Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And Maybe I'll See You, At a Movie Sneak Preview

Alright. It's not just me who's obsessively checking my e-mail and the wiki around here. The Future Dr. Mrs. Dr. PGS is also waiting for her first MLA* interview. And since waiting for interviews sucks, here's a little MLA-themed comedy. So take a break and go watch "The Trauma Scholar." I'd love to see an APA version of these.

*Modern Languages Association. Come on, people. Don't you ever make to any school-sponsored grad student mixers? The MLA discipline people are the ones who are way better dressed than us.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

This blog has become my new favorite obsession. You guys are awesome.

Has a "Why do we do this to ourselves?" post ever appeared? I think it's an important question. People who enter a profession in which their chances of getting a permanent job are similar to one's chances of winning the lottery must have an interesting answer to it.

-2nd year phil. grad

Sisyphus said...

The MLA discipline people are the ones who are way better dressed than us.

Heh heh.

My favorite interview version is the one where the guy talks about "tools."

So glad to hear that other people are freaking out --- I can't concentrate on anything at all.

Um, that may be mean --- I wouldn't wish the whole job process on my worst enemy's dog.

can I have a job now? said...

Seriously? I think I checked the wiki ten times in the space of an hour this afternoon, and my mail about twice that. And still Connecticut hasn't called.

I don't think the odds of landing a job in philosophy are that bad -- my department is barely on the Leiter rankings, and more than 90% of our grads have jobs (and for all I know, the others left the profession for other reasons).

One thing I didn't think of when I started was where I would like to end up working when I finished grad school -- I think I was willing to end up working anywhere I could find a job. Now (years later), I'm not so flexible, for various reasons. But at the time, becoming a philosopher seemed like a good idea -- and it still would, if I could pull it off on a long-term basis.

Anonymous said...

MLA video: "...looking for humor in, you know, the most miserable situations..."

They may be better dressed, but apparently there are some similarities between the MLA and the authors of this blog!

Anonymous said...

"Can I have a job now?",

I'd like to know more about this 90%. What's the time frame here? And are we talking all tenure-track jobs?

Some student at Duquesne once told me that his department had a 90% placement rating. Turns out that 90% included everything from a tenure-track job to McDonalds.

The Prof said...

You can tell a lot by how people are dressed at MLA, when I'm there and I'm narrowing the field for my dept as to who we want to interview, dress plays a large part in who we fianlly decide to talk to.

Dress like slob ?....not gonna get an invite to my school.

If you dress worse than the students, why bother?

juniorperson said...

"One thing I didn't think of when I started was where I would like to end up working when I finished grad school -- I think I was willing to end up working anywhere I could find a job. Now (years later), I'm not so flexible, for various reasons."

You know, some people who've posted on this blog would think you're abhorrent for thinking this! Weirdos.

It's anecdotal, but everyone I know from the Leitersortanoticesbutnotmuch program who wanted a TT job has got one--although in some cases this took five years of adjunct work and visiting positions before finding it.

Anonymous said...

I was starting to worry as the number of schools on the wiki increased, even though most of the ones I've applied to haven't appeared yet. But then I counted: 195 schools in section 1 (jobs advertised) but only 22 in section 2 (interviews scheduled). So it's true: most schools haven't yet started contacting applicants. Makes me feel better.

curious said...

Question for those getting APA interviews:

Are you typically being notified by email that someone will be calling soon? Or is it usually a call out-of-the-blue?

It would ease my mind if I didn't have to have a heart attack everytime the phone rings.

Anonymous said...

It seems like some schools have started to use email to notify people and set up interviews - probably because it is easier to contact people through email. But both phone calls and emails typically come out of the blue (at least in my experience). So try to take a zen approach to that ringing phone!

can I have a job now? said...

To Anon 10:54:

Roughly 90% at tenure-track positions within about 3 years of graduating, with visiting positions in between. Some at colleges, some at research institutions -- mostly at places not even mentioned in the Leiter ranking. Since I've been here, only two PhD grads have left the profession -- one went into university admin, and the other went to law school. Everyone else teaches philosophy for a living.

Anonymous said...

This should be read by everyone on the plane ride to MLA:

Career Paths for PhDs in and beyond the Academy. Goldsmith, Steven, ADE Bulletin, n124 p33-35 Win 2000

Just in case, it always good to have an alternate plan.

Anonymous said...

"Dress like slob ?....not gonna get an invite to my school.

If you dress worse than the students, why bother?"

This is precisely the kind of thinking that you are less likely to find at an elite institution of higher education, where many people could not care less about something as superficial as how others dress. With some exceptions, most of the geniuses and best writers in analytic philosophy are not well dressed by conventional standards. When you have the talent, it's better to be comfortable and focus on your work and other things of greater importance than fashion or fashion trends.

Lover of the APA said...

Sweet - my November JFP 176 arrived in the mail today. Can't wait to look at the jobs in there. I'd better get busy so I can get a head start on everyone else.

What? You say it's December already?

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

"People who enter a profession in which their chances of getting a permanent job are similar to one's chances of winning the lottery must have an interesting answer to it."


I know the market isn't great, but let's not go overboard. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Philosophy PhD recipients get jobs, and a majority get TT jobs. Aside from a few select turds, almost all PhD programs are putting 70+% of their grads into academic employment. Your lottery analogy certainly works great if you're talking about jobs at Leiter-ranked institutions, but there are plenty of people who don't even want those jobs. Personally, I'd prefer working a job where I'm actually doing a public service (you know, teaching working-class kids instead of the kind of kids who are doing their undergrad work at Princeton or Johns Hopkins).

Anonymous said...

If you got into philosophy as a way to do public service, then you are likely a fool.

I'm sure you could volunteer somewhere while teaching at Harvard.

There are legitimate reasons to want to work at a non-elite college, but public service isn't one of them.

Perhaps many of the children of privilege irritate you. . . . But not all the students at non-elite colleges are exactly in love with learning. Some are and they are great, but in general there are lots of trade offs.

And don't try to fool yourself about how inspirational of a teacher you'll be.

This topic was discussed a while back on the Leiter blog. . .

2nd year phil grad said...

"I know the market isn't great, but let's not go overboard. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Philosophy PhD recipients get jobs, and a majority get TT jobs. Aside from a few select turds, almost all PhD programs are putting 70+% of their grads into academic employment. Your lottery analogy certainly works great if you're talking about jobs at Leiter-ranked institutions, but there are plenty of people who don't even want those jobs. Personally, I'd prefer working a job where I'm actually doing a public service (you know, teaching working-class kids instead of the kind of kids who are doing their undergrad work at Princeton or Johns Hopkins)."


I've heard this before - that claims about the barren state of the job market make sense only if one is talking about the chances of getting a job at a Leiter school. The thought is that for people in departments below, say, the top 25, there are plenty of TT jobs for them at teaching colleges and 4 year liberal arts institutions.

I don't know what to think. There is no rhyme or reason to this profession. I learned that back when I went through the the Ph.D. application process.

Anonymous said...

"If you got into philosophy as a way to do public service, then you are likely a fool. "

Alas, we need more fools.

Anonymous said...

Go and look through the departments at the bottom of the Leiter ranking -- Boston, Rice, or even South Florida, which the is the last university listed on the overall rankings. They each have placement pages where you can see where their grads have gotten jobs.

Personally, I'd take a job at NYU over anything. But at some point, you need a job of some kind, and teaching philosophy at a college isn't a bad gig.

Anonymous said...

Correct, all things considered, teaching philosophy isn't that bad of a gig. I suppose that being a batting coach in the majors isn't that bad of a gig either all things considered, but it still kind of stings when all you want to do is play professional baseball.

Anonymous said...

Blink 182

Lacanista said...

"The MLA discipline people are the ones who are way better dressed than us".

Heh. As someone who's been to APA and MLA both several times now, I have to admit this rings true. Which may explain why the advice here is how to dress to "blend in" and the advice for MLA is often to dress in a way that at least has one personal or interesting element (i.e., not just your basic black ensemble and boring tie). As a woman, an interesting scarf or shoes or a bright colored top (under the suit jacket, of course) were all recommended to me.

No, it won't get you the job or keep you from getting the job either. But it seems that if committees can put a face or personal element to the name quickly later when they're deliberating, it may help them remember other specific things about you (like that great anecdote you gave ab changing a student's life with logic). You can't underestimate how the names and faces and ideas start to blur after 2 days of back-to-back interviews.

Since most of the MLA folks will be familiar with Proust, nothing wrong with planting a little visual madeleine in their memories.

I might be interviewing you at MLA said...

The best bet for either gender is a business suit -

invest in a decent suit for the interview and if you are invited for a second interview.

Guy's ... don't wear the same tie to every interview.

Also, make an impression that you can dress like a faculty member on the job...there is nothing worse for a new faculty member than being confused with a student.

Don't wear all black ... no matter what you think..you are not that hip.

Also, a few other basics..make sure your shoes match your suit, your collar isn't frayed, no stains on the tie, get a hair cut...and don't show up to the interview with a 2 day growth on ur face..it's sloppy and it show's your really don't care about your appeareance, so you are not taking this interview seriously.

Women...a scarf is a great idea.

Also, make sure your ties are conservative in nature.

Also, our president has just begun a dress code campus - are you ok with that?

The faculty and staff unions on campus ok'd it...so..it is a condition of employment.

Lastly, women - don't wear black nail polish - this is ajob interview not a halloween party - the goth look is great for teens - not professionals on the job market.

I maybe at MLA in my LL bean clothes and plain blazer - but, we are looking at you as one who can be a presence in the classroom as well as one campus and in the field.

Acdemics hate to admit it..but the same unwritten rules that apply in private sector interviewing also apply in academia.

What more advice..look at how your students dress in the school business dress when they interview for jobs..or look at how your law students dress when they interview for clerkships or jobs. - you could learn from them.