Category Archives: Academic Productivity

If Two Women Work Together, Does the Work Exist?

OnTheShouldersofGiantsI’ve been thinking a lot about that recent economics study regarding women as co-authors not fairing as well as their male counterpart co-authors and single authorship… and the huge catch I’m having is that even if you have two female co-authors the inference then becomes that no one did any work which is completely unsensical, but in context…if say looking at an application of one woman’s work you discredit it, and in another application process or evaluation of the other woman/co-author’s work is then discredited too… it’s like the article/work isn’t even real and didn’t happen. Yet it is there, and did.  ‪#‎iftwowomenworktogetherdoestheworkexist‬?

Stories about gender bias such as the one mentioned above When Teamwork Doesnt work for Women, There’s no XY (shouldnt this be XX?) in Team, and others like Female Scientists Told to Add A Male Author to Their Study further support fears and career concerns of women, and of myself.

I’ve never cared about who’s name comes first in authorship of equal contributions…but as of late I have been wondering if this was a mistake. Perhaps, I should have requested reverse alphabet more or not have let others in front since they were going up for tenure or on the job market…in many cases it was even my idea–wanting to be a good colleague and friend, or being in a higher status position. I do ideally believe all the good work would be recognized and those who matter would know.  Over the last year or so I have spent a decent amount of time wondering if this has hurt me career-wise… according to this it hasn’t in my equal collaborations with females (which is most of my collabs) so that is something…rather it has just hurt us both possibly… but we do know if you are never sole author it definitely seems to have consequences for women. And what does this mean for first or lead authors? Can there be a lead author if two women work together? #nextstudy

While I think we have always known sole authorship is of course weighed most heavily,  I do not think we realized this biased disadvantage in partnering-up. I love collaborating. I will continue to collaborate as I think it spurs microcreativity, can be efficient (particularly when you have a high teaching load and few resources), and above all, we all [stand] on the shoulders of giants.





A Graduate School Supply List

It’s back-to-school time, my favorite time of year! And, with this time of year comes lots of advice and talk regarding everything from how to make the most of your education to where shop for school supplies. Recently, a number of posts and advertisements have come across my screen related to school supplies. There have even been hashtags for Twitter and Instagram for “school supply porn” and Tumblr and Pinterest have pages and boards dedicated to school supplies and educational aesthetics and workspaces year round. Some of our favorites include Tumblr’s #studyblr and #pencilporn.

In lieu of this, the GA’s (the amazing Tristen Kade and incredible Izzy Notter) and I decided to offer our contribution with a Graduate School Supply List. Of course, each person is different and should feel free to edit or add to this list as they feel necessary. It is not an exhaustive list by any means. However, we would strongly encourage you to give extra consideration to anything on our list that causes the following reactions: any lol-ing, “wtf”s, or “what is that?”

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.15.56 PM

Other suggested supplies for added luxury include:

  • StarbucksCard$500 Starbucks card
  • 25$ I-tunes gift card Spotify app and yearly subscription
  • Laptop keyboard cover
  • Costco “Gold Star” Membership
  • Artisanal Pencil Sharpening Plan
  • Vintage Coffee Mug
  • Meditative Coloring Book
  • Knitwear Beanie, sweaters, and fingerless gloves-to-mittens

On a tad more serious note, what is it about school supplies that people love even as we age? Perhaps, there is an over-representation of people who like school, or the culture of learning, that like the aesthetics of supplies. On more practical points, school supplies are necessary for our work. We need resources to educate, and to learn. Further our resources–the amount and type–play a significant role in the amount of energy and potential we are capable of achieving—from types of questions we can answer to our own personal health.

School supplies also make us feel productive and possibly a little in control. Just having them all laid out as a ritual to begin our work gets the productivity wheel rolling and makes it a little harder to walk away. Purchasing supplies at the beginning of the year (and throughout) allows us to feel that we have accomplished at least one task that day, and it was not all that unpleasant—ideally. In fact, we were likely to be excited about the task and are now off to a good start. We may even be more excited after the task feeling ready to take on the world.

Lastly, supplies may have a latent function as cultural markers for us to display and recognize allowing us to feel part of a greater community that is typically quite individualistic and involves a great deal of solitude. In any case, for academics supplies are essential and can be fun. And who doesn’t need a little fun in our high stress atmosphere?

Blogging in Review


So this past year, I did very little blogging…that is until the end of the year. It was a huge work year for me and I did work to stay true to my resolutions for 2014. These included more family time and being kinder to myself,  doing a pull-up, head stands in yoga, and learning to play “Timber” on the harmonica. While I feel completely short on learning to play “Timber.” I did at one point master the headstand–then quitting yoga and my pull-up is sooooo close–it will surely be mastered this year).  I think I was overall more kind to myself and definitely worked less hours.  I probably shouldn’t own up to that but I think it is important to distinguish working less hours and by learning to become more efficient–to which I think I did.

Balancing family-work-self is no small task.  I did however get more comfortable with writing in shorter lengths of time–my typical 3-4 hours sessions reduced to 2 hours or less. However, my “start-up” time is still about 20-30 minutes.  This is the amount of time it takes me to get in the mind set to write and includes my morning writing ritual. I suppose I could cut this in half, however I clearly do not want to and consider this a part of my “me time.”

Two things had to give this year for me to stay true to my family-work-self goals. The first is my running decreased immensely. In 2013, I ran weekly if not more often, this past year I dropped to monthly. Also, my 2012 goal to blog more fell away. I just didn’t have the time in balancing my other obligations. In thinking about 2013 and this year, I feel like I did pretty good and made good decisions for myself and my family. I can deal with running less and regarding the blogging, the real goal was to put my self out there more.

toblogSo while I did in fact blog less, I do feel I still put myself out there. In fact, very little blogging occurred on this site and took place in other venues. To catch everyone up, here is a quick review of my blogs from this year that did not take place here. I believe they offer sociological substance and ideally quality over quantity.


LumberDPower, Pomp, and Plaid: Lumbersexuals and White Heteromasculine Pageantry   with Tristan Bridges

Professional Football: A Queer/Masculine Paradox

Sociological Images Christmas Film Review: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

What I learned this year about blogging, is that I prefer to sociologically blog for more established sites more than on my own site. As such, it is very likely this blog will become more about my various other interests primarily regarding academia, productivity, my own research, along with my own adventures with blogging and social media.

Lastly, I am particularly grateful to Tristan Bridges, Lisa Wade, and CJ Pascoe in supporting, guiding, and stimulating my interests in public sociology.




Album Review: Tay Tay 1989


I’m ready to report back on the new Tay Tay album: Basically it is definitely more of a dance album than country. It most reminds me of Tegan and Sarah’s most recent Heartthrob album, with hints and tones of a synthesized Jaymay, Americanized Robyn, La Roux, and Enya/Bastille chants?…but not at all. Think some of Justice’s dance too.

Of course tay tay herself is extremely prevalent in voice especially, but overall it feels like an update of all those drive songs in the 80s and 90s and more like a group than a single voice.

GAs* also add: “It kinda reminds me of the 80s, but I guess that is what the title 1989 is about, the end of an era.” “I hear Enya.” Tiffany has been mentioned along with beats of 3 doors down, Iggy Azalea, Icona Pop and Neon Trees. “Savage Garden!” jk I think but cant tell if they mean that one.

No one has guessed it was Tay Tay and one was upset she liked it.


It’s OK to Slack on Blogging



Blogging is not very impactful toward making tenure…thus I occasionally slack on it.

and, that’s ok.

How I Used Twitter and Ended Up Learning to Write

With Kate Drabinski

We write all the time. We’re academics, so it’s sort of our job. And then there’s twitter. Why bother tweeting? It isn’t real writing, and it will never make it in our tenure or promotion files, so isn’t it a waste of time? Not at all, we say, and here’s why.

1. Twitter keeps us thinking and learning. Real time online conversations keep us moving and going and thinking and seeing others being productive. It is a place where academics can feed for ideas and spurs our micro-creativity. Compared to the traditional academic timeline in which feedback and interests can be months or even years—let’s be honest, Twitter real time conversations enables real time feedback. This feedback and interest in what we, and others, are thinking about inspires our writing.

2. Twitter keeps our offline writing projects moving. Because of those real-time conversations, we stay motivated to keep writing and thinking when we log off. It can also help us to make decisions we might otherwise stew over. Twitter keeps us productive and can jolt us out of those negative phases when we get blocked or discouraged. Sometimes it just takes a single tweet to help get out of bed. Also, a response or favorite from a follower can help us to not feel so alone when we are discouraged or moving slower—to recognize it all as part of the process.  “@drcompton @kdrabinski I feel this!”

3. Twitter forces us to think about audience, something academics are notoriously bad at doing well. We both tweet to multiple audiences–academics, sure, but also activists, students, personal friends, family members, Ashley Judd, Dr. Ruth, fellow bicyclists in the case of @kdrabinski, and fellow sneaker enthusiasts in the case of @drcompton. Tweets go out to all these followers, and part of tweeting well is remembering this and writing in clear ways that will resonate with these different audiences at different times, but never with everyone at all times. These are important skills to remember as we write offline for similarly diverse audiences, and twitter makes us practice on a daily basis.

4. That tiny character count makes us be precise in our writing, another thing academics are notoriously bad at. We’ll leave it at that, for precision’s sake.

5. Being precise means revising, deleting, rewriting, and revising again, the very most important parts of writing well, and the parts too often left for later until forgotten altogether. 140 characters isn’t a lot, and rarely is our thought fully formed the first time we try to force it into that tiny space. We must focus, focus, focus—focusing on what is really necessary and important. We find ourselves deleting, trying again, figuring out what can be saved for another tweet, and what our central point really is. Twitter forces us to revise on the spot, and real skills are developed that translate to our offline writing. After all, a first draft is simply writing to the starting line. The real work is in the revision, and twitter won’t let us forget that.