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Non-Music - Academic Success Question

katlaughing 21 Mar 01 - 06:01 PM
mousethief 21 Mar 01 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Mar 01 - 06:14 PM
Little Neophyte 21 Mar 01 - 06:17 PM
John Hardly 21 Mar 01 - 06:31 PM
Wavestar 21 Mar 01 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM
Mary in Kentucky 21 Mar 01 - 07:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Mar 01 - 07:51 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 01 - 08:04 PM
raredance 21 Mar 01 - 08:19 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 01 - 08:25 PM
Little Neophyte 21 Mar 01 - 08:45 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 01 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Mar 01 - 09:17 PM
Spud Murphy 21 Mar 01 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Mar 01 - 09:24 PM
Mary in Kentucky 21 Mar 01 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Mar 01 - 10:42 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 01 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 01:27 AM
katlaughing 22 Mar 01 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 03:03 AM
Wolfgang 22 Mar 01 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 22 Mar 01 - 05:59 AM
Grab 22 Mar 01 - 07:13 AM
Peter T. 22 Mar 01 - 08:45 AM
Wavestar 22 Mar 01 - 08:47 AM
Lady McMoo 22 Mar 01 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 22 Mar 01 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 22 Mar 01 - 09:52 AM
Mary in Kentucky 22 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM
Lady McMoo 22 Mar 01 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 22 Mar 01 - 10:06 AM
Lady McMoo 22 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM
Mary in Kentucky 22 Mar 01 - 10:20 AM
Jim the Bart 22 Mar 01 - 10:44 AM
katlaughing 22 Mar 01 - 10:45 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Mar 01 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 22 Mar 01 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Rana 22 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM
CamiSu 22 Mar 01 - 11:05 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 01 - 11:13 AM
Grab 22 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 22 Mar 01 - 11:27 AM
Mary in Kentucky 22 Mar 01 - 11:27 AM
Lady McMoo 22 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM
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Subject: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:01 PM

My son and I got into a rousing discussion last night and I told him I would throw it open to you learned souls to see what you think.

He was saying that to be an academic success one must be connected in some way with an institution of learning, i.e. college or university.

I was saying, yes, but there have been people whom I would consider an academic success who are more self-taught and have become teachers in educational settings, recognised as such, but not through the usual channels. And, also people who are not connected to any institutions of same, whom I would still consider an academic success because of their knowledge and the respect they receive.

We went to our respective dictionaries and looked up the word "academics" and it seems we could both be right. By one of the definitions I found, the Mudcat could be considered an insitution of art and those of us who teach/learn on here could claim academic success.

I believe the parameters have been blown to bits by the cyber-age.

What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:12 PM

I am of the understanding that "academic success" means "success at school" where "school" usually means a college or university or other formal institution of higher learning. Self-taught people can be many things, and most of them are more important than being an academic success, but the one thing they cannot be is an academic success.

In other words, I think your son has it right.

Whether or not the world SHOULD be this way is a further question (and one fully worthy of debate, and which I would not mind debating with you or anybody else here on the Mudcat). But according to what the phrase actually means in common usage, I'm afraid the world-as-it-is favors your son.

Sorry, sweetie. :-)

Alex


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:14 PM

It's much harder to get anywhere if you're not, but I know of a few who made it, without even a Ph. D. I have the Ph. D., but am now retired, and my non-affiliated status makes it hard to get material. I've struck out twice trying to get a song at Yale, and it looks like my request to the Euing Music Library of Glasgow Univ. last night fell on deaf ears (I even had their library call number for the song I wanted, and offered to pay all costs).


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:17 PM

From my experience those people I know personally who have achieved an academic level of expertise but have not received a University accreditation for their skills have always longed for such recognition. So much so, I have watch a significant number of them pursue a University degree after the fact to satisfy that need.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:31 PM

Hi Kat,

My experience is somewhat "outside the lines" but I acquired my BS (I'm not saying I invented bullshit, but BS and I are so intimately acquainted that it IS hard to tell where I leave off and BS begins..)..no, not that bs, I mean my bachelor's degree, on the strength of my professional life.

It's not an honorary degree, but the college recognized that they didn't have anyone as advanced in my field as I, so it was therefore silly for them not to acknowledge the fact by giving me credit hours.

Chalk one up for the "School Of Life"

on the other hand...

...I was cut no slack in acquiring teaching certification, even though I was clearly capable--proven by experience.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Wavestar
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 06:49 PM

Kat, I would refer to what you're talking about more as intellectual success than academic, mostly because I also associate academics with academic institutions. It is much easier to get libraries to give you access to things if you're attached to a University... but I'm playing with semantics.

-J


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM

Academics, can be purely personal ambition with no need of recognicion. If you want recognicion, it's called 'Publish or Perish". An affiliated institution will pay the fees (academic journals are rarely self supporting). However, in science where I was, the institution did not have to be colle or university. Many government labs (NASA, NOAA, NIST, and others) and some research institutions had staff that qualified as 'academics'. We weren't graded on normal 'civil service' requirements, the requirements were adopted from levels for professorships at major universities. (GS16- professor emeritus, 15-full rofessor, 14-assistant professor, 13-associate professor) About 2/3 of my collaborators were other government/ research instutions staff members (Russia, Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, India, +). The rest were done with university professors.

Remember it'sPublish or Perish", and it's got to be good to get it past the journal editor and his peer reviewers, and he will get the experts in the field (no mater where they are) to review it. You are also honor bound to review something if you are asked to, or have a very good excuse (like you just died), or can suggest someone better than you to do it.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 07:39 PM

I'm with kat's son here.

Bruce, in the past, I've used student's ID's to check out books at a university I wasn't attending. I'm not advocating anything here...also, I like to have librarians for friends in order to take advantage of the interlibrary loan stuff and perhaps bend a few rules. I also used a medical school library to copy articles (though I would have had to come up with and ID to check a book out.) Perhaps with the contacts at Mudcat, you could get warm bodies all over the world to personally go to various libraries. I can offer my services for Kentucky, and with a little effort, most of the colleges in the Southeast.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 07:51 PM

Perhaps we could get the the Mudcat accredited as a Virtual University in some sensible place, and then we could all award each other advanced degrees. "I qualified for a multiple BS at the MVU" - sounds quite impressive.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:04 PM

Wavestar, I like the intellectual bit; that may fit more what I was thinking. This is a great discussion, much food for thought, please continue. Here's the definition I pulled up last night when Colin and I were at it:

Main Entry: 1ac.a.dem.ic
Pronunciation: "a-k&-'de-mik
Function: noun
Date: 1587
1 : a member of an institution of learning
2 : one who is academic in background, outlook, or methods
3 plural : academic subjects

Main Entry: 2academic
Function: adjective
Date: 1588
Variant(s): also ac.a.dem.i.cal /-mi-k&l/
1 a : of, relating to, or associated with an academy or school especially of higher learning
b : of or relating to performance in academic courses
c : very learned but inexperienced in practical matters (THIS is my brother!*G*)
d : based on formal study especially at an institution of higher learning
2 : of or relating to literary or artistic rather than technical or professional studies
3 a : THEORETICAL, SPECULATIVE b : having no practical or useful significance
This is the one I stretched to make Mudcat fit:4 : conforming to the traditions or rules of a school (as of literature or art) or an official academy **BG**


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: raredance
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:19 PM

kat, maybe you need to focus more on the adj. def #3, that seems to fit here without stretching. ;-)

rich r


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:25 PM

LOL...oh thanks a lot, Richm! Hahaha:-)


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:45 PM

If I were to total all the hours I have spent reading and contributing to threads on the Mudcat and apply those hours to studying a course within a university degree program, those hours spent focused on my university degree program would be banked towards a profession which would hopefully one day pay my rent. Whereas, hours I have spent on the Mudcat would not.

Professor Neo


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:57 PM

Ya never know, Bonaphyte...you might be playing to packed houses and getting paid beaucoup bucks some day to pass on your banjo techniques!


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 09:17 PM

Mary, I have done things along those lines. There's a tune from the Euing Collection on my website. The song wasn't worth posting. It was gotten at the library for me by a web-friend in Scotland. All the faculty members I knew at Yale have retired, which is why I got stymied there, and they have the only known copy of the book in the British Isles or North America. I have the Library of Congress and the Folger Shapespeare Library handy (no Ph. D.- no Folger) and have even gotten stack passes at some univ. libraries through having friends on the faculty.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Spud Murphy
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 09:20 PM

Kat=0
Kat Son=1

Point, game and set!!


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 09:24 PM

Mary, the kind of thing a folklorist would look for in Kentucky is if there was an unreprinted collection of folksongs made by the WPA in the late 1930's. Several states have these. They usually get deposited in university library rare book and manuscript collections, and are often not noted in the general catalog.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 09:34 PM

I'm not sure of the names and terms used, but the University of Kentucky has a rare books collection in the main library and an Appalachian Center (part of the music library, I think.) I have contacts at both. Besides, the main library has a gorgeous quilt collection that I love to visit.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 10:42 PM

Mary, search the catalog on the web. Among WPA records I found are CD 3260, fiddle tunes, and CD 3262, blues. What else I didn't try to find.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 11:31 PM

Are all Uni's so strict? I hold a card to our college library, just as a citizen of the state, as I could do for the University. When we lived in Northampton, MA my son and SO used to haunt the Smith College library where they found all manner of very rare books to peruse at their leisure. They couldn't check them out, but they could have copies made. Likewise the local library there, Forbes Library. First editions were stacked alongside everything else, really rare stuff. It, btw, had a completely different catalogue system developed, if I remember correctly, by Mr. Forbes himself.

I would be happy to see what the libraries here have as far as unsual, regional music publications. I did just send off photocopies of an out-of-print book of early pioneer days to a couple of Mudcatters; from journals of a man who married a Sioux woman and lived near Laramie Peak. It's one of those, printed by the author, things that one would never find elsewhere.

Spud, I will be sure to send along you assessment to my son! **BG**

BruceO, I am really amazed that anyone would deny you access to old music; you have such scholarship etc. it seems absurd for them to be so narrow. KarenK lives near Yale, I wonder if she knows anyone there?

Thanks ya'll, this continues to be quite interesting.

kat


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 01:27 AM

I got one of the tunes for "Pretty Peggy of Derby" (Aird's 'Airs', III, 1788-on my website) by mail request from the Forbes Library, who had the only known copies of the 1st 3 volumes of the series in the USA. The following summer I went to the Forbes Library as a stop-off on a summer vacation. I intended to make a complete contents lists of the 3 vols, but found they had sold them to a bookseller, Lubrano (on web). I don't know where the 3 vols. went. (ABCs of all 3 vols now on web). A reprint of vol. 4 was donated by the Forbes Library in the early 20th century to the Library of Congress, where it remains. I made a contents listing of all and copied some of the tunes in it, but don't remember if there's anything about it on my website. Small libraries are easier to work with than large ones. They don't have so many requests to deal with, and can afford to spend more time on you.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 01:53 AM

Unbelievable that they sold those! I am glad they ahd the sense to donate the other to the LOC! We used to live 2 blocks from there and loved browsing, my kids esp. enjoyed it.

One of the things I loved so much about New England was that every little town had its own sturdy, usually brick library with all kinds of treasures.

If you ever get a chance try to make it to the library in Westerly, Rhode Island, esp. to their annual book sale. They put it on in a huge gymnasium, wall to wall books. I found some real treasures there.

I will see about getting up to the college library here this next week and see what they have. Their specialty is of course Western literature, but a lot of Wyomign was settled by "Remittance Men" the younger sons of British aristocracy and had fantastic libraries which they often donated. Next time we are in Sheridan I will check up there, too. It has a history of being espcially cultural with ties to the Queen of England.:-)


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 03:02 AM

In Rhode Island I'd head for the fabulous sheet music collection at Brown University. They even have an 18th century single sheet song with music. The song is on my website, but I don't have the tune.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 03:03 AM

PS: What happened to academic success here?


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 04:13 AM

A voice from Germany:
My response to kat's question is basically a mixture of what Bruce and Mousethief have been saying with some qualifications.

In theory, everybody can have 'academic success' in Germany independent of affiliation. In practice, it has never (qualifications later) happened in basic science since about one century. It has happened and still happens in applied sciences and especially arts that e.g. a very successful and creative architect gets a tenure in architecture or a painter without any degree gets a tenure in arts. The very few exceptions in science are men (nearly exclusively jews) who were happy to survive Nazi Germany and had no opportunity to study the normal way. Some of them, having only been able to study privately at home, took over the tenures from Nazi professors. Extreme (and correct, I add) decisions in extreme times.

150 years ago, it was not uncommon, even in science, that a privately trained scholar published such a great finding that he got tenure. The reason that this does not happen anymore (though it could, in theory), is that nowadays (1) the basic training you need just to be able to read the papers of your peers takes so much time that you hardly could do it untutored and (2) the equipment for experiments is so expensive and/or elaborate that you'd often not be able to pay for it. Some of of the equipment takes a very long training by experts before you can use it without making errors.

So the in-a-nutshell response for Germany is: Kat is right, in theory, her son for all practical purposes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 05:59 AM

Okay, I'm curious. Is someone who lectures in a university in America a Professor? Don't you have people who are known as Lecturers, or is Professor the title for any teaching member of staff?


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Grab
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 07:13 AM

Kat, I don't think the cyber-age has anything to do with it. You achieve academic success by studying a subject until you are of the same standard of knowledge as the leaders in the field, are yourself coming up with new concepts in that field, and are known (by the ppl involved in that area of study) to have knowledge in that area. The Internet doesn't come into it at all. As Wolfgang says, there were many self-taught scientists in the 1800s.

Degree-wise, a BS/BEng/BSc/whatever merely says that you've been taught the skills to do stuff competently in your area of work, nothing else. Academic success doesn't start until PhD level, which is the point where you're actually making a contribution to the knowledge in your field.

And academic success isn't the same as base talent. I know ppl who've played guitar for 30-40 years, but none can play like Mark Knopfler, simply bcos they weren't born with the skill. Rather (I think) academic achievement implies research. So a talented painter hasn't achieved academic success, no matter how good they are. But someone (of whatever level of skill at painting) who's done detailed work on the chemical composition on paint over the years, and who knows how these paints were made and how they change over time, that's academic success.

I think the key is the "based on formal study" part of the definition. You can do formal study on your own; you just have to apply the same standards to your research that would be used by "professionals".

I don't think the Mudcat's an institution of learning, though. It's more an institution of _information_. You don't get a degree from a library, you get a degree from a university or college, where you study methods, use those methods in research, and use the library as a source of information for that research.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 08:45 AM

I think -- as an academic -- that academic means someone who belongs to Academe, an institution of higher learning. It has nothing to do with being intellectual, being a scholar, or indeed being knowledgeable or wise. It is a sociological distinction. It is worth pointing out that a scholar is much more highly regarded by academics than a "mere academic". There are very few scholars in universities -- people who are fully saturated in a subject to which they are themselves making substantial, worthy contributions. They are the exact equivalents of craftsmen in the arts and crafts. In 30 years in and out of universities in 4 countries I have met perhaps 10 scholars. They are revered -- the way Doc Watson or Pete Seeger are revered around here. They embody the subject, and why it is seen to be an integral expression of humanity at its best.
For a variety of reasons -- some mentioned -- it is very hard nowadays to be an academic, let alone s scholar in a traditional subject outside of university unless you are independently wealthy and very persistent. But it can be done. It is virtually impossible to do this in the sciences, simply because of access to equipment. It can be done: James Lovelock, the inventor of the Gaia Hypothesis, is an independent scientist.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Wavestar
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 08:47 AM

Fibula Mattock- The answer to your question is, yes, pretty juch all University instructors are referred to as professor. It's a term of respect, more often than one of earned status (although the professor status is also applied - the differentiation is only really made by colleagues and administration.) Students may refer to 'the lecturer', but if they want to use a name, it will usually be preceded by professor. Doctor, on the other hand, is a title of degree and status that is earned. :)

-J


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 09:22 AM

Grab said

"Degree-wise, a BS/BEng/BSc/whatever merely says that you've been taught the skills to do stuff competently in your area of work, nothing else. Academic success doesn't start until PhD level, which is the point where you're actually making a contribution to the knowledge in your field."

I'm not sure I can subscibe entirely to this statement.

I know many Bachelors degree people, and even more PhDs, who could hardly be said to be competent in their area of work at all. And there are many PhDs who are not academics but some BS/BSc people who are. And there are many, many BS/BSc people who are making a great contribution to knowledge in their field.

Like others above I'd be inclined to reserve the word "academic" for someone (could be a variety of levels) working in an academic institution of some sort.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 09:26 AM

Cheers. That's weird! I'm used to this UK and Ireland system whereby Professor is a title earned after years of research and teaching, and awarded when you're doing something really significant, e.g. Head of Department - and you don't get called it til you achieve it. Here most of the lecturers are just known by their first names, or Dr. So-and-so, or Mr or Ms So-and-so.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 09:32 AM

Let's not get into titles. The same words can have somewhat different meanings in different countries. What might be a Lecturer of Reader in England would be about Associate Professor in the USA. My understanding from long ago that Dr. was rare ain Germany, and there were more Professors than Drs, so double distinction was Herr Dr. Professor. I know some Germans Dr. researchers and teachers, but formal titles too often are barriers among peers, and titles are ignored.

I got volunteered on a project one time to upgrade the USA government's capability in a small area, where there were some international comparisons to be made. I had to design and build an instrument for the purpose. I looke at other designs, and saw Germany's PTB (Physicalishe Technishe Bundesanstalt) design, very complicated, but I thought one point was weak. I asked my chief what gives, I didn't thinl PTBs design would give the best answers. He replied that in Germany if PTB said it was right, then it was right by definition, and that was all that was required. If a German in another lab had an instrument that didn't agree with PTB's, then he had to juggle his instrument untill it did agree with PTB's.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 09:52 AM

I see what Grab means about "Academic success doesn't start until PhD level, which is the point where you're actually making a contribution to the knowledge in your field". To gain a PhD you HAVE to make a contribution to your field. I'm sitting here trying to type up my first PhD review. I have a "mission statement" in front of me that says that students must generate new research ideas, convince others that they're good ideas, do the research to show they're viable, and then publish the results so they are available to everyone. For my BA and my MSc I didn't have to make a valid contribution. I was taught the background facts of my subject, and I worked on small scale projects for my dissertations. Now I'm into the realms of being taken seriously (I hope) and actually coming up with new ways of doing things. Of course, that's not to say people can't make a significant contribution at an earlier stage, just that many don't get that chance. At PhD level you have to, or you don't get the PhD.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM

Fibula, when my husband was in vet school I worked at a large university, Auburn, as a "part-time adjunct instructor" (official title) in the chemistry department. I assisted a professor who had ~700 students by proofreading the text he was writing, supervising exam preparation and grading, conducting help sessions, and on rare occasions delivering lectures. I was essentially the liason between the professor and students. I only had a BS degree (that's the degree given to a college student after four years of college work). Most US colleges give a BS (Bachelor of Sciences) and a BA (Bachelor of Arts). In chemistry, the BS is the tougher degree in most schools, (there are a few exceptions.) All this to say, Auburn, and I assume most schools, are concerned about accreditation, so they don't want teachers on staff that don't have higher degrees such as PhD. Therefore, they use instructors with lesser degrees, but just give them other names. I think they used people in the health professions, ie dentists, in a similar way.

And mcmoo, industry also rewards one according to the degree as opposed to the achievement. I worked in one lab as a technician (and was paid as a technician) and did more advanced work (chemical patent) than at another company where I was an official "chemist."

Back to the original question...Peter said it all, as usual.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:01 AM

I see that point Fibula. Certainly you SHOULD contribute to the knowledge base to achieve your PhD. But academic success can also be achieved without a PhD. One of my very best lecturers during my first degree actually only had a 3rd class BSc degree and no PhD. But someone at some time had given him a chance and a position at the university and he subsequently did very well as a lecturer and published a great number of well-regarded papers in a difficult academic area.

Best regards,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, I agree mcmoo - and having a crap undergrad degree never hindered Carol Vorderman ('catters outside the UK may not know to which ubiquitous celebrity I refer...)


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM

Mary...I work in industry now rather than in a research environment as formerly and I don't see that at all. Maybe it's different in the States but here in (continental) Europe it's about individual ability in most industry jobs except perhaps highly specialised company research labs.

Best regards,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:20 AM

mcmoo, I'd be curious to know how many professors/instructors at large universities here in the US don't have a PhD. When I was a college freshman, our best teacher did not have a PhD and received considerable pressure to do so. I think he finally left that institution.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:44 AM

I find it useful to make the distinction between "practical" knowledge and "theoretical" (or "pure") knowledge. For me, the term "academic" applies to the latter, more than the former.

If someone has an "academic" interest in a subject, I usually see that as meaning they are pursuing the information for the sake of the learning, rather than in pusuit of its application. Practical application comes later, when the academic base has been laid. In my experience, the degree that an "academic institution" bestows is a credential that has no more (or less) validity than real-life experience.

Taken at a very practical level, if a pipe bursts in my basement, I would prefer to hire an experienced plumber than a guy with a degree in hydro-physics (if there is such a thing), who has never held a pipe wrench.

As far as Mudcat as an academic institution, why not? I'm sure any certificate earned here would have more validity than those certs qualifying people to be ministers that we used to get through the mail in the 60's, to dodge the draft. I think the 'Cat also qualifies as a trade school, though - there is a lot of practical "nuts 'n bolts" information here, too.

Bart


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:45 AM

Mary, while this doesn't address your question, directly, this article is very interesting and sheds some light.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the thread and the intelligent discussion folks. Nothing to add...just absorbing.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:51 AM

Bart - well said. My undergrad degree provided me with a theoretical basis and a little bit of practical experience for a job in archaeology, but it took a couple of years out working in the (literal) field before I knew what I was doing. Likewise, my computer knowledge from my MSc wasn't quite as handy as it could have been when I got my first programming job. There's a definite difference in types of knowledge. I want a nice balance of both.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM

Just to re-iterate Bruce O. comment.

Back in the UK (in my day anyway), Professor was a distinction - we had 4 Professors at Reading - one in Organic, inorganic, and 2 in physical chemistry - the rest were lecturers. Reader was also an honary distinction (there was one).

In north america the titles basically measure the hoops.

Assistant - starting, not tenured Associate - tenured Full - top of the scale.

I agree with Peter, being an academic does not necessarily imply scholarly. I have come across some very good people indeed, but have also come across what I would term mediocre or dead wood, who have been carried by their post-docs (and grad students).

Rana


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: CamiSu
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:05 AM

A bit of an interesting story. A friend, who wrote the book on a particular field of computer software design, cannot teach the course at Dartmouth, that uses his book as its basis. Reason? He doesn't have a degree. Also, Dartmouth uses adjunct Professors to teach many of their courses, because it is less expensive. Now these adjuncts do not lack in the degree department. The college simply will not hire them on as full professors. Ah, academia.

I do not have a degree in anything. But my expertise in engineering and building theater sets has led to talks about teaching this subject in the local high school in a couple of years... we'll see.

CamiSu NDGA (No Degree, Good Anyway)


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:13 AM

To add to CamiSu's type of story, I have 2 examples.

1.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Grab
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM

McMoo, you're right, sort of. I meant "PhD _level_", not actually "possessing a PhD". But if you have a PhD then as Fibula says, you _have_ to have contributed to the field, which makes it a good yardstick. Such ppl who acquire recognition independently of having any qualifications often get honorary degrees to recognise this. Unfortunately this is now tarnished by giving honorary degrees to anyone who (a) is famous for other things (for publicity) or (b) pays lots of money to the university.

As far as not being competent after getting your degree - all it means is that at the time you got it, you knew enough to be competent. PhD ppl may not be competent now, but at the time they did contribute something to the field (which is how they got their PhD). And that illustrates another point - academic success requires _continuous_ work - you can't just stop and say, "I'm successful now, so I don't have to produce anything else", or you'll get superseded and/or forgotten. To really be successful requires continuous contribution.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:24 AM

Forgot my name again (2nd above). Altzheimers is a severe handicap in the academe/intellectual/researcher/teacher world.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:27 AM

Whoops, wrong above. Now what happened to the one I thought I posted?


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:27 AM

CamiSu, I'm not sure of the requirements in your state...but here in Kentucky until recently, it was ridiculously time consuming to get a teaching certificate in order to teach in a public school. Even though I had a BS degree in chemistry, I had to take ~30 more hours (mostly busywork and courses that were just different from what I already had) in order to get a certificate. Then to top it all off, if you didn't use that certificate in ten years, you had to get a Masters Degree before you could teach high school! (That also happened to me.) Now I think they have finally waived some of the crap to allow qualified people to get a teaching certificate. Are you familiar with Jeffry Wigand? The movie is discussed here. hmmmmm...Russell Crowe played him in the movie...I better go back and take another look! Anyway, he was a top tobacco industry whistle blower who lost his job, then taught high school chemistry in Louisville. Years ago, this would not have been allowed. Check your state to see if they have some ridiculous requirements.


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Subject: RE: Non-Music - Academic Success Question
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:34 AM

I have one acquaintance with a PhD in the dimensions of sheep's femurs and another with a PhD on characteristics of one of the fungi that grow on the decaying foliage taken by leaf-cutter ants into their nests. Often these types of specialist PhDs go on to teach or work in areas other than these specialist areas where they have undoubtedly contributed to the academic knowledge on that subject.

This is were I begin to have a problem with the word "competent". My own research was in a particularly arcane area which really doesn't bear any relation to or help me with the job I do now.

I'm beginning to feel more and more that we have these various "hoops" we are expected to jump through "to reach the required level" that increasingly bear little relationship to what we end up doing. Is it perhaps because people don't have the skills or time to assess knowledge and competence in a more meaningful way?

Best regards,

mcmoo


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