Posts tagged Vanity Press

Reality Leadership and Helping Baghdad

 

 Our university schedule is coming to a screeching halt; we are sooo ready for the end of THIS semester.  Yesterday I got an e-mail from a former student of mine named Baghdad, he showed himself to be a very conscientious student when learning English.  However, I might add, I didn’t work at all with his writing.  This is his e-mail to me:  “I need your help!  I am going to try to win the scholarship of _____ company…I wrote about me for this response.  You cant imagine about my writing skills.  It’s awfull!! But I tried to write and it looks like this (Please, could you check it, correct huge mistakes and add something else to support my article):”

 

I was more than happy to help Baghdad and he was right, there were many errors such as:  “But let’s talk about myself.  At university I am one of the best student.” Once I cleaned up those minor errors I sent it back to him.  I am only too eager to help my Kazakh students to achieve the highest possible awards and scholarships they can attain while they are still young and energetic.  Baghdad had wanted to go to the U.S. this summer but his parents would not permit him to go.  Thus, whatever opportunities avail themselves here in Kazakhstan; I want to help him and others like him.

 

Thinking about leadership at our university I came across this quote by businessman and author Max De Pree.  His leadership moved his company near the top of the Fortune 500, he wrote:  “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor.  That sums up the progress of an artful leader.” I’m not so convinced that many leaders at the top of our administration have this ability to deal with reality or to be gracious as a servant-leader.  However, I believe some of them are “artful” in other regards.  I won’t go there by what I mean with artfully “crafty.”

 

Reality at our English Language Center is that many Kazakh teachers are working hard to teach their Kazakh students research methods.  Sadly, they themselves have not been taught how to write papers according to APA style.  What was rather vexing for some writing teachers was to get a Faculty Evaluation Form that would list their teaching load and then the next page was to fill out their “Research and Scholarly Activities.”  Reality is that many of our writing teachers have a B.A. and have never written a journal article or authored a research book or edited one.  They have not given a conference proceedings paper or done a business case studies.  For each of these they are to award points for being published by an international publisher.  For example, 3-4 points for a textbook and 4-8 points for a research book. (Maximum points for full time teachers is 30 points).

 

One can receive 15 points for “Administrative Contributions and management participation.”  All this is itemized out to see if the teacher would be awarded a promotion considering all the abovementioned categories.  Sending this Faculty Evaluation form to our Language Center is NOT dealing with REALITY!!!  Technically, the Language Center has long been thought to be the “service arm” to the rest of the university and not outfitted to do research.   Neither is our administration dealing with reality when this form is sent to many of the “Ph.D. professors” who try to pass off scholarly journal articles and award themselves points that clearly would not pass muster in a university in the West.  Such as, (fill in the blank with a Third World Country):  _________Journal of Development;  Journal of the Asiatic Society of __________; BIISS Journal (don’t know what those letters stand for but that is how it was listed). 

Seeing full professors put down Vanity Press publications is another favorite of mine when I see what passes for “scholarly work” such as University Press of America.  That is fine if you are proud of being from America but many of these professors are NOT from America!!!  Don’t even get me started on website publications that are passed off as peer-reviewed and scholarly!!!  Unfortunately, some of these professors will grab for promotional points any way they can.

 

If someone from the West reads what I am writing, they would not believe what passes for REALITY at our institution of “higher learning” in Kazakhstan.  But then again, I fear that not much learning is happening in the West anymore and that is why I am very eager to watch “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” once I get back to the U.S. this summer, the Lord willing.

 

 

 

Comments (1) »

A Serpent in the City of Apples

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen. 3:1-4

 

The Serpent was wily enough to misinterpret the one law that was set down for the first pioneer settlers of this planet Earth besides telling the First Couple to be fruitful and multiply.  So too do misinterpretations of RULE OF LAW abound on our campus that was formerly a Communist party school which happened to be anti-family, anti-freedom and anti-truth.  The serpent still prowls around our campus that is supposedly the Tree of Knowledge in the City of Apples and the rest of Kazakhstan. 

 

I believe the serpent doesn’t want anyone to know how to cite other people’s research correctly [better known as plagiarism] and also the serpent is VERY into Vanity Press publications and publishing “scholarly articles” on the Internet.  Unfortunately for him and others of his ilk, there is good reason to have one’s writings peer-reviewed and not put on the Web that might be here today and gone tomorrow.  The serpent will ultimately be stamped out and crushed under the foot of Truth.

 

Perhaps there is good reason for the Kazakhs, in the City of Apples, and in the rest of Kazakhstan to be skeptical of change, especially rapid change according to Mukhamet Shayakhmetov, the author of “The Silent Steppe: A Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin.”  He wrote that his people need to keep up with the changing times when he laments on  p. 147 The way we Kazakhs have always clung to the past has proved disastrous for our people – and yet this stubborn habit still sometimes obtains [remains] at the start of the twenty-first century.  To say that the fear of innovation hampers our development and leaves us lagging behind is an understatement.

 

However, Shayakhmetov knew only too well the ills of communism that tore his own family apart during the collectivization period of seventy years ago.  On page 170 he wrote: Apart from consistently not having enough to eat, what drove my uncle to despair was the way Communism had undermined the foundations of family life.  Unfortunately, there is something more insidious lurking around the “hallowed” halls of our institution of higher learning in the City of Apples. One particular serpent who is known for sexual harassment is also known for his e-mail harassment by restructuring and misinterpreting the understood “givens” where RULE OF LAW presides in real democracies.  Apparently there are too many “Alpha males” (who are really omega males) without their wives or families (if they have any?) residing at our university, need I say more?

 

No, Eve is not to be blamed for the ultimate fall of man, the serpent is.  Sexual harassment started at the beginning when the serpent beguiled Eve with his cunning questions about God’s ultimate authority in the Garden.  Some of you dear readers may dismiss the Genesis story but those of you trying to do your job of teaching and researching for the benefit of the glorious nation of Kazakhstan in the City of Apples know of what I write.

Comments (3) »