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Across Three Continents

Reflections on Immigration, Education, and Personal Survival

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Katerina Bodovski

Born in Soviet Moscow, Katerina Bodovski was twelve years old when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, coming of age as the «perestroika» and «glasnost» movement gained full speed. She would later arrive in Israel during the peak of the peace process during which time Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. Her final move to America, months after the upset of 9/11, would also directly and indirectly shape the way her personal journey unfolded.
The unique feature of this work lies in the combination of autobiographical narrative and sociological analysis. By personalizing accounts of immigration, education, and family transformations, this book discusses the author’s firsthand experiences in Soviet Russia, Israel, and the United States. The book speaks to scholars of education by providing examples and patterns in educational systems of the Soviet Union, Israel, and the United States. Beyond academia, the book will resonate with immigrants who have experienced transitions between lands and languages. Furthermore, Dr. Bodovski utilizes her female perspective to illuminate different aspects of family life, immigration processes, and, finally, her experiences in United States academia as a doctoral student and a professor.
Across Three Continents: Reflections on Immigration, Education, and Personal Survival will be of specific interest to women, especially young women, who are trying to figure out the interplay between their family and professional life and what is possible for them to aspire for and to achieve. This text is ideal for courses focused on comparative education, women’s studies, Jewish studies, sociology of education, childhood, and immigration.
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Part IV: Insights and Discoveries, or the Way I See It

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  PART IV

Insights and Discoveries, or the Way I See It

University Life as a Faculty Member

A few things were a complete surprise to me when I began my job as an assistant professor. Before starting, I was worried that I would not be smart enough to teach graduate courses, that I didn’t have enough experience to guide doctoral dissertations; and that I might not be able to publish on my own. None of these turned out to be serious problems. However, other things came up. My biggest surprise was how little time was left for research after engaging in teaching, mentoring, meetings, committee work and so forth. Another challenge was the number of emails arriving daily from students and advisees, requests to review articles for journals, and general information at the program, department and college levels. I receive between 40 and 50 emails daily and write about 20–25. During the first few semesters I naively waited until the “busy work” was finished before attempting to get to “real work.” Well, it never happened. The number of emails, meetings and requests only increases as time goes on; more and more people get to know you and thus may want your help/participation/advice with different issues. Every experienced professor will say that one of the first skills you need to master if you wish to survive and thrive in academia is how to protect your time. People use different strategies, checking out of internet...

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