Archive for October, 2009

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-25

  • We're making "@ProfHacker pork" for dinner tonight: #
  • I've just posted my new mp3 of the week: the glo-fi, bedroom pop of Washed Out: #music #
  • Got some quick grading done. Time to write a quick something or other about music, I think. #
  • @boonebgorges How's the Brunswick stew? That's always what I want to know. in reply to boonebgorges #
  • @allsongs Mates of State. (Since you love them, Bob.) in reply to allsongs #
  • Tools for integrating live tweets into a PowerPoint presentation: Appears to be Windows only, but worth checking out. #
  • @barbarahui False advertising. I clicked on "Idaho," and it didn't take me there. in reply to barbarahui #
  • Dear University of Idaho: 1997 called and wants its site map back: #jobmarket #
  • @barbarahui Touche. Would *love* to be back in Southern California. in reply to barbarahui #
  • The rain has disrupted pumpking patching for the day. #
  • @barbarahui But what temperature is it at Starbucks there? in reply to barbarahui #
  • @snicholson That would be an awesome talk to hear! in reply to snicholson #
  • Starbucks was nice and raised the temperature for a bit. But I apparently haven't purchased enough as they're waging a freeze campaign again #
  • New at @ProfHacker: "Scheduling 101: Using Jiffle to Schedule Appointments with Students," by @GeorgeOnline: #
  • @dancohen Are you waving again? in reply to dancohen #
  • One of the amazing things about #jobmarket is spending time on other schools' dept pages. And seeing how *many* adjuncts there are. #
  • It's time for me to purchase something else from Starbucks, I think. Only seems fair. #
  • @amndw2 Librarian? in reply to amndw2 #
  • I know that I should be over finding humor in how people order at Starbucks. But I'm not. #
  • Applying to places like Biola and Baylor, I wonder what levels/forms of (non)religiosity disqualify one from consideration. #jobmarket #
  • Job list is up for the day. And there are exactly zero jobs for me this week. #jobmarket #
  • New at @ProfHacker: while we await the library search interface to come, @nmhouston explains using LOC subject headings #
  • I'm seeing more departments asking only for letter and vita up front. Good for them. #jobmarket #
  • Thanks to all those jobs getting axed last year, my letter writing process has been simplified. Many jobs are back. Copy/paste. #jobmarket #
  • I'm pleased to discover that @emusic now has Do Make Say Think's catalog. #music #
  • Applying to my alma mater. #jobmarket #
  • Hmm. MLA's job list hasn't been updated for today yet. #jobmarket #
  • @jbj Does it just say, "All of it"? in reply to jbj #
  • @boonebgorges Sufjan's version? Or the live version? in reply to boonebgorges #
  • Beginning work on a talk that I'm doing with a good friend in two weeks. Remembering I'm more than just a teacher. And that I can't write. #
  • Also, this Starbucks table doesn't play nice with my mouse. #
  • After being a nice warm haven for working on Monday, Starbucks has decided to freeze me out again. I need a portable office. #
  • I don't believe I tweeted once yesterday. Let's see if I can make up for that today. After all, it's my day to work on #jobmarket stuff. #
  • @amandafrench Oh, I understand. Am constantly amazed when I have to teach directory structure. And I'm glad they're comfy enough to learn. in reply to amandafrench #
  • @amandafrench If they can't unzip files, should they be in a Digital History class? #justsayin in reply to amandafrench #
  • A public Google Wave about videogame studies and pedagogy started by @samplereality and @zachwhalen: #
  • I have nothing and everything to say about Milton's Paradise Lost. #classprep #
  • @TenuredRadical Looks like you left one real name in the post at the bottom of the last paragraph. in reply to TenuredRadical #
  • @johnmjones That tweet wins. Period. in reply to johnmjones #
  • A fabulous Flickr CC Attribution Helper script for Greasemonkey by @cogdog: (via @boonebgorges on @profhacker) #
  • #Jobmarket ad: "Other benefits include…university housing (long waiting list)." Guess I won't be moving to Taiwain. #
  • This is also a great day for #music: new Atlas Sound, El Perro del Mar, Bell Horses, and Fuck Buttons. #
  • Just got home from my long day. Discovered that Apple *did* drop new stuff. Wonder what you all said about it. Too tired to find out. #
  • @samplereality I too liked @foundhistory's hack, but how would it differ from your WordPress plugin? #
  • Listened to a @digitalcampus and two @allsongs on my commute this morning. #
  • Finished Milton and a post for @profhacker with @acavender, so I guess I should start planning my other class. The night is young! #
  • Google Voice has the *hardest* time transcribing voicemails left by people with southern accents. #
  • @rusackas But thanks for the input. It's appreciated. in reply to rusackas #
  • @rusackas I normally have bought APC, but this seems cheaper. Overkill can happen when I don't have $. in reply to rusackas #
  • @rusackas No. in reply to rusackas #
  • @paulbrown Thanks. in reply to paulbrown #
  • Now that more people are on, I'll try this again: is this overkill for an 24" iMac and peripherals? #
  • @academicdave World domination, is what I was thinking. Same thing, then. in reply to academicdave #
  • Callobarting with @academicdave, @johnmjones, and @mkgold again. Using the Web for what is was intended. #
  • Wondering how well the Clear WiMax service works in Atlanta or elsewhere. Anyone have experience? #
  • @jcmeloni Congratulations! That's key. I'm very glad to have something coming out too. ALR turned it down, but American Imago said "yes." in reply to jcmeloni #
  • And with that, I'm back to Milton. Have I mentioned recently that I'm an Americanist? #classprep #
  • And the first applications are out the door. You've been served notice, MIT. #jobmarket #
  • At my third location this morning. First library was freezing and had sirens going off. Second library was freezing & had no wifi. Sbux FTW. #
  • So…I have 7 letters of recommendation. How many should I be sending with #jobmarket applications, do you think? #
  • Help me Twitter: is this overkill for an 24" iMac and peripherals? #
  • @claremummer Thanks for this suggestion. I've been wondering about grabbing it since @pitchforkmedia's review. in reply to claremummer #
  • Okay, so it was literally freezing in Georgia this morning. But that doesn't explain why this library is freezing too. #

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At ProfHacker: Gmail as Email Hub

Just a quick note to mention that Amy Cavender and I have a new post up on ProfHacker about using Gmail as your only email destination.

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Crowdsourcing the Job Market

It’s that time again: when those of us on the academic job market start pulling out the materials that we’ve used in the past, start dusting them off, and revising them. Actually, one should have really have started this process at the beginning of September, but since this is my third year out, I’ve been feeling lazy like my materials are generally where I want them to be.

But then you pull up that teaching statement from last year. The one that you have revised throughout the year as you kept applying for jobs longer than you had anticipated. And you realize that while you can update some of the details to cover what you’ve been doing recently you perhaps can’t see the whole thing all that clearly any more.

That’s where I’m at at the moment, and I’ve done the first thing that any person on the job market should do: sent the document to a few friends who I frequently workshop such things with. I know that they’ll give me careful feedback on the questions I’m asking. But I also know that they’ve been reading this statement with me for the last four years as it’s been worked through different iterations. And while some of these friends are now successfully tenure-tracked, none of us have been on a search committee. How can I be sure that we’ve got the right idea about what I should be doing?

So would it be possible to get newer, fresher eyes on one of the documents in my dossier? Could I make the document available online and get others to comment on what I’ve done? That’s what I wondered aloud on Twitter this afternoon. My impetus for even thinking this was generated by Mark Sample’s decision to make his teaching evaluations public. And if making such details about being a professor public is good for our students and if we can use the Internet to build a great encyclopedia through crowdsourcing (despite complaints to the contrary [I won’t bother linking to those, but see @academicdave on the rebuttal]), can’t we can use publicly crowdsourced work to improve our own writing? Even if it’s oriented toward the marketplace (of employment) rather than a university press?

And after all, this is what we tell ourselves we want to see in academia, right? More collaboration. More use of nascent technologies to change how we do our work. I’m simply maximizing the professional network that I’ve developed over more than eight years to help me become the best candidate possible. Right? Right?

Still, as I write that, I’m aware that this could be seen as a fairly unconventional thing to do. We know that peer review is important to honing our scholarship or to improving our grant applications. We know that every intelligent person on the job market is using a group of friends to do what I’ve been doing. But bringing the whole Internet into the game: isn’t that cheating? Aren’t search committees more interested in the story that I’m trying to tell about my solitary genius than in seeing evidence of my being an ordinary human, one who benefits from others assistance? And even if they know deep down that I’m getting this help, shouldn’t I play nice with our narratives of academia and pretend that I’m not using it? That teaching statements (to say nothing of syllabi, articles, and books) spring from my forehead fully formed?

I’m inclined to think differently. And I’m inclined to think that scholarship is changing and that it has to change. Just look at Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s fabulous new book/digital manuscript, which anyone is free to comment on before she revises it a final time for print publication. We do have the tools to do our research and writing differently. Why don’t we start using them in our need to obtain/fill faculty positions?

My teaching statement is after the jump. Please comment, if you’d like. I’d love to get a job in the academy. And the academy needs those of us who want to see it adapt to the present.

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At Prof. Hacker: Writing in the Internet’s Margins

A quick note to say that I’ve got a new post up at Prof. Hacker on using CommentPress and

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