@andnowlights ooh now I'm super curious...I'm all about interdisciplinary crossovers between the humanities & other fields, so that program sounds really cool. if you want to talk shop, email me (nonvolleyball at gmail). the academic job market is an absolute nightmare, but if you've got the right attitude ("I'm doing this because I care about pursuing this knowledge; I will find a way for it to enrich my personal & professional life even if I don't end up in a tenure-track job some day") I think it actually makes you more likely to end up as one of the lucky TT few. it's so easy to get discouraged, but then you become bitter &/or desperate & I can't imagine that doesn't come across to search committees if you end up in an interview.
@andnowlights 99.9% placement?! not in the humanities then, I assume (& in that case, he'll probably be fine even if he's one of the unlucky .01%). I don't think the beleaguered perma-adjunct thing is nearly as prevalent in the STEM fields.
@Christy yeah, but quitting mid-semester might also have negative repercussions in terms of your career--see my comment to WayDownSouth above.
@WayDownSouth maybe the students wouldn't care (I actually think they would at the very least find it disruptive, but I'll concede that possibility). it's not just that though. syllabi are often very individually designed; it's not necessarily the case that other available instructors will have read all of the course texts, & if they haven't, it'll be hard for them to take over a class without sacrificing some degree of its effectiveness. additionally, since adjuncts are usually paid per course, they can't just be swapped into a new role without any administrative back-end, & in a lot of universities that's a highly bureaucratic process that can't happen overnight. the semester (or especially the quarter) moves quickly, & it's a big deal if students are left without an instructor for even a class or two. I definitely agree that lifetime adjuncting is often a self-defeating career choice, & it's not IMPOSSIBLE to break out of it if you're so inclined. but if you're committed to teaching, it's easy to see how you'd have moral qualms about making a sudden departure when you knew it was very likely that your students' education would be compromised as a result. plus, academia is a very insular community, so doing something like that would likely completely torpedo your reputation (& a lot of non-professor jobs for PhDs still have an academic component--working in administration, at libraries, etc.--so the long-term career implications of that are significant too). ...it's a complicated & shitty situation with no easy solution. the best advice for current grad students is to stay realistic about your job prospects & think about backup plans if you don't find your way into a tenure-track job. some people do find viable adjuncting positions but if you can't support yourself doing it, you should be looking for other options early & often.
@faceifer I feel like it was one of those "good books that your brainy child should read" that the library recommended...I have a vague memory of my mom checking it out for me back in the day (& that I really liked it despite my initial resistance).
the long sip/eye contact one was my favorite.
@selenana anytime someone mentions "Hit 'Em Up Style," I'm contractually obligated to suggest they check out the cover version by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which is amazing. so there you go.
if anyone's interested in tips for buying/selling cars through Craigslist, let me know--I've sold two cars to strangers (one through Craigslist & another through a similar site) & I have Learned Things. but I'm not gonna type it up if no one cares. :) (also you could email me by turning my username into a gmail address...I don't think the Billfold emails you about comments & I may forget to check back on this.)
@joyballz ahh, I got so excited to tell my husband's story below that I didn't realize yours was nearly identical! buildings: WHY DO YOU LOCK YOUR STAIRWELLS.
this is my husband's story, so I could be getting some of the details wrong, but right before he took his GREs--or maybe his SATs?--he went to go use the bathroom, but it was one floor down from where the test was being held, & his decision to be efficient & take the stairs led to him getting trapped in the stairwell (because it was a Saturday, the doors back into other floors were locked--& he was on something ridiculous like the 22nd floor or something). he started running frantically toward the ground floor, trying each door that he came to, & fortunately a custodian heard him & let him back into the "active" part of the building, where he was able to use the bathroom & get back in time to take the test. he is now a PhD, so clearly this didn't derail his academic career--but as he recounts it, there was a moment when he was like This Incident Will Ruin My Entire Life.