a linen shift dress and pearls. I have taught in jeans and tank tops. Doesn't really seem to matter.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:42 PM
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115: Only if you're too much of an airhead to have a lesson plan.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:42 PM
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I have taught in jeans and tank tops.

High waisted or low waisted?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:43 PM
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Lesson plan?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:44 PM
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119: You don't have to convince me to hate the patriarchy.

I'm surprised you have found no difference in terms of teaching dress code. On a day-to-day basis it doesn't matter, but ime on semesters where I wore mostly jeans, I got much less respect than when I wore dressier stuff.

Of course, come to think of it, the jeans thing was only my first two semesters, so possibly the difference was less the clothing than the experience.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:45 PM
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91: maths, as I'm pretty sure has come up before. I did grad school in Canada, but tuition excepted things are not so wildly different here and there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:45 PM
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I don't want to start another HRC flame war thread, but damn, that woman has some great clothes. It really brings home to me how people should dress for their coloring; she's worn some shades of yellow and blue that are just like POP! Whoa. And look awesome.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:45 PM
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125: Are you on peyote?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:46 PM
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125: Agreed. I so love her.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:46 PM
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HRC has that one gray jacket with a bold ferny black print that I thought looked great.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:46 PM
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she's worn some shades of yellow and blue that are just like POP! Whoa.

The secret meaning of those shades is "we're staying in Iraq forever." It's true.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:47 PM
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118: It only makes sense to talk about these things after tuition, anyway. Lots of places have tuition scholarships, also.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:47 PM
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That one ferny thing (I think Cala and I are talking about the same thing), did she wear it in New Hampshire? Anyway, it was so bold, and looked so awesome.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:48 PM
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There's a junior professor at my old university (I think she may have made tenure by now) who was notorious for wearing very low-cut tight shirts and fishnets to teach in. I used to think it was borderline inappropriate, but a friend convinced me that it was awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:49 PM
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Can't it have been both?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:50 PM
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HRC's suits are okay to pretty-good, but whoever is doing her makeup deserves a Medal of Honor.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:50 PM
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I have taught in a linen shift dress and pearls. I have taught in jeans and tank tops.

I will double up my winnings from 92 by betting this is the first line of your also unposted submission to the "Modern Love" column.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:51 PM
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Really, the Dem candidates this year are both so well-dressed and fun to look at. Obama wears a suit like goddamn.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:51 PM
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Damn, these figures shouldn't make me feel better that I'm willfully going back into academia for a paltry stipend, but it's . . . slightly less paltry, these days. I've had three offers from English programs, none of which offer less than 19k. Not that that's a lot. JHU has offered me 22k, but I am deeply afraid of them.

Also, academia's great for fashion: it's nice to be able to visibly freak out your cohort when you show up for a class actually--shock--wearing a button-down. Y'know, just to mess with people. The bitch with visible tattoos & piercings isn't supposed to do that.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:52 PM
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Being respected or treated in a certain way as a lecturer is not just about your clothing, but about how formal your bearing is, and whether you speak in a casual or formal way.

This professor would frequently come to class in a T-shirt with a picture of his own face on it, but he sounded extremely dignified and had that dashing haircut, so there was total respect.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:53 PM
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129 made me laugh.

On the article's "Women, dress frumpily" thing, I assumed the entire article was (mostly) tongue-in-cheek, and the advice to women amounted to: You got me, ladies; good luck with that thing about not looking too attractive to be taken seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:53 PM
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135: Ungallantly low, sir.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:53 PM
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The ferny jacket is featured in the picture in this article. Great picture, from a photojournalism standpoint, too.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:54 PM
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That one ferny thing (I think Cala and I are talking about the same thing), did she wear it in New Hampshire? Anyway, it was so bold, and looked so awesome.

Is that the brocade one that McArdle went off on her about?

Obama wears some pretty sharp suits.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:54 PM
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130: Yeah, that's why I tried to estimate their tuition based on my own for an MBA. I would expect business schools to pay their PhD students pretty well, except my friend in NYC getting her degree doesn't seem to be living it up too much.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:54 PM
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Being respected or treated in a certain way as a lecturer is not just about your clothing, but about how formal your bearing is whether you have a penis.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:55 PM
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136: The Obama campaign has deteriorated into a Cult of Sartoriality like we haven't seen since the days of Boss Tweed.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:55 PM
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123: I think different populations of students react differently to clothes. When I was teaching at a technical college in downtown Brooklyn, I tended to wear short skirts and hoodies with clompy boots. I wouldn't dream of dressing like that at either of my teaching jobs now, but it really worked there, for those students. I'm sure this is a class thing.

Half of my students now are working class, mostly adults, and if I tried to look "pretty" there, I'd look ridiculous. The other half are wealthy private school students, who definitely look sideways at me when I wear my weird second-hand sweaters.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:56 PM
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141: Isn't that one of those things Chinese women wear on special occasions?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:56 PM
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145: Well, he's really hot, ok? It's not my fault. As long as we keep talking about their respective policies and legislative records all day long, it's ok to, every once in a while, be a little shallow.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:57 PM
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144: Not in my experience.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:57 PM
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fishnets to teach in

I fully support this.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:58 PM
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144 - Naw, come on. I owned the rooms I taught in, and I think a huge part of it that I learned my bearing first as a martial arts instructor, not as a regular "I'm your friend"-type instructor.

(Yes, it is very different from my regular demeanor, for those of you who have met me.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:59 PM
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I think 146 is correct.

Particularly young looking faculty of whatever gender have more trouble with drawing lines I think, but it's more difficult for women. I also think that discipline matters. Students come to us already afraid of the subject, which probably means that many of them approach a young math prof. differently than, say, an english prof.

Heebie, does that gel with your experience?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 2:59 PM
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Since the uproar about candidate-cleavage, HRC has been wearing those mandarin collars and scarves tucked up to her ears just constantly. The styles look good on her (the scarves are a clever way to get a splash of color right up by her face), but I'm a bit ready to see a different neckline on her.

Or not, if she doesn't want to, of course.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:00 PM
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144 though, doesn't match my experience.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:00 PM
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144 was a joke, but I am serious that if you are a female instructor, your clothing and appearance will basically always be scrutinized, and Ned's example of "didn't matter what he wore" is just much less likely for women.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:01 PM
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Yeah, I get a sort of fearful respect in class, perhaps more than I'd like. My officemate is also a big, curly-haired woman in sweaters, and her students fill up her office hours, follow her around campus, ask for life-advice, and all that. I haven't seen a student voluntarily show up for my office hours (except for a few crazies who thought I was a therapist) in years. I usually assume I have the same cuddly-maternal look my officemate has, but my students just don't take those freedoms with me. Look isn't everything.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:03 PM
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152 is correct. When I taught math as an undergrad (to other undergrads, although I tried to let them think I was a grad student), I was treated pretty awfully by my students. People would write all kinds of things like "she doesn't know what she's talking about!" on evals, which was so obviously not true that it was a little bit funny.

People come to math classes hating math, and if you're young and a woman and act sternly with them sometimes they do not like it.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:04 PM
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re: 151

Hmm. I've never been taught [in martial arts] by someone who adopted that whole authoritarian demeanour. Mostly, 'I'm your friend' teaching there, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:04 PM
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149, 154:

not just any penis will do, size is important too


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:05 PM
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if you are a female instructor, your clothing and appearance will basically always be scrutinized

In my dept, insofar as can be gleaned from anonymous evaluations, the younger female faculty tend to get stuff like "hott" (or the opposite) from the male students, while the women go in for bitchy critiques (but generally not praise). Male faculty get fashion advice/praise, too, but less often.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:05 PM
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As a Scot, your sense of how friends relate to each other involves more kicking in the face than we're used to over here, wouldn't you think?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:06 PM
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Actual evaluation from last semester:

Blume is so sweet and attentive. We act like friends, but in the end find that she was teaching us everything the entire time.

Attentive???


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:07 PM
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Of course, my officemate and I get treated very differently in public places, too. I'm the "man" in our relationship, despite my being a lot shorter and smaller. Waiters bring me the bill, will only make eye contact with me, etc. We've been trying to figure out why this happens, since I'm not particularly dykey or anything, and she's hardly a shrinking violet.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:07 PM
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151: Sure, bearing and demeanor has a great deal to do with it, but I'd venture that female instructors (perhaps especially in the humanities, as soup notes) have to deal with a critical eye from students for a bit longer: fail to establish and maintain that authoritative stance for long enough in the early stages, and it's going to be a long, tough semester.

Which is why one wears relatively formal things for at least the first week of classes, probably a couple of weeks. This is all so variable, though, depending on whether it's a lecture course or a seminar, on the type of students (majors? non-majors?), and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:07 PM
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Better than "responsive".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:07 PM
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teaching us everything the entire time

If true, that sounds very exhausting.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:08 PM
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154: Well I guess I could write off the respect I get from students that way, but how does it explain my well-respected female colleagues?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:08 PM
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158 - I was taught by Very Formal (and some of them mean) Koreans. Turns out that I love elaborate hierarchy and deference rituals.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:08 PM
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Actual evaluation

A female friend teaching statistics at super-laid-back UCSB once got "Prof X is great and everything, but sometimes she acts like she's the professor and we're the students."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:08 PM
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UCSC, I mean.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:10 PM
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Male faculty get fashion advice/praise, too, but less often.

I once had a evaluation that included: It's nice to have a prof. who understands that you shouldn't wear your t-shirts tucked in or your button-downs untucked.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:11 PM
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At the end of every semester, some genius goes to ratemyprofessor.com and writes about me, "It's like it's her way or the highway!!!!" This is because my assignments have, like, instructions? I presume in their other classes, profs just say, "Write a paper, and make sure it's 3-10 pages long, on whatever you like, and it will be beautiful!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:11 PM
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Whenever I envision myself as a teacher, I imagine addressing all the students by their last names, like in "Stover at Yale".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:13 PM
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172: That is really annoying. Some of those boil down to `This course is hard. And he actually meant we had to do all the stuff he said we'd have to do on the first day'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:13 PM
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you shouldn't wear your... button-downs untucked

Soup, you should not allow such close-mindedness in your classroom. I understand that some students are a lost cause, but if this is a pattern you may want to reexamine your pedagogy.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:14 PM
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I would expect business schools to pay their PhD students pretty well

?

A PhD student at a business school is pretty much the definition of "someone who didn't get the message".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:15 PM
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176: also true of a professor at a business school?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:15 PM
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173 - I invariably called my students by honorific and last name, to give them respect and remind me that I shouldn't sleep with them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:15 PM
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175: I was just astonished at the idea of fashion comments on an evaluation (I have no idea if it was accurate, btw).


176 is true.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:16 PM
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No, no honorific.

"Yes, Caldwell, you had a question."
"Sanders and Faino, stop talking."
"Olszewski Minor, see me after class."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:17 PM
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176: also true of a professor at a business school?

No, because most professors in good biz schools do not have PhDs from biz schools -- they are economists, sociologists, psychlogists, etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:18 PM
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180: The problem is, modern service courses are moving more and more to 300-500 in a room.

In that case, I suggest just do the same thing, except make the names up on the fly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:18 PM
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... I think a huge part of it that I learned my bearing first as a martial arts instructor....

Being able to hit the students with a stick must help.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:19 PM
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The problem is, modern service courses are moving more and more to 300-500 in a room.

In that case, I suggest just do the same thing, except make the names up on the fly.

Students will be provided with a list of nicknames from which they may choose a sobriquet.

Barmy
Pongo
Tuppy
Noodles
Toots
etc.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:20 PM
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176 isn't true, finance PhDs get more interesting classes than us MBAs and finish up in high demand.

177: Starting salaries for new profs at top business schools are six figures. Just barely so, admittedly, but I'd say it's also a far more interesting job than those taken by the vast majority of their students.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:22 PM
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The "get the message" moment at LBS was usually when we were split into project workgroups. Each group, term by term, would end up having someone who was lazy, preoccupied with other things or otherwise not pulling their weight, which was a problem because all the group were assigned the same grade. Time after time, groups would go to the dean or the course lecturer and explain that X wasn't playing fair and was making zero contribution. At which point they would be informed "this is a management course. You have a management problem. manage it".

Then they would say "that's not fair". Then there would be an awkward silence while everyone pondered the concept of "business" and "management". Then they would get the message.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:23 PM
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I only call my students by their last names if they insist on calling me by my last name. I prefer it when they call me by my first name, though usually only two or three in a class will muster the balls to do it. Mostly, though, I end up being "Professor," which sounds totally absurd to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:25 PM
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Starting salaries for new profs at top business schools are six figures. Just barely so, admittedly, but I'd say it's also a far more interesting job than those taken by the vast majority of their students

are you seriously trying to argue that being a college professor is a more interesting job than an investment banker?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:25 PM
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I think it really did. I mean, the way I first learned it*, it was completely natural and right to whale on a disrespectful student. I had to dial that back a lot, but it meant that I felt as if I were being all sorts of liberal and forgiving when I scolded a student or docked a grade instead of, literally, hitting them on the spot for disrespect. Having such an extreme frame of reference meant I didn't doubt myself much on discipline, and that shows in your bearing.

*on the receiving end.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:27 PM
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are you seriously trying to argue that being a college professor is a more interesting job than an investment banker?

Vastly so, for my values of college professor. I wouldn't want to teach in a business school anymore than I'd want to do investment banking though. So perhaps that's not quite the comparison you're imagining.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:30 PM
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are you seriously trying to argue that being a college professor is a more interesting job than an investment banker?

Inconceivable!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:31 PM
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186 is completely correct, and a pithy support for why I have never had any interest in being a manager or taking management courses whatsoever.

are you seriously trying to argue that being a college professor is a more interesting job than an investment banker?

I really can't figure out if you're being sarcastic or not. But yes, a thousand times yes. Many of my professors are fairly nice people researching very interesting topics with some free time for lives. Many of the people I know who went into investment banking are rundown shells of their formerly vivacious selves. If they're lucky, they have a girlfriend or boyfriend who will occasionally clean up after them when they pass out after a long day in front of a colorful and fancy Excel spreadsheet.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:40 PM
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158 - I was taught by Very Formal (and some of them mean) Koreans. Turns out that I love elaborate hierarchy and deference rituals.

Comity. This was very much my experience with (my specific type of) martial arts. I felt I got an inkling of what's compelling about Confucianism: elaborate hierarchy rituals feel very different when they reflect your sincere respect for someone.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:43 PM
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My two friends who tried to become Buddhist monks ended up not being able to take the hierarchy and authoritarianism. One was a Korean-American (fluent in Korean) who was being trained as a translator. Not being allowed any initiative at all was the problem he felt, I think. The other ended up with an understanding he had been judged a failure as a monk and would never rise above his low place in the hierarchy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:51 PM
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Many of my professors are fairly nice people researching very interesting topics with some free time for lives. Many of the people I know who went into investment banking are rundown shells of their formerly vivacious selves

well experiences vary - most of the academics I know are constantly moaning about their teaching, while the investment bankers I know are cheerful high-energy people with really interesting hobbies and partying all the time. Both do get involved with really interesting things so that's a wash.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 3:58 PM
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Both do get involved with really interesting things drink heavily so that's a wash.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:04 PM
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imagine life as a professor of investment banking


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:04 PM
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re: 168

Yeah, my thing doesn't go in for that at all. First names, no rituals at all to speak of, no uniforms. Nothing in the way of elaborate deference behaviours.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:06 PM
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197: Just today I was wondering how people do this. I was riding the elevator with an old statistics prof whose student was also on the elevator. She said she was excited about class that day, and he gave this look like, "Really? You must be joking." I'm teaching nothing but novels about murder, incest, and ghosts, and I often come home panicking that they're bored with the material. No, I cannot imagine how grim it would be to teach investment banking.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:13 PM
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198: No one cares about your creepy swingers' weekends, dude.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:13 PM
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imagine life as a professor of investment banking

It's easy if you try.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:19 PM
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re: 200

Those have uniforms. Gold medallions, and silver lamé y-fronts.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:21 PM
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202: You're L. Ron Hubbard?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:24 PM
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Haven't finished the thread yet but on presidential styles, anyone link to this picture of Obama in a cowboy hat yet? HOT DAMN.

(Trivia: the photographer is the same one as for the UnfoggeDCon 1.0 flyer.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:27 PM
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I cannot imagine how grim it would be to teach investment banking.

I'm sure you have counterparts who cannot imagine spending their semesters strangling the life out of perfectly harmless novels, either.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:27 PM
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Okay, the picture in 204 is hilarious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:29 PM
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Fetching, but hysterical. Now, combine it with silver briefs and a gold medallion, and you've got a look.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:30 PM
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204: This reminds me -- on the News Quiz the other day one of the panelists came out with the line "The question isn't really 'Is America ready for its first black president' so much as 'Is America ready for the assassination of its first black president?'"


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:32 PM
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And that, folks, is HOW TO WEAR A COWBOY HAT. I nearly hit on a guy -- something I virtually never do, cold -- at the post office last summer who was wearing a cowboy hat in the same jaunty spirit. He looked familiar, I could swear I'd met him before somewhere. Really ...


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:36 PM
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204: Unfortunately, what immediately came to mind was this picture. I am teh racist.

208: I was thinking about that last night, and stumped myself trying to think of an American political assassination or attempt since Reagan was shot 25+ years ago. Maybe, possibly, that's something that we don't do any more?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:38 PM
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I considered whether to respond to DeLong's response to Shalizi's response to this, but in the end I decided, I don't really care what the rest of the academy wears, I just want myself to look good.

Unless of course some poser like Ben or Labs comes around and needs a good correcting.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:40 PM
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The picture on 204 annoys me for how well it works. I see it and think, Damn, Obama's all sexy and charming and believable in that hat. And then I think, if Hillary put on a cowboy hat and tried to look all smokily serious I would hate her for pandering.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:41 PM
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Again, this is no time to bring up Labs' sex life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:41 PM
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What are the rules for bringing up Labs's sex life?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:41 PM
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I suppose it's all right here. It seemed out of place when stras brought it up in the torture thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:43 PM
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"This is no time to bring it up" sounds like a good rule.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:43 PM
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He looks just as ridiculous in a cowboy hat as anyone I've ever seen. On the other hand, I think I've only ever seen one person in a cowboy hat in real life (not in photographs).


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:43 PM
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would never rise above his low place in the hierarchy.
now that's the western vanity
why he needs to rise above his place in the hierarchy if he's a monk and accepted the buddhist values?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:44 PM
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re 211, Brad's "The most important signal of expertise that a professor can send is that he or she is so monomaniacally focused and on intellectual task as to be completely outside the normal status hierarchies" seems to me to be a special case of the phenomenon discussed here.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:44 PM
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He looks ridiculous, but in a 'I know I look ridiculous, but I still look good' kind of way. It suits him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:45 PM
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220: Right, that's the key.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:46 PM
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...and tried to look all smokily serious....

The attempt would be Madame de Clinton's downfall.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:48 PM
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now that's the western vanity
why he needs to rise above his place in the hierarchy if he's a monk and accepted the buddhist values?

As the majority of the totally non-striving and not at all ambitious East obviously are.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:48 PM
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I see it and think, Damn, Obama's all sexy and charming and believable in that hat. And then I think, if Hillary put on a cowboy hat and tried to look all smokily serious I would hate her for pandering.

That's 'cuz he's awesome and she isn't. Easy.

Mmmm, Kool-Aid.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:49 PM
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204: This reminds me -- on the News Quiz the other day one of the panelists came out with the line "The question isn't really 'Is America ready for its first black president' so much as 'Is America ready for the assassination of its first black president?'"

Everyone always talks about this. While I don't see it as particularly likely, wouldn't the cynical view be that assassinations of political figures in the US have historically advanced the goals of those figures rather than impeding them?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:49 PM
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Brad's outrageously silly assertion seems to me to be a special case of a damfool notion that time is fungible.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:49 PM
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Obama-Sharpton 08.
So we don't have to burn shit down.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:50 PM
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225: Yeah, Reconstruction went awesome after the peckerwoods murdered the Railsplitter!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:53 PM
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assassinations of political figures in the US have historically advanced the goals of those figures

Except of course the minor goals of not-dying and serving in the Presidency.

And anyway no, it's not the case.

Also:
stumped myself trying to think of an American political assassination or attempt since Reagan

There were attempts on both Clinton and Bush. One of the attempts on Clinton resulted in a prosecution and conviction. And of course there was Saddam's attempt on Bush the father.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:53 PM
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I would have to think being a business school professor is pretty awesome. The pay is 6 figures, your students are are anxious to impress you, and are unlikely to ask "why do we need to know this?". (Even better, the MBA students are frequently _paying for themselves_, so they're not just fucking around.) _And_, if you get tired of it, you have a clear career path to a real job. The business school professors I have known seem happier than most humanities professors I have known. (Though less happy than the mathematicians, who are otherworldly space aliens.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:55 PM
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One of the attempts on Clinton resulted in a prosecution and conviction.

Was that some loon climbing the White House fence with a knife? I don't remember anything that seemed serious at the time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:55 PM
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Obama has a good head shape for hats.

m. leblanc, I think I did mean the New Hampshire jacket. I thought it looked good.

As for authority in the classroom, I've never really had a problem with it. Maybe I give off an aura of don't-fuck-with-me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:56 PM
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Also, the rest of those MBA students are being paid for by companies they currently work for who are promising them a raise and a promotion when they finish. Motivation must be quite a different thing from my loser-ass English majors who aren't really sure why they majored in English except they sorta like books, I guess, because they relate to them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:57 PM
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Except that m. leblanc and others are surely more assertive than I. So maybe the students are just all naturally submissive.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:57 PM
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229.2, 231: I meant attempts of the "actually came somewhere close to pulling it off" sort.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:59 PM
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I don't remember anything that seemed serious at the time

I knew you were going to make me look it up.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 4:59 PM
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OK, close enough. I had forgotten that one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:01 PM
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This was dangerously close.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:03 PM
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The pay is 6 figures, your students are are anxious to impress you, and are unlikely to ask "why do we need to know this?".

now make it so the front one of those six figures isn't a "1", take away any dealing with students at all and substitute clients who are paying you a load of money, and see how much better things get.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:03 PM
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Yeah, Reconstruction went awesome after the peckerwoods murdered the Railsplitter!

My knowledge of Civil War history is a bit sketchy, but didn't the backlash against Reconstruction not start until the 1870s, long after Lincoln would have been out of office anyway? I think JFK getting shot gave a big boost to both the Civil Rights Act and the Apollo program.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:06 PM
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didn't the backlash against Reconstruction not start until the 1870s

No. Google up something like "black codes."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:08 PM
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238: I forgot about that grenade attack in Georgia. Of all the stories to not get any traction.

That picture of Obama in that cowboy hat is just correct.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:11 PM
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Should have said "gain steam" rather than "start". But I will fall back to the position that the failure to institute massive social change by government authority is not that surprising, and can't wholly or possibly even in large part be pinned on Lincoln's death.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:14 PM
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And I would disagree with you. Had Lincoln survived, he would have had massively more credibility and competence and (it is reported) sobriety than Johnson. It is especially easy to imagine that had he survived the assassination attempt by Confederate dead-enders he would have had a great deal of leeway to move authoritatively, even vindictively, against the remaining rebels in the South.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:17 PM
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Vindictively in that "with malice toward none, with charity toward all" kind of way, of course. But I think you're generally right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:18 PM
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Vindictively in that "with malice toward none, with charity toward all" kind of way

No, authoritatively and vindictively and transformationally in the "there is no authorized organ for us to treat with.... We simply must begin with, and mould from, disorganized and discordant elements" kind of way.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:20 PM
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238: But that and the Saddam thing are different from the sort of intramural political violence that has us worried about Obama.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:23 PM
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240: Contra 241, wikipedia "Redemption".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:23 PM
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223
i don't know moral values and ambition are different for a monk i think
if he through his studies and wisdom got acknowledged by leadership among his peers, good
and it should come perhaps naturally
if not, then it does not mean to be and one should be at peace about where he is
shouldn't one strive to be a better person, not strive for a higher hierarchial position if he's a buddhist monk


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:24 PM
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wikipedia "Redemption"

Redemption is not the same thing as backlash to Reconstruction.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:25 PM
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Yeah, I think the argument that Lincoln's assassination helped Reconstruction in any way is a non-starter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:27 PM
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And I would disagree with you. Had Lincoln survived, he would have had massively more credibility and competence and (it is reported) sobriety than Johnson. It is especially easy to imagine that had he survived the assassination attempt by Confederate dead-enders he would have had a great deal of leeway to move authoritatively, even vindictively, against the remaining rebels in the South.

As near as I can tell, after Lincoln's assassination Reconstruction became more authoritative and vindictive anyway. And in any case, Lincoln's credibility and competence would largely have come from his handling of the Civil War, rather than the assassination attempt. The hypothetical Obama assassinations that I'm hearing about would probably be more along the lines of a JFK-style "president with massive popularity yet little actual track record gets cut down in prime, becoming larger than life after death."


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:27 PM
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OT: I know what you all think about my decorating sensibility, but, via majikthise, this is my new desktop.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:28 PM
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different from the sort of intramural political violence that has us worried about Obama

Fair enough. But the Clinton attempts (this article mentions the other one, with the airplane -- which of course nobody could have predicted anyone would have tried to use as a weapon) were "intramural" and not so long ago.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:29 PM
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252: Which would make Hillary LBJ, no? Eight more years of Iraq.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:30 PM
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250: Somehow worked out that way, though. Jim Crow didn't emerge fully formed from Johnson's forehead.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:30 PM
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252: Which would make Hillary LBJ, no? Eight more years of Iraq.

Depending on who Obama picks as his VP.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:33 PM
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254: Agreed.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:33 PM
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As near as I can tell, after Lincoln's assassination Reconstruction became more authoritative and vindictive anyway

Okay, I'm not going to do the whole lecture here, but this is what happened: after Lincoln's death, Johnson issued wholesale pardons to Confederates and did not try very hard to Reconstruct the South, whose states he let come right back into the Union. Lincoln -- who said in his last public address, which I've linked above, that he viewed the South as needing some re-moulding -- the address that, btw, is supposed to have inspired Booth to say it was the last address Lincoln would ever give -- clearly would not have fumbled the early stages of Reconstruction like this especially if he had the additional moral authority to re-create the South that came from the assassination attempt.

The standard read on the South among historians of this period is that the early weakness of Johnson's policy in 1865-66 allowed Confederates to shake off their sense of beatenness and organize to resist Reconstruction before it really started.

It seems likely that Lincoln would not have permitted that.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:34 PM
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I teach a concealed gun class and I teach Masters swimming.

Nobody has ever mentioned my attire.

They have mentioned that I tend to say "motherfucker" a lot.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:34 PM
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Actually, 257 even overstates things. Vietnam was at least partly Kennedy's war. Iraq is in no way Obama's war. If he gets shot, the "do what Obama would have wanted" dynamic would surely go toward getting out rather than staying.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:35 PM
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I would give a very great deal to live in an America in which neither Lincoln nor the Kennedys had been murdered.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:35 PM
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Jim Crow didn't emerge fully formed from Johnson's forehead.

If by "Jim Crow" you mean segregation, that didn't happen till around 1900 and had nothing to do with Johnson. There's a whole classic book on how there's a myth that it has any older history.

Disfranchisement on the other hand began around 1889-1890.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:36 PM
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259: Thank you for the summary. You're a history professor, right?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:39 PM
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re 239: this is why I don't have a feel for the particular comparison, really. If I have to work on that stuff, I might be happier doing it in business rather than a business school ... I don't know. I'd rather not work on it at all though, so it's a hard thing to judge from where I sit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:40 PM
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You're a history professor, right?

Mathematics.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:40 PM
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I would give a very great deal to live in an America in which neither Lincoln nor the Kennedys had been murdered.

Although then we would have been deprived of the comedy of Sirhan Sirhan telling the parole board "If Robert Kennedy were alive today, he would not countenance singling me out for this kind of treatment."


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:40 PM
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260: Noone mentioning anything about your attire as a swim instructor is probably a good thing. Just saying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:41 PM
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soup:

Are you suggesting that I do not look good in my speedo?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:42 PM
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266: quietly.... we don't want them to know we're slowly taking over.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:42 PM
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quietly

(Also, technically, kidding.)


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:43 PM
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269: Noone mentioning anything positive or negative


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:43 PM
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technically?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:43 PM
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We should have an academic discipline poll for this place.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:45 PM
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technically?

Totally.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:45 PM
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The history of mathematics.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:47 PM
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I can never remember what most of us do.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:48 PM
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The mathematics of history.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:50 PM
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The history of mathematics.

Is actually really interesting. I wish I knew more about it (I should probably teach an intro some time for that purpose)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:50 PM
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279wuzme


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:51 PM
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I am a professional algorithm, the likes of which slo studies.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:52 PM
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I can never remember what most of us do.

Comment?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:52 PM
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Particularly young looking faculty of whatever gender have more trouble with drawing lines I think, but it's more difficult for women. I also think that discipline matters. Students come to us already afraid of the subject, which probably means that many of them approach a young math prof. differently than, say, an english prof.

Heebie, does that gel with your experience?

Pretty much. I actually kind of love teaching kids who are afraid of math, (as long as they're not totally shut down.) And upper level kids are great. The ones that are hardest, who least respect me, are the freshmen who think they're the shit because they already took calculus in high school. And with them, I think being female makes life harder. So then I have to be a steely bitch. But then the nice ones quake.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:54 PM
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The mathematics of history.
The mathematics of oooohh, feelin' good.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:56 PM
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Late to the party, but "middle-class occupational group"? Professors?


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:57 PM
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Don't read that one pop book The History of Pi, the one that everyone has. I think there are four or five copies floating around the Flophouse. Shapin's The Scientific Revolution, relatedly, gives a good overview of the academic institutional changes underlying what's popularly known as the scientific revolution.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 5:59 PM
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But Heebie looks like a badass. She gives off the "I'm a hardass, dont fuck with me or I will head butt you look."

She scared the beegebus out of me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:00 PM
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Note that this article was originally published in the Oklahoma City University Law Review. Question for the lawyers: is there any school out there that doesn't have its own journal?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:01 PM
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Any law school, I mean. I'm sure there are high schools and such that don't have journals.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:01 PM
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Little known fact: Besides giving the vote to freed slaves, the Fourteenth Amendment partly disenfranchised a certain number of ex-Confederate leaders:

Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:01 PM
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who think they're the shit because they already took calculus in high school.

With these ones I like discussing in a handwavy way things like the Weierstrass function, and the devils staircase.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:01 PM
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She scared the beegebus out of me.

No way. Moi? I think I'm nice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:02 PM
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Moi

She grabbed my gf's butt and I was too scared to stop her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:03 PM
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Number: The Language of Science is a good introduction to the history of mathematics, with a particular focus on number theory. Goes up to 1900 or so, maybe a little later.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:04 PM
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Don't read that one pop book The History of Pi, the one that everyone has. I think there are four or five copies floating around the Flophouse. Shapin's The Scientific Revolution, relatedly, gives a good overview of the academic institutional changes underlying what's popularly known as the scientific revolution.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:04 PM
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Late to the party, but "middle-class occupational group"? Professors?

Are you disputing this because of the salaries or the smug sense of superiority?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:05 PM
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She grabbed my gf's butt and I was too scared to stop her.

Too scared to stop me? You orchestrated the whole thing, you scoundrel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:08 PM
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"scared" s/b "aroused"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:09 PM
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Don't read that one pop book The History of Pi, the one that everyone has. I think there are four or five copies floating around the Flophouse. Shapin's The Scientific Revolution, relatedly, gives a good overview of the academic institutional changes underlying what's popularly known as the scientific revolution.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:10 PM
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Smasher sure hates that book.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:11 PM
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Don't read that one pop book The History of Pi, the one that everyone has. Shapin's The Scientific Revolution, relatedly, gives a good overview of the academic institutional changes underlying what's popularly known as the scientific revolution.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:12 PM
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is there any school out there that doesn't have its own journal?

I very much doubt it.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:12 PM
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You know what I've heard is a good book about the history of math? The History of Pi. Bonus, everyone's got a copy so it's easy to find.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:13 PM
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Don't pop that one read book, The Pi of Mystery, the one that everyone blahs. Shapin's The Scientution Revolufic, related to me, gives good head of the academic institution. Change underwear when you're popularly known as the scientific r[evol]ution.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:14 PM
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"The Life of Pi" is a bit more technical, but excellent for advanced students.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:15 PM
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Too scared to stop me? You orchestrated the whole thing, you scoundrel.

I said "rub,"not grab.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:17 PM
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The Joy of Pi is good, but probably should be kept away from young children. Excellent on the new advances in mathematical toys, lotions, rubber goods, leather goods, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:19 PM
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I said "rub,"not grab.

You said "caress like a fine, fine melon". I felt coerced. But I knew if I asked to leave, that would give you grounds to detain me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:26 PM
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"Caress" doesn't mean "thump", but it's what you do with melons.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:28 PM
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I think I understand one of your relationship problems, John.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:31 PM
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What did The History of Pi do to deserve such scorn?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:35 PM
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I bet Smasher keeps tripping over all the copies of it littering the Flophouse.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:38 PM
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Maybe, but the melons I buy are ripe. Advantage: thumping!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 6:38 PM
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It is a well known fact that the worst popular book about Mathematics is David Berlinski's appalling "A Tour of the Calculus."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 7:19 PM
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now make it so the front one of those six figures isn't a "1", take away any dealing with students at all and substitute clients who are paying you a load of money, and see how much better things get.

Actually, most of the senior people in top bschools have moved beyond the 1. I see your point, but I rather like the career so far.

Are these the guys you write reports for?


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 7:25 PM
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worst popular book about Mathematics

I enjoyed The Parrot's Theorem, but I'd think it's a contender.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 7:32 PM
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I would have to think being a business school professor is pretty awesome. The pay is 6 figures, your students are are anxious to impress you, and are unlikely to ask "why do we need to know this?".

Decent B-school professors -- and the very top level humanities professors too -- easily clear over $150,000 per year, sometimes over $200,000 per year. But I would say that humanities students are more worshipful of their star profs than B-school students are of theirs. B-school students are always asking whether they are getting their moneys worth. It's very transactional.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:09 PM
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317: How much of that disparity is simply due to the fact that the `star profs' in humanities are the top of that particular game. In business, most of the equivalent people aren't.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:11 PM
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(not that this effect is unique to b-schools at all)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:24 PM
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Wow, I'm really appalled by how little money some PhD students make now. I was already kind of horrified by hearing some of the humanities and social sciences students I know talk about their stipends, but it sounds like they're at the high end.

In the sciences, a good grad student fellowship pays around $30k/yr.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:42 PM
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320: The range seems to be about $10k/yr to $50k/yr. I've heard rumors of higher and lower, but these are just people I know.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:50 PM
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321: the good science fellowships (NSF, DHS (I think), DOE) are pretty freaking generous. I'm so jealous of my smarter colleagues.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:53 PM
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"smarter colleagues" should be "smarter, better prepared, more impressively credentialed, colleagues". They're pretty swell.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:53 PM
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321: there are grad students making $50k/yr? Really? Are you counting tuition, travel & research expenses, etc., or do you mean a stipend? NSF and DOE fellowships, for instance, are around $30k for the stipend, but also pay (some) tuition.

In any case, $10k/yr seems inexcusable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:56 PM
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I'm torn. I make no claim to being particularly smart, but I had these sorts of fellowships for masters, ph.d, and post-doc. It really made things a lot easier for me but I'm not sure what the system is optimizing for. It seems that once you get in the good books you accumulate momentum and more money. I was given a bunch of smaller things with no application required, (department/school/state or province level), probably for no better reason than I already had a bunch. But at the same time I knew very good students who had half or a third of the support --- which made things harder on them and typically meant they did more scut work. Which meant they were probably a bit less productive and maybe GPA suffered a bit. But I can't say it's would be easy to objectively choose between a bunch of us.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:59 PM
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324: I don't know of any individual fellowships higher than 35 or perhaps 40, but it isn't unusual to have top ups and other bits and pieces. I'm discounting tuition from all of this, just talking about stipends. There are some pretty good international ones too.

I'm sure there aren't very many making 40k/yr+ but they do exist.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:03 PM
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325: IKWYM, as I'm currently benefiting from a nice fellowship (two, really, though one is travel-specific and doesn't have much effect on my disposable income) and starting a nice postdoc fellowship in the fall. I think the system is unfair: at some point someone decided I was good, so people continue to think I'm good, even as I perform demonstrably less well than other people I know. But it's hard to complain. It's not as if my pay is excessive; compared to other people my age who are doing similarly skilled jobs outside of academia, it's paltry. But I still feel vaguely guilty that other students make so much less.

And thinking about your 326, I probably tend to underestimate the impact of the little things: getting reimbursements for conference-related international travel, when I take a week after the conference to vacation in some fun locale near the conference site, really does make a big difference, even though I don't think of it as "income".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:22 PM
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$50K?!?!? I can't imagine that. That must be something both unbelievably boring and high on DARPA's priorities list.

The highest stipend I've heard of a (biological) sciences PhD student is about $29K (plus tuition). And that's neuroscience at Stanford, which I'd think is pretty much the high end in terms of both the "department is rolling in money" and "ridiculous living and commuting expenses" factors that would inflate said stipend.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:26 PM
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That stuff can really add up. I spent a month in Europe one year mostly because there were two conference a month apart and I didn't really need to be back; more typically would have one or two international conferences a year. Not having as many constraints as faculty, it was a lot easier to stay a week before or after, as you say.

When I compare that to some of my humanities friends who were considering if they could afford to pay their own way to some conference ... or could afford not to (career wise) it really contrasts the two situations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:29 PM
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The highest stipend I've heard of a (biological) sciences PhD student is about $29K (plus tuition).

Yeah, that's higher than the ones I've seen for biochem, pharmacology, etc. seems like mid 20's is more common. No small part of the reason I'm thinking of just not going back to finish my undergrad and being a cop or something. That, and the horrendous layoffs from the drug companies the last couple years.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:34 PM
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328: Are you considering only single stipends, or cumulative? All the ones that I know of that were really high were when you had a national fellowship of some sort, and a school would offer you additional money. But even for a single stipend, therea re some bigger ones. NSERC (the Canadian NSF variant) has some phd ones at $35k/yr now (only about 50 of them iirc) that are available to all sciences and engineering.... There are other niche fellowships. I knew one european studying over here on over 50/yr, part of that was exchange rate I'm sure, but I forget the details. We made him buy beer lots.

And I knew several students making over 40k a year in total, including TA's etc. So the few who had bigger fellowships or whatever just didn't have to do that if they didn't want to.

This might be a bit skewed by the school & students I knew. They did tend to do pretty well in these sorts of things as a group. It may be a bit more concentrated in Canada due to having fewer schools. The year I left, I think our school took nearly 1/2 the total national post-doc fellowships (of about 10 or so) in the subject.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:40 PM
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`single stipend' should be `single fellowship'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:41 PM
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I knew one european studying over here on over 50/yr, part of that was exchange rate I'm sure, but I forget the details.

Some countries offer pretty unbelievable stipends to students who get into top universities. One that sticks in my head is Bosnia, who sent a few really top kids to the Cambridge undergrad math program each year and the rumors of their scholarships were around $10-20K plus tuition (I ran in a group with a couple of them, and heard these figures through close mutual friends). I imagine their PhD stipends were as good or better, and that would be on top of the school's offer.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:48 PM
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333: Yeah, that sort of thing happens.

As for stipends, if you are guaranteeing them to all of your students , $29k/yr is a lot (plus tuition). Typically $20 or $22? Assuming sciences here. But then if you have some fellowship students and some non-, you can have a huge disparity, were most of your students make $21, say, but a few have another 15-20 on top of that, and then the school kicks them an extra $5 or 10 too, just to keep the `top' students. So you can easily end up with a factor of 2 that way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:52 PM
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Oh, yes. The ones getting the sweet fellowships AND TAs... well. I know a guy who was getting two national-level fellowships and TAing. He's got some disposable income. He's a resident assistant, now, too. So--no rent, plus a declining balance account for board and whatnot.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 11:04 PM
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Oh that too, you usually get pick of TA's if you want them, too. Once you are identified as one of the `good' ones, that all comes easier.

It can be a bit ridiculous at the post-doc level, to the point that you are making more than any of the APs in your department. If they know it, this could cause you grief. It will also be weird looking for a `real job' if you are staying in academia, because you can probably expect a hefty pay drop when you get it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 11:23 PM
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As opposed to the US, where you're fucked out of student loans on account of your honesty in declining to register for the selective service. If they were that damn selective, they never would've asked me (/rimshot/).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 11:31 PM
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oh, that is a nasty one fm. really crazy.

undergrad and grad school are a different game this way though, US or no. Nobody in sciences or the like should have any thought of student loans for grad school, really.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 11:36 PM
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re: 239

So how do I sign up?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 11:47 PM
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On the dotted line, in blood. You weren't using that soul anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-08 12:02 AM
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But I would say that humanities students are more worshipful of their star profs than B-school students are of theirs. B-school students are always asking whether they are getting their moneys worth. It's very transactional.

This is very true.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02-13-08 3:54 AM
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