People think scientists are really intellectual when we get together, but today after discussing the validity of various schools of thought concerning patterns in evolutionary rates and speciation, our discussion deteriorated into a debate about whether a dolphin sexually stimulating itself with a severed fish head was masturbation, necrophilia, or bestiality.

Woke up today and decided that I wasn’t going to lay around and do nothing (which I’m actually allowed to after four years of non stop studying and almost 3 degrees). So got meself a cup of caramel macchiato (the lipstick stain did not come with it) and headed to the library and have been researching for an upcoming project, for the past three hours.

I think it’s time for me to head back and do the laundry and cook dinner.

-the arcegyptologist-

I played hooky from class this morning.

When I woke up my body said “naw we ain’t going.”

The extra sleep was sooo needed but the added guilt of missing important info is blah.

Why Your Cousin With a Ph.D. Is a Basket Case 

Understanding the Byzantine hiring process that drives academics up the wall.

  • by Rebecca Schuman

"It’s your sister’s wedding, and you and your quiet but nice cousin—he’s doing his Ph.D. in something, maybe history?—are doing your best to get drunk off the watered-down open-bar bourbon. You’re just making polite conversation, so you ask him: “Want to come visit us next Christmas?” Why on earth did his sallow face just cloud over at your kind and generous offer? Because he has no idea where he’ll be living two Christmases from now—he just applied to 30 jobs in 30 far-flung towns, so from a logistical standpoint “next Christmas” might as well be Pluto.

Such is the madness of the academic hiring process. If you have a relative or friend who is an early career academic, chances are you have recently set that poor, damaged soul of hers into an existential death spiral, simply by asking what would ordinarily be a friendly question. For example, with your cousin, pounding booze and scoping bridesmaids, you might follow up: “Well, where do you want to live?” He looks even more miserable, like he just swallowed a scorpion. “Well,” you soldier on, “have you ever thought of moving to [major metropolitan area] and working at [world-renowned institution]? They’re such a big school; they’re sure to have something for someone smart like you.” Now your cousin is beginning to shake. “Why don’t you just send them your résumé?”

It’s not your fault that your cousin has dropped dead! But the reasons for this are perplexing and counterintuitive, and to understand them, it’s worth understanding the Byzantine process that Ph.D.s of almost all disciplines go through in their attempts to get jobs doing the things they went to school to do. (Silver lining: It’s a process your cousin no longer must endure.)

The academic job market works on a fixed cycle, and according to a set of conventions so rigid that you’d think these people were applying for top-secret security clearances, not to teach Physics 101 to some pimply bros in Sheboygan. For my examples, I will use the cycle of humanities hiring because I know it all too well; the cycles for the social (and anti-social) sciences vary somewhat but are similarly inflexible, with complex requirements and geographical limitations all their own” (read more/and cry).

(Source: Slate)

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