Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update from New City

Sorry for the delay. I know you've all been holding your breath for my next post. Don't worry, you can breathe again.

It's been a busy month. Boyfriend and I have decided on and moved to an apartment in New City. He's working an 8-5 and I'm job hunting. The dogs are adjusting pretty well. I'm still excavating us out of boxes. I now understand why some people take years to finish all the unpacking. No job yet but I'm still feeling more hopeful than I did in academia. There's also a lot more opportunities down here than I could find online. In the meantime, I'm starting work on my writing with the goal of finishing a novel that is far more interesting to read than my dissertation.

On an aggravating note, the final paperwork at my university is incredibly demoralizing to fill out. It's not the formatting revision required by the grad school (I'm on round #3). It's the surveys. They all presuppose that you are either going to a faculty or post-doc position. The only other option is something like "negotiating some other position" or "not working (family obligations)." The actual wording, compared to the more academically-acceptable options, is really kind of insulting. They would have been better served to just put "Other" and leave it at that. There are also sections of how you paid for grad school and what your background was. The instructions claim these are just for decision-making purposes. However, after doing the sections on "Future Plans," I couldn't help but feel like they were gathering data on why some students "succeed" and go to get faculty jobs and why some "fail" - meaning they would click the "Other" button.

Leaving academia does not mean I "failed". It does not make me less than anyone who toiled to become faculty. Now can we adjust the attitude please, ivory tower-ites. Hmm...maybe they need a nickname. The Ivories maybe. Makes them sound like some gang in the fifties who wore matching jackets and broke out into dance numbers frequently. Would that make post-academics a roller-derby team by comparison?

On a related note: this post from The Homeless Adjunct blog is getting passed around among academic friends on facebook. I am glad 1) that faculty friends are reading The Homeless Adjunct and 2) that they think the content is relevant enough to pass on. This post does make the situation sound a little conspiracy theory-esque. Maybe it is. But I think it's more that once this wagon starting rolling, more and more people jumped on. What disturbed me more were the comments from faculty friends on this piece. They summed up to "sounds bad". Sounds bad? Sounds bad?!? This exact phrase was actually uttered by a friend with a sterling academic pedigree whose only job offer was a temporary position offered at the last minute in a much less than desirable location with a pathetic excuse for a salary. Talk about getting smacked in the face with denial and wondering why your head hurts.

Sigh. Wish I had a better ending. Oh well. I'm off to round 4 of the grad school revisions. Think happy thoughts y'all. The weekend is coming.

4 comments:

anthea said...

Oh dear to hear about the surveys that your uni is wanting to you to fill out. Can you avoid filling them out? Is this possible? Maybe you can avoid them?

dickenssilvia said...

Hm! lots of jobs are already in your hand so stop hunting more ;)!! I like your optimistic vision and time has not finished up so there’s no need to loose the hope of getting a desirable job. I wish you got it soon. Good luck for both of you :)!
moving boxes

anotherpostacademicblog said...

Can you add your own special box for "Decided academia was a giant Ponzi scheme and now looking for a job that actually pays"? So crappy that the university's assumptions about your "success" or "failure" in grad school are already implied in the options they allow you to check - like they can't resist kicking you one more time on your way out.

Good luck with the job hunting and unpacking!

Pi said...

Thanks all for the good vibes. More jobs are still popping up here so I continue to find good options to apply for. And it turns out that Boyfriend has a pretty extensive network he's willing to deploy on my behalf. That's a far better offer than I got from any academic "friends." So, things are looking up all the time!

I hope all your new paths are going along at least as good as you hoped, if not better.