Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Random Thought and Links

Tim Burke commented on a post at the Invisible Adjunct a few days ago. He wrote a very eloquent paragraph about how graduate school grinds out all creativity. IA liked it, too.

It's that the horizons of graduate school shrink down to a very short and narrow perspective, and disallow the very ideas and explorations that many people regard (properly) as the essence of intellectual inquiry. This will not happen in any obvious way: no ogre will appear to forbid you anything. It will happen invidiously, slowly, pervasively: no one will actually do it to you, and never will you be able to put your finger on exactly how and when it is being done. Slowly but surely, however, you will be cut to fit a very particular professionalized and disciplinary cloth, and become a willing participant in innumerable rituals of abjection. Slowly but surely, you'll begin to accept the intimate intertwining of your life and your work, and pernicious forms of virally spreading authority and power by numerous other people, some of them quite distant from you in social terms, over that intertwined work-life.

To get a PhD from my graduate program, you had to pass two sets of written exams, an oral exam, a dissertation proposal, and the defense. Outside evaluators said that though a regular graudate program had many hurdles, ours was more of a steeple chase. I saw some really good people drop out. I forgot what I had originally wanted to study, and instead worked with a professor who could pay me the most.

I would like to him to expand on the lack of boundaries between work-life.

On the home front, Russell Arben Fox is a dad, again. He says that he and his brothers are much more involved with the kids than his dad was. "...fatherhood, for many of us of my generation at least, means something much more egalitarian than it used to."

I've been thinking about the modern dads a lot lately and their share of child rearing. Is it 50/50? Has it at least improved? I've been trying to come up with big generalizations, but it's not working. I see too much of a range of behavior. And I'm still thinking things through.

I have many friends who are stay at home dads. They do all the heavy lifting from M-F, but I think that when the mom comes home on the weekend they are considered off duty. Just a theory. And there are many examples of dads like Russell and Steve who help out as much as they can, but have to go to work every day. And then I've seen other examples of dads who perhaps subconsciously stay at work later than they have to, because they want to avoid the chaos of home. Yes, they change a diaper on the weekend, but that is the only time that they see their kids.

OK, there's some random thoughts and links. We're off to Long Island to visit a friend today. I'll check in later tonight.

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