Yep, Daily Blogging in November Is Back!


I’ve neglected the blog over the past few months, so what better way to re-engage with academic readers than through daily blogging in November! As in years past, this is my unofficial contribution to NaBloPoMo, a companion to NaNoWriMo.

I’d like to invite you to suggest topics that you’d like to read about. I know the last few times I did not get to all the topics that were requested. If I never got to yours, I’m sorry! Please request it again, and I pinkie-swear I will do my best to get to it it this time.


  1. I’d love to read more about your experiences with and thoughts about grad student-academic mentor relationships.

  2. OK, here’s the subject I’ve been googling obsessively and haven’t found much fodder about — would love to hear your thoughts: The year you are up for tenure. Awkwardness of interactions with colleagues, dealing with inappropriate communication from senior department members, the senior faculty perspective on what is happening behind the scenes, and in my case, going on parental leave while your tenure case is under consideration. Obviously I’ve got some angst about this right now, but since it seems that I have basically zero control over anything at this stage, I’m hoping I can just disappear on leave and let the process move forward without me and try not to dwell on it too much.

  3. (longtime reader; I’ve delurked a couple of times before, but not recently. Hi! I’m an untenured but TT faculty member in the physical sciences at a big R1.) I would really love to hear your (further) thoughts about writing drafts with students and in particular how you go about teaching students to write. I know this is a subject you’ve touched on often, but right now the work I need to get done is almost 100% editing student drafts, and let’s just say I can’t help feeling that there must be some ways to improve this process.

  4. I actually rather like the navel gazing type posts, and in that vein I’d be interested in reading about how your views on what research is, how research is done, and what’s up with academia have changed when you’ve gone from student to postdoc to tenure track to full professor.

  5. Just here to say that I love your November blogging! Almost as exciting as your favorite TV series starting back up. Politics (social/academic), relationships, inspiration… in the context of academic/science… all interesting to me.

  6. Hi! I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about postdocs. Although postdoctoral experience is practically required to be considered as a top-notch applicant for junior faculty positions in most fields now-a-days (and no longer a niche practice of the biomedical field), I find that most engineering and physical sciences departments aren’t exactly sure how to handle this campus group. Do you mentor postdocs? Does your department do anything to help postdocs? If yes, how is this relationship different from faculty/grad student interactions, and what could be done to make it even better.

  7. considerations when deciding whether/how to go on the market while you’re waiting for the tenure decision.

  8. What are characteristics of ‘great’ researchers? (Great: Someone who has a massive impact on the field/invents something with huge monetary value; e.g. Sharpless or Rick Silverman)

  9. I’m curious if you have any advice on how to have a decent working relationship AND a collaborator/co-author relationship with someone you just can’t stand. One of my colleagues is duplicitous, a horrible gossip, trashes people (incl me) behind their backs, and tries to–and has successfully, edge people out of projects that they want to take over (they are trying to do this to me now). This person is exalted by leadership – but I just can’t stand them. However, we do research in the same topic area, and working as co-authors and having a decent collegial relationship is important. Any advice?

  10. Pingback: Limbo | xykademiqz

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