The Mindful PhD: Stories of the Slow Professor
Last week, I attended my 10th consecutive conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)–in many ways, the highlight of my academic year, as it feels very much like ‘going home.’ After five days, though, it’s good to be back in my real home, and I’m grateful for a Sunday to soothe my conference hangover. My presentations and conversations there consistently kept Faculty Careers & Work Lives (O’Meara, Terosky, & Neumann, 2008) on my mind. This book-length study focuses on the language, tone, and storylines of the ways in which we and others discuss our profession. Based on their own work plus an analysis of more than 1,000 books and articles, a thorough lit review on the research, and works written by faculty themselves over the last 20 years, the authors point out that our dominant narrative is one of “constraint” (p. 2): full of barriers, outside forces, frustration, and exhaustion, with language like “‘just making it,’ ‘treading water,’ ‘dodging bullets,’ or barely ‘staying alive’” (p. 2). More….