Thursday, January 05, 2006

Grad Student Flop Sweat

I've been on the job market for a little more than a year now, and I'm afraid the results have not been uniformly positive. I am still assiduously mailing off materials, references, etc to dozens of more or less obscure colleges around the world, together with febrile predictions of how awesome my research is going to turn out to be and statements of my teaching philosophy expressly designed to obscure the fact that this philosophy amounts to: Stand at front of room with piece of chalk, explain things, occasionally stroke chin in learned manner. The piece of chalk is my nod towards "using technology in the classroom", something that is apparently in vogue despite the fact that our existing pedagogical difficulties had precisely fuck all to do with our not having sufficiently cool gadgets. Now we learn... with robots!

That last bit is an example of the kind of thing it would not be good to say in an interview, by the way.

However, reading this makes me count my blessings. My current state of solvency, non-unemployment, and blissful exile from the lecture theatre is basically due to a kindly soul offering me a mulligan on last year's job cycle, rather than my having "applied" for a "job" which has "duties" beyond my own amusement. I think part of the reason that there is money floating around in the world to be given to people like me is that the New York Times can't write snarky articles about what we do.