>See, this is why every academic should blog. I tell a round-about story about my frustrations with a class, ask for advice — in this case, whether I can work a research paper into my upper-division medieval literature survey, even though students already seem to find it “too hard!” — and I get 26 comments chock full of helpful advice, much of it detailed or with links to the commenters’ own guidelines and other handouts. (Rob Barrett and Dr. Crazy, I am definitely going to steal stuff from your handouts and ideas.)
I suppose I could have asked my colleagues, and some of the assistant profs. might have had equally helpful stuff, although I know Victoria doesn’t have them do research papers because she worries about taking class time away from the course content (she does have to teach 600-page novels, after all) and Milton prefers to work on their close-reading and poetry-reading skills. And as for my senior colleagues, many have long since given up, I think. In fact, one of my students told me that one of the grumpier old men assigned a research paper and then, when my student asked for some parameters (length, number of citations, etc.), my colleague reportedly said, “You’re a senior; you should know that already.” So in the days before these here tubes on the internets, I wouldn’t have had anyone to turn to. But now I have you!
Three cheers for the mostly anonymous masses of bloggy academics who I feel I know better than my own neighbors and can rely on more than my colleagues!
Boo grumpy, burnt-out senior colleagues! Hooray energetic academic bloggers!