Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So very many ways for the job market to bring on the fantods.

Slogging through this ginormous stack of applications has introduced me to a whole new range of suck fits. I'm kind of a fucking mess.

One minute I'm convinced I'm a philosophical fraud: I'm a total retard and my dossier is a piece of shit and I'm utterly unqualified for these jobs and I'm not going to get even a single interview. And then the next minute I look at the addresses on the envelopes and freak out because I don't even want most of these jobs: I don't want to live in Assfuck, Nowhere and I don't want to teach a 5-5 to hordes of mouth-breathing douchebags whose deepest philosophical conviction is that thinking deep thoughts probably makes you a faggot.

The best part is how talking myself down from one tends to bring on a fit of the other.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Luckily, I didn't really have the experience of looking at an envelope and thinking I didn't even want the job. I was fairly selective in where I applied. I didn't even bother with schools that had worse than a 3/3 teaching load. I knew that if I applied to jobs with horrible teaching loads, and it just so happened that one of those jobs was the only one I got, I might be tempted to take the job. And I didn't want to do that. I guess I feel that if I can't get a job that allows at least some time for research, I'd rather do something else with my life.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

The 5/5 load is a challenge, but it isn't impossible. Especially after you get the courseload worked out and prepared, it isn't all that bad.

Also, don't pre-judge schools and regions. Often the most backward and odd regions have schools where those who aren't backward and odd collect into a kind of intellectual refuge.

Also, the cost of living is low in Assfuck these days -- so the philosopher paycheck can make a decent living and allow for regular travel to civilization... or, at least good satellite TV.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon. 10:10. I just don't think I could do a good job teaching 5/5. I don't think I could handle it. I guess if there were only 2 or 3 preps I could maybe swing it...but I don't know. Do you still find some time for research?

P.G.O.A.T. said...

Thanks, ItPF. That actually kind of helps a little. Now if only you could give me a pep talk about the quality of my work, too. (I'll save for another post my rant about how I think insecure self-loathing is an intellectual character trait that women in philosophy are *particularly* good at cultivating.)

Anonymous said...

I was a VAP last year with a 4-4 load, but only 2-2 preps. It's the preps that kill you, not the load. 3 preps per term is tough, esp. in small depts where you have to teach new courses your first 3-4 years because you're covering, let's say, everything but ethics which is taught by your one senior colleague.

Himself said...

I feel I could have written this post verbatim. Except that I haven't applied for any jobs that disclose in the ad that they are 5/5, though I did apply for a 3/3/3.

Anonymous said...

I'm a male, insecure self-loather, and had exactly the same feelings when I applied last year. Imagine my joy when I did not get any offers! I no longer believe the strength of my school (which is easily top 10, perhaps top 5 by some measures) matters, or my advisor, or my letters or anything else matters. I suck, and my work sucks, and my AOS sucks for getting jobs. So this year, I didn't apply to any schools where I didn't want to go. I figured that things went so damn well last year, why not *decrease* my chances of getting a job this year. But at least I don't have to look at envelopes and think "yuck"; now I only do that when I look in the mirror, or read my own work.

Does posting this count as therapy? Can I file an insurance claim?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:51,

Did you get ANY interviews at all? I'm from bottom of top 50. This isn't looking good.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:34,

don't freak out. you can get interviews if you're not top 50. just look at a few websites of liberal arts colleges and non-top-50 universities. there are lots of people there who came from outside the top 50.

Himself said...

Or just look at the placement records. Every graduate program going has a placement page, and people from all of them get jobs. (Although I find it nothing short of outrageous that schools still claim to have 'placed' their students in these jobs).

Himself said...

Actually, I note that no school advertises that it is 5/5. How do you discern what the load is at a school with no stipulated course load in-ad? Look at the website and look at how many courses their asst. profs. teach?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:51 here.

Yes, I had a pretty good number of interviews, and I was a finalist for multiple jobs (so I'm pretty sure I didn't bomb my interviews). I try to find solace in the fact that I got interviews outside my AOS and for open positions. On the other hand, I missed out on some interviews in my AOS that I expected to get. This year, my AOS really, really, REALLY sucks for jobs, so at least I won't have that trouble this year.

Not only is the process dehumanizing in a moral sense, but it's terribly irrational, as well. So even beyond the variations due to AOS, etc., it's difficult to draw morals from one person's experience. That doesn't make me feel better, but maybe it will help you feel better.

And I agree with these latter comments about getting interviews. If your work is good, you will get interviews (unless the process is even more irrational than I think it is).

Stephen said...

I thought this was just hilarious, not because I don't sympathize with your plight, but because I think your characterization of the mouth-breathing douchebags is wonderfully apt.

Anon 2:51. How did that make you feel? Do you ever spit at your reflection in the mirror? Do you hoard food?

There, now it counts as therapy.

Anonymous said...

Of course no school advertises a 5/5 load. Who would? And very few 4-year schools officially have a 5/5 load. However, the 5/5 happens more often than depts are willing to acknowledge. For example, I know of someone teaching a 5/5 because a colleague in his smallish department is out on extended sick leave. Maternity leave, sabbaticals, early retirement, misconduct, etc. can also bring about such unpleasantness, esp. when the administration is either incompetent or unprepared for the unexpected, or both. This is especially the case for undergraduate-only schools with small or even smallish departments in less-populated areas, since there are few adjunct possibilities from which to draw.

So my fear about small teaching-intensive schools in rural, remote areas has little to do with judging people as backward, backwater, or anything like that. It's all about the possibilities that await me when things go awry. It seems likely that more can go wrong/badly, as described above.

Regarding teaching load discovery: I simply scoured the web sites/course schedules. Yes, looking at asst prof teaching loads is helpful, but be thorough, as some 1st or 2nd year profs sometimes get a reduced teaching load; and some profs will get special research leave. So be sure you get a representative sample size.

Bobcat said...

To himself,

I sent an email to a school that didn't mention its teaching load. I got a reply back saying that the job is 4/3 with a chance for a reduced teaching load, but that this department really wants people who like teaching and not research-monkeys. It seems my question raised a red flag. Assuming I'm right, what a weird situation; it's like someone saying, "have I got a deal for you!" and I say, "oh? What's the deal?" and then they call me selfish for asking.

Anonymous said...

pgoat - I really want to read the post about the self-loathing that women in philosophy especially tend to cultivate.

suffering badly from it right now, and unable to sort out the well-founded from the part caused by a generally stifling atmosphere in my grad dept.

Anonymous said...

in fairness they probably think it makes them a fagit