What I really want to do is direct

It’s overcast and cold today and I’m feeling melancholy. This, in addition to reminding me why I shudder each time Spouse recommends Portland, Oregon as a solution to his job woes and our financial woes, makes this MLA panel piece by Brian Croxall on the dismal prospects for academics in my field lately even more poignant.

(The punchline, if you don’t feel like reading it? Full time professors these days qualify for food stamps, and jobs for both Tweedy Tenure Track and its neglected stepchild Oliver Adjunct are beyond pathetic, hurting students, graduates, and Universities in a rather horrifying spiral. A rather nasty, brutish, and short career view paper read at an MLA panel that complements today’s intensely depressing Fresh Air interview of Woody Allen. Come on, people. The decade was bad enough without this layer of realism and honesty. It’s like living in a William Dean Howells novel today.)

It’s no fun to be depressed without some data to back you up. So here you go, courtesy of a Tweet by my recent conference panelmate Matt Bucher. Thanks, man. Contagious academic depression is almost enjoyable as an academic dissection of a funeral. Cheers!

9 thoughts on “What I really want to do is direct

  1. My new year’s resolution is to find full-time employment in higher education. I might be just as likely to complete that resolution as I would be if I promised to go to the gym every day. *sigh*

    But at least misery loves company. :)

  2. Wow. Happy New Year, indeed. One of resolutions was going to be to amp up my academic fabulousness in hope of gaining a tenure-track position. Guess I’ll just scrap that . . . . and maybe go straight to food stamps . . . without collecting $200.

  3. What you really want to do is come visit cold-ass DC for a while and have us entertain Peanut while you bask in melancholy. Should I set up the guest room?

  4. Magnolia and Progressivescholar, I hear you. I was busting my ass on two articles that I’m honestly really proud of. And other things have languished while I bend over backwards trying to make myself look all academic-n-shit. But maybe I should pay attention to other things, if there’s no point. As long as our brains are undervalued and toiling in obscurity, do we continue on for the self satisfaction?
    ck and TKW: ladies, ladies. No need to fight. I have several reasons to grace both your abode with my Eeyore cloud. I do like cold weather. I like the Rockies and I like DC. I don’t even need the fancy towels…I’m such a long-term grad student and mom I don’t even know how to operate a shower anymore.

  5. Isn’t that the perennial question, though- is it worth it? Most academes put off that decision from year to year till the bedazzled wheelchair falls apart. Then you get the gold watch and a hernia and live on long-term disability. Joy to the world.

    • you’re right, Evenshine. I think, really, since every career involves sacrifice, it’s everyone’s question. For public defenders, corporate whores, parents, politicians, truckers, teachers, there’s a constant background mental patter of “is this really it? and is it worth it?” Maybe, maybe, for people who do what they love, it is. Physicians, artists, and professors, the ones who have to jump through eight billion hoops to get anywhere probably rest a bit more easily at night.
      I know I didn’t rest easily when I was well paid in marketing and advertising. Whole different level of questions when you’re selling your soul instead of getting gyped selling your brain.

  6. What was I saying earlier about your optimism and cheery-outlook?
    It all goes back to that this country, this culture, does not value education, much less an education that doesn’t make you into another laywer, business person, or banker. So when are we breaking off to make out own country?

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