Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break!!!

It’s taken a few years, but I think that now I can officially say I’m becoming part of the academy. As we approach that magic time of year that involves the annual filming of ‘Girls with Low Self-Esteem,’ it hasn’t even occurred to me to do anything exciting for spring break.

Actually, my thoughts were more along these lines. What? A week without any colloquium, classes, advisors to meet with, or other general professional obligations? Maybe I can get a good 10-15 pages done! Optimistic I know, but also a little sad and proof that I’ve been in grad school for a long time.

-- Second Suitor (Since I'm posting this all by my lonesome hopefully the formatting won't go awry)

26 comments:

will philosophize for food said...

I had the same feeling. It's strange to think, but I always look forward to time off in order to get some work done. Ah, the life of an academic.

But now that my Spring Break is coming to an end (back to class on Monday), I find that I did not get as much work done as I'd have thought. I got about 10 pages written, and finished most of the book for that review due at the end of the month. But progress was halted by the need to grade these poorly written Mill papers. Hopefully your break will be more productive without papers to grade--

Sisyphus said...

What? You mean philosophers don't all pack up their spiffiest togas each spring break and take flights out to the Acropolis, where they party all day and night by making long arguments about Truth, Goodness and Hemlock?

I swear, this here blog is destroying all my most cherished dreams about philosophers.

(PS, yay, Second Suitor is posting! Now you will truly learn the powers of the dark side --- let the procrastinating commence!)

A tenured Prof said...

Maybe I am a hard ass, but spring break doesn’t mean anything to me.

I still make my grad students come to colloquium.

If grad students in the sciences have it engrained in them that they don’t leave their labs over breaks and holidays – grad students in the humanities should have it engrained in their heads that they dare not leave the library during break.

Grad students in humanities already have it too easy and indulge in to many entitlements. – They could learn a few things from their peers in the sciences who really know what work is.

Anonymous said...

Well, the job market and pay in the sciences is quite a bit better as are the non-academic options. Besides, isn't a bit of leisure supposed to aid reflection and thought. You don't have to be in the library to philosophize. Besides, this whole notion that philosophers have "research programs" is a bit too overblown. Do poets have research programs? (That's only an ANALOGY, so don't take too much from that.)

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Grad students in humanities already have it too easy and indulge in to many entitlements. – They could learn a few things from their peers in the sciences who really know what work is.

Yeah! Because nothing's as hard as sitting at your bench making new iTunes playlists for an afternoon while you wait for your fruitflies to get old!

Anonymous said...

Grad students in humanities already have it too easy and indulge in to many entitlements. – They could learn a few things from their peers in the sciences

Do you mean like how to get by on 30k-a-year
fellowships, which require no teaching or grading work? Or enjoying vastly better post-grad options? Damn we're soft.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe I am a hard ass..."

yup.

Anonymous said...

Grad students in humanities already have it too easy and indulge in to many entitlements. – They could learn a few things from their peers in the sciences who really know what work is.

Clearly.

(But don't tell those reading that graduate students in the sciences have 50% higher stipends and far brighter job prospects; with all the extra work you goad them into doing, they might feel even more entitled!)

Anonymous said...

To 2:02 pm,

I have so many responses, I don't know where to start. A remark like that can only mean that you are trying to incite comments, so here are mine.

1) Such a stupid comment most likely means that you are a poser tenured prof having some fun.

2) In case you are not, I now have graduate degrees in both chemistry and philosophy and there is no difference in workload. Either one is in the lab grinding away at reactions and instruments that never work the way you want or you are reading and writing your ass off. Regardless, you are quite clueless because if you knew how much wasted time was spent in the lab, you would have never made such a comment.

3) Do you prove your point by spending non-productive time reading this blog?

4) Your family life must be just riveting, allowing no time but nose-in-book philosophy if you are true to your comments.

5) I guess you certainly are in the humanities, making such a vast overgeneralization of all humanities grad students! Where's your empirical support for such a bald thesis?! I'm sorry - time's up! - go back to your wanna-be-tough-guy hole.

6) I mean, really, you are taking yourself just a little too seriously.

7) How exactly do you make the logical leap that what the sciences do, the humanities should do as well? Did it occur to you that different fields might require different kinds of work in different ways?

Sorry for so many points. That comment was just waiting there to be hit.

tenured philosophy girl said...

"Grad students in humanities already have it too easy and indulge in to many entitlements. – They could learn a few things from their peers in the sciences who really know what work is."

Oh barf - please cut the Lutheran crap. 'Too easy' for what, exactly? What benefits exactly do you think will come from their 'really knowing what work is'?

I think most philosophy grad students are working plenty hard - but quite apart from that, your post says nothing about why non-stop work is a good thing - you just take it as given.

The idea that there's something (morally? professionally?) questionable about having a life outside of one's work makes me sick - and it has been used for generations towards sexist ends, too, since it has traditionally been women who have noticeably had major, time-consuming life commitments that have nothing to do with work.

As someone already pointed out, anyone who has the time to read and comment on this blog has no business at all being smug about one's work ethic!

Anonymous said...

Fuck tenured professors! Grad students rule! (Of course, once we reach tenure, the principle should be reversed.)

juniorperson said...

"Of course, once we reach tenure, the principle should be reversed."

But not, I hope, taken literally and put into practice...!

Now, Sunday comics, please!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that at my school a phd student in the humanities makes
17,5 a year for teaching.

But in the sciences the students make 28 for research, plus get travel money and if they "want to" teach, they get an extra 4 grand?

Anonymous said...

I had my spring break this last week and went to New Orleans. Over the years I have gone there again and again and loved it every time. But this time I was astounded with the experience because my enjoyment was at a lull. All I could think about was the work that I should be doing instead of being there. I actually had dreams about defending positions at conferences. So I would suggest that even if you do plan to go somewhere you shouldn't do it because work will eat up all of your happiness anyway. It's just a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

New thread, please:

So, I knew we were all up against ridiculous odds when I got into this thing. But I keep thinking about the very nice PFO from Ohio Northern that was circulated the other day... 130 applicants? 130 applicants?? For Ohio Northern University? Ay yi yi. Not that there's anything wrong with ONU, of course... I guess I'm just assuming that many of us would put it somewhere lower than first place on our list of desired jobs. Not that that matters. (Few of us, I'm sure, only applied to our top choice!) Maybe the numbers involved are just now becoming real to me.

Does anyone know what the applicant pool looks like for the current round of VAPs, lectureships, and other non-tenure-track positions?

Just curious...

mr. zero said...

I thought that 130 applicants for the ONU job was actually a very small number. I think that most people, when deciding which jobs to apply for, don't compare job A to job B and apply for the one that's most favorable. I didn't do anything like that. I would compare job A to not working at all, and apply to all jobs that compare favorably to being homeless and then freezing to death.

In a deeply depressing turn of events, I refrained from applying from one school because the webpages of all the faculty made them seem like total nutjobs--one guy had published widely arguing in favor of a variety of conspiracy theories and proudly noted all the "who's who" books he was listed in. This job went to an Ivy-Leaguer. So, I never had a shot, even at the one job I thought I was too good for.

Next year I'm applying for every single job advertised.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the AOS was for ONU, but the fewest applicants I've ever heard of was around 70 for a position with AOS in logic.

In general, I assume that any job advertised in JFP will get between 100 and 300 applicants -- with some getting many more than that.

Those numbers are a bit inflated by the fact that some people apply outside of their AOS, but, still, there are plenty of applicants.

The VAP market is a bit easier -- but no cakewalk.

juniorperson said...

"In a deeply depressing turn of events, I refrained from applying from one school because the webpages of all the faculty made them seem like total nutjobs"

Please, please tell us which school this is!

Anonymous said...

The Salem State rejection says: "The position attracted forty-eight applicants."

Boy, did that make me feel like poo!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Zero,
I know you've been harassed on this board to "go public" with your CV.
That's not my goal.

I just want to find out which job it was where one of the faculty members was a conspiracy theorist...and they hired an Ivy Leaguer.
Thanks,
Jim

VAP said...

A bit off topic, but the mantra to remember is 'keep applying'. Months ago on this blog people pointed out that the job search is a marathon. We are about in mile 20 for this season. To win the race you need to crank out those last 6 plus.

Many VAPS will open up over the next 2-3 months. My first year on the market I got no offers until June. JUNE Motherfuckers! Then, in a week I got 3 VAP offers. Don't quit. The prospects improve because those who already have TT's quit applying, many newbies get jobs, some others decide to do another year as a grad student, and others simply quit.

You can talk about getting more pubs and experience and whatever. My hunch is the biggest variable for hanging on is simply not quitting.

Mr. Zero said...

Ok, I'll reveal the identity of the school. But first, some caveats. 1. This is a story about what a douchebag I am, not a story about how stupid somebody else is. 2. I am aware of and agree with the beat-downs people have gotten over "naming names" and personal attacks. That's not what this is. See #1. 3. The actual decision not to apply was a little more complicated than I originally hinted, though not much less superficial. See #1. 4. Calling all the faculty total nutjobs was too strong. See #1. 5. Congratulations to the guy who got the job. I envy you.

I didn't want to work at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Really, there's just one conspiracy-theory/who's-who guy. A variety of the faculty have very crappy mid-90s-style web-pages--not a serious problem, though it rubbed me the wrong way. Also, Duluth is on the tip of Lake Superior. Check the Leiter thread to see who won the job.

I got the same Salem State PFO. Shit.

Anonymous said...

This is proof that all of us are insane:

The Salem State rejection says: "The position attracted forty-eight applicants."

Boy, did that make me feel like poo!


Can anyone think of another career that involves as much "weeding out" and effort as ours (here I'm thinking of the difficulty of getting into a PhD program to begin with, and then the difficulty of actually finishing (or almost finishing) the degree), with a job market that leaves someone saying, "I'm so disappointed... Only 47 other people were competing for this job; I should have had a great shot at it!"

Insane, people! We hear of a job that has 48 applicants, and we think, "Hey, those aren't bad odds." What are we doing? Ahhhh!

Thanks for letting me vent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Zero,
Thanks for the info on MN-Duluth.
Actually, I applied for that job. No traction, however.
It was the conspiracy theorist remark in your OP that caught my attention. I guess I didn't notice that when I applied!
I should have mentioned my interest in the X-Files in my cover letter.
-Jim

Anonymous said...

The really crazy thing is, that conspiracy theory guy is emeritus.

I don't really understand the complaints about web pages or geography either, but de gustibus.

Anonymous said...

The web pages were pretty old-school. I don't think that I'd seen the dancing baby since the tail end of the Clinton administration.