Comments on: Further thoughts on loyalty http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 26 Sep 2014 03:40:45 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Z (still secretly 1 Tochtli) http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648240 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 19:19:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648240 P.S. This recend one doesn’t mention the Blackguard but about half of the things listed are from him. It’s about collegiality, not service, but they’re interrelated. http://profacero.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/academic-mondays-further-advice-to-new-faculty-what-not-to-say/

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By: Z (still secretly 1 Tochtli) http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648236 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 19:15:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648236 Glad you think so, Comrade. I did a search on the term myself after suggesting Sideliner do it, and … yeah, Egads. I tend to defend / justify too much, and to be too “understanding,” so it is instructive to go back and look at my secret reactions.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648224 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 18:39:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648224

Hi again Sideliner — speaking of other blogs, search mine under the keyword Blackguard.

Wow, that Blackguard shit is fucking wack.

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By: Z (still secretly 1 Tochtli) http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648170 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 17:04:49 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648170 Hi again Historiann, this is off topic but only obliquely; I’ll get back to loyalty in the end.

Hi again Sideliner — speaking of other blogs, search mine under the keyword Blackguard. Blackguard is a character who is trying to follow the model for service outlined here but is doing it in a very misguided way — and he doesn’t know it.

What’s funny is, he keeps talking about loyalty. Even as he engages in voluntary service whose net effect is negative, and shirks regular service, he keeps saying he is so terribly loyal to certain people and things, and to the institution. It rings so hollow.

I and one of the instructors, who’s a friend from way back and so I can gossip with him when we go into friend mode instead of circumspect colleague mode, figured out that “loyalty” for the Blackguard just means he thinks he’s found a place that will put up with his self serving self. For a lot of people “loyalty” means something like that.

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By: Sideliner http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648106 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 15:15:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648106 Historiann- Thank you for your clarification, and for the links to the other blogs. It sounds like you’re a little irritated with me for seeming to expect your blog to cater to my every need. I don’t have that expectation, and I apologize if you feel that I’ve somehow hijacked the conversation away from the intention of your post.

But I do appreciate the comments your other readers provided (which came in a form that I have not seen elsewhere, in fact)… and so I thank you for providing a forum forum where there can be some flexibility in the conversation, and where more senior scholars can welcome more junior folks into the fold. Even if, like academia itself, not everyone is always so welcoming.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648051 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 13:58:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648051 Sideliner: this was a blog post about one specific issue in academic employment, the (in my view) rhetorical call for institutional loyalty by representatives of institutions. This blog and many others (see Tenured Radical, Center of Gravitas, Like a Whisper, and Squdratomagico, for example) have addressed your other concerns many times from many different perspectives. Just search under keywords on our blogs and you’ll likely find what you’re interested in.

But not all blog posts will address everything you want addressed in exactly the way you want it addressed. You get what you pay for here.

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By: Sideliner http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-648034 Sun, 20 Jun 2010 13:44:06 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-648034 Z and Shane – thanks so much for your posts. This is exactly what I felt I was missing. And even the bitter bits are very helpful to know about in advance. It’s also nice to know that there ARE different strategies for navigating through service matters, and that one doesn’t HAVE to follow the cynical route. Or at least not always.

I’ve cut and pasted everything into my one-note file on “career blah blah,” and will return to it all as needed when the time (I hope) comes. Thank you!

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By: Shane in Utah http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-647407 Sat, 19 Jun 2010 18:06:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-647407 Sideliner: Coincidentally, Inside Higher Ed published a piece yesterday offering advice to junior faculty on balancing service with other demands on your time. I thought it was pretty good, and might give you a clearer sense of what kinds of service activities might be expected of a beginning academic, and what kinds can help you advance your career:

http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/jungle/jungle1

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By: Z (still secretly 1 Tochtli) http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-647401 Sat, 19 Jun 2010 16:57:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-647401 P.S. Sorry about points 4 and 5 above – I think they’re true but they’re too bitter and they’re not for beginners. I reiterate my first three points.

On Committees.

There are committees one is assigned to and where, especially as an assistant professor, one can and should do a minimum of work. You’ve been assigned so you can see how committees work, become familiar with the issue, etc., and also because you might have some insight or fresh ideas on the task. You’re not expected to take them over, or take on huge amounts of work for them, and you shouldn’t; you do want to take the opportunity to show you can be collegial and responsible and as I say, it is also a chance to observe people and learn about procedures. Leave heavier committee work to tenured people, it is part of their job description and it’s the tradeoff we make for having tenure, anyway.

On Service Done as a Volunteer.

Only volunteer for what will be fun and/or prestigious and/or refreshing and/or a learning experience you *want*. Don’t do anything that will be depressing or boring or a time sink if you can possibly avoid it.

I, for instance, am terrified at this very moment because the woman in charge of the honor society retired. I need to not get guilt tripped into doing it because it will a depressing burden, bad for my work. On the other hand, I am fine with being on academic senate although I could opt out.

Use the same model for service to professional organizations, professional favors done to people elsewhere, and so on. You’ll know what feels right.

On Book and Manuscript Reviews.

Do some, not others; they’re necessary service to the profession but won’t do for you professionally what a publication of your own will do.

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By: Z (still secretly 1 Tochtli) http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/17/further-thoughts-on-loyalty/comment-page-1/#comment-647400 Sat, 19 Jun 2010 16:52:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11376#comment-647400 Sideliner —

On Committees.

There are committees one is assigned to and where, especially as an assistant professor, one can and should do a minimum of work. You’ve been assigned so you can see how committees work, become familiar with the issue, etc., and also because you might have some insight or fresh ideas on the task. You’re not expected to take them over, or take on huge amounts of work for them, and you shouldn’t; you do want to take the opportunity to show you can be collegial and responsible and as I say, it is also a chance to observe people and learn about procedures. Leave heavier committee work to tenured people, it is part of their job description and it’s the tradeoff we make for having tenure, anyway.

On Service Done as a Volunteer.

Only volunteer for what will be fun and/or prestigious and/or refreshing and/or a learning experience you *want*. Don’t do anything that will be depressing or boring or a time sink if you can possibly avoid it.

I, for instance, am terrified at this very moment because the woman in charge of the honor society retired. I need to not get guilt tripped into doing it because it will a depressing burden, bad for my work. On the other hand, I am fine with being on academic senate although I could opt out.

Use the same model for service to professional organizations, professional favors done to people elsewhere, and so on. You’ll know what feels right.

On Book and Manuscript Reviews.

Do some, not others; they’re necessary service to the profession but won’t do for you professionally what a publication of your own will do.

Generally Speaking.

I do not endorse the situation which gives rise to this piece of advice, but the advice still stands: do the things professsors and male academic workers do, and not the things instructors and female ones do. When in doubt about anything you’re asked to volunteer for, ask yourself whether a man or a tenured person would do say yes. If it is the kind of thing usually assigned to graduate students, women, and instructors, either get out of it, do it poorly so you do not get asked again, or delegate it to an actual graduate student, woman, or instructor and then take the credit for yourself.
(I am NOT KIDDING, I don’t act this way but most people do and it is THE PATH TO SUCCESS.)

On Passive Agression.

This is another thing I am not good at and not interested in becoming good at, but it is the Academic Way and it is what successful people do. Say yes to everything, but then only do what you want. When asked re follow-up, say you are in favor of the project in principle but could not make it a priority.

I find it this strategy repugnant and irresponsible, and I know it is terribly authoritarian, but I cannot help recommending it to those I wish well because I know it is how we are supposed to be if we want to do well.

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