Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Unnecessary College: Part 1: The Money Myth

This past weekend Bill Maher had Mike Rowe on his show. (See clip above.) Mike talked about the plethora of blue collar jobs going unfilled in America - where unemployment is high - because these jobs are not sexy. High schools, Mike says, are pushing everyone into going to college, whether or not the kids want to. I would argue, after being both a college student, TA, and a lecturer now, that high schools, "common knowledge", parents, and who knows what else, are also pushing kids to go to college whether or not they are really ready. I realize that this may seem weird coming from a dorky PhD student who has literally devoted her life to academia, but college is not the end-all-be-all (or at least it shouldn't be). College is not for everyone. In general, this is has nothing to do with intelligence, but with personality and differing aptitudes. Unfortunately, this topic is too big for just one post, so after the jump I will begin by discussing financial aspects of college that go beyond what "common knowledge" likes to pretend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On Memory, Or the Importance of Fieldnotes

This post is a personal account of how memory, as discussed in the above video, effected my recollections of fieldwork once I came home.

The importance of taking detailed notes while in the field and doing interviews was stressed in every methods and research class I took throughout my college tenure. I never doubted my teachers were right, but as with many lessons, knowing something intellectually and understanding it experientially are two very different levels of knowledge. On an intellectual level I knew what these professors were saying was correct, but it wasn't until recently that I experienced the reality of it.