Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Conventions as Professional Practice

This morning's Chronicle email blast included a link to a Careers column blasting conventions.

I have had the complete opposite experience with conventions. First, it's usually a good idea to attend them before presenting at them. That way, you know what to expect all the way around.

Someone needs to tell you to be overly prepared?

Travel glitches are part of the deal and are only getting worse given the recent airline cutbacks.

Waiting in line? How dare an academic have to wait in line? (Try arriving early or going later rather than at prime time. Simply supply and demand from Econ 101 here.)

The author also mentions practicing self-restraint when bragging about yourself? What about asking others what they have been doing. A polite person will ask the same in response and, if they don't, they don't care anyway so it doesn't matter.

It still amazes me how many basic civil societal norms seem outside the realm of some academics who think the world caters to them. I would tell this anonymous author that she's lucky that she was accepted to the program and not give off the impression that the whole experience was beneath her. If she wants to conduct her career by only associating only with those in her narrow subfield that read her work, she'll find herself increasingly marginalized in the larger profession and, I'm afraid, not any less unhappy with her profession.

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Once again, the Chronicle's anonymous First Person column serves up a real winner.
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