The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, June 05, 2023



Not really a "normal" task, but one I have done involves hiring.  Sometimes it is stressful (as with the hiring of adjunct faculty in the Department Chair Position).  But, not always..... currently, one of my grants has within it funds to offer paid positions ("stipends") to a trio of undergraduate students who are interested in being involved with my research team.  I have posted these positions at the U and have had a sizeable response in terms of applicants.  I am now in the process of interviewing the applicants.  

It is quite nice to meet, chat with, and interview these students.... some of whom I know from a class or two they have taken from me (If they took one of my BIG classes, I will at least know them at least by face.  If they took one of my smaller sized classes, I will additionally know more about them.).  However, a sizable number of applicants have never had me for a class (yet), and are either very interested in my research, or interested in the modest stipend, or both.  

In my lab, most of the UNDERGRADUATES are volunteers who are seeking to gain research experience for some facet related to their future career.  But, in the way I wrote these stipend positions into the grant, the undergraduate students I hire will become "Student Research Leaders" where they will help me and others in the lab with organizing and communicating with the different research teams... as well as be part of one or more research teams.  And, in the letters of recommendation I often write for a plethora of my students, these will have the designation of having been a "Student Research Leader" embedded within the letter I write for them in addition to any potential co-author status they might earn as well.   

While it is fun to interview them, it is often hard to choose the ones who get the "stipend".  There are often so many eager applicants.... all hoping, that it is challenging.  I also require a writing sample from each applicant, in addition to their resume.  But, during the interview.... if they seem to have promise.... I let them know that while I have only a limited number of stipend positions.... that if they ARE NOT selected for a stipend position, that I would be happy to have them join the team in a volunteer fashion if they would like to do so. 

  • Because it was Monday, and I was not sure how many miles I could get in on the big teaching day of Tuesday...... I ran 16.6 miles (~27 km) today.  I am a bit sore, but not too bad.  I am wondering if I might be able to screw up the courage to take a stab at doing a true marathon run (26.2 miles; 42 km) at least one time this Summer?  If I were to be able to do that.... I would be pretty damn amazed.  I have been contemplating trying it.  
  • I am reading and learning about the "Circle of Fifths" which is a music concept related to composition.  It is fascinating and is giving me a lot of food for thought in terms of some music activities I would like to pursue. 
  • Pipes?  What can I say?  They never leave my mind, and the memories of their beauty and charm help me to fall asleep at night.  And, reliving the memory of the perfect experience at Iwan Ries too... just so vivid and pleasant.


Blogger Liz Hinds said...

I can imagine that choosing the right persons would be a difficult job.

Monday, 05 June, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

You seem like a kind and compassionate interviewer. You will have tough decisions to make!

Monday, 05 June, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have been partially involved in two hirings: one for a nursery school teacher for our church, and one for a headship position in our board of ed. I did not Ike the process because I felt badly for those who were not successful. There’s often not much difference to choose from, but a decision has to be made,

Tuesday, 06 June, 2023  

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