A communication professor writes about the joys and challenges of scholarship at a flagship university. Welcome to the life of the mind!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Check out my newest publication on blogging at http://www.igi-global.com/book/blogging-global-society/49568

Sunday, July 24, 2011

missing the guests

Summer is always a challenge.  I have so much to do:  Put the academic year to bed, relax a bit, do any major travel for the year, and of course the big one.  I try to complete 3 or 4 major writing projects before classes begin again in August.  (Do NOT get me started on how civilians think professors have the summer "off."   That's a whole other rant.)  Anyway, the monkey wrench in the works is always the summer guests.  It's the most pleasant distraction I have all year, so of course I want to focus on these good folks who typically travel hundreds of miles to spend a week or so with us at the beach.  This time our best friends from my other home town, that favorite college town, came for TWO weeks and I elected to take the time "off" from writing while they were here, to have a real vacation with them.  How fabulous, right?  We indeed had a blast.  They left yesterday to return to their real world and here I sit with my writing rhythm shot, trying to figure out how to get my compulsive writing urge back in gear.  I remember once telling a colleague that I go on writing "jags" and find it difficult to stop even to eat and shower.  I'd love for one of those to grip me right now.  In reality, the jags are few and far between.  You would think that academic writing would not need inspiration or a muse, like creative writers, but wow, I am in the market for inspiration.  Got any for me?  My next deadline is not until mid-September, so my urge is to kick back, read a novel, to do summer. Yikes!  I gotta get going!


Friday, October 29, 2010

encyclopedia entries-round one

I have somehow gotten through 30 years of tenure-track professoring without once writing an encyclopedia entry.  Then, last year, I purchased the ~Encyclopedia of Communication Theory,~ <http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book232100> and it was love, love, love. I have no idea how I lived without before!!!  And I have author envy, as I wish I had written one of the entries.  Because I did not want that to happen to me again, I jumped on the opportunity to contribute to the new ~Sage Encyclopedia of Gender and Media.~  I am writing the entries on blogging and on Facebook.  They are due November 1.  So I just finished drafting the one on blogging today.  I will edit and revise tomorrow and then hit the Facebook one.  I started with the easier one, as I had a previous essay I could use as a preliminary draft.  It still took several hours to cut it and reframe it, but I have a draft.  Yeah!  Now, the issue is will the next one flow as easily?  We shall see.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

work in spite of it all

This morning, as soon as I was ready to open the laptop, a very loud compressor started screaming outside my sun room.  These housing renovations are really getting to be too much.  After consulting with the workers, I discovered the loud work was almost over, so I was able to eat a quick lunch and work almost 8 hours straight on a rewrite that is due tomorrow.  I am happy to say I have tomorrow to read it through and try to complete all the accompanying forms.  Then one more off the list.  Yeah!  I should be the happiest scholar on earth come November 1, as I will have ~nothing due~ until February 15.  Yeah!!!  I am hoping this means I will be able to complete some serious work on my house and enjoy some R&R time over the holidays.  Fingers crossed.  Meanwhile, I travel a week from today for a 4-day conference.  Yikes!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Let's get the professor to do it.

When I tell friends about things my students say and do, 
they do not believe me.  Truly, I just could not make 
this stuff up.  Yesterday, I received the following e-mail from
one of my over 200 undergraduate students:
Professor Webb,
Is there anyway you can send me a syllabus for this class. 
I have some how lost it and cant seem to locate it on 
Thank You,
Student's First and Last Name
Here is how I responded:
First Name,
Your e-mail did not indicate in which of my classes you are enrolled.   
I am currently teaching two undergraduate courses:
 Communication and Conflict as well as Relational Communication.  I am not teaching the class Interpersonal Communication, to which you refer.  Did you mean to send this e-mail to a different one of your instructors or professors?  Both of my syllabi are available to students enrolled in my classes on BlackBoard -- ergo, my confusion 
in receiving your e-mail.  In case you(a) actually meant this e-mail for me, (b) missed the in-class announcement about the availability of the syllabus on BlackBoard, and (c) you do not know the name of the course in which you are enrolled, I have attached syllabi to both of my courses.  Good Luck!    
Here's another one I got this morning:
Hello Professor Webb,
My name is First and Last Name from your TuTh 
12:30-1:50pm class. I was just emailing you wondering, 
with all the notes that you have given us and  the reading assignments on the syllabus, what is the 
best way to study for the test on tuesday, and which 
concepts are you going to touch on the most on the 
test? Thank you for your time and I will see you for 
the test.
I replied as follows:
First Name:
Please know that the test includes questions from 
every lecture and every assigned chapter.  I 
encourage students to study it all.  Best way to study?  
Memorize definitions and lists.  Know them cold.  
Also, for every idea or concept, be able to ~provide~ 
an original example.  If you can do this, then you 
can apply the concepts and the application 
questions should be a breeze for you.  Good luck!  
I hope you earn a grade of A. 
Cordially, Lynne

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And it's off!

Very few people outside the academy realize that 40% of a research professor's time is assigned to research and publishing.  That's 2 days or 16 hours a week.  How can a professor like me account for such great gobs of time in the annual report unless she sends out manuscripts for review and consideration for publication?  I try to submit a manuscript every 2-3 weeks.  It keeps things moving along.  :-)  There are so many conference deadlines that it is easy to set 2-4 writing goals a year based just on those. Recently, I discovered two free web-services that send me calls for manuscripts at least once a week:  h-net.org <http://www.h-net.org/announce/>  that distributes calls related to the humanities and researchraven.com <www.researchraven.com/> that distributes calls for special issues of health and medical journals. Of course, I also subscribe to CRTNET, the list serve for the National Communication Association. These notices help me locate appropriate outlets for my work. One of the attractive things about the calls is that they are tied to deadlines, and the deadlines motivate me to get things out and under review. Yesterday, I submitted two book chapter proposals for a September 15 deadline. I have a revise and resubmit due on September 29.  I seem to have a deadline almost every two weeks. That's one of the secrets to my writing productivity.  What helps you get the manuscript off?

Monday, September 13, 2010

yet another manuscript

I am just putting the final touches on a book chapter submission on gender and blogging. Hope the editor likes it. In my chapter, I am citing to this blog, so I thought I'd best update with a post. ;-)

While I post on Facebook almost everyday, I am still struggling to understand how to post regularly to a blog. But the struggle is the process and the process and the process is the experience -- so I will soldier on. :-) I searched again today for a blog written by a communication scholar and designed for communication scholars -- a place where we could talk about our struggles as researchers and writers and occasionally as teachers. Maybe I need to turn this blog into that place. Thoughts?

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