March 19, 2004

Mansfield Park Poll

Continuing with the Austen reread theme (because this academic/adjunct stuff is bringing me down):

As an RC (though admittedly a sadly lapsed one), I've always been more than a little bit weirded out by the marriage of Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram. Hello? Not only were they first cousins, but they were raised in the same home, where they called each other brother and sister. Perhaps an impediment as far as the fourth degree was a tad harsh, but I must say I think the Church was onto something with those consanguinity laws.*

It's no use wishing for another ending, of course, and in lit. crit. terms, I'm sure such reification of fictional constructs must be deemed hopelessly naive. Nevertheless. What if Fanny had relented and taken Henry Crawford on board, thus clearing the way for a union between Edmund and Mary? Wouldn't both of our moral exemplars have been better off marrying outside the immediate family?

The not so subtextual subtext to this poll: is Fanny Price an appalling little milksop, or the fit and proper center of a properly centered moral universe? (or, to put it another way: is Mary Crawford a serpent in the garden, an actual force for positive evil, or just a slightly racier version of Elizabeth Bennett: EB on steroids, say?)

*Legal beagle question of the day: What kind of civil laws now take the place of the canon law in the area of consanguinity? I know there must be laws, I would assume they would vary from state to state. Not something I've ever really thought of before -- I suppose because, well, it's never occurred to me to want to marry one of my first cousins. (Note to singleton blogreaders: I do have a lot of first and second cousins, of both male and female persuasion, and some of them are still up for grabs. If you're over 21, have never been convicted of a felony, and are willing to relocate to Canada, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do**).

**You know I'm only joking, right?

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 09:04 PM | Comments (18)

February 08, 2004

Poll: Your academic position

I tried this one before, but something went wrong with the script. This time I've used the CHNM poll builder, a nifty little tool that is not as flexible as, but definitely more reliable. By not as flexible, I mean that, for example, there is room for only five possible options. Also, there's a strict character limit for each option, which is why Part-Time and Full-Time have been shortened to PT and FT respectively. Obviously "contingent" covers a range of employment situations (and hides a multitude of sins). Please select the response that comes closest.

And since no IA poll would be complete without offering readers the chance to divulge potentially sensitive information on consumer preferences:

If you wish, please indicate (in the comments) your favourite brand of coffee and/or tea.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 09:49 AM | Comments (65)

November 30, 2003

Poll: Academic Identity

The idea for this poll was suggested by reader Another Damned Medievalist, in connection with the Tenure, Toddlers and Timing discussion (for more on this theme, see Monks and Debutantes and The Academic Artist at Apt 11D (permalinks bloggered: scroll down), The Conundrum of Tenure and Toddlers at Daniel Drezner, and More on Toddlers (Daycare and Feminism) at Crooked Timber.

If you hold an academic position, which of the following comes closest to describing your academic identity? Please feel free to explain and elaborate (and even to pontificate) in the comments section.

If you wish, please also indicate the dominant colour(s) in your work wardrobe.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 10:19 PM | Comments (16)

November 08, 2003

Help me design my next poll

My recent "Are You (or Have You Ever Been) an Academic" poll indicates that 66.5% of the readers of this weblog are currently academics, 22.5% are former academics, 6.3% have never been academics, and 4.7% agree with the statement "I am not and never will be an academic."* Meanwhile, my controversially titled "Gender Poll" suggests that almost two-thirds of the readers are male, while just over a third are female (4 readers, or 1.7% of respondents, selected neither "male" nor "female" but "other;" I believe at least 2 of the 4 were protest votes).

I've also learned that when it comes to shampoo, many readers of this weblog just buy what's on sale; and, more broadly, that a surprising number of readers are, if not eager then at least willing to talk about personal grooming products.

Next up: I'd like to run a poll on deodorant preferences academic position. Something along the lines of, If you are currently an academic, what is your rank/title/position?

But how to design the poll? Though I don't aspire to anything that might be described as "scientific" and I wouldn't pretend to have a research design or methodology (see below*), I would need to come up with a manageable number of possible responses. Now, if I wanted to keep things simple, I could have five options: graduate student; adjunct; tenure-track professor; tenured professor; and other.

Problem is, there are an awful lot of potential categories that might fall under the heading "Other." Postdocs, for example. And visiting assistant professor, which designation seems to have at least two different meanings. Then, too, "adjunct" can refer to several different types of position: though many think of it as temporary and part-time, there's that permatemp phenomenon to consider, and of course many adjuncts work the equivalent (or more) of a full-time teaching load. And come to think of it, maybe "adjunct" is not the best term: perhaps I should say "contingent" or even "transient"? And in terms of the tenurable, is it worth getting into the distinctions between assistant, associate and full professor? Should there be a special category for department chairs?

It gets complicated. So maybe I should just list the four most popular brands of deodorant, with a fifth option for "other brand"?

I could hire an expert, of course, but let's get serious: I'm not quite that serious. Still, I would like to get at least a general sense of where/how in the academy my academic readers are situated.

So I'm soliciting the advice of my readers, academic, nonacademic, expert, and nonexpert alike: please help me design this poll. How many categories, and what should they be? A couple of things to keep in mind. First, I'm particularly interested in the nontenurable versus tenurable distinction. Second, the absolute limit is 20 possible responses (that's all blogpoll can handle), and I suspect anything over 10 might prove unmanageable.

*Though I'm no social scientist, I do realize that the poll doesn't really indicate what I've said it does. If I wanted to be more accurate I would have to say, 'Of those readers who were willing to respond to the poll'...And then, of course, it would be useful to know just what percentage of readers did indeed respond. But just play along, okay?

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 01:11 PM | Comments (16)

October 30, 2003

Are You (or Have You Ever Been) an Academic?

I won't attempt to define "academic." I believe the courts have ruled that this question is best left to a jury, who must determine any given case with reference to "contemporary community standards."

In a future poll, I'd like to get a sense of how many self-identified academics are grad students, how many are adjunct faculty members, how many are tenure-track faculty members, and so on.

If you wish, please supplement your response to this poll by indicating (in the comments) your favourite shampoo and (if applicable) your favourite conditioner.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 10:09 PM | Comments (32)

October 29, 2003

Gender Poll

Given the recent interest in women and the blogosphere (for two rather different approaches to this theme, see 1). the new group blog; and 2). James Joyner's Blog Chicks Pix), I'm curious about the gender breakdown of this blog's readership.

Future polls will seek to gather detailed information on political affiliation, income level, and toothpaste preferences.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at 10:23 AM | Comments (48)