Tag Archives: College

Piled Higher, Deeper

What makes an historian?… A collection of advanced degrees? The ability to thoroughly explain research? Published writing in a peer reviewed journal? Teaching eager young minds about the past? Could any combination of these qualify a person as an “historian?”

Tell us Mr. McCullough, what do you specialize in?

Tell us Mr. McCullough, what do you specialize in?

The narrow parameters of academic discipline… create the appearance of rigid professionalism, but in effect, provide only  compartmentalized confusion.  The specialization that permeates the digital age seems to have influenced all reaches of academia.  People no long study history, but must focus on some minute period of it.  The requisite for title of ‘historian’ is now a Doctor of Philosophy degree in some purposely narrowed time period, often accompanied by an equally specific cultural scope.  (PhD in 19th Century Female Labor Patterns-with a focus on the American Northeastern Corridor.)  Shouldn’t “historians” be able to speak intelligently and passionately about a variety of historical issues, similarly, as we expect  auto mechanics to be able to repair all types of cars?

Lawyers can be historians too...if they write the appropriate books...

Lawyers can be historians too…if they write the appropriate books…

The academic job market is shrinking… yet PhD’s are being handed out at record levels.  There is legitimate doubt as to the true economic value of such an advanced degree.  If the requisite skills can be acquired without the crippling debt and limited prospects- shouldn’t there be a reevaluation of  professional guidelines?  The field of history is changing at rapid pace- the professionals taking it on need to adjust to the race.

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Hubris pt. 2

It was only a matter of time before political correctness led to historical revisionism… it’s happening on college campuses around the country.  Confronted with the realization that their advocacy is redundant and their demands trifling- these cereal box revolutionaries are targeting our history with their misguided platitudes.

So original

So original

The irony is thick as Liberal college students attack the legacy of Progressive icon, Woodrow Wilson… long heralded a progressive hero by academics, and firmly positioned in Schlesinger’s top 10 of all PresidentsWilson’s name is no longer welcomed by the students of Princeton.   A most unreasonable position considering that Princeton’s status as Ivy League mainstay is due in large part to the career and reputation of Wilson.  Aside from changing names and blotting out monuments, the advocacy here advances little past public relations.

#StandwithJefferson

#StandwithJefferson

As predicted in an earlier post… Jefferson’s name was sure to be a target of the politically correct, kiddie cops.  Student protesters in Missouri, and most recently Jefferson’s alma mater, William and Mary in Virginia.  “Students” argue his slave holding in the 19th century is so offensive, it warrants removing his presence from both institutions.   These judicious, young stewards are enlightened far beyond their 18 or 19 years and clearly understand the human experience better than any nasty slave owner from 200 years ago.  The sarcasm is only applied to further illuminate the hubris-  this could be the beginning of our end.

Standing up for TJ

Standing up for TJ

Jefferson critic Annette Gordon-Reed… is discerning enough to see advocacy gone too far.  She recently told InsideHighered.com

“I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal, I think Jefferson’s contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story … to pretend that he was not there.  There is every difference in the world between being one of the founders of the United States and being a part of group of people who fought to destroy the United States.”

 

#StandwithJefferson

#AllLivesMatter

 

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Study Computers in College!

History majors face a difficult job market… according to a new study.  Only architecture majors fared worse statistically.  History majors face an unemployment rate of over 15% with little hope of improvement.  Because of stringent teaching requirements in most states, a history degree cannot lead to a career in education.  A history degree seems to condemn the recipient to more schooling and more debt.

A history degree ??

The remedy is a simple one… avoid history classes in college.  Studying engineering and computers will provide the most opportunities after college.  It appears as if the national drive to strengthen science and math education has paid off handsomely.  But has the effort come at a price?

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Filed under Ephemera, News

Hubris pt. 2

It was only a matter of time before political correctness led to historical revisionism… it’s happening on college campuses around the country.  Confronted with the realization that their advocacy is redundant and their demands trifling- these cereal box revolutionaries are targeting our history with their misguided platitudes.

So original

So original

The irony is thick as Liberal college students attack the legacy of Progressive icon, Woodrow Wilson… long heralded a progressive hero by academics, and firmly positioned in Schlesinger’s top 10 of all PresidentsWilson’s name is no longer welcomed by the students of Princeton.   A most unreasonable position considering that Princeton’s status as Ivy League mainstay is due in large part to the career and reputation of Wilson.  Aside from changing names and blotting out monuments, the advocacy here advances little past public relations.

#StandwithJefferson

#StandwithJefferson

As predicted in an earlier post… Jefferson’s name was sure to be a target of the politically correct, kiddie cops.  Student protesters in Missouri, and most recently Jefferson’s alma mater, William and Mary in Virginia.  “Students” argue his slave holding in the 19th century is so offensive, it warrants removing his presence from both institutions.   These judicious, young stewards are enlightened far beyond their 18 or 19 years and clearly understand the human experience better than any nasty slave owner from 200 years ago.  The sarcasm is only applied to further illuminate the hubris-  this could be the beginning of our end.

Standing up for TJ

Standing up for TJ

Jefferson critic Annette Gordon-Reed… is discerning enough to see advocacy gone too far.  She recently told InsideHighered.com

“I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal, I think Jefferson’s contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story … to pretend that he was not there.  There is every difference in the world between being one of the founders of the United States and being a part of group of people who fought to destroy the United States.”

 

#StandwithJefferson

#AllLivesMatter

 

3 Comments

Filed under News

Self-Importance Gone Bad

There must be a special rung of hell… for college professors who assign their own books to a class.  On the off-chance that they actually teach the class personally(grad assistants do the dirty work) students are then forced to pay far too many pennies for the professor’s thoughts in hardback.  Boosting sales, all for the sake of disseminating knowledge.

YES, MY BOOK !

YES, MY BOOK !

There are few, if any… colleges that closely scrutinize assigned texts.  Academic discretion is granted the tenured professors- exactly enough latitude to allow egomaniacs the opportunity to pad book sales and boost the height of their soap boxes.  Rebecca Schuman correctly points out in Slate that these tenured academics are in fact double dipping- taking department money to research and write the books, then royalties from the poor undergrads forced to buy it.  Someone paying more than $1,000 per credit hour should receive more consideration.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under News

Self-Importance Gone Bad

There must be a special rung of hell… for college professors who assign their own books to a class.  On the off-chance that they actually teach the class personally(grad assistants do the dirty work) students are then forced to pay far too many pennies for the professor’s thoughts in hardback.  Boosting sales, all for the sake of disseminating knowledge.

YES, MY BOOK !

YES, MY BOOK !

There are few, if any… colleges that closely scrutinize assigned texts.  Academic discretion is granted the tenured professors- exactly enough latitude to allow egomaniacs the opportunity to pad book sales and boost the height of their soap boxes.  Rebecca Schuman correctly points out in Slate that these tenured academics are in fact double dipping- taking department money to research and write the books, then royalties from the poor undergrads forced to buy it.  Someone paying more than $1,000 per credit hour should receive more consideration.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Piled Higher, Deeper

What makes an historian?… A collection of advanced degrees? The ability to thoroughly explain research? Published writing in a peer reviewed journal? Teaching eager young minds about the past? Could any combination of these qualify a person as an “historian?”

Tell us Mr. McCullough, what do you specialize in?

Tell us Mr. McCullough, what do you specialize in?

The narrow parameters of academic discipline… create the appearance of rigid professionalism, but in effect, provide only  compartmentalized confusion.  The specialization that permeates the digital age seems to have influenced all reaches of academia.  People no long study history, but must focus on some minute period of it.  The requisite for title of ‘historian’ is now a Doctor of Philosophy degree in some purposely narrowed time period, often accompanied by an equally specific cultural scope.  (PhD in 19th Century Female Labor Patterns-with a focus on the American Northeastern Corridor.)  Shouldn’t “historians” be able to speak intelligently and passionately about a variety of historical issues, similarly, as we expect  auto mechanics to be able to repair all types of cars?

Lawyers can be historians too...if they write the appropriate books...

Lawyers can be historians too…if they write the appropriate books…

The academic job market is shrinking… yet PhD’s are being handed out at record levels.  There is legitimate doubt as to the true economic value of such an advanced degree.  If the requisite skills can be acquired without the crippling debt and limited prospects- shouldn’t there be a reevaluation of  professional guidelines?  The field of history is changing at rapid pace- the professionals taking it on need to adjust to the race.

4 Comments

Filed under Ephemera, News