ramble through the bronx

yes, this here is ramble through the bronx, the continuing musings of a graduate student* who should be writing her dissertation, but honestly, living in new york city there's really so much else to do...

* and her commenting friends. And guest blogger.
[welcome to ramble through the bronx | bloghome
[I wish I was a mole in the ground]
Meredith [>] (NYC/Toronto)
Emily [>] (Brooklyn)
Emily's music site[>]
Jeremy [>] (Bronx)
Ryan [>] (Bronx)
non-NYC people I miss
Jennifer [>] (Toronto)
Tokyo Tintin[>] (Tokyo/Toronto)
Dawn [>] (Ottawa)
Caitlyn [>] (Ottawa)
CBC [>] (my true love)
del.icio.us/janeyjane [>] (my social link collection, alas, not updated lately. I am apparently not delicious)
The Keeper [>] (try it, you'll love it)
comics sites that I check every day
Newsarama [>] (check out the 'blog' section especially)
When Fangirls Attack [>] (women in comics links)
politics, media, and gossip
AlterNet [>]
'Fuddle duddle' incident [>]
The Nation [>]
Catholic stuff
America Magazine [>] magazine of US Jesuits
Commonweal Magazine [>] biweekly magazine of lay Catholics
Karl Rahner Society [>] site dedicated to awesome 20th c. theologian
Liberal Catholic News [>] blog for progressive catholics
Pacem in Terris [>] Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical
music - mostly folk music and banjo links
The How and Tao of Folk Music [>] Patrick Costello's podcasts & banjo & folk guitar instruction
Back Porch News [>]News, Commentary & Links for the folkie community
E-Z Folk [>]Folk music instruction and tabulature
amuse yourself
Piled Higher and Deeper [>] (comic about grad student life)
Cat and Girl [>] just what it sounds like
The Onion [>]
Sluggy Freelance [>]
The Boondocks [>]
Eric Conveys an Emotion [>]
Society for Women in Philosophy [>]
the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy [>]
The Hegel Society of America[>]
North American Fichte Society[>]
Journal of Neoplatonic Studies [>]
Women Philosophers [>]
Brian Leiter's blog [>]
Harper's [>]
Neil Gaiman [>]
Charles de Lint [>]
Making Light [>]
McSweeney's [>]
WFUV [>]
Anti-pedantry page: Singular 'their' in Jane Austen [>]
places I miss
Cafe Diplomatico [>] (Toronto)
The Red Room [>] (Toronto)
The Free Times Cafe [>] (Toronto)
Sneaky Dee's [>] (Toronto... aka Sneaky Disease, best nachos in town)
Kensington Market [>] (Toronto)
College Street [>] (Toronto)
Perfection Satisfaction Promise [>] (Ottawa - formerly the Painted Potato)
Piccolo Grande [>] (Ottawa)
The Market [>] (Ottawa)
Stray cats of Parliament Hill [>] (Ottawa)
other nonsense
Mozilla [>]
Abebooks [>]
Alibris [>]
Metafilter [>]
and thank you
Thanks to Haloscan for blog-comment-ability

Saturday, March 26, 2005

So, should I wear more short skirts to class?

Apparently it'll be good for my career... at least, as far as my teaching evaluations go.

Check it out:
In a well-known study, a professional actor was hired to deliver a non-substantive and contradictory lecture, but in an enthusiastic and authoritative style. The audience, consisting of professional educators, had been told they would be listening to Dr. Myron Fox, an expert on the application of mathematics to human behavior. They were then asked to rate the lecture. Dr. Fox received highly positive ratings, and no one saw through the hoax.(14) Later studies have obtained similar results,(15) showing that audience ratings of a lecture are more strongly influenced by superficial stylistic matters than by content.

Mmm, short skirts.

Further, this may be the only way to be truly impressive and not offensive:
Professors discussing unconventional or controversial ideas may also receive a larger number of very positive student evaluations, relative to other professors whose classes are more bland and, perhaps, boring. In spite of this, there are two reasons why the overall incentive created by SEF will be for the professor to avoid controversy. First, the average rating professors receive is 4 or above on a scale of 1 - 5; therefore, a very hostile student can give a rating three points below the average, whereas a very enthusiastic student can only give a rating one point above the average. Thus, assuming the professor is average, the marginal unusually hostile student has an impact up to three times greater than the marginal unusually enthusiastic student. Second, there is a saying in American politics to the effect that one doesn't gain votes, one only loses them--meaning that it is much easier to earn a voter's opposition through taking substantive stands on issues than it is to gain support by doing so. If a politician says three things that I agree with and one that I disagree with (all concerning emotionally charged issues), I am more likely to vote against him, provided the other candidate did not say anything I disagreed with, even if this was because the latter said very little at all. This explains why American politicians often avoid taking non-trivial stands on issues. A similar principle applies to professors, when their retention is decided in a similar manner: any statement or question a teacher raises that anyone could take offense at will run a risk of evoking hostile reactions from a few students who will regard the statement or question as grounds for a negative evaluation, while there is little chance that even a non-hostile student will take it as grounds for an especially positive evaluation. Thus, it is reasonable to suppose that the degree to which a professor is controversial would be a strong depressive factor on his student evaluations, although this thesis has not yet been subjected to systematic testing.

Of course, I'm reading all this stuff instead of grading as I should be...

jane 10:46 AM [+]

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