Consistently have to apologize to white men who are themselves assholes and in the wrong
White men are expected to do less service or teaching, and get rewarded when they jump the gun or behave inappropriately
Women must be twice as good to get the same opportunities as men, and this is particularly true of people of color
Women and people of color in positions of power buy into the system and do not do the work to protect people low on the hierarchy, pushing the burden of success and safety onto them
Faculty participate in diversity initiatives supposedly to improve diversity in the field, but then continue to behave in unjust ways
Endless push to get more underrepresented groups and women into the field, but without fixing the conditions that make them quit in the first place
Academia values productivity, measured as number of publications, at the expense of quality and depth
Faculty positions require teaching, administrative duties, student mentoring, and research for promotions and tenure, but the dearth of faculty positions and the dwindling amount of grant money means that junior faculty are pushed into overwork (60-80 hours per week) to meet the basic expectations of university administrations
Overproduction of PhDs means that getting a PhD only qualifies you for more training, requiring multiple moves and extended periods of instability
Overproduction of PhDs also means that extremely qualified academics end up going to ‘low-tier’ schools to teach, pushing research expectations up everywhere regardless of course-load or financial support
Academic work is undervalued so that both postdoctoral work and the majority of faculty positions are severely underpaid, especially as they require much more than 40 hours a week to fulfill all expectations
Postdoctoral trainees are often considered little more than indentured servants, and are treated neither as employees nor as students
Most academic positions are in geographical locations that are undesirable for most academics
Getting a job, getting tenure, and getting promotions depends as much on politics as on your quality as a researcher or teacher
Pervasive belief that academia, more than a job, is a vocation, to which you must sacrifice everything or be considered unworthy or undeserving, to the extent that looking for better opportunities is considered immoral or questionable
Let me tell you a story about a girl who quit med school
There once was was a girl who really enjoyed learning. She rarely had problems with her school work. Science has been something she had a particular interest in.
She has always been one of the best students in her school and her fascination in biology and chemistry has been noticed by her teachers. She Attended an individual education program in these two subjects, where she could learn faster and learn more with a couple of students with similar interests. At that point in life she wanted to be a scientist and work in a laboratory. So whenever anyone suggested she became a doctor, she would just say that it’s not something that interests her.
Her idea of future has changed the day she started high school. She decided to leave the door open for other ideas and see what life brings. The thing she was sure of was that in adult life she wants to help people. Her family, teachers and friends were telling her that that’s where they see her in the future- in a hospital helping patients. She really wanted to become a doctor at that point.
She read a lot of medical books, did volounteer work at an organization, which helped cancer fighters and worked extremely hard to pass her finał exams in order to be accepted into med school.
And then it happened! She got several messages from several medical universities that she is accepted! But the university of her first choice said no. She felt extremely proud, because her tests went great and she could pick from university offers, but that one university she was wishing to study at the most turned her down. That’s when she started having doubts. What if she wasn’t meant to be a doctor and life was giving her a hint? But she got accepted into other schools and that had to mean something aswell.
She decided to give medicine a try. She packed her bags, rented a small flat in a completely unknown city and set off for the biggest adventure of her life. The first couple of weeks were amazing! The new books, new friends, new classes. Everything was so fascinating to read about! But after some time, after the first fascination, the struggle started.
She no longer enjoyed studying the subjects that she was taking. Some days she couldn’t concentrate at all and just sat at her desk for a couple of hours not getting any work done. She missed her family and old friends a lot and didn’t get along too well with the new buddies. She cried every night, but she knew that these studies were hard for everyone, so she kept moving on, despite the health problems she started having.
After all, she wanted to help others.
But one day something inside her cracked. Within minutes she completely fell apart. She couldn’t stop crying for a couple of hours. She decided to call her mother and ask for some comforting words. They were on the phone for 2 or 3 hours. That’s when she told her mom, that she doesn’t want to do it anymore, she just can’t handle it any longer. Her mom understood and said that she noticed that something has been wrong for a long time now, that she was miserable and forgot about her health. Her mother wasn’t angry or disappointed. She wanted her daughter to live again. That moment of understanding, her mother’s words gave her the courage to stand up and get herself out of the hopeless state she found herself in.
And that’s when the girl decided to quit, to end the struggle. She tried her best and fought till the end, but medicine just wasn’t for her. She’s been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now, but that phone call gave her the courage to do so. The next day, she signed her resignation paper, handed it in, packed her bags and headed home.
That girl is turning 20 in a month and her name is Zuzanna, or Zuzia as people call her.
Yes, I am that girl. I quit med school after nearly a year of hard work, many tears and generating health problems. I tried my best to fit into the med students community, to start enjoying studying again, but I failed. But I don’t feel ashamed. It took me almost the whole year to understand that medicine is not for me. It took me a year to see that it only seems so perfect form the outside and on the inside it’s just full of abnegations, disappointments and illusions. It took me a year to see that my teenage dreams of becoming a scientist are my true dreams.
I am full of respect and appreciation for all the doctors and medical students, who sacrifice their lives to serve every person in need. The career you have chosen is probably one of the most amazing and wonderful paths in life. But as doctor Luanda Grazette once said:
“Medicine is only for those who cannot imagine doing anything else.”
And I could imagine myself doing something else. I actually want to study biology, something I’ve always been charmed by, and try to help others either by teaching or working in a laboratory. But for now, I’m planning on getting healthy and finding peace and happiness in life again.
If you are going through relatable problems, have comparable doubts about your studies or have any questions concerning this issue, feel free to message me either though this blog or through my private page here.
“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” ― Mandy Hale
Here’s the thing that my boss doesn’t realize: if I was able to quit my PhD program because it was mentally and physically harmful, what’s stopping me from quitting a non-profit job that is mentally and physically harmful? Like, I’ve already quit the thing that was my last resort and the thing that I thought I’d spend the rest of my life doing and the thing that my very identity got all wrapped up in. If I can quit that, I can quit fucking anything.
(This jumped the line of prompts and I apologize but I thought of it for…reasons…and had to write it. Smoking, lung problems, oblique references to body horror, winteriron).
Tony’s coughing again, and it’s starting to worry Bucky for real now.
He’s noticed it, how often Tony coughs, or gets short of breath. He sounds like Steve, back in the day, before Erskine and the serum. But Tony doesn’t have asthma and anyways, modern medicine exists now. Tony doesn’t take anything or see anyone or go to any treatments. And every time Bucky asks, he brushes it off.
But right now, he can’t hide this, this doubled-over hacking.
Bucky flings his coat aside, not caring where it lands, and rushes over to Tony. “Tony? Doll? You okay?”
The coughing is taking away his breath now, turning to wheezing, and Bucky wishes his cellphone wasn’t in his jacket pocket, because he thinks he might have to call 911. “Breathe with me,” he says softly. “You’re okay, try for me.”
Practice is the only thing that gets him through it, and eventually Tony’s breathing almost normally again. “I’m fine,” he says, voice raw.
“You seen a doctor?”
“Don’t need one,” Tony hurries to say. “I–just need some fresh air. Be right back.”
Tony rushes out like the room’s on fire, leaving Bucky dazed and bewildered.
“It’s the smoking.”
Bucky jumps half a mile. “Jesus christ. When’d you get here?” He demands, turning to look at Rhodey, who’s looking back at him with hard eyes. Bucky didn’t even hear him come in.
“FRIDAY called me when Tony got bad. I’m glad you can help him, but you could help him by not making it fucking worse,” Rhodey says.
“I…don’t know what you’re talking about,” Bucky confesses.
Rhodey studies him. “Anyone bother to give you a lecture on how bad cigarettes are for your health?”
Bucky shrugs. “The packs says. But I’ve been smokin’ ‘em a long time. Relaxes me. And I can’t get sick like that. So.”
“Know what second-hand smoke is?”
“The chemicals in cigarettes get into the air. Stick to clothes and skin. Every time you smoke near Tony, you’re passing those chemicals onto him. Called second-hand smoke. Causes the same health problems. Most badly hurts children, and the elderly, and those already bodily compromised. And Tony…”
“His lungs,” Bucky finishes.
Rhodey nods. “Yup. Tony’s lungs are shit. Can’t handle the smoke.” He takes a hard look at Bucky and must see how destroyed Bucky is by the news. “It’s not entirely your fault. Tony’s literally missing a chunk of his lungs, breathing’s always gonna be a little harder. And he didn’t exactly treat his body like a temple before…or after…so that isn’t helping either.”
“But I’m making it worse,” Bucky concludes. “I make him choke and hack like that.”
“Yeah,” Rhodey says.
“Why didn’t he say something?” Bucky says, yanking his hand through his hair. “I’ve been living with him for almost two years. Sharing his bed for ten months. Have I been makin’ him sick all this time? Why didn’t he tell me to get lost?”
“It’s Tony,” Rhodey says with a fond eye-roll. “You know him. If he thought it’d work, he’d give you his own left arm if it would make you happy.”
Instead, he just gave his lungs so Bucky could selfishly and unknowingly have his routine. Bucky feels sick, and it’s hard work to get a super soldier to throw up but he thinks he might achieve it.
Well. Nothing else to it, then.
“FRIDAY,” he calls. “I’m gonna take a shower. Send one of those cleaning bots to grab my clothes. All of 'em, not just these. Wash everything. And…could ya look up the best ways to quit smoking?”
“Of course, Sergeant,” FRIDAY says.
Rhodey squeezes his shoulder, looking relieved. “I’m going to check on Tony,” he says. “Come find us as soon as you’re clean. We’ll be having a quiet night. Maybe a movie or something.”
Bucky scrubs his skin and his hair, uses the fragrant shampoos and soaps he normally wouldn’t touch, brushes his teeth for a solid four minutes, and then carefully washes his hands again just to be sure. All his clothes are gone, so he wears his towel downstairs to steal some sweats from Steve–who thankfully never took up smoking, despite the cultural norms of the time, his own lungs not able to handle it when he was young. Then he goes to find Tony and Rhodey so he can–hopefully, if Tony will let him–carefully hold Tony in his arms for the rest of the night, and just feel him breathe.
Things to say when you're having a bad quitting day
I know. Quitting makes you cough. Your lungs ache and throb. Curling up or laying straight they’ll pain you for quite a while. And if you’re not using any nicotine replacement therapy methods like gum or the patch, it really. Really. Hurts. So uh. Here’s some things to tell yourself that help.
-“The pain in my lungs now is a healing pain. If I keep smoking, eventually the pain in my lungs would be cancer.”
-“I’m going to save so much money. So much.”
-“In a few weeks I’ll be able to laugh without coughing so hard it hurts.”
-“Food and drinks will taste so much better when everything starts to heal.”
[Time sensitive] I need to quit my job because im moving but im not sure how to do it? I need to give two weeks notice and ask for a letter of reference, could you help me with a script? Im worried about being too blunt
This is actually one of those situations in the workplace where you get to be blunt. We’ve scripted up a resignation letter for you that will hopefully make this easier for you which is as follows:
To whom it may concern,
Due to moving [across the country/to another state/etc], I will unfortunately have leave my position with your company. It has been a pleasure working for you. My last day will be [enter date here]. If it is within your ability to do so, I would greatly appreciate a letter of recommendation.