Category Archives: Graduate School

The Question of the Opportunities: A Postscript to ASLE 2015

After two years on the job market I found myself thinking about whether I would find (or whether I really wanted) a job in the academic world. I had spent a decade outside of school. And so it was not … Continue reading

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Report from ASLE 2015: Building a Life and Career in the Environmental Humanities

By Stephen Siperstein, University of Oregon Wisdom is a gift. To receive it, a joy. Sometimes wisdom comes in the form of direct advice. Other times, in the form of stories. Such stories don’t always have clear messages or morals, … Continue reading

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Master Metaphors: A Newly-Minted Ph.D.

  With this entry we begin a series of occasional posts on the organizing fictions of academic life.  Today let’s take a look at the connotations of “newly-minted Ph.D.” In ancient times precious metals were originally valued by weight.  Adulterated … Continue reading

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Warrior Tales: My First Job Search (2)

Back in school after the MLA convention I resumed my grad student routine, working at home in the morning and then trudging to the library in the afternoon.  Leafless New Haven was wrapped in what that old Connecticut Yankee Wallace … Continue reading

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Warrior Tales: My First Job Search (1)

In the fall of 1976 I was in my last year of grad school and two chapters away from a finished dissertation.  After five years in gritty New Haven, I longed for a job near wild country, preferably out west … Continue reading

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The Warrior Phase

My best race at the national championships, during the 1980s, and in the 1984 Olympic trials, was the fifty kilometer marathon. At the time I was training six hundred hours a year. To use John’s words, these were indeed years … Continue reading

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Rethinking Failure 2

When I was an undergraduate at Dartmouth back in the mythical 1960’s, people were always looking over their shoulders.  The school had a rugged outdoorsman mentality (it was all-male in those days), which compensated rather actively for the intense class … Continue reading

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Rethinking Failure

Ever since grad school I’ve been intrigued by the idea of failure, which sat like an incubus on everybody’s mind.  It was feared but never openly discussed.  At Yale they talked only of success, for which we supposedly were being … Continue reading

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Grad School: Tools for Balance

What can we learn from these stories and reflections about finding balance in grad school?  Each group develops its own wisdom, but here are some tools we gleaned from the ASLE workshop last June. 1.  It’s not just about work.  … Continue reading

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Grad School: the Institution

We’ve seen how grad school serves the student by providing apprentice training and serves the faculty by perpetuating the profession with its values, hierarchies, and myths.  But what about the institution?  Like fish in the sea, both students and faculty … Continue reading

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