Monthly Archives: April 2017

Why I’d Never Go Full Academic

  1. The huge time commitment.

This is probably my biggest qualm with academia. After a long day of lesson planning,teaching in the classroom, meeting with students, answering their emails and grading assignments, then you gotta read that article. Or go to the library and check out that book. Or outline that chapter or article. Or compile that data. I love teaching; it’s already time consuming. I don’t want to take additional time away from other things in life by doing research.

        2. Lack of jobs.

Every academic knows there’s few tenure track jobs out there. There are full time jobs that are not tenure track, but those have stiff competition as well.

        3. Longevity.

The tenure system has been dying a slow death for the last 30 years. Maybe even longer.  Wisconsin got rid of tenure. Missouri and Iowa want to. It’s only a matter of time before other states follow suit. Tenure is a relic. Academics could benefit from reading the book Who Moved My Cheese because they have adapted to this change by doubling down on tenure instead of moving and finding greener pastures.

         4. Low ROI.

You can spend your own money to attend conferences, spend your free time researching and publishing, spend time and money sending in all the documents required for only the initial application review for a job (cover letter, CV, letters of recommendation, teaching statement, research statement, diversity statement, writing sample, sample syllabi, etc.), but chance are you will see very little return on your investment. Because the hundreds of new PhD graduates are doing the same thing as well as those whose PhD isn’t so new, but still haven’t found a job. Or those who are looking to switch jobs.

I’m not knocking academia. Every industry has its unique hiring and industry practices. So the answer isn’t for everyone to leave. The answer is to read up on higher education as an industry, recognize the trends and learn the skills that will make you competitive in this job market, not the market of 10-20 years ago when your advisor was hired. Not even last year’s market.

So I could go through the process; I’d probably be competitive. The problem is, so is everyone else. I’ve seen professors go through the tenure process and none of them came out unscathed. It had profound effects on their life and health. As in now they have diagnosis and diseases they didn’t have before. So no, thank you.
I’ll teach, but not on the tenure track.  

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10 Things We All Want to Know Now

In no particular order.

10. The sex of Beyonce’s twins. You know, so you can plan that baby shower accordingly.

9. How Sean Spicer still has a job.

8. If we are going to war. Again.

7. What Bill O’Reilly’s next job will be. Ya’ll know he’s not going away, right?

6. What was Russia’s involvement in the American election of 2016? Like, really?

5. If whatever good is happening in your life now is because you forwarded that chain letter or typed “Amen” on Facebook. And vice versa.

4. Will anyone ever fly United again?

3. When you’ll be able to plan Serena Williams’s baby shower.

2. Why is Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino such a big deal?

1. Someone died live on Facebook. Let’s pause to let that sink in.

Epic Eye Roll

Every time someone mentions Dr. King as an example of what the fight for civil rights is supposed to look like I roll my eyes. I hate that this has happened, that I’m reduced to looking like an entitled 14 year old brat every time one of the best leaders, orators and writers is mentioned. I teach Dr. King in my into to African American literature course because, despite his overgrown status, Dr. King is still one of the best writers and speakers, I think, the world has seen.

I roll my eyes because Dr. King is used as the only example, as a way to police and minimize others’ actions, because he is thrown in our faces as a weapon. Just like the child who always hears “why can’t you be more like your brother or sister,” begins to resent his or her brother or sister, I’m beginning to resent talk of civil rights and protests. Just like you can’t compare children to each other because it’s like comparing apples to clouds, you can’t compare civil rights leaders. We all have preferences, but one is not “better” than another. And speaking of all these civil rights leaders, I have yet to hear anyone compare King to any of them specifically by name. Not even the infamous King/Malcolm X comparison. It’s like King is being compared to, you know, everyone else. Everyone else who? Please name names because the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a broad based coalition. That’s one of the reasons it was so effective.

So let’s stop talking about Dr. King like he “won” the civil rights movement. It wasn’t a competition nor a game. BLM and other modern movements for civil rights need to be free to identify themselves and fight the way they want to. Just as you are not your parents, BLM is its own organization. Let’s critique it on its own merits, not on the ways it is unlike its predecessors.