Monday, January 21, 2008

Dissertation bender to the rescue.

Know what's way better than the job market? Way better than pretending I have a "teaching philosophy"? Way better than spending more money on postage than I've spent on clothes in the last four years? Way better than obsessively checking that fucking wiki? Way better than reading blog comments from douchebags who think that any success a women has couldn't possibly be attributable to her philosophical abilities and must therefore be attributable to her possessing a vagina?

The dissertation. That's what. I'd kinda forgotten about it for a while there. But I'm back into it now. It's a welcome distraction. Reminding me that I actually kinda like doing philosophy. Making me think that, even if the whole job thing doesn't pan out this year, it'll happen eventually. I really like some of the stuff in there. It's nice to think that I'm capable of coming up with the odd idea that's so cool that I just might not die with my biggest contribution to the field having been my coining of the term "Leiterrific."

30 comments:

fellow grad student said...

The key now is not get lost wasting time searching the internet for tips on how to be productive by creating a distraction free writing environment.

Anonymous said...

I read this and thought of us...

"Analysis: Universities overproduce Ph.Ds"

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=4162602

Depressing article.

Not as depressing as this one, though:

"Professor of Desperation"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15182-2002Jul16

(If links do not work, just Google the titles)

Anonymous said...

A quote from today's article from ABC News titled:

"Analysis: Universities Overproduce Ph.Ds"

"It's well known that jobs in, say, philosophy, are rare. Even at the very top doctoral programs, only one in 10 who start will end up teaching at an elite research university, according to Brian Leiter, whose blog "Philosophical Gourmet" tracks the field. In fields like history, recent numbers show the market improving, and there will be more jobs as baby boomers retire. But some fields like American and European history still have such a surplus that even community colleges now commonly look only at candidates with a doctoral degree."


Article here:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=4162602

One in ten. Great.

I'll see you all in adjunct hell, teaching PHL 101 and "Critical Thinking" classes...

Anonymous said...

This blog is so obviously self-destructive. Don't you understand that?

Anonymous said...

Did you also coin the term "Leiterrible," or was that someone else? Or did I just imagine that someone used it, in which case, I coined it? I've had some whiskey, you see.

Anonymous said...

Sorry PGOAT, but "Leiterrific" is going to be hard to top!

Anonymous said...

Leiterrible just doesn't work. How the fuck do you pronounce it? (It's not possible to pronounce it such that both 'Leiter' and 'terrible' come out right.)

Anonymous said...

Well, I wish I had enjoyed writing my dissertation as much as you seem to be. The last year for me was pure hell. I hated my work, I felt stupid all the time, I was convinced that I was no longer interested in philosophy. I felt that if my dissertation advisor didn't soon mention the words 'defense' I was just going to go stark, raving mad. Come to think of it, I am still feeling some of that. Anyone else? Anyone know if it goes away?

languagepolice said...

PGOAT - Good for you (re: dissertation). It is so easy to get tossed about psychologically by the job seeking process (something I know all too well), but I hear that nothing will help more on the job market than having that PhD in hand.

Anyhow, good luck with the writing. I've recently rediscovered that I like my dissertation project too!

(Prepping for my version of adjunct purgatory...)

0 said...

I, for one, am firmly opposed to all 'leiter' related portmanteaux. I say, cut it out.

Anonymous said...

I like "Leiterlowly" myself.

Anonymous said...

(P1) 'Lie-'
(P2) + 'terrible'
(C) .: 'Literrible'

And now for something completely different... said...

Does anyone know anything about Old Dominion? The last I heard from them they were requesting AA forms. They aren't posted on the wiki, they haven't called...they're purposely fucking with my head and are anxiously anticipating the sicking pop it's going to make when it explodes.

Anonymous said...

"This blog is so obviously self-destructive. Don't you understand that?"

Yeah! And won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Professor of Desperation" is pretty awful. They crank the maudlin up to 11 here:

And they don't cross the invisible line separating adjuncts from full-time members. It's a line that makes one adjunct of 15 years, a winner of several teaching awards, wait till everyone else has eaten when there's food laid out for a department event. He sneaks in later to eat what's left.

Happily, it looks like Dr. Tracy does now have a TT job not too far from DC:

http://www.longwood.edu/english/english_faculty.htm

Anonymous said...

RE Old Dominion. They did schedule some interviews, and presumably had them. I find the whole AA thing a bit bizzare. I got the same email from them. Gladly returned the form, despite obviously not having been chosen for an interview. I did communicate briefly with the Chair. Why not just email him and ask? He seemed nice enough.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:58 AM:

I felt much of what you felt. I'm slowly returning to normal after my December defense. But I felt stupid much of the time, committed to a project that I was slowly losing interest in. A fellow grad a year-and-a-half ahead of me said that it took her a full year to relax after her defense.

Anonymous said...

I think "Leiterlame" is clearly the best term, and I'm willing to write 6000 words on this if JoP will agree to publish it.

anonymous for a day said...

Anonymous @ 8:36 PM wrote: "One in ten. Great."

Two comments. First, consider the sample of grad students to which the article refers, i.e. "one in 10" who started (but didn't necessarily finish, or who did finish but chose not to go on the market) at one of "the very top doctoral programs."

Second, consider the sample of jobs to which that article refers, i.e. "elite research universities".

Well, sure, if we restrict the applicant and job pools that narrowly, then of course it's going to sound depressing. But that's an overly restrictive view of the market.

Anonymous said...

the article "Professor of Desperation" is very accurate.

Anonymous said...

In a number of ways, I blame the PhD programs for not suggesting alternative careers; are alterative careers ever discussed for PhD’s in the humanities? Libraries? Museums? Publishing? – Not everyone can get a TT position, keep your options people.

Anonymous said...

I just coined a term: "Leiter-shut-the-hell-up". Spread it around (like "Rufus")!

Anonymous said...

The affirmative action forms are often sent from human resources to everyone who applied for the job, sometimes long after most of those people are no longer being considered. It's not about giving information so those making decisions can see it. It's about keeping track of who applied and how they found out. Given that, I don't know why so many people think it's weird that they're getting these forms at this stage. They could do them after the search has been ended, and it would serve the same purpose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:51 AM,

It's not so much that we're surprised that the AA mailing lags behind the departmental search progress, but that they'd LET it lag so while still thinking that it would have any success: surely they know people who now know themselves to be eliminated from any consideration are going to be strongly disinclined to make any effort to work for free in their data collection effort. I could open a beer and start drinking it in the time it takes to assist them (for free) in their administrative duties. More utility accrues for me in the beer drinking. If everyone went to online applications and had those question upfront, then the collection would be easier for all.

Anonymous said...

So if, on the same daye next August, every position I applied for this past year sent me an AA form next August, I should still fill them out and send them back because, after all, it's all the same as if they had sent them in November right after receiving my application?

Anonymous said...

No, if they send it in August, they won't have time to collect the information before any searches they have in the fall. So of course it's not the same.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:03 PM,

I wasn't talking about the schools compiling the information in the fall after a search. I was talking about why the f**k I would bother sending 'em all back if they mailed them to me so long after the search (and my elimination).

Anonymous said...

5:02 said: "I was talking about why the f**k I would bother sending 'em all back..."

The answer is this: Because you don't want some jackass like yourself causing the cancellation of the search in which YOU are the one who's about to be offered a job, just because said jackass failed to return their AA survey cards. Ya jackass.

On the other hand, if you are a woman or minority member and you were rejected, then maybe it's ok to not send the AA card in, IF you smell discrimination.

Anonymous said...

An eliminated candidate not returning an AA form does not cause a search to be terminated. The university does that.

Anonymous said...

709, your theory is a non-starter, sorry.

The US and Sweden do about the same on economic equality. (US score: 0.738; Sweden score: 0.761) What really drags the US down is political empowerment (US score: 0.102; Sweden score: 0.525).

Now, we're really off topic.