"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Link Day ... and How Random Stuff Relates to Being a Postacademic

Since I haven't got any cohesive thoughts of my own today, I'm taking my cue from Spanish Prof's Link Day the other day and featuring links I find noteworthy:

For starters, Steve Jobs died. Yes, he was very smart and too young but also very sick. Sad but no surprise. Why is it that EVERYBODY under the blazing sun thinks they have something to say on this subject? I think Comradde Physioproffe puts it best. Just because you have an iPod/Pad/Phone doesn't mean you have anything of substance to say here.

However, JC does have a great Jobs quote up about how our time is limited and that we should be doing what feels right rather than what we think is right. Unfortunately for me, I don't have a freakin' clue anymore! Up is down and down is up. I'm bored shitless and dissatisfied generally with where my life is right now, but I look around and don't see any alternatives. I'm glad there are people out there like JC and Anastasia who feel good about where they are as postacademics -- and are thriving in their new roles. I just wish I could figure it out. I'd gladly close the door on academe forever if I knew that doing so really would make me happy ... but I don't. I don't know anything anymore.

I've been posting far less about disabilities (in the workplace and everywhere else) than I thought I would be when I started the blog. I guess, honestly, after the few technology hiccups the first week, my lousy eyesight hasn't been much of an issue. But Steve Kuusisto over at Planet of the Blind posted a provocative paragraph today titled Vortex of Disability in which he elegantly and succinctly captures the experience of how a disability can creep up and surprise you --  there are so many ways, and he seems to condense them all. He writes, "Here comes your grandmother, disguised as a wolf, telling you nature is unfair."

For any of you who remember my posts here and here a few months back about being in a band, this article explains some of the back story on why things went down the way they did.That band is now defunct and the album project indefinitely on hold. A splinter group I'm in is putting together some new material, but it hasn't been worth writing about here -- long story short, I need a new band!! The guy that the article is about that I've linked to was not actually involved in the band by the time I joined, but he was part of an earlier incarnation. Our singer/songwriter and he had a major dispute over who had actually written the songs ... and now the album is indefinitely on hold because that singer/songwriter and the bass player/sound engineer who is producing the album have gotten into a dispute over rights to the finished product, among other things. Which is why the album is indefinitely on hold. Did I mention I needed to find a new band? What's the point of all this postacademic freedom if I can't be in a band whose members don't hate each other too much to get stuff done?

Grumble, grumble. I think I'm going to go see what these folks are up to in person, now that the weekend is here ...


  1. I think that your comments about not being settled relate back to the two types of postacademics (well, three, actually, as you pointed out).

    I'm not settled and happy because I'm where I want to be. My job is nothing exciting and I'm certainly planning to look for something better.

    But for me, my life is far better because I'm simply not doing academic stuff anymore. That's been the single thing that's made me happiest - just not doing academic work anymore.

    But you're a type 2, I think, so you might miss the work? I think that's perfectly normal, since you and I are coming at this from different angles.

    Hell, sometimes I feel like a loser because I can't believe that after all of this, I'm prepared to just drop the work I've done on the diss and just leave. That makes me feel like a failure. I almost wish I felt more unsettled by it. Especially since I lost all of these years when I could have been working toward a career. Sigh. I wouldn't say I'm satisfied or settled ... I'm just content right now.

    Have you thought about marking out some time each week to work on the book project? Maybe working toward something concrete like that, even for just a few hours per week, will help you feel more grounded and content? You wouldn't "just" be working at your job ... you'd be working on your book.

  2. Eh, I think what's bothering me right now is that academe is poisoned, really and truly poisoned, but I feel like I don't have much to look forward to outside academe, either. Even though I am a Type 2, I've essentially resigned myself to the door being forever closed on the possibility of working at a "real" job in academe, and I'm OK with that, I think. The book is an on-again-off-again project that I work on when I feel like it -- the conference paper I've committed myself to will be a sketch of the chapter I want to write (and maybe will have written by the time the conference comes around in March) ... But it isn't really my marginal status, academically speaking, that's getting to me at the moment. It's that nonacademic options look pretty bleak, too. I don't need to find a "dream job" or even anything I'm particularly passionate about (right now, there isn't anything, anyway), but I would like to do something that is A) useful, B) allows me to use talents and skills I have more than I'm doing right now, and C) pays more than what I'm earning now (hey, it is good compared to my adjunct wages, but, in the grand scheme of things, I feel like I could and should be earning more).

    Maybe I'm just having a "glass-half-empty" week ...

  3. Yeah, I hear you on your lettered points. That's basically where I'm at as well. I'm okay with my job right now, just because I'm able to relax and live my life, while having a job that pays my bills. That's enough for right now.

    But long-term, I also hope to find something that's useful and uses at least some of the skills I've gained in grad school. And yes, money more in line with the level of education and the skill set I have would be nice.

    I think I'm still just focused on and enjoying the "having a normal work week and a wage I can live on" thing. I'm sure that after the new year when I start looking for my next job, I'll be a little bit more angsty.