Knickers in a twist: Americano in China (2/2)
Tuesday 25 September 2012, 12.57pm HKT
LET’S CONTINUE with our story from four days ago about Mr Chicken Chowmein Fajita mulling over the ins and outs of studying in China for his second degree.
Asking the right people the right questions early
via Advice Doctor
ASKING the right question is the right answer, they say.
My version is right questions + right people + early = half the battle won (or lost).
The right people
It’s only common sense to have immediate and serious discussions with your ‘academic enforcement/parole officers‘ before committing to anything:—
a. plenty of M.A. admissions officers — to see if the subject discipline and Chinese qualifications are officially or legally admissible (as every law student knows the legal retort “We recognise the evidence to be inadmissible”) and viable for employment
b. lots of graduate placement officers — even more important because they’re the front line sweating profusely to place unplaceable graduates with weird, ivory-tower academic degrees (like comparative palaeoanthropolinguistics!) that the normal outside world can’t even spell, let alone heard of
c. some loan officers — to see the average length of time of loan repayment (especially frequency of repayment deferments) for people in your chosen academic discipline: if this doesn’t clue you in on the employability or ‘earnability’ of your intended calling, I don’t know what will
No need to give people a hard time and ambush them with journalistic-style questioning. Be frank and tell them upfront and early what you want to ask, what you need to know, why you want to know, and what the picture is several years down the line for your academic choices. Simple as that.
In law, this a–b–c thing is the process called ‘discovery’ used in civil litigation.
The right questions
Sample questions to ask:—
- is the subject itself formally admissible here for M.A. admission?
- is the China qualification formally admissible or articulated here for the M.A.?
- is admissibility without preparatory study?
- if I were to do this or that instead, will it admissible?
- what’s the job picture like four years down the road with this thing?
- what should I do to make the job picture better or more manageable for myself?
- will your department hire someone with this qualification for a teaching post?
- have you ever hired one before?
- have you been asked this before?
Ouch! Kick the goolies there.
They know you’re UFO extraterrestrial anal-probing them. They’ll hum and har, fudge answers, hedge bets, and quickly show you the door. Then you’ll know your choices are shite.
If you should get the standard-issue brush-off reply — “We’ve no need for such a teaching post because of no course demand” — then you’ll know the true value of your faggoty subject discipline and toilet-ash China qualification.
Seeing that you didn’t come up with those questions and I did, maybe law school for me wasn’t useless after all. Pretty sure International Racist Relations minoring in Business Gouging Studies might be too challenging for you already. Stick to Comparative Paleoanthropolinguistics — less damage to yourself (and us).
Ask questions, but remember not to be an askhole too.
I rest my case.
WOFTAM 4 (no change)
Practicality 1½ (change +½ point)
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