A digest post of a few professional questions from the week:
1. Have you ever written a strongly positive R&R, gotten a responsive revision (meaning, one that responded effectively to all the reviewers’ comments), only to decide the revision has turned the paper’s contribution into one so modest it no longer suits the journal? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you suggest one do in this situation?
2. A colleague in a professional school confided in me their frustration at students using the internet during class. The course is quite large, so policing individual violations of the course’s stipulated “no internet” policy has proved difficult. However, continued violation of the policy annoys the professor and distracts other students. I (jokingly) recommended an “internet ghetto” in which the practice would be tolerated, and would only distract those with similar dispositions to use the internet during class. Today, the professor instituted an “internet ghetto”, and students were asked to opt-in via email. The consequence of violating the policy is now as follows: “If you do not request to be in the Internet Ghetto, and you use Internet during class time (this includes email, IM, games on your computer, and any other use of your computer that is not reading prepared notes or taking notes), then you will be banned from bringing your laptop to class, and may nevertheless be banished to the Internet Ghetto.” Astoundingly, several students have already written to opt-in. Is this a good or bad pedagogical technique, and could it ever be effective among undergraduate students?
3. Giving interviews to media continues to be a necessary evil of the work I do. I passed on a request this week to discuss “incivility”–the media request cited Kayne’s behavior at the VMAs, the South Carolina legislator during Obama’s speech and Serena Williams’s behavior during the women’s final match of the U.S. Open. My colleague Steven Tepper gave the interview, which you should watch. His opinion is misrepresented and a specious argument advanced that “technology” is to blame for this undocumented rise in “incivility.” I wonder, is it possible to avoid this kind of selective editing on behalf of news reporters (who clearly have a moral agenda)? [Also, notice the number of times the word “professor” is used. Anyone else expect Skipper and Mary Ann to appear?]