by syaffolee

Links for the End of the Week

Who Gets To Be American? A Jeremiad. Ding at Bitch Ph.D. points out the idiocy of a columnist who believes only those who have “sacrificed” and have the bloodlines to prove it should be Americans. This reminds me of an anti-immigration bumper sticker I read while walking home that told people to “go home.” Of course I’m mad. But I’m also mostly exasperated. Everyone in the US is an immigrant or has descended from immigrants. Just because your family has lived in this place longer doesn’t mean that you deserve it more.

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. I don’t think this is a failure of college. It’s a failure of earlier education. People shouldn’t be coming out of high school with such deficits. I’m also struck by the fact that this English professor seems to think that biology is all multiple choice. I’ve had very few multiple choice exams on a college level. Maybe just four, now that I think of it. A lot of it was oriented more toward critical thinking and problem solving. Sometimes (gasp!) even creativity was involved.

Research and Education Careers and the Mythical 40-hour Workweek. Recently, an undergrad came to work in the lab, expecting that there would be hours. You know, the 9 to 5 kind of thing. She was very surprised when people told her that there weren’t. Rather, people went to lab to get things done. Personally, I can be in lab for 24 to 36 hour stretches. And I still feel guilty for not being in lab enough. It isn’t because other people are putting undue pressure on me (actually, I think most people think I’m nuts) or that I’m inefficient, but that I have workaholic tendencies and I don’t have a social life. As for people who do have social lives and families, good for them. Whether or not they get their work done is their own business–as long as they don’t foist their stuff on me.