Zoom University, Week 0.5 Review

I am one of the millions of students attempting to do school completely online this semester (and, likely, for this whole year). To make things more complicated, this is my very first semester in a new PhD program. Having now officially had half a week of class, here are my thoughts so far.

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Attendance, Accountability, and Ableism

I’ve been thinking about mandatory attendance policies a lot. I’m going in to my second semester as instructor of record, and I’m trying to decide if I want to make attendance mandatory again. Here are my thoughts on the matter, for anyone interested.

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Sometimes, even though I don’t want to, I find myself judging/resenting/comparing myself to/feeling threatened by other women in my discipline.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this topic, and here’s the moral of the story: I forgive myself.

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Philosophy is Not Flat—Empirical Considerations for Prestige Bias in Philosophy – an article by Helen De Cruz


Motivational Song Suggestions

This is a hard time of year for those of us waiting to hear back from PhD applications, and rejections can be disheartening (to say the least). I find it really helpful to listen to music that builds me up instead of encourages me to spiral into a pit of self-doubt. Here is my list, and please feel free to comment your own suggestions as I always need more music!

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Holding Yourself Accountable to Writing

Question: Hey fellow grad students, how do you do a thesis? Like, how do you hold yourself accountable for writing and reading and research, besides a disappointed look from your advisor once a week? I have trouble making myself sit down and work unless I’m panicked about the next thing that’s due, and this semester is very unstructured and I’m flailing. Please help?

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Systematic Solutions for Systematic Problems

The following is a response to this post by The Post-Grad Goose.

In my opinion, there is no quick solution to this diffused burnout feeling – I did read the article and spread it to all my friends, and I am getting a lot of “I can relate to 90% of that at least” responses. The problem in my opinion is structural and systemic, so solutions must be structural as well.

The problem in my opinion is structural and systemic, so solutions must be structural as well.

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Racism All the Way Down

The lack of diversity in academia, at this point, is a well-known problem. Although some progress has been made to diversify fields (to varying degrees of success), I think we’re missing some of the biggest changes when we focus solely on evaluating candidates. Not only do we owe it to candidates to judge them fairly without harmful biases, we also owe it to them to create environments in which they feel comfortable. This can’t be fixed with blind CV reviews and affirmative-action-like policies, but requires us to prioritize holding the members of our academic community to a standard that fosters inclusivity no matter who they are or how long they’ve been here.

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On Being the Only Type-A Person in Your Department

And when you are the only type-A person in the department, you don’t have that luxury. You can’t not do something and say, “it’s okay, someone else will do it.” or “well the event has been planned so it has to happen anyway.” Either you do it, or it doesn’t happen. And watching the thing that you’ve been planning and dedicating your time and energy to for the past three months not happen? Well, that’s worse than exhausting yourself to make it happen.

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A relatable post by The Post-Grad Goose on burnout

Am I burned out? If so, what do I do about it?

Not to mention, if I’m burned out now, while working a job that has regular hours and generous time off, how am I going to feel if and when I enter a PhD program?

See the post am i burned out? here.