So...funny timing on blog posts. I was hired full-time at the software company two days after my latest online bitch-fest. All I can say about it is that I feel completely unequivocal about my priorities; even if this means that teaching becomes entirely a sideline activity for the rest of my life, I really don't care. I find that at 32, with a kid, living in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of American capitalism, I just want to take care of my family and try to keep my head above water.

I was IM'ing with K about it yesterday and she was pointing out that it's also something of a stand on principle to reject the endless treadmill of part-time, insecure and unsupported academic employment (i.e. as an adjunct/lecturer.) The system works because so many people like me / K* are willing to chase after the elusive full-time jobs, sacrificing everything in the name of a career and a system that almost no one actually gets access to.

Looking back, I think I'm most bitter about the attitude of tenured / tenure-track faculty, who treat adjuncts as kind of embarrassing plague-bearers; they walk past them in the halls of academic discourse (virtually and literally) like most of us walk past bearded hobos wrapped in sleeping bags begging for change. Of all the causes academics try to associate themselves with, the fate of the entire profession doesn't seem very important to most of them.

So, fuck them anyway. I'll go fix servers and do software QA.

* K is calling bullshit on this, too. By "people like me / K," I just mean "people with PhDs who are old(er) and want to not be as poor as they have been forever."


another kind of nerd said...

congrats, my friend. it's an adjustment that has it's own rewards.

noncoupable said...

This sounds familiar. I am contemplating finishing the PhD and looking for an academic job vs finishing and looking for a non-academic job vs just finding a non-academic job. I think I'd like to try teaching in a non-university setting and see if I like it (at a secondary school substitute teaching) or working in an environment like I had before I began grad school where I got to teach people indirectly by working on website projects and interacting with them occasionally at workshops sponsored by dept of ed/neh. If all that doesn't work out then well I'm in your boots. I agree with you 100%. QA and tech work isn't exciting (in fact can often be boring as hell) but it's also a fuck load more stable. On the bright side you'll work normal hours and can play with the family during non-working hours instead of grading crappy papers.

Jason said...

Congrats Chris!

Leah said...

I have recently accepted a position at the State and while it no longer means designing, it hopefully means more stability. I feel your pain and I understand, but right now a job is a job and that is a very good thing.