On Are Business Cards Out of Style?

In academia, part of the ritual of conferences is the business-card swap. I have yet to contact anyone after the swap, and the only time I've been contacted was when a fellow grad student sent pictures that were taken at the conference. That said, it's a low stress way to introduce yourself to strangers.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

On A Life Without Retirement Savings

@BillfoldMonkey As a grad student, I would argue that it's far more complicated than that. Adjuncts are well aware of the exploitive nature of the system. They have also, in general, moved beyond "doing what you love" as a rationale for sticking with a so-called career that isn't going anywhere. The fact is that it has become increasingly difficult to get any job, and in my personal experience (I realize the problems with citing anecdote, but I will anyway), having more education does not always help. I would also argue that the state of the "knowledge economy" has been exaggerated.

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 10:58 am 0

On The Billfold Book Club: Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘North and South’ (Chapters 26-52)

I was just thinking about the deux ex machina of pennies from heaven in Victorian novels, as I was rewatching the miniseries. I suspect its popularity might be indicative on how difficult it was (and is!) to be truly upwardly mobile. And although looking like Richard Armitage can mitigate a multitude of sins, he didn't actually run the mill into the ground, per se. It was a combination of focusing on the long term to such an extent that short term exigencies (the strike) limited his cash flow disproportionately. Which is interesting, because it seems to me that the reverse is the root of the problem with The Man these days. I also seem to recall that the book advocated for more transparency regarding management decisions. Presumably, the semi-reformed Thornton would explain the ramifications of his capital investment decisions.

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm 0

On The Argument Against the Penny

@ben_sez I was in Montreal last week, and they do appear to round down. That I was so concerned with exact change (yet spoke French) seemed to amuse everyone. But thank you @EMD; I wasn't sure that rejection of the penny was an Official Thing, but now I do. Also, is pot legal in Quebec? Because I smelled it nearly everywhere in Montreal.

Posted on November 5, 2014 at 10:42 am 0

On A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

As someone who has both attended grad school (I'm a few months away from defending my PhD) in a related field and taken the Foreign Service exam, I would strongly consider applying for the promotion. The application for the Foreign Service is brutal - maybe 1-2% of those who sign up for the test make it on the list. The test itself appears to be designed to weed out a lot of really smart, really well-rounded individuals. If you pass the test, the next round requires you to write several narratives about your various qualifications. Believe me, the Foreign Service wants people who have managerial experience. Managerial experience trumps a graduate degree, and I'm saying this as someone who has a ton of formal education, but not a lot of supervisory experience. Obviously, you do you, but what you want is largely immaterial to what employers want.

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 10:19 am 1

On Your Bosses Think They Work Longer Than You Do

@seakelps I do this too! I'm writing my dissertation (plus I have a couple of part time jobs) and it helps me track what I'm spending time on.

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 10:31 am 0

On The One Percent of Battery Life on Our Phones

A new addition to our campus this academic year has been charging lockers, where you can plug in your device(s) in a secure location. I haven't used one yet, but it seems pretty spiffy.

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 10:02 am 0

On Measure to Cut Food Stamps "A Monumental Waste of Time"

I feel like "A Monumental Waste of Time" could be the motto of the House of Representatives.

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm 0

On Moving Via Public Transportation

@b13 I know. I am a movers evangelist. If I don't have enough in the moving budget to hire movers, I don't have enough to move. So sayeth my sanity.

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm 0

On Initially Nice But Later Incompetent And/Or Crooked Landlords

@wallrock Ah landlords in college towns... I think they're sure they can get away with it, as many of their tenants are young and naive. However, I must admit that I do my fair share of undergraduate bashing. Kids these days *shakes fist*.

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm 0