“Actually, feel free to be a lot less specific. Like just going ‘booooooo’ is literally all that’s required of you. And remember, when you file your report, we’re using the green cover sheets now. Blue was last month.”
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I have missed you Tumblr! This semester has been so beyond hectic that even the short breaks to post on my blog have felt too difficult to accomplish. I think though, that despite the exhaustion and hectic-ness that has been this Spring 2017 semester, I’ve been fairly productive. To make myself feel better about what’s been done (versus all I have yet to accomplish), I wanted to write it down and figured it was the perfect excuse to write on here.
1. Teaching. Gave my class their midterm yesterday so I am officially half way through the semester.
2. Research. I’ve been running studies and writing papers for revisions/submissions and while nothing is completed, things are starting to come together. If I could sleep less I’d be closer to done…
3 I’ve actually won a couple awards in my field recently. A dissertation proposal competition and rising star award. The timing is great as I am going on the academic job market this summer, and having these extra lines on the vita can only help.
4. Wedding planning. I’m still getting shit done. I have everything basically set up that I can control. Kind of need bridesmaid dresses/bachelorette stuff figured out but as my MOH is also a PhD student…I respect that she can’t focus on my shit. Also need a cake but considering I’m in the wrong state to test cakes…it is what it is.
Things to improve on
1. I want to sleep. At least weather has been nice which makes leaving home early and office late way more pleasant.
2. I need to go outside more while the weather is nice. Exercise and endorphins…
3. I miss cooking. I’ve been so busy that I live off of TJ pre-packaged meals. When I’m away from the fiance (we’re in a LDR while I finish teaching this semester and can’t work remotely/live with him), I stop putting any effort into what goes into my body.
4. Getting more shit done. But if it’s health versus papers, I actually lean towards health.
Wish me luck Tumblr world! Back to grading midterms and writing conference abstracts I go!
Hey y’all so this is how I survive, and since there’s minimum balances on my bank accounts literally all I can afford to save, each month, IF nothing emergency-ish happens and if I literally don’t buy anything but food and don’t do anything but pay my bills is $70
If I had no student loans, I’d be saving 280 dollars a month.
If I had no student loans, I could save around 3300 dollars a year, and instead I MAY be able to save 840.
So if I wanted to save enough to pay for a single year of college for a child (if I had one) or if I wanted to buy a car, it would only take me 41 years to save enough to do that.
If I want to have a VERY small, VERY inexpensive wedding, it’ll take me 11 years to save for it.
If I want to put a down payment on a house, it’ll take me around 50 years to save for it.
When I borrow from my emergency savings (which currently amount to roughly what I could save in six years) it takes me five or six months to pay that money back, and that’s if I can.
I work a full time, salaried job, and have a BA in Communications. This should not be my situation.
But due to a desperation for money, many entry level employees are being paid less and less, because the presumption is that we will literally take any job, at any pay, that offers survival salary and benefits, out of fear that we will not find another. Companies are farming entry-level employees, and getting higher and higher turn-over rates because they know they can replace you. The internet is teeming with replacements for you. Who will take your job and your salary in a second. Hardly anyone is developing talents within their organizations or allowing upward movement for their millennial employees. As a developable talent, I am concerned, broke, and scared for the future.
Uber talks a big game when it comes to how much its drivers make. They create video games, ad campaigns, and stalk drivers from other ride sharing services to promote a single message: Uber is a great way to make a living. But spreadsheets of raw driver data show that while Uber sometimes claims that its drivers make nearly six-figure salaries, many drivers actually make closer to this amount.
Every generation likes to believe that it came of age at an especially trying moment in history. Millennials have the Great Recession to lament. Gen X had the dotcom bust. The Boomers had Vietnam. And the Silents had the early Cold War, complete with the not-so-silly threat of nuclear war.
But at least when it comes to the job market, I think we can all agree by now that today’s young adults are deserving of at least a few extra pity points. And should there be any doubt, here’s a wonderful, one-chart demonstration of why from a new Pew report. At every education level, the 25- to 32-year-olds of 2013 confronted a higher unemployment rate than past generations did when they were stepping into the workforce. And keep in mind, that’s 2013—four years after the economy was supposed to have started mending.
What employers mean: “Smoking weed and using mind altering drugs makes you overqualified for this job. You’re too curious and we don’t like people who think for themselves. We’re afraid you will see the meaninglessness of this job.”
The need to bring out your inner Beyonce in the academic job market
At a dinner party, I was talking to my friend C about - what else? - the fraught nature of the academic job market. I love C. She is brilliant, has a caustic sense of humour that allows her to issue biting observations, and is kind and empathetic. We only occasionally ran into each other the further we sunk into our PhDs and so lost touch but then were ecstatic when we saw each other clad in our scarlet and black robes during PhD graduation last year. After years of not seeing each other because we were in different fields and were, quite frankly, too ensconced in our research to have much of a life, it was thrilling to see each other cross the finish line.
Anyway, during this dinner party, C issued what I thought was an especially astute observation. “Academia used to be the refuge of the nerds,” she lamented. “I became an academic because there were moments in my life when I liked books more than people.”
We then started talking about how there are lots of older professors whose social skills seemed to indicate that they preferred research over people.
“And it used to be that liking research, and being a good enough nerd, was sufficient to get you a job,” C continued. You bent your head down, you did your research well, you published, you got the job - that was the trajectory. Or at least that’s the way it was. My PhD supervisor, who I admire greatly, mentioned that everyone who he did his PhD with in the 1970s could reasonably expect to land a job afterwards.
Now, as most of us know, this isn’t the case. In fact, in order to get a job, you could no longer just be a nerd (i.e., just be an academic). You have to be an academic Beyonce.
And what, pray tell, is an academic Beyonce?
Well, this means that you can’t just have good work, you have to sell your work as being the most brilliant, the most innovative, the most cutting-edge, the most inspiring. You have to walk into that room before your job talk ready to sparkle and to dazzle everyone with your magnetism, your electric energy, and, yes, obviously your knowledge. You have to show that you aren’t merely a competent teacher but that scores of students are so inspired by your lectures that they, too, are ready to pledge undying allegiance to your field. You have to be able to show that your research isn’t only applicable to your specific area but has direct resonance in a million other cognate and not-so-cognate areas. Heck, your research - even if it is on, say, a Marxist Feminist analysis of Sherlock Holmes (the assorted novels and the books) - can also be applied to contemporary urban policy.
In short, a good test of whether a job candidate is hireable, according to one former professor, is whether a buzz is created around him/her in the wake of his/her visit. Are people excited about their work? Do people like them?
And so what happens to the introverts? The introverts have to buckle up and sell themselves as academic Beyonces lest they fade into the woodwork.
Think I’m lying? A good friend of mine who is normally humble and quiet and self-deprecating had to force herself to be anything but when she was getting interviewed. And lo and behold, she got the job.
C and I concluded our conversation by agreeing that the pressure to be academic Beyonces is simply too much.