Comments on: Wednesday round-up: writin’ along the Colorado Trail http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:45:37 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Honesty: honestly? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-600034 Sat, 17 Apr 2010 13:15:06 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-600034 [...] anecdote suggests a point I’ve made here before, which is that it’s as much your grad student colleagues as your grad advisers that are [...]

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By: Mentors and mentoring: whose responsibility? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-373882 Thu, 16 Jul 2009 14:37:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-373882 [...] time and place, in the early and mid-1990s, at a university where (as I have said before) “we were raised by wolves,” or rather, by other graduate students, so we didn’t expect much from our advisors in [...]

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-290459 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 22:02:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-290459 I’ve served as an outside member on selection committees for external, center-based residential dissertation fellowships too, and observed the same process during other years. And believe me, the competitiveness comes and goes, ebbs and flows. It very often doesn’t at all match the imaginary prestige heirarchy that we sometimes presume. If there’s any pattern it seems to be that some programs get hot in placing dissertators in certain places for a few years in a row, then fall off and others get hot. It may be that the short term perception that “this one is ours” causes newer people their to ease off in making their own case. The half-life of institutional prescience about these matters is pretty short in transient communities. Or it may be other factors. But I wouldn’t presume anything about it.

I loved that “raised by wolves” metaphor! Scary.

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By: Ruth http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-290395 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 20:20:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-290395 THE,

Do not despair about not geting major national fellowships because you don’t go to Harvard or Yale. I teach at a large public university (a good one, but not ranked at the very top) and we have several students get major fellowships each year. This year I served on selection committees for two graduate fellowships, one specifically in my subdiscipline, which we awarded to one candidate who was not from an Ivy, and one open to any field in the humanities, which we awarded to 11 candidates the majority of whom were not from Ivies (I don’t remember the exact number) and several of whom came from institutions that might surprise you. Certainly students from name schools get more fellowships per capita; I don’t think that’s because committees are wowed by the name, but those schools are more successful than some others in recruiting the students they want, often in mentoring them, and certainly in funding them so they’re not doing so much teaching and have time to spend on their research. Committees know this and are often very happy to see strong applications from schools besides the usual suspects.

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By: Ed(itor) Linenthal dishes on the details of the Journal of American History : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-290176 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 14:36:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-290176 [...] contacted to review anything for the JAH, know that someone is watching!  (And it turns out that Patrick Alexander’s warnings are true:  your fecklessness, laziness, and/or mendacity in reviewing books and manuscripts will go down on [...]

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-290074 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 11:56:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-290074 THE–I think all you can do is ask plainly and directly for more help. But, that’s just not some people’s style, so you might need to cultivate another mentor. Is there someone whose work is way afield of yours, but whom you might have TA’d for who seems like a responsive, helpful person? Think about who gets the job done for students perhaps, and less about their “fit” with your particular subfield.

As Indyanna suggests, sometimes grad students just have to do it for yourselves. My experience in grad school was absolutely shaped by grad students a year or two ahead of me who just grabbed bulls by the horns and in the case Indyanna mentions, 1) arranged for us to take a course with another professor at another university while our advisor was on leave, and in another case, 2) convinced another person in our field to teach a class, but only after promising to write the syllabus for him. I tell ya, it’s like we were raised by wolves! I’m not bragging about this, I’m just amazed at how much more (most) faculty do for their history grad students these days. And I’m sorry yours seems like a throwback to the 1980s or 1990s–but, you have to take people as you find them and get out of them what you can.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-289763 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 03:33:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-289763 Historiann, I recall one year you and your pals had to chase down a proxy advisor fifty miles up the road when yours went on leave for a (half/year?). Collective peer self-help certainly is a good thing and an innovation since my day. But for that kind of seasoned been there, done that, got shot down, lived to tell/laugh about it stuff that you mention, no question, it really helps to have an academic “senior center” in your field and in your neighborhood.

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By: The History Enthusiast http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-289698 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 02:38:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-289698 P.S. Sorry to take over your comments section, Historiann!

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By: The History Enthusiast http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-289695 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 02:37:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-289695 To be fair, I meant that she only has one GRAD advisee. Not sure about undergrad advisees, though she has a lot of service obligations that aren’t directly in the department. And she’s tenured. Sorry about being vague.

I have gotten some feedback from colleagues, which has definitely been helpful. The problem is that none of them have served on awards committees, naturally, so it feels like the blind leading the blind. We did have a great series last year on applying for jobs, including cover letters for job applications and I’ve applied some of that to these cover letters. Mentoring here is a bit hit-and-miss…something I’ve had to learn the hard way.

Since all the applications for this season have been submitted, the problem is sort of moot (for the moment). My main concern is that I don’t want to piss off my advisor, but I would like to express my feeling that more assistance is needed in the future. I’m not expecting a super-detailed parsing of every paragraph or anything like that. I am an independent person, but even independent people need direction once and while.

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement…I do so appreciate it!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/04/15/wednesday-round-up-writin-along-the-colorado-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-289672 Thu, 16 Apr 2009 02:20:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4502#comment-289672 Indyanna and Ortho are right–she should be helping you out more, THE. I would suggest that you ask someone else’s advisor who tends to respond to requests like that–it could be a little tricky, but you could point out that your other advisors are on leave and that you don’t know who else to turn to.

That said–back in the old days, I don’t think my advisor ever read over anything I wrote aside from my dissertation and a seminar paper or two. (Indyanna–what do you recall?) We grad students organized to help ourselves, as I recall. I went to grad school at a place that hosts postdoctoral fellows, and I remember bugging them for advice about a lot of niggling professional issues like this (how to compile a CV, how to compose a cover letter, etc.) They had all won postdoctoral fellowships, so it seemed like a good group of people to consult!

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