Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Grid- A Tool for Academic Writing and Self-Organization

An example of “The Grid.”

ON the suggestion of a friend, I started this Academic writing coaching service.  It is called Academic Ladder.

It is like a mash-up of facebook and a writing group.  SO far, it has been pretty helpful.  I mentioned the grid, something I picked up here from Roger and Mary Lynn Breyfogle, I think.

My current example is below the fold.  There is nothing that fancy about this.  You just make some categories (you can modify your own of course):

  • Published/Accepted
  • Revise & Resubmit
  • Under Review
  • Drafted (I use this for mostly done or working papers)
  • To draft or abstracted
  • Ideas

Then you put each project under its category.  The insight is that you want at least one thing at each level, one nugget of wisdom in the pipeline so you can keep a steady flow of productivity.

I have modified it by adding other columns like

  • Target outlet
  • Timeline
  • To do

Voila!  That is it.

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Filed under writing

Sociologist is one of best jobs according to Wall Street Journal

According to the venerable WSJ, being a  sociologist is one of teh top ten jobs in the US using a multiple criteria evaluation that includes salary, level of stress, workplace conditions and other commonsensical metrics.

Mathematician is #1.  Lumberjack is #200.

I wonder if they break out other academics… if so, the 200 careers is going to be tilted heavily towards academics!

The Best and Worst Jobs

Of 200 Jobs studied, these came out on top — and at the bottom:

The Best The Worst
1. Mathematician 200. Lumberjack
2. Actuary 199. Dairy Farmer
3. Statistician 198. Taxi Driver
4. Biologist 197. Seaman
5. Software Engineer 196. EMT
6. Computer Systems Analyst 195. Garbage Collector
7. Historian 194. Welder
8. Sociologist 193. Roustabout
9. Industrial Designer 192. Ironworker
10. Accountant 191. Construction Worker

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Filed under economics, life

To Wiki or not to Wiki?

Write this email to Bryan Alexander over at NITLE to see if his input could help me make a quick dicision about “to wiki or not to wiki?”

I am thinking of trying to use a wiki for two projects.

1)      Organize the ever more cluttered and bushy set of resources i would like to draw on in my teaching.  I have been a pack rat for awhile with both print and electronic resources.   When it comes time to dip into this pool to build syllabi, I tend to ignore it as it is hard to access.  I was imagining that a wiki could help me combine tags or a folksonomy with links and some brief commentary.

2)      As a collaborative tool in a class I am about to teach on organization theory.  The plan is to have students and myself educate ourselves on  the financial crisis and work together to find out “what went on.”  I though a wiki could be used to build knowledge and resources.

My university has Blackboard and there is a wiki tool there.

I was wondering if you have any thoughts about wiki tools or platforms.  Is there one good one for academics?  Is there an “industry leader” out there?


Filed under Living Web, pedagogy, technology