Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks Again

It is the time of year to give thanks.  And again, I have much to be thankful for.  Given the change coming up, let me focus on my thanks on professional stuff.
  • I am thankful for my new opportunity at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.  I look forward to working with a bigger crew of IR types and having more interactions with the policy community.
  • I am thankful, as I get ready to move on, for all of the wonderful research assistants and teaching assistants I have had at McGill.  They made me a far more productive person than I would have been without them (of course, I would have had more time to do that work if I was not reading heaps of dissertations and master's projects).  
  • I am grateful for ten years or so of great undergraduate students.  The folks at McGill have always been sharp, interesting, and engaged.  I will miss them very much.
  • I am very grateful for the support I have received over the years from my fellow Associate Professors.  They proved to be voices of reason on a regular basis, whether I listened to them or not, and whether the Fulls listened to them or not.  Once they become Fulls and Chairs, the department will benefit greatly.  
  • I am very glad to have played a small role in the hiring of great folks who have been starting out on the academic careers.
  • I am very thankful that the staff folks at McGill have mostly not been on strike, as they do great work and provide tremendous cheer when they are around.  The place is not only less productive without them but also less fun.
  • I am thankful to all of the agencies that have funded my work, allowing me to pursue my curiosity to where it has led, including a couple of different continents.  And much thanks to the Council of Foreign Relations for the fellowship that put me in the Pentagon, an experience that continues to shape what I teach, what I am researching, and even my aspirations and ambitions.
  • I am very, very grateful to all the folks in the profession who made my conferences more interesting and fun, my work better from their constructive criticism, my students happier by employing them, and so on.  I joke all the time that this is a social science with the emphasis on the social, but it is very much the case that we depend on each other.  I appreciate these folks not just as I anticipate a big hunk of turkey and yams and pie tomorrow but all the time.  
  • And I owe a very big debt of gratitude to the folks at UCSD--the profs who shaped how I think and the grad students who kept me going during the program and since then.

3 comments:

Joel Kveton said...

You possibly should have gotten one of your RAs to look over that third point. There's a verb missing!(get it?)

Anonymous said...

It seems as though in your point, you find the current Fulls and Chairs lacking...in vision? Risk-taking?

I've often wondered the same thing; despite the standard assumption that the Chairs are the cutting edge or wise Professors, I wonder how much easier it was to get tenure-track in the 60s-80s than it has been recently, and what means for research etc. The younger profs seem to be the "super-stars"

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that scholarly productivity is necessarily a prerequisite for being a good Chair, actually--unless one somehow believes that academic output correlates with diplomatic abilities, administrative skills, or the ability to protect/enlarge department budgets. (Personally, i see no evidence of that.)