When to go up to full (at my R1 university)

According to the when to go up for full workshop I attended several years back and according to the full professors I’ve talked to at various places there’s a checklist of things that basically boils down to:  Be twice as much of whatever you were at tenure.

Have twice as many quality-adjusted publications.  (I exceeded this 5 years ago)

Have twice as amazing service responsibilities by, for example, being on boards of journals and/or serving as an associate editor of a journal.  (Hit this 5+ years ago)

Be more well-known in the field, as evidenced by, for example, being on conference program committees, hosting conferences, etc. (So many years ago)

Take more of a leadership role in service by heading committees etc. instead of just serving on them.  University service, not just department service.  Etc. (Soooo many years ago)


When not to go up for full:  5 years after that (unless you’ve really put it off that long, in which case, going up right now is better than waiting even longer)

Yes, I checked all those boxes 5 years ago and for whatever reason just did not go up.  That’s 5 years and a bizarre new research path that has to be explained and a letter writer found for.  More PhD students whose outcomes have to be found (thankfully NSF makes you list them so I didn’t have to do as much digging as I otherwise might have).  More grants whose exact dollar amounts and own contributions and grant numbers have to be found and entered into forms.  And I have the same word limit that I would have had if I’d gone up 5 years ago.  I can barely fit the journal names into the space they give, much less coherently explain all of my different research agendas.

I delayed because I didn’t want more service responsibilities.  But I got them ANYWAY.  They just would have been different service responsibilities.  I delayed because I’d been promised a money chair available only to Associate professors, but there was a delay and it ended up being given to someone else instead.  And, since I would have been the *only* full professor without a money chair, it’s quite possible I could have gotten a different one if I’d been full.  I delayed because it’s easier to move as an associate instead of a full, but I’m stuck here until DC1 finishes high school now anyway, and now it’s embarrassing how long I’ve been associate.  None of these were good reasons.

If applicable, what are the rules for promotion at your institution?  Academic readers: Have you gone up for full?  When do you plan to go up?  When do people say to go up?

Link Love

Miser mom with one of those sad ironic stories.

This season of Tiny Secret Whispers seems to have wrapped up.  (Be sure to start with the oldest recap, not the most recent– the playlist is in backwards order of what you would want, I think.)

Hey!  Did you notice we need more ask the grumpies questions?!?  Put yours in yesterday’s post!

Soliciting more Ask the Grumpies!

Ask the grumpies is a feature we run almost every Friday (sometimes we post less-popular but still fascinating google questions). You ask, we answer, or we punt and ask the grumpy nation to answer. In any case, you get the benefit of not only our wisdom but the collective wisdom of the far wiser grumpy nation.

What questions do you have for us? What can we bring clarity or further confusion to? What can the grumpy nation ponder and discuss on your behalf? Ask in the comments below or email us at grumpyrumblings at gmail dot com.

Unemployment baking

DH has slowed down and moved onto other hobbies, possibly because it’s gotten a lot hotter.  But here’s baking from the last quarter.   There’s also some non-unemployment baking represented as DC1 (who is not in the labor force) got a baking book from the Easter bunny and has been going through it for hir weekly required cooking.  Also I (employed) made a birthday cake for DH.

White cake with coconut flakes and some kind of candied citrus bits

Coco cabana from Chocolat.  I don’t think there’s any chocolate or cocoa inside.

Some kind of muffin? I didn’t take notes, so I’m betting banana. We’ve been eating a lot of different kinds of banana bread because the grocery people are bad at picking out bananas for us.

This was some kind of savory bean pie from Home Baking.

DC1 made this: Fudge Pie from Help! My apartment has a (either kitchen or dining room, I’m not sure which) by Kevin and Nancy Mills. Although their meals are great, their desserts only tend to be ok and this one was agonizingly sweet.

Pain de Campagne

Gingered Pear Pizza from Williams Sonoma Pizza. Tasted better than it looks!

DC1 made English Walnut Pie from Help! While sweet, this wasn’t as over-sweet as the fudge pie.

Chocolate Banana Bread from Cook’s Country

I made this pineapple upside down cake! (I think it’s American Classics– definitely one of the Americas Test Kitchen recipes. I use pineapple juice in place of milk for a little extra pineapple flavor.)

DC1 made this Roman Style Foccacia from hir The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchens. Zie put maybe too much salt on top in some places, but it was easily brushed off. It did not last long.

Some kind of bread. I wonder if this is one of the breads that had malt in it from The Bread Book. Malt makes yeast breads super fluffy– it’s pretty amazing.

Almond Milk Bread from Home Baking. These were good, but not very almondy.

Some kind of chocolate cake from Chocolot. There’s a couple of layers of marzipan in there. It was good.

DC1 made these spiced apple muffins from ATK The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

Some kind of bread… DH has been making a lot of random sour doughs without a recipe, so maybe this is one?

DC1 made these banana and chocolate chip mini muffins from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

Bolos Levedos from Cooks Country. They were good, but I don’t think we’ll make them again.

Pane Casalingo from The Bread Book. Isn’t it beautiful?

Some kind of fruit pizza from the Williams Sonoma Pizza book

DH added malt powder to his grandma’s rolls. This picture does not even begin to express how enormous the usually big but now gargantuan rolls are. Very fluffy!

DC1 made these whole wheat raspberry muffins from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. They have a *lot* of crusty sugar on top.

We had a bunch of egg whites left from something else, so DH made this White spice pound cake. It was very good.

… I don’t remember

These beautiful scones from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs were inedible because DC1 used baking soda in place of baking powder. Lesson learned.

These beautiful scones from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs were amazing– DC1 used baking powder correctly. I’m more than a little proud that DC1 decided to try these again after the previous week’s disaster. They were so good that they didn’t even need jam, though of course we all put jam on our second.

This is a random enormous sourdough that DH made without a recipe. Regular size honeydew melon provided for comparison purposes.

How to run a meeting

I hate meetings, so I run short efficient ones where everyone leaves knowing exactly what they have agreed to do and when to do it by.

My meetings method is a combination of middle-school cooperative learning when I was always the de facto group leader via being the nominal “secretary” (regardless of which white boy was the nominal leader) plus the meetings chapter from Getting Things Done.

Here are my basic tenets (I think these are all from GTD):

1.  Don’t have a meeting if you don’t have an agenda.

2.  Follow the agenda.

3.  Don’t leave the meeting without action items.

If you don’t know what the meeting is going to be about, just don’t.  Don’t have a meeting.  You have to be able to write down the items you need to discuss.  Circulate them before the meeting and add anything anybody else needs.

Don’t let the meeting get derailed.  Stick to the agenda.  When you start to stray from the agenda, note it, and note that you can add whatever it is to the next agenda if need be.

Here is the important part:  At the end of the meeting, go through every single person and ask what their action items are and what the timeline is.  This is great because a lot of the time everyone will assume someone agreed to do something, and they may have even agreed to do it… but without this last step, they will simply forget.  Or they will mean to do it and just keep putting it off until they forget.  And then you will discuss it again at the next meeting, wasting time.  Again.  The other nice thing about going through everybody is that if someone doesn’t have an action item and another person has a ton of action items, the overloaded person will feel ok about giving some up and the underloaded person often feels guilty and will volunteer.  This doesn’t always happen, but for your people who don’t want to be perceived as bad people but also don’t generally volunteer, it’s nice.

Then after the meeting, send your minutes or a summary of the meeting as you understand it and remind people of the action items they agreed to and their deadlines.  They won’t always do it, but you’ll get the majority rather than the minority of people actually doing things they volunteered for.

The part that is from all that irritating cooperative learning:

If you’re in person, write on the chalkboard or on a word document on an overhead the things you’re discussing as you’re brainstorming (or you can use concept map software, you do do you) to help organize the discussion and to keep you from straying too far from the point.  A big benefit of the board is that it helps guide discussion and you can ask questions and write down people’s answers to help facilitate.  You can take a picture of the board after.   (Why yes, I am a fantastic discussion leader in class.)

If you’re on zoom or another online thing, use a google document and make sure everyone has access.  Being able to edit a google document of the agenda together is fantastic, and it’s easy for people to see what you discussed for each items and to claim action items.  You can use different color to group things or make them stand out.  One of my colleagues I’m on a grant with uses the google slides shareable version of powerpoint instead which is interesting.

So… it’s that simple.  And definitely allow your meeting to end early if you get through the agenda.  Do not have a norm where the meeting time is filled up no matter what you’re talking about.

A few other pointers:

Sometimes it’s good to call for a preliminary vote that doesn’t count to see where everyone is thinking when a discussion starts running in circles (for a set of job candidates, for example).  Sometimes it will turn out that the votes are so uneven you can just stop at that point.

You can also call votes about whether people want to to stop a discussion and do the actual voting or if they want to continue the discussion.  Sometimes it’s just one person who is dragging things out and they’ve said their piece and won’t let go but nothing they say is going to change anybody’s minds because they’re not saying anything they haven’t already said.

If you’re not the person in charge of the meeting (say you’re at a full-day “retreat”), you can still take charge the way I have done– by asking if you can go up to the (chalk/white/key) board and “take notes” to help people organize their thinking, asking questions to help know what to write down on the board, but actually guiding the discussion.  I hate doing this, but I hate pointless long meetings more, so…

I always start repeated meetings on time whether everyone is there or not (and ask if I can start early if everyone is early).  This keeps you from having that thing where everyone shows up five minutes later every week.  If you have that one person who is always 5 min late, they stay being 5 min late every week instead of eventually becoming 20 min late, and all the people who want to get done will show up on time instead of 5-10 minutes late etc.  (This is especially true when the meeting is over before the late person gets there because you’re that efficient.)

How do you keep meetings short?  Any tips or pointers?

Link love

I spent most of the week working on a book review (unpublished, unpaid) for a prestigious organization for a book by a prestigious committee that kind of slap-dashed everything together at the last minute, because that’s my life… glamorous anonymous service. I also watched a lot of jetpens videos because apparently that’s what I most want to do when I’m taking a break between sections.  One of these days I may have more links again…

An interactive guide to ambiguous grammar.

Ask the readers: What to do about the half an eyebrow that doesn’t show up on zoom

Dear Grumpy Nation,

Over the past couple months, half of one of my eyebrows has gone from a brown/blonde mix to a white/blonde mix.  In person it doesn’t look too weird, but on zoom it very much looks like I have only one and a half eyebrows.

What would you do (especially given I’m not going to get this professionally treated– at home remedies only)?  Please provide brand suggestions!

I looked on the internet and Google was overwhelming with suggestions and the first few I looked at got low reviews on Amazon so I gave up and figured you all would have better advice.

I own no beauty products currently and really never have.  (When I’m going on TV it’s always a huge scramble to get make-up done.  I hate tv.)  Also if people are commonly allergic to a product, so am I (I’m usually ok with things marked hypoallergenic, and the biggest problems seem to be with scented things).


Grumpy #1

New-to-me French Toast Technique #LifeChanging

The Easter Bunny brought cookbooks and DC2 has started making something every week along with DC1.

DC2’s cookbook is from America’s Test Kitchen and is called, “My first cookbook.”  Technically it is hir second cookbook, but it is the first one zie has used with minimal parental help.  Zie has made ricotta toast and avocado toast and chocolate dipped things.  Next week zie is planning an oven roasted bbq chicken and broccoli one sheet meal, which we’re excited about (DC2 loves broccoli and dislikes cheese… I don’t understand but more power to hir).

This week’s was a revelation to me.

So basically the idea is you spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.  Then you mix up the custard/egg stuff.  Then… get this… you POUR THE CUSTARD INTO THE JELLYROLL PAN (!) (!) (!)  Then, working quickly, you put 8 pieces of bread into the jelly roll pan to cover it.  Then, starting from the top you turn them over.  Then you wait a minute.

After a minute, the egg mixture has completely been soaked up into the bread(!!!!!!)  This is AMAZING.  When I first saw the instructions, I was certain this was going to be a nightmare to clean up after with egg baked into the pan, but it wasn’t!

Then you bake it for 10 min on the bottom rack and then you broil it on the top rack for like a minute until it’s brown on top.  And you end up with perfect French toast. It’s not soggy in the middle. The bread is not dry.  It’s not burned. It just works!

Here’s a version of their recipe online (since I’m not going to violate copyright).  (But I will say you need another egg and 1/3 cup more milk if you use whole wheat or multi-grain bread instead of white bread.  And their recipe really needs nutmeg, that they did not list.)  If that link doesn’t work, here’s the google cache.

How do you make French toast?  Am I the only person who did this the fussy way with dipping and frying and occasionally baking after?

In which I collect things

As recent readers are aware, I recently swapped out desks.  Doing so gave me a chance to sort through my top desk drawer.

Drawer packed full of pens

This doesn’t really give an idea of the sheer *depth* of pens. I cannot fit the loose pens in the back into one fistful. That is at least two fistfuls of pens, not counting the pens in the front or the ones in packaging.

It turns out that I have a lot of pens.  I mean a LOT.  Jetpens during the pandemic is definitely part of the problem.  Trying to find the perfect pen for Postcards to Voters (Pilot Multiball, btw), and also starting a paper planner on nice Moleskine paper, these also contributed.

Pens I actually use (mostly just the Clena and Pilot G2, but the rest are useful for occasional planner stuff).

But before pens, it was hand sanitizer.  And masks.  I have more of either than I will ever use (though I did manage to give away a lot of the excess masks– I hope fancy hand sanitizer will still work as a class prize Fall semester…).

Lots of hand sanitizer.

Remember the ‘tizer.

I think I just have a problem!

I was talking to my friend who has a candle problem and asked what I should collect now that I owned all the hand sanitizer in the world and certainly did not need any more pens (and I’m allergic to candles and a lot of kinds of makeup).  It turns out that at some point in my life I have collected almost everything she suggested.

Purses:  that stopped in college when I lost all my IDs by leaving my purse in a classroom.
Shoes: I have not collected these but I am super picky and have to try them on.
Cat Decor: I did this most of elementary/middle school.
Video games: DH collects these and has more than he will ever be able to play.
Jewelry: I stopped this in middle school after my sister destroyed all of my necklaces and I was sad.
Dolls: My sister collected these. I had two.  This was another thing of mine she occasionally destroyed.
Stuffed animals: DC2 collects these.
Nail Polish: I had my phase in middle school.
Fish: I cannot keep anything alive that does not tell me when it is hungry. See also plants.
Actual cats: See Cat Saga.
Socks: This one is tempting and I’ve sort of started doing it. The problem is that I don’t actually wear socks much– I’m either in tights or sandals most of the time. I rarely wear tennis shoes or hiking boots, which are my only shoes that actually accommodate socks.

It’s not about things, per-se, though it has been things during the pandemic to a much greater extent than usual.

I just like sets.  I like completing things.  I like trying things and trying them all.  I don’t actually need to own all the pens, but I wanted to try them out.  Libraries are great for this– I can try books and then only buy the ones I really liked and will read again.

We go through cookbooks systematically from start to finish. During the pandemic at the grocery story I will try one of every kind of a category. Like Fizzy water or chocolate with almonds or fancy ice creams. Sometimes I’ll just type in a word in the search like “pistachio” or “mango” and just get all the random stuff that comes up. Or like, “German” which is how I found my new favorite brand of muesli (that doesn’t come up when you look up Muesli because it’s spelled differently!).  I’ve tried most of the non-candy stuff at nuts.com (and pretty much all of the chocolate candy with nuts or fruit in it).

It is probably better to stick with gazingus pins that are edible or returnable.  To complete collections of experiences instead of things that clutter or drain the pocketbook.

I woke up with the certainty that I should start collecting cute paperclips.

In the mean time, the kids get to take fancy pens to school next Fall and I won’t be fussed if they lose them.

What do you collect?  Do you systematically go through anything?  Have these habits changed throughout the pandemic for you?

Link love