Revise and Resubmit

What would you do if you had a second chance? In my line of work, when I submit an article or proposal I can often get the opportunity to revise and resubmit the article or proposal. Well, a rejection requires assessing where the article goes next! ┬áBut, this post isn’t really about me. Instead, I am thinking of students and their need for second chances. There are moments when a second chance is needed. I do not like to think of myself as heartless when it comes to special situations; however, I also do not like feeling like I am someone’s rube.

There are these moments, when I have to step back and think about what is the cost of allowing a revision for a student. The revision might offer the student the chance for success or the opportunity to try to do better on the particular assignment. Ultimately, I do want students to learn and feel success. However, the means by which this is done is through their hard work. Then, I need to balance the entire group and think about my willingness to offer a second chance to 20-200 people. This is when it get tricky.

One thing that I am having to grapple with is the trickle of students who come to my office hours informing me that they did not do well on an assignment based on not just feeling prepared or some other issue that sounds like mere excuse. Here, I am not speaking to an illness or other major issue. Part of life is managing multiple stressors and responsibilities; yet, a cold before a major assignment is supposed to make a major difference. I cannot comprehend this as an excuse. Perhaps I am contradicting my last post. I feel patient, but less patient due to excuses. And, my syllabi include all the due dates and all the assignments. Is this a rant post? Tilts head and thinks–yes, but a short one.

I love Grumpy Cat and I suppose it is well-known. A colleague from another unit gave this to me and I keep on taking photos of it–knowing that Grumpy Cat would hate it.


2013 The Year of Reflection

I’m reading lots of top ten posts about 2013 and thinking about the last year. The last year was consumed with having to find balance. This was not having some idealistic want for balance, but rather out of necessity. What have I learned in these last 12 months? Well, I’m going to share my top ten thoughts from 2013.

1. Stay Healthy–this includes exercise, sleep, and eating right

2. Say no strategically

3. Work smarter–this meant rethinking my productivity

4. Make time for family and friends

5. Say yes strategically

6. Read, relax, and run

7. Be firm

8. Honesty is important

9. Unwind

10. Happiness is more important than just about everything

The list is in no particular order. I will say this there is nothing like a health emergency to force you to rethink everything. I am forever grateful to the family and friends who were supportive during the last year, as we coped. I am looking forward to 2014. I am sure it will hold lots and I look forward to tackling it with my family by me.


Tips for the #CPSA

These tips are good for most academic conferences and probably even for non-academic conferences. I know that I’ve used these tips at Social Media Conferences, women’s conferences, and other work related conferences. The Canadian Political Science Conference begins tomorrow night at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. And, these comments are good for graduate students, people on the market, and probably for some junior faculty.

My major point of advice is to first ascertain what sort of conference participation do you want. Do you want to attend, see your friends, and leave? Perhaps you are on the job market and you want to network and help raise your profile. If you’re on the job market, I suggest that you focus on your presentation or attending the presentations of people in your sub-field, and prepare for networking. What does this mean? Have conversations with people–communicate. Ask them if they are enjoying the conference, and which panels did they like best. Yes, this is small talk, but you might be getting to know someone for the first time and then the conversation can hopefully continue.

How do you do this? Smile. Be ready to have conversation with people at the conference meetings. Ask questions during the question and answer period after a presentation. When you’re at a reception (yes, attend some of them), walk around and talk to people. This might be small talk about the food or notice their name tag. You might know someone at their institution. Do you have business cards? If so, prepare to pass them out, when you’ve chatted with someone. You might want more comments from them on a chapter of your thesis or an article that you’re working on.

Likewise, if you’re giving a presentation, talk to the people on the panel and in the room afterward. You might find that someone there wants to chat more with you. Be bold and encourage the group to continue the conversation over coffee, drinks later or to meet at a reception. The only way that you’ll meet new people is if you make an effort. If you really want to meet a particular person, see if any of your mentors know this person and can introduce you.

Go to receptions! Be seen. Talk to people. Wear your name tag. Plan your conference itinerary. Spend pockets doing the networking thing and others attending the conference or seeing the conference city.The organization will help you avoid exhaustion of being “on” during the entire conference. This means that you need to take time to recharge, but be careful to not drink too much at any official conference events. It doesn’t look too professional and you don’t need a hangover. If you’re looking for work and there are certain people you want to meet–attend their talks or attend their campus reception. This is easier if the host site is the department in question. Overall, enjoy the conference and go there with an open mind and positive attitude.