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vince/advanced study, how to be a student, bias

updated tue 19 oct 04


Louis Katz on mon 18 oct 04

It is possible that someone 55 would be hired at a school.
Depends on the job and how you break in. Never say never is not always
a good rule. Huh?

At a nearby community college one of my former undergrads with some
graduate classes in art and a grad degree in education got an adjunct
position at a community college. At the time they would have taken
almost ANYONE with an M.F.A. that made themselves available. The job
has some likelihood of going full time. In my experience opportunities
like this come up at community colleges frequently and if someone just
stays on top of a lot of these schools they will get a foot in the
door. If the question is, is it practical for a 45 year old to pursue a
degree with the object being employment I would ask what the cost of
failure would be, and how strong is the motivation. They would have to
be willing, even motivated by a condition adjuncts and part time
instructors often get called adjunctivitis, condition of low moral that
adjuncts get when they have been treated badly many years in a row.

IMHO there are many ways to go to school but the best way is to just
go to school. It seems to me to be a bad compromise to work 8 hours a
week at a low wage, better to take a semester off and save money for
school. When you are in school , be in school. Inhale everything you
can. Keep good notes and document all art work.Do well even in course
that seem worthless ( I could have used this advice from someone I
respected). Get loans if you need them, but do not waste them. Pizza,
beer, and the like better be severely limited or you will find yourself
in debt up past your eyeballs. Here at the Island University you can
get an apartment 1.6 miles from the art department. It is a fine walk,
I do about that same walk 4 times a week. There is a bus that passes
the apartments and the grocery store. Stay on it and it takes you
downtown. Buses are free here for University students. Use Bus time to
look over notes from classes.

Eat cheap. I wish the No Fad Good Food 5$ a week cookbook was still in
print. It tells you how to get a good diet for very little money. In
the late seventies I was eating very well for $3.27 per week. Now with
rice cookers it would be even less work than it was. A crock-pot on a
timer and a rice cooker on a time are indispensable.

People should stop thinking about money. Money is a secondary resource.
Money is made by time and ideas. These should not be wasted. There was
a great study published in Co-evolution Quarterly about cheap ways to
own a car. Not a very "well designed" study, but interesting

Record all the time involved with cars. Purchasing, earning the money
to buy, travel to work to earn the money, everything.

Method one. Buy a new car. Clearly eats the most time. $15,000
especially on a loan with insurance for a young person at minimum wage,
lets say $2000 a year + $10 per week in gas $2500 + new car maintenance
now $3100 Take home pay of $4/ hr = 775 hours of work per year or 14.9
hours of work per week. Add on to that transportation time too and from
work. Two full days a week just to own a new car. A $7500 used car does
not trim much off this, and these figures do not include repairs, tires
and other maintenance other than $600 per year for oil changes and
other minimum maintenance. I figure three days a week to own a new car
at minimum wage. If you don't like my figures, and please work them out
honestly for yourself, please don't correct me. Anyway you work it it
is a lot of time.

If you go to a gym to work out it might make more sense to walk to
work. Do you and the whole planet a whole world of good. Just my latest
soapbox. Sorry. We have students that used to drive 200 yards to go to
the gym and work out. Now the gym is farther. They drive about 1/2 mile
to save about a 300 yard walk. Hope to get rid of some of my gut. I
call it my retirement plan. Plan to survive to retirement.

Method 2
Look in the paper for cars for sale. Any car that costs less than $100
(probably $400 now) call and find out if it runs and will pass the
necessary inspections. Tell them the car must be cold when you arrive.
If its not you won't buy it.
Show up MAke sure all the safety stuff works. check the fluids and feel
the engine block. Should be at air temperature. Drive it. Make sure the
brakes and steering work well.
let it get warm drive it back to where you got it. Turn the car off.
Start it again warm.
If it passes these tests, buy it. Drive it till it dies replacing
fluids as needed.
If you must own a car this may make the most sense unless you can
repair stuff yourself.

I had a Datsun I bought from Josh DeWeese for about ten years never
took it to a mechanic except for alignments, and then only twice.

If you count up the hours including cost divided by your take home pay
per hour, you will find that a bicycle and public transport take up the
least amount of time unless you are earning lots of money. This does
not even consider the fact that time on public transit can be used for
other tasks.

About Bias. Deal with it head on. I knew that this school that I am
teaching at wanted to hire a women. Got the information through my
intelligence service. I made sure to show slides of my wife's work,
mention my female students by name in my slideshow of their work, do my
best to appear as a "sensitive male". If I thought there was a bias
against women and if I was a women, I would make sure my letter
mentioned """"typically male mechanical skills"""". A women that can
weld would be seen as a great asset to a department looking for female
role models for students. You can turn some forms of bias on there
heads and use them to your advantage. Other forms of bias will always
screw you up.

ramble ramble ramble

On Oct 18, 2004, at 5:48 AM, mel jacobson wrote:

> remember vince, my comments are most often
> in reference to a question on clayart. a women
> 60 asked about mfa's and teaching.
> my post was about adults and advanced degrees.
> a young, vigorous, intelligent candidate should
> of course seek teaching employment. daunting, yes,
> but as louis pointed can be done, and will be
> done if you can move around the country.
> if i were a dean of a college, and had to choose.
> 30 year old, A/ student. smart, high energy, ready
> to roll, and will give my university or college 30 years
> of service....yes.
> a 55 year old, new student, untried, untested...will
> give the college tops, 10 years of, perhaps, good service.
> who do you chose? and then consider illness,
> body energy issues. i would have to have considerable
> courage to hire someone in this category....or, the person
> would have to have amazingly unusual ability.
> it is a numbers game. and, often it is never about a
> candidates ability, resume`.
> you have to fit a set of variables. department politics play
> the big roll....and of course for women, a huge bias from
> administration. `a women will not be able to take care of the
> facility, kilns, tools. we need a strong young man...technical
> experience.` would anyone like to tell me that karen terpstra,
> diana pancoli, dannon rhudy and the like, would not be able
> to take care of a kiln? but, that is the perception. and most often
> it is the killer. then add the puzzle piece/ 55 year old, new teacher,
> women....the bias is overwhelming.
> i base most of my thinking on:
> `what would a tell that person if they came to me for a
> written recommendation?` or, if they stopped at the house
> and asked my opinion. ( as former students do, all the time.)
> the worst piece of advice an adult can give is:
> `go for it, you can do anything if you really try`.
> well, i want to be a major league pitcher for the red socks.
> or, i want to play center for the los angeles lakers,
> or, i want to be a new york model, underwear.
> know what? i will never get to do any of those things...ever.
> no matter how hard i try. you cannot teach speed, size or height.
> and, i would tell anyone that is over 40, wanting a degree (mfa) in
> clay.....go for it, but don't make it a career move to teaching.
> do it for you....see what plays out.
> and, then add:
> `mel, i am 48, and i want to teach college, here in
> minneapolis, perhaps the university of minnesota. `
> and you know what? it is often that restricted. `my wife
> has a good job here in town..what are my chances of
> getting a college teaching job around here? ` none.
> buy lottery tickets, same chance.
> there are many days that an adult, experienced person
> cannot be `politically correct`. tell the truth.
> if they stomp off, give you the be it.
> it happens like that once in awhile.
> but, one smiles when they come back with their
> tail between their legs. life is about reality.
> we have far too many people out there giving advice
> that `folks love to hear`. then we all `feel` good.
> (for a few minutes.)
> mel
> From:
> Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
> web site:
> or try:
> new/
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