Saturday, September 02, 2006

New uses for grad students. . .

. . . as seen at the Melbourne Goldschmidt.

1. Babysitter.
I saw one mid-career academic telling the kids to behave, be quiet, and ask her grad student if they needed anything, shortly before the professor walked into a session. The poor grad student was just trying to sink into her laptop in a dark corner behind the kids. Imagine having to sort out crayons during your first chance at meeting the experts in your field and lining up a post-doc.

2. Session chair.
Obviously, you have to wonder why a session is being put together if nobody actually wants to convene it. But if you get stuck with the job, skyving and leaving your first year student at the helm is a bit rude to the presenters who submitted to the conference wit the expectation that someone would care. Especially if the student hasn’t yet learned how to successfully disguise boredom.

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