Friday, May 30, 2008

Shockingly, things aren't nearly so bad for football coaches.

From a recent commenter:
I thought [this] might interest readers of this blog, assuming they haven't already read about it. It's the "2007-08 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession". For those who don't want to pore thru the whole thing, here are the "highlights". Enjoy!
An even shorter version of the highlights for you: the profession's fucked.


(ps. Hi, folks at the Feminist Philosophers blog! We love you!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The courtesy of a reach-around?

In the spirit of using this blog for good rather than evil (or at least, for a change, optimism rather than pessimism), I have a proposal: let's give props to people or departments who were actually kind of cool about any part of the job market process.

So, how about it? Any place send you a particularly humane rejection letter? Anyone take you out for an especially nice dinner during a campus visit? Anything else, big or small, that you want to encourage other schools to get on board with? Maybe even something that would be obvious to normal human beings, but that only a handful of philosophers managed to figure out?

We can have a hall of shame discussion later on, if y'all like. Lord knows, there are plenty of horror stories I'd love to tell. But for now, let's focus on the people who deserve some credit for actually doing things right.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How old is too old?

A request for discussion arrives over email:
What are the odds of a 39-40 year old from a top 5 philosophy program securing a TT position at a PhD-granting research university like? I read your blog every day, and I don't recall any discussion of "older candidates" and potential age discrimination with regards to fresh hires on the philosophy market. Your help would be much appreciated!
There's got to be some joke involving the "half plus seven" rule to be made here, but I'm too mired in grading to put the effort in right now. Give the nice man your thoughts, kids.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

And I know because of KRS1

Just a quick followup on yesterday's post. I get a lot of information about conferences, fellowships etc from the google groups: philosophy updates (more US) and f.a. philos (more international). I've also generally found to be pretty good on the conference front, and they have a google calendar that you can add which makes things easy.

If anyone has other sources of good information (including a way to find out about jobs outside of the jfp - thought I'm not sure if that exists) I'd be interested to know what they are.

-- Second Suitor

I don't want to sleep, I just want to keep on

The thing that I (periodically) worry about the most is finishing my PhD without having anything to head on to. I mean that's the worst case scenario, but it'd be pretty bad.

Fortunately, today my google groups reminded me that the fellowship/one year appointment applications are never done. There's a:
Anyway you get the point. By next Mid-May I hope to have something lined up. But, if it hasn't worked out there's still at least some of stuff to apply to now that starts in the fall.

-- Second Suitor

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Go where you go and do what you do

I can't work on philosophy for more than 2-3 hours in one place. I get antsy. I need to move. To be productive, I've adopted a strategy of meandering from coffee shop to coffee shop throughout the day. What can I say? Bite size units of time, bite size progress, but work throughout the day.

In an idealistic moment, fast forward to next year when everything's turned out for the better. I have a job... My friends have a job... Everything is right with the world... Can I still coffee shop hop as a professor? The Onion has already pointed out the humor of "T.A. Spotted at Bar" and "Professor Hangs at Coffeehaus" seems dangerously similar.

Worrying about the distant future? Sure, but if all I had to do was figure out how to explain the importance of my dissertation in a few sentences I'd go nuts.

-- Second Suitor

Free Iced Coffee at Dunkin' Donuts Today

I know it's probably too early to start bitching about how much the job market costs, but I've started to trying to get my ducks in a row to cut down on the September/October chaos. Why on earth do transcripts cost so much money?!?! Here's what it takes to process a transcript:

Step 1: Search the number I provide,
Step 2: Print out the transcript,
Step 3: Seal the envelope, and
Step 4: If I ask, sign the envelope.

If I order multiple copies they don't have to repeat step 1, but this doesn't make them cheaper. If I request the transcript online so they can process it during a down time in the work day, it costs more.

Transcript alone don't break the bank, but I'm certainly not looking forward to PGOAT's 2 foot long mail receipt. And I'm not indicting the people that process the transcripts. They're doing what they get paid to do charging what they get told to charge. But for the university, charging closer to actual cost (like $1) just seems like a common courtesy that should be extended to someone who has spent years becoming part of the community at the institution.

-- Second Suitor

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hold your Horses.

Anon. 7:49 says:
PGS, PGOAT, et al. -- time to pass the mantle on this blog? If you're too busy with the dissertation, etc. (as you should be), perhaps someone else can keep the blog going so that folks don't stop checking in altogether?
Yeah, yeah. Vacation's almost over. We'll be back soon.


Monday, May 12, 2008

gimme the loot, gimme the loot

We've all joked about it. At some point you let your class know, "I'm not in it for the money." So now that I'm years and years in and turning my attention to the job market it finally occurred to me to think about how much am I going to get paid. Obviously it's going to depend on the job, but a quick look around shows:

According to Higher Ed. Jobs we're looking at:
Instructor: $39k
New Assistant Prof: $50k

A slightly older one from Academic Keys says:
Instructor: $37k
New Assistant Prof: $48k

Ephilosopher links to a website that says:
"starting salary in a tenure line ranges from $30,000-60,000 depending on many factors."

Now I think all those figures include different types of 'compensation' but they all are looking a lot better than my stipend. I sorta figured that with absolutely no bargaining power [how many of us have the luxury to turn down jobs?] we'd get jerked around a bit more in terms of starting salary. Maybe that comes in earlier with more VAPing and Instructor positions and less assistant professor positions?

I'm smart enough to realize that I'm not going to be working less hard after I get hired, but it's nice to know that I will get paid something.

-- Second Suitor

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm not talking 'bout jet ski accidents

I just finished the final round up of meetings with my advisors for the year. I like my advisors. Putting aside important things like suggestions on further readings or feedback on particular chapters, my advisors have been pretty good at something at least as important. They usually make me feel like I'm not wasting my time. Half the time what I really need is this little pat on the back.

Writing a dissertation is such a solitary process that sometimes it gets hard to tell if what you're talking about is interesting to anyone else. A little praise on an argument/chapter/the whole thing makes it easier to keep going with the whole enterprise. Heck, even a, "This is a really interesting chapter even though you need to make substantial changes to this and that," gets the job done. I have time to fix it, I just want to know that it's worth fixing. I keep waiting to get the dreaded, "This project/chapter/argument is fundamentally misguided," but until that happens I'm just going to keep pressing forward.

Oh, and I realize I tend to start my comments on the papers I'm grading with, "This is a pretty good paper."

-- Second Suitor

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Comics

"Ain't Life Grand?"

Non-comic related note for the true believers: Bear with Team PJMB's sporadic postings during and around this ever-so pleasant time of the year, if y'all would please. We here at the PJMB know that we have y'all's sympathy. And know that we return the sympathy.

Non-comic related note for the trolls: Sorry Team PJMB hasn't given y'all fodder to complain about (including, but not limited to our whiny, bad, out-of-touch- with-the-real-world, privileged attitudes) as of late. We're just too busy being insufferable assholes whilst we complain amongst each other about how incredibly crappy our lives our as philosophy graduate students and how we should just be given jobs cause we earned it after working so hard for so long. But, worry not, I assume we'll be back to imploring people not to feed you or look you directly in the eye lest they incur your snarky wrath on a regular schedule soon.

(Wouldn't you like to know how to make the comic larger?)