job market anhedonia

April 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I ran into an old Comp Lit prof from my first semester here today. I said hi, not expecting to be remembered 5 years later with much longer hair, but not only did she remember me, she remembered my seminar paper, said it was brilliant (I think memory may have been blurry in my favor on that bit, ’cause I could barely spell my name my first semester here), took about 15 minutes to chat with me about how things were, and told me essentially that if anybody was marketable, I was. I thanked her for the morale boost and regretted that “the market” didn’t seem to see it that way.  It’s getting to the point where the compliments are starting to sting, because even if they’re true/not biased due to “I like people who cite my work” syndrome, it just *doesn’t matter.*  I don’t know if I can explain that any better. The closest non-academia analogue I can think of is being an E5(P) with a 798 cutoff score. But that analogy fails quickly, ’cause you can always reclass.  Or the cutoff can drop.  And meanwhile you’re getting paid.

To stretch the analogy out even more painfully, a friend suggested I send out TOEs rather than resumes.

Capabilities: Provide air defense against low altitude logical fallacies; provide early warning information utilizing integrated communications platforms for assessment of student writing; capable of performing simultaneous smoke and mirror operations depending on weather conditions and funding clock; collect HUMINT on 18-24 year old demographic during periods of limited visibility in area of influence.

Basis of allocation: NGT than one per division at R1 level; may be replaced by a Generalist, Classicist, or Early Modernist at any level given mission imperatives and infrastructure or just plain whim.

Minimum mission essential wartime requirements: Zotero, Red Bull, Google, twelve bookcases with a minimum of five shelves each, a copy of St Augustine’s Confessions, a red pen, and Post-it Notes.

Items of modernization equipment due for review in next stage of cyclic review process.

This unit is dependent on BN level TOE for personnel, admin, food services, health services, planning and operations support. Adapt tables for reduced operational capability in decrements of 20% per month unemployed after May 2012.

Chaplain support: negative.

Doctrine: MLA Style Guide, 6th ed., Bosworth-Toller’s Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, March’s Comparative Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon Language, Strunk & White, What Color is Your Parachute?



  1. Jonathan Jarrett said,

    It’s either to laugh or to cry, isn’t it? But this made me laugh, all the same. May your good humour last longer than your adversities!

  2. Sally Wilde said,

    Oh how I hope you have a job now. Unfortunately, last time I checked, universities did not value a sense of humour. There was a time in my life when I had a five year run of What Color is Your Parachute … Ho hum. I have to say it was easier to deal with than putting together grant applications, although the latter did, in the end, pay off. Retired now. What a relief!!!!

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