Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197
Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Grad School is for Chumps?

Grad School is for Chumps?

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go

Nearly six years ago, I wrote a column called “So You Want to Go to Grad
School?” (The Chronicle, June 6, 2003). My purpose was to warn undergraduates
away from pursuing Ph.D.’s in the humanities by telling them what I had learned
about the academic labor system from personal observation and experience.

It was a message many prospective graduate students were not getting
from their professors, who were generally too eager to clone themselves. Having
heard rumors about unemployed Ph.D.’s, some undergraduates would ask about job
prospects in academe, only to be told, “There are always jobs for good people.”
If the students happened to notice the increasing numbers of well-published,
highly credentialed adjuncts teaching part time with no benefits, they would be
told, “Don’t worry, massive retirements are coming soon, and then there will be
plenty of positions available.” The encouragement they received from mostly
well-meaning but ill-informed professors was bolstered by the message in our
culture that education always leads to opportunity.

I have to say that I agree with this. I’m looking at you, MFA-seeking pretentious dickweeds. Personally, I am still on track and have the goal of grad school for Sociolinguistics -although my more general goal of writing has not changed. I’ve got the mentality and personality for teaching -and it seems like a reasonable thing to do while I accomplish other things. Career has never been in the forethought of my mind -producing solid literary works has been my top priority (which can be considered a career, I suppose).

There is, of course, the knowledge-for-the-sake-of-knowledge crowd, to whom this advice would not apply. They seek school simply because it is more rigorous and their understanding of the field will be improved more so than simply taking more undergrad classes. They don’t expect a doctorate to provide them with tenure at a school.

Share
0 comments