Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Over It Oscar: "Over and Out."

We tend to get a lot more of these posts than we used to, and they often come near the end of semesters. We've gotten at least 20 of these this month, and they always make us sad. We've found great joys in an academic career, but we completely understand this writer's confusion and despair. We'd rather this was a light and lively smackdown story, but the truth is, a lot of our readers feel like this.

So, another semester come and gone in my life on the temp treadmill. Sadly I am coming to the conclusion that I don't need the academy to be happy. So despite the opportunity for continued spectacular underemployment, I have had it with condescending senior faculty and unmotivated, culture of entitlement students. Unlike some of my colleagues from grad school who are unemployed or under-employed as fry-vat engineers, I have been 'lucky' enough to land a couple back to back contracts at Mediocre Midwest University.

The faculty here at MMU has generally been supportive, but I am tired of the uncertainty of yearly contracts which the university views as less expensive than a 'real' hire. I am also tired of the job search grind. Yeah I just got the Ph.D, but I don't see how that makes me sub-human. In my experiences with search committees I got the impression that they felt I should be grateful they deigned to talk to me... and here I thought they might view me as a valuable potential addition to their department. Silly me.

As for the human flotsam barely pretending to be a carbon based life form around here, i.e., students, what can I say? If this sad ass lot of Guitar Hero wannabes is the best we have to offer as a culture, we are screwed. They don't need a university professor, they need zealous missionary attention.

Anyway, I am not interested in dribbling on about how my precious little feelings have been hurt - they haven't - or how the system has damaged my idealism - it didn't. But I do want to point out that the current system is moving towards students as customers and this cannot be good.

Anyway, fuck it. I can go elsewhere, make some money, not have to deal with the bullshit and have a satisfying life. So I am taking myself out of the game.

See ya,