Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Your turn.

The grumblings in the comments have been getting louder for quite a while now. Our collective lack of posting here sucks. You need us. We're failing you.

We know. And we're sorry. And so, I propose that it's time for the improbable story that is this little blog to begin a new chapter. A chapter in which all y'all start pulling your own damn weight around here.

Here's the deal. You write a post about the job market. You email it to me at If I like it, you, gentle reader, will find your ontological status upgraded from mere Loyal Fan to Guest Poster.

Some rules. Because I'm bossy like that.
1. Posts must be pseudonymous. We don't want to know who you are.
2. We reserve the right to be picky. We won't promise to post anything and everything that's sent to us.
3. Posts that PGOAT finds funny are much likelier to be posted.
Okay, go!



finicky said...

Great idea! But when you say you don't want to know who we are, does this mean we shouldn't email you the posts from our regular .edu email accounts or from gmail accounts that reveal our names?

P.G.O.A.T. said...

Yup. Nail on the head, Finicky. Thanks for clarifying.

Anonymous said...

The only real problem these days seems to be that, because the demand for blog posts far outstrips the supply, the comments section has become a de facto online forum.

Perhaps offering a genuine online forum would be better. Although given the usual level of discussion on forums I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

what! you mean we should put our money where our mouths are? if that's how it's going to be, I may as well finish writing my dissertation.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you just ignore all the comments?

This blog is fun enough...and had some nice posts. But if you don't feel like updating anymore, don't.

As someone who actually finished his dissertation, I can say that it takes one-minded focus, bad sleep, lots of coffee and wild mood swings. Why not take this blog for what it is: a vehicle you had to vent during some frustrating times in your life.

Let all of us with nothing to read on the internet find something else.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:28:

STFU and stop trying to ruin this for the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

Okay, a real question:

For those of us on the job market this year who are in VAP/one/two-year positions, facing October's JFP will of course be shitty. But some of us might be out of funding from our program and teaching a million classes right now, might be hoping to strengthen our teaching portfolios (I know, I know--too little, too late), or might have, for whatever reason, thought that teaching so much would be a good idea. So my question is: What are you doing to stay sane this term, particularly regarding teaching? How are you managing your classes, especially if you have multiple preps, and thereby trying to keep your head above water? As for myself, I'm not much one for group work or showing movies in class (esp. the latter--drives me nuts), but I'm wondering if y'all have some tricks up your sleeves you might be wanting to share.

Not funny, PGOAT, but a real question nonetheless...Thoughts?

Shark said...

Jump me.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:55 - group work. I used to avoid doing this, because I hated group work as an undergrad, but I found each semester I did it once or twice, students regularly put in their comments they wanted to do more. Plus, you can vary the activity: one class, split them into groups and give them each a text they have to dissect in some way and present to the class; another class, have each group construct a set of discussion questions based on a reading/news item/thought experiment and make them take turns leading the rest of the class in discussion.

I admit this is only a very partial way to deal with a high workload while getting ready for the market, but it cuts down on prep work somewhat, and it actually forces the students to engage with the material (at least to some extent).

Anonymous said...

A movie!??

A haven't seen a movie in class since high school.

And what the hell movie would you show in a philosophy class?

Anonymous said...


There's some site out there that sells videos of interviews with recent philosophers. Can't remember which. I play the Dennett video when we do Philosophy of Mind in my Intro Class. It goes over very well. If you've ever seen it, there is apoint at which his interviewer objects to Dennett, and Dennett is temporarily flabberghasted, responding " I should say it more slowly." For some reason, that segment draws strong reaction and very good conversation.

Does that count as a movie?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't interested in group work either, but in my first job I had to teach a large (100+) group of intro students with no discussion sections/TAs. Hence, group work. Even in the large lecture, it worked well. It takes less time to make up a good group assignment than it does a well polished, detailed lecture. And you know what: students actually learn more. They can ask and answer many of their own questions; many more students are active, there's lots of evidence that students don't learn much just listening to a lecture, etc.

Sure, some students might complain a little, but others will like it. If you vary the composition of the groups periodically, you can avoid certain problems. And of course, you wander around and chat with the groups, answer questions, etc. and then bring the whole class back to a general lecture/discussion. Just try it.

Anonymous said...

Movies for philosophy class:

Minority Report (punishment)
The Matrix (obvious)
Groundhog Day (time travel, eternal recurrence, meaning of life)

And there are more subtle ways, too. As George Wilson does philosophy of film, it raises surprising epistemological questions, for instance. (If you like movies, I can't recommend his book, Narration in Light, highly enough.)

Anonymous said...

Another movie for phil. classes:

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

It features: time travel (the phone booth), concept of arete (excellent!), history of philosophy (So-crates), punishment (Ted's dad), utopia (e.g., Clarence Clemens), omniscience (George Carlin), sex (Bill's step-mom), free will vs. determinism, and much more. Party on, old dudes!

P.S. This blog still sucks.

Anonymous said...

I'll second Bill and Ted for time travel. It's one of the only non-paradoxical treatments in main stream media (12 Monkeys being another).

Anonymous said...

Re. movies, try Apocalypse Now--along with Nagel's essay "War and massacre," or with Glover's excellent book, "Humanity: A moral history of the 20th century." Even jaded students react.

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like Keanu Reeves is making a strong showing in the unintentional-philosopher poll. Who knew?!

Speaking of which, I'd like to also nominate Point Break: it has surfing (very zen) and tackles complex issues surrounding friendship (with Paddy Schwayze's character, Bodhi), civil disobedience (robbing banks for a good cause), death (Bodhi's brother, et al.), wrongful blame (surf Nazis).

"I am an F-B-I agent!" 'Nuff said.

Will Philosophize said...

viz., movie: I've successfully used Memento in my philosophy class--although it does contain a bit of foul language (makes the undergraduates blush).

And fuck the Matrix! Try Existenz instead! It deals with all the cool knowledge quest ions without the poor Keannu Reaves acting

Rabbit said...

Films: it's more of a documentary, but what about 'The Fog of War', which is basically extended interviews with Robert McNamara? Couple this with Hobbes, or Machiavelli, or newer works on just war theory?

mr. zero said...

via leiter