Questions from you, the reader

There comes a time in every blog’s life when the blog owners ask for questions from you, the reader.

We’re accepting questions.  Want advice?  We’ll totally give it (disclaimers applying, of course).  Always wondered about something deep with money or finances or the economy etc?  We may answer it in a future post.  Want to know specific things about us?  We will totally answer them in a cagey yet mildly amusing fashion.  Want to know if your taste in fantasy novels sucks or not?  We can tell you!

Anything you’ve been dying to know?  Or just kind of mildly wondering?

Ask the Grumpies is open for business.  (Not to be confused with our currently bi-monthly feature, Googled Questions answered.)

Leave your questions in the comments, or email us at grumpyrumblings at gmail.

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11 Responses to “Questions from you, the reader”

  1. Rumpus Says:

    What are your thoughts on trends in the steampunk genre? The Parasol Protectorate is one of many exploring steampunk (Behemoth, Earthshaker, etc)…which from what I can tell has been somewhat hiding in the wings since…Jules Verne?…no, probably not punk-y. Anyway, it seems like there are a lot of steampunk books out these days (I’m ignoring vampire books because I’m not really looking for romance-novels-in-disguise). And yet my understanding is that steampunk is a look backwards combined with some spunky protagonists fighting the establishment. Is that close to the right definition? If so are current offerings following in that vein or are they really just adventure novels in a different setting?

    So I know what being a professor at this large state university in the school of engineering is like. I need to bring in money ($200k+) or I’m deadwood and I don’t get tenure. Everything else (student evals, service, even papers to some extent) is extraneous. And writing a book chapter or getting a teaching award may well be the kiss of death because it shows a lack of focus. What’s it like in other disciplines? Do you really not need to beg anyone for grant money? What are the pressures that drive your time then? I feel like this is a game of Career, that old boardgame…where at the beginning you picked what you needed to get to win so that different people were striving for different things.

    So you blame the patriarchy. I think I get that, even in my mostly befuddled state. I dislike unjust treatment, especially when people are making it unjust. I still don’t get what to do about it. What do you do to make things better? And where do you draw the line between helping things be more just versus becoming labeled and then disregarded?

    What are the specific steps you take with a student that falls asleep in class? Currently sleeping students are probably the second-most disjoint part of my class. It’s usually just one or two per semester, but I think my technique isn’t quite right because they keep doing it (and it’s not due to the time the class is scheduled).

    Oh, and my most-disjoint part of class is after I work a problem and need to evaluate whether the class understands. Currently I look at their faces for signs of confusion (or sleep). Then I cold-call 2-3 people (out of 25-35) and ask them to self-identify if they understand or want to talk about it or want to work another problem. Then I ask the class “are we good?” And I’m not getting a good understanding of what level of understanding the class has. These problems take 10-15 minutes each, so I need to get a good evaluation before deciding whether to work another. What do you do to evaluate class understanding on the fly? (Or do you?)

    What’s the oddest question a student has asked you?

    Can you make new non-parent friends as a parent? It seems harder. What about vice versa, can you make parent friends as a non-parent or even as a single person?

    I’d ask something about money, but all I can think of is the recession and it’s seeming unending nature…I’m not sure if that can of worms needs to be opened.

    You like pictures of octopi. Is there a consideration of buying one? Or is that too expensive, too much work, too cruel, whatever? It creeps me out how well they can camouflage…and that video of one grabbing a shark was freaky. I’m not sure I’d let one in the house, I hear some like to play pranks.

    Did you notice that the movie Gremlins could be an allegory about cat ownership if you replace the mogwi with kittens and consider “feeding them after midnight” to mean not spay/neutering and just letting the population grow beyond the bounds of the environment to sustain them?

  2. First Gen American Says:

    Oh man, I was just going to post up an ask Babci post. I probably still will.

    My question for folks who are smart is this: Do you ever wonder what life would have been like doing a completely different career, or going to a totally different discipline. Do you think you’ll pursue a second career at some point? What would it be in? With average intelligence people, maybe they don’t have those options…they know what they’re good at and they have to go a certain way, but with smart people, the options are limitless. I almost went into medicine. I often wonder what my life would be like and who I’d be married to if at all. I think my standard of living would be about the same, but I’m not sure about quality of life and if it’d be better or worse.

    You say you want to be famous on the internet, but would you really like fame in real life? Why or why not? Ie..if your blog hit the big time, would you want to be outed?

  3. Cloud Says:

    Have you seen this study? http://people.virginia.edu/~am5by/fertilitytiming_sept2009.pdf

    And, more importantly, what do you think of it?

  4. bogart Says:

    Ooh, I just thought of one: how much do you need to retire? I’m not interested in dollar amounts (well, not mostly), more in % of current income or some other generalizeable formulaic approach.

  5. Bryan at Pinch that Penny! Says:

    Is it generally one or the other of you that comments on my site? I’d love to be able to reply more accurately than just “nicoleandmaggie”. :)

  6. Round-em Up- 9/30 Freaky Tomato - mikeandmollyshouse.com Says:

    [...] I always love Grumpy Rumblings’ comments!  Nic & Mags (cause in my mind they are my besties, and as such I can make cute nicknames for [...]


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