Tag Archives: university

The monastic glory of a seven year Ph.D.

Anything you do for seven years is a way of living, not preparation for something else in the tangle of life. It is the time from birth, when you are just working out that you are no longer a part … Continue reading

Posted in Graduate school | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

How to avoid choosing zombie professors for grad school

The list of faculty affiliated with a program is a political document more than an accurate document. At my university anyone who is on the faculty and wants to be affiliated with a program may be. Some of the people … Continue reading

Posted in Graduate school, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Build curiosity first, then answer questions

  First day of class and I meet these wonderful new students, all 54 of them, more actually if you count the hopefuls. If I can’t make behavior seem interesting and wonderful, I have no business teaching. I have a … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral ecology, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you don’t lecture, what do you do in class on the first day?

In a couple of hours my students will be forming their indelible first impressions of me and my wonderful teaching assistants. Studies show that their opinion after the first 10 minutes correla tes highly with their opinion at the end … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Did you go to the undergraduate poster session at your university?

Yesterday was the spring poster session by Wash U undergrads.  There were about 180 posters. Apparently they were organized according to submission date, so literature could be next to physics or  biology. At first that baffled me, but then I … Continue reading

Posted in Posters, Presentations and seminars, Scientific meetings, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some tips for an effective faculty retreat

  We went to a duck hunting lodge for the first faculty retreat I ever attended. I don’t remember much about it, except that one faculty member had to have milk and cookies before bedtime. The rest of us drank … Continue reading

Posted in Department politics, Life in a biology department | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching graduate students to write, Memphis style

Isn’t it a shame that some people think writing is a born talent, not a learned trade? We writers know that is not true, so we all have our methods for helping others also become writers. There is a lot … Continue reading

Posted in The joy of teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What not to do on your first day of class

Are you about to teach your first class of the semester? Is your syllabus ready? Have you picked just the right texts, balancing content with cost? Are you a few PowerPoints ahead? Have you thought about how this semester you … Continue reading

Posted in The joy of teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning in and from the Oxford colleges

Oxford is organized into colleges where, undergraduate education largely takes place. They have tutors who assign projects and meet individually or in small groups with students. Officially, students apply to colleges, not to the University of Oxford. University of Cambridge … Continue reading

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