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To clarify...
Old 12-09-2009, 13:32   #28
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Sigaba is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,473
To clarify...

Originally Posted by JJ_BPK View Post
Then you should erase and re-word your post.


Then [you] go on to explain why G-students regularly go crazy BECAUSE of the rigars of writing their thesis??? In doing so you use your X-bud as an example. Additionally you suggest one would read some-ones dissertation on dissertations as back-up.

I may be old and less speedy than yesterday,, but in my opinion, your statement amounted to a pre-packaged excuse for this Shiitehead and any other wacko that has a bad hair day "while writing their thesis",, with quotable cross references, appendices, and historical in-significances....

Is my dyslexia getting more pronounced,, or did I miss something..

PS: Nobuyuki Kayahara's lady spins both ways for me..

Please give me an opportunity to clarify two of my points and to elaborate a third.

First, I do not state the position that graduate students go crazy because of their thesis. My position is that there are occasions where people look the other way despite evidence that something is going seriously sideways, and then use the excuse of the pressures of graduate school to rationalize their bad judgement. My post is offered as a reason for this dynamic, not as an excuse.

Second, the purpose of including my personal experience with my erstwhile friend was to illustrate the dynamic from two perspectives. The first is being in it (as we were classmates) and excusing intolerable conduct. (He's under a lot of pressure...he's normally a great guy...this isn't like him at all...he's brilliant...once he turns this corner he'll be off and running on a successful career.) The second is being out of it: he's an erstwhile friend for the same reason our department pulled back from him as quickly as it could. (This guy is out of control. He's a risk not worth tolerating. He needs help and even after he gets it, we want nothing to do with him.)

One may say I was too glib in how I discussed my former friend. Perhaps. My perspective is that I am relating an incident in which myself and others were in physical danger (if not actual mortal peril). When relating such personal experiences, I tend to use a humorous tone (mostly to deflect a sense of wrath--I am very even tempered in that I am mad all the time).

In candor, I must say that I found your comments about my "quotable cross references, appendices, and historical in-significances," a bit confusing and, ah, frustrating, especially in regards to the last zinger. I do hope you will accept the fact that I'm committed to finding a happy medium between putting too much historical/historiographical detail in my posts and too little. Your criticism indicates that I've still got a ways to go.

Please allow me to elaborate my mentioning of Lowenberg (whom I have discussed in passing in a previous thread <<LINK>>). In the referenced essays, Peter Lowenberg offers a blistering critique of the current method by which graduate students are trained in their craft. Lowenberg was, in addition to being an academic historian, a practicing clinical psychoanalyst. This latter profession informed greatly his discussion of the topic.

For him to write from the perspective of the latter put his standing as an academic at risk for two reasons. First, psycho-historians never endeared themselves to the Ivory Tower. Part of this unpopularity is that clinical psychoanalytic theory is especially disruptive to a materialist (read: Marxist) approach to history. Second, his essays aired some of the Ivory Tower's dirty laundry--not by naming names, but by highlighting bad habits and questionable practices. For him to take this risk illustrates how seriously he viewed his concerns.

FWIW, my own experiences and my reading of Lowenberg informed my approach to teaching. If I had concerns about a student, I voiced them.

And at least one major university in southern California has taken a proactive role towards risk management.

Last edited by Sigaba; 12-09-2009 at 15:04.
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