Saturday, March 17, 2007

One Tenth of a Meaningful Award

In case my post yesterday didn’t quite strike a bitter enough note, I’ve got more to say today about the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence. I didn’t mention the award came with a cash prize, did I? Am I going to complain about cash? Yes, I am.

The prize is $250. That’s a particularly interesting number to me, being as it’s exactly one tenth of $2,500--which just happens to be my health insurance costs for next year. My school’s paid for my insurance up to this point, but they’re cutting me off after this year. It’s their policy, since after so many years, they figure it’s just time for me to be moving on. This is one of their little ways of letting me know it’s time to fuck off. To be clear, that health insurance bill is going to cost me two month’s income. That’s two months where, right now, I have no fucking clue how I’m going to pay my rent or buy my goddamned rice and beans. That’s the shiv I get from my school for not being done this year.

But look. I went on the job market this year. I fucking tried, okay? I tried, but I failed. Is it my fault that I failed so completely and utterly? Well sure, it’s got to be more my fault than anyone else’s. I’m dealing with that. But—and this is the part that really hurts—I didn’t do anything wrong. Not only that, I did a fuck of a lot right. In fact, I did so much right that you—my school—gave me the fucking C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence. Which is supposed to be some Big Fucking Deal.

So I’m good enough to get that big fucking award, but not good enough to get health insurance. If only I had a nickel for every time someone’s said congratulations, well. . . I still couldn’t afford my health insurance. And that sort of makes the award seem pretty fucking hollow.


Just another grad student said...

Man, that sucks. ARG! I feel your pain.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Thanks, Just another grad student.