Friday, December 28, 2007

Hello, my name is ...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

How about some discussion of folks' actual interviewing experience. (This is an anonymous forum, so what could it hurt?) I had one interview, for instance, with -- well, I'd disclose the name of the place, if this thread were to gather steam -- that was an utter disaster for -- well, reasons I'd disclose if this thread gathers steam.

What do you say?

juniorperson said...

Get your tie on, PGOAT!

(And good luck!)

Anonymous said...

PGOAT is a woman, I think (not that she can't wear a tie anyway, but it's not an unwritten expectation).

A Prof who is interviewing said...

I'll post my expereinces too..

fellow grad student said...

Oh good. With that tag I'll be able to find you at the smoker tonight and buy you a drink.

Anonymous said...

Hypothesis: the availability of this blog for perusal by prospective graduate students will contribute to a decline in applications to graduate programs. Of course, everyone considering graduate school in philosophy is told how difficult it is, but what I lacked was anecdotal evidence: stories from real live (even if anonymous) ABDs and recent PhDs not getting a single interview after sending out 70 applications, or not getting a job after 5 APA interviews and 2 fly outs, or whatever. It's pickin' hard to get a job.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:43:

I was never told how hard it was to get a job in philosophy when I started graduate school, and I really wish that I was. So I hope this blog does a good job of informing/warning potential graduate students of the harsh realities of professional philosophy.

When I got my PFO's from last year's failed job market, I showed one of my fellow grad students (a few years younger) a PFO that said that I was one of 400 people who applied for a job. One in four hundred! Even if I was amazing, the chances of getting lost in the shuffle alone are huge.

I don't know much about other non-academic fields, but I think it's a safe bet that the kind of numbers found in philosophy (and in academia more generally) are completely absurd. The stories on this blog (mostly from comments) serve only to reinforce the frightening future of philosophy grad students, and I only hope that word starts to trickle down to undergrads just how bleak things are.

Anonymous said...

A followup to my previous comments above:

I forgot to say that the younger student whom I showed the PFO to was completely dumbstruck. She was stunned and appalled by the situation, and reiterated again that she had no idea of the reality of things.

The point of this is that more people need to be made aware in advance how tough things are. They shouldn't have to learn about this by watching the failures of a person a few years ahead of them in a program that they now regret joining entirely.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who wishes that people would be a little more ... philosophical about all this?

I mean, if you actually have something important to say, the world will shower you with rewards. You'll get your MacArthur prize, your cushy job teaching at a research university, your nice book contract, etc. (NB: I did not assert the converse.) And if you don't have anything important to say, then isn't that a bigger problem than whether or not you get a job?

Imagine if the fiction-writing MFAs put up a blog about how hard it was to find teaching jobs -- in which they never once mentioned how hard it is to write a good novel. Call me old fashioned, but I wish there was a little more fear and trembling about how hard it is to do good work.

I mean, I hope you all get jobs, and I know this is a terrible time, and all.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe we should make a distinction between getting jobs as philosophers and getting jobs as philosophy teachers. Yes, I know, for many people, those two vocations are intertwined and you can't really be good at the latter if you absolutely suck at the former. But what we're after here is a way to support ourselves financially as teachers (which, yes, requires that we be decent philosophers but not outstanding, original leaders in the field) so that we can continue doing philosophy as well in our research (and, yes, in the context of being a teacher, too). It is hard to do good work and to get that work recognized (there's no guarantee that really good, incisive work will get recognized in the lifetime of the author), but that difficulty shouldn't necessarily be inextricably linked to the other task of getting and keeping a decent job teaching philosophy.

recent hire said...

if you actually have something important to say, the world will shower you with rewards. You'll get your MacArthur prize, your cushy job teaching at a research university, your nice book contract, etc.

Jason Stanley (para. 3) doesn't seem to think so. And that's not even counting people who would've had something important to say but didn't get jobs and had to leave the field, or would've had managed to say something if they had had a lighter teaching load.

Imagine if the fiction-writing MFAs put up a blog about how hard it was to find teaching jobs -- in which they never once mentioned how hard it is to write a good novel.

Fiction writers freak out about how difficult it is to get published, and if you read Barbara Pym's biography you'll know why. And, I think philosophers on the job market don't talk much about how hard it is to do good philosophy because you can't really do much philosophy while you're on the market. Applying for jobs sucks up your time and attention. (Not to mention that, if you want to preserve your anonymity, you can't say too much about your work.)

D said...

you fool! your anonymity is in jeopardy! how could anyone mistake or forget such a reduced-sauce peaches 'n' cream neck? they'll see you dress-casual and the jig will be up for sure.

Anonymous said...

love the DFW reference, too, by the way. one of my favorite writers. a little immodest, though, isn't it? (maybe not - maybe you really are!)

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

Remember, anonymous, Madame Psychosis might or might not have been horribly disfigured.

Anonymous said...

Right - but pre-mishap, I mean.

I've always been terrified that my performance on the job hunt, when my turn comes, will resemble Hal's admissions interview with the deans.