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(Chronicle of Higher Education)   How's that Ph.D. in medieval history workin' out for ya? "I find it horrifying that someone who stands in front of college classes and teaches is on welfare"   (chronicle.com) divider line 485
    More: Dumbass, Ph.D.  
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12822 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 May 2012 at 1:39 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-08 03:38:58 PM  

ph0rk: jshine: ph0rk: jshine: getting a PhD is not decision you make in a moment.

You haven't met many prospective PhD students.

I was a PhD student -- from Jan. 2004 to July 2009.

So? You're still wrong.


Which statement is wrong?

I realize that some people make bad decisions, and that unrealistic optimism is rampant. ...but we're talking about (supposedly) *very smart people* here. The nature of the PhD program requires a student to do research -- lots of it, for years. It only seems logical to use that skill-set to investigate your own future. If you can't do objective research, then you're a failure as a PhD anyway. ...and if you're too lazy to do it, then well, tough.
 
2012-05-08 03:40:08 PM  

junkmetal: Meh, she picked her "bliss" over a useful study or vocation. Follow your bliss after you have a job that can pay for it.


History is perhaps the most useful thing we can study. Are you familiar with the cyclical nature of humanity's journeys through time? It is our single greatest teacher. But don't let its lack of popularity cloud that for you; stick to your guts!
 
2012-05-08 03:40:10 PM  
I obtained a Ph.D. through a highly regarded Chemistry dept. My areas of expertise are directly related to cancer and HIV research. I have a first author and advisor only paper in a journal with an impact factor of 7.8. I have completed a short term postdoc in an unrelated area of expertise. I cannot even find a position flipping burgers. I'm at my wits end.
 
2012-05-08 03:40:16 PM  

Magorn: In state Tuition at her school is $70/credit hour so each student is pay $210 to be in her class. multiply that by 35 students, and double it because she is teaching two classes and you get $14700 in net income to the school, out of which she is paid $900/mon so assuming a 4 mo academic semester $3,600 for both classes. So in essence the school is taking $11,000 for being the middle man between the seller and purchaser of the knowledge in her brain that she worked independently to obtain

That's a hell of a racket


It's not like that's $11,000 of pure profit, like they have no expenses other than instructor salaries.
 
2012-05-08 03:40:37 PM  

jshine: ph0rk: jshine: ph0rk: jshine: getting a PhD is not decision you make in a moment.

You haven't met many prospective PhD students.

I was a PhD student -- from Jan. 2004 to July 2009.

So? You're still wrong.

Which statement is wrong?

I realize that some people make bad decisions, and that unrealistic optimism is rampant. ...but we're talking about (supposedly) *very smart people* here. The nature of the PhD program requires a student to do research -- lots of it, for years. It only seems logical to use that skill-set to investigate your own future. If you can't do objective research, then you're a failure as a PhD anyway. ...and if you're too lazy to do it, then well, tough.


You're thinking of shoulds and not ares.

No one should enter a PhD program on a whim or without a plan.

Many, many people do.
 
2012-05-08 03:41:02 PM  

freewill: Rapmaster2000:

I'm in software, too. There's nothing magical about programming. It's extremely straightforward, and if the legacy code I've worked with is any indication, some very stupid people are able to code. You're not good at algebra? Try again. Use a different book. Read a different tutorial on the internet. You may not have an aptitude, it may be less enjoyable for you, but you can do it. I bought a programming book at 17, got annoyed when "Hello, World" didn't work, threw it across the room, and walked away. I bough ...


There is a difference in programming and software engineering, yes, many people can hack out some programs that work reasonably well using a language they like. But that isn't development, that is being a code monkey. Most people I know with that mentality are good at a couple of things. But they can't work in groups with true software engineers, because they don't share the same concepts. The Code monkey does the task the fastest way he can, without thinking about how that will be used 5 years from now. There is a difference in people's brains that enable them to do certain things where others can't. But that's OK, it is those differences that ensure that we have a balanced society.
 
2012-05-08 03:41:04 PM  

Magorn: A little " I think I may see the problem" math

In state Tuition at her school is $70/credit hour so each student is pay $210 to be in her class. multiply that by 35 students, and double it because she is teaching two classes and you get $14700 in net income to the school, out of which she is paid $900/mon so assuming a 4 mo academic semester $3,600 for both classes. So in essence the school is taking $11,000 for being the middle man between the seller and purchaser of the knowledge in her brain that she worked independently to obtain


That's a hell of a racket

that $11k also provides facilities, utilities, maintenance employees, administrators, libraries, computer labs, etc.

sure, she could teach a class in her front yard and pocket all of it... but I doubt she'd be able to find students.

/got my MD from Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.
 
2012-05-08 03:41:31 PM  
quickdraw:

Its probably a good thing you didn't go into religious studies since empathy and humility are important traits to have for that field.

Huh? What makes you say so? Even in an ordained seminary graduate (which sounds like what you're thinking of) "people skills" are optional: just work your way into a cult like the United Methodist Church or the Papistry that practically guarantees its clergy some kind of living (and, in the case of the Catholics, certain fringe benefits that most Farkers don't appreciate).

Besides, like Economics or any other long-running scam, you can always go from studying in the seminary to teaching there. I wouldn't expect the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to favor graduates from D00k.

Anyway, religious studies -- especially the comparative kind -- are often done in secular schools by non-believers who like to trace and play with concepts. It can be as geeky a field as linguistics. And who do you think gives us atheist proselytizers all those cut-&-pastes to Fark with?
 
2012-05-08 03:41:53 PM  
America: where "Ph.D. in Medieval History" is no longer considered impressive, because it doesn't command millions of dollars a year.

Because if your job was really worth anything, it'd pay you a shiatload of money. That's how we measure everything now.
 
2012-05-08 03:42:01 PM  

Palvar: Here is a cheaper apartment across the street from her job.

http://www.padmapper.com/show.php?type=0&id=112378448&src=main

Stop driving 100 miles a day.


She makes $900 a month.

Must make minimum $1,600. per month

I guess they ask for your paystub or something. Never seen that before.
 
2012-05-08 03:42:31 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Cybernetic: Six. Hundred. Billion. Dollars.

And yet we have students with schools where the labs are woefully inadequate, students in crowded school buildings etc etc and yes all of that matters.


Absolutely it does. Public education is rife with wasteful spending. But the money is there.

When I went to high school, every single coach of every single athletic team had some other job in the school. Almost all of them were teachers. One or two might have been administrators or guidance counselors. I can't think of a single good reason for any high school to have a full-time coach on their payroll. Yet it's become increasingly common.

The ratio of administrators to teachers in many school districts approaches one-to-one; administrators usually make far more than teachers (many make six figures) while contributing little to the actual education of children. You can hire two or three teachers for the price of one Assistant Vice Dean of Student Enrichment. Administrators are also fond of attending out-of-town educational conferences, with travel and lodging and admission all paid out of the school district's budget. How much of that is really necessary? I have managed to build a successful career in my chosen field without EVER attending a single out-of-town conference.

The problems with education are solvable, but it requires more focus on how they spend the money they already have. In the current environment, more money just leads to more waste.
 
2012-05-08 03:42:58 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Palvar: Here is a cheaper apartment across the street from her job.

http://www.padmapper.com/show.php?type=0&id=112378448&src=main

Stop driving 100 miles a day.

She makes $900 a month.

Must make minimum $1,600. per month

I guess they ask for your paystub or something. Never seen that before.


I've seen it around a few universities in NC.
 
2012-05-08 03:43:17 PM  

melopene: relcec: you said you thought there was a failure in the market.
why do you think exploiting adjunct labor so tenured professors and administrators can rake cash is a failure of the market economics?
critical race theory has probably left you unwilling to admit that individual actors have any responsibility at all to choose a career that is even slightly in demand, so let's try something else.

isn't it really a failure of our government policy that funds, without limit and without regard to industry demand, all those who wish to become adjuncts (at least in the short term in order to secure future, more gainful employment) and thus there is a deluge of potential labor with consequently little to no actual bargaining power?

*headdesk*

That's not what I'm saying, at all. I don't know how race theory comes into this. In fact, I'll paste you exactly what I said (which, funny enough, led my colleague to defriend me on FB, which I find to be hilarious):

"I'm not talking about my personal values, I'm referring to Bozeman's list of public value failures. You don't think that these preferences for fancy dorms and gyms over student learning characterize issues of value aggregation or short time horizons? I also reject the notion that the market for higher education works as advertised.

Yes, yes, economists always claim that in the aggregate, humans act rationally in a market - I say that they do not, because I come from a sociological and psychological perspective that tells me that they don't. And surely, we'll hear the argument that all the information is freely available, but let's be honest here - people lie, including university recruiters. Do you really think that parents and students get full disclosure on just how many of their courses will be taught by adjuncts, much less know what implications that has on their education?"


I was just farking with the feminist and race critical shiat you because of your sociology degree ;p
you are correct that the market for higher education is mightily dysfunctional, but why don't you think that the government funding mechanism doesn't have a big role to play in it? is it because your own sociology background has created such a cognitive bias in favor of distributing resources through the community that you can't imagine a government policy that has any downsides?

many people don't act absolutely rationally when they are given nominally free money to spend and the day when self sufficiency is demanded is way over the horizon.
 
2012-05-08 03:45:45 PM  

WhyteRaven74: So it's the girls fault she got raped for wearing a short skirt?


More like, nobody would have sex with her because she smelled bad and had ridiculous tattoos on her face.
 
2012-05-08 03:45:52 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Cybernetic: If you can't support yourself with the skills that you have, then you have the wrong skills.

So it's the girls fault she got raped for wearing a short skirt? That's exactly how you're reasoning here, and it doesn't work. You're looking at one side of the issue while trying like crazy to not address the other side of the issue.


How is that reasoning the same? Do you really believe that?

If a group of men had grabbed her off of the street, forced her to get a Ph.D. in medieval history, and then proceeded to follow her around to ensure that she never ever ever ever acquired any other marketable skills, then you might have a point.

But that's not what happened. So you don't.
 
2012-05-08 03:46:33 PM  

WhyteRaven74: relcec: these people are noble. they should be treasured by society regardless of any utility at all.

Americans actually used to think that way. And being able to tell people about things was considered quite the utility.


For a long time (post-WWII), the academic infrastructure of the US was growing. There were jobs for PhDs because there were (relatively) few departments creating them and universities were expanding (or being built from scratch).

...but, by now, there are enough professors to teach almost the entire population. Graduating with a BS is de rigueur for any high school graduate with any ambition whatsoever. So all we need are enough professors to fill the gaps left by attrition.

At the same time as need was decreasing, supply was increasing. As more departments were created, they were able to graduate more PhD's. These two trends work against each other, leading to an oversupply of PhDs.

This trend is well-known within academia and has been written about in very prestigious journals (I remember reading a good description in Science or Nature a few years ago).
 
2012-05-08 03:47:09 PM  

WhyteRaven74: relcec: these people are noble. they should be treasured by society regardless of any utility at all.

Americans actually used to think that way. And being able to tell people about things was considered quite the utility.


if I tried, I couldn't create a more ridiculous caricature of a passive-aggressive, first-year socialist, with a not-even-embryonic grasp of history, his personal theories, and those he would like to apply to society than you.
 
2012-05-08 03:47:12 PM  
Ken VeryBigLiar:

I'm glad I only had an interest in history and not a "passion" for it. I'll take reading about the Angevins and the pop history of the likes of Simon Schama over sweating the loans a Masters or PhD would take.

Me too. But, like, you think Schama is a "pop historian?" I'll grant you he's a contentious popularizer of others' scholarship, but at least he's not instructing us on the historical precedents for and political implications of Jackie Onassis' sex life.
 
2012-05-08 03:47:26 PM  

Magorn: A little " I think I may see the problem" math

In state Tuition at her school is $70/credit hour so each student is pay $210 to be in her class. multiply that by 35 students, and double it because she is teaching two classes and you get $14700 in net income to the school, out of which she is paid $900/mon so assuming a 4 mo academic semester $3,600 for both classes. So in essence the school is taking $11,000 for being the middle man between the seller and purchaser of the knowledge in her brain that she worked independently to obtain


That's a hell of a racket


Well, lets talk about what that $11,000 has to cover. It covers the maintenance on the building, the salaries of the people performing that maintenance, the parts, the heat, the AC, the lights, the insurance for the building in case a student falls. It also covers the IT systems that made it possible for the student to register for classes, and the people that maintain that, there is the regional accreditation board that states this university can issue a degree, and the people at the university that go into that, don't forget those people need offices, and computers, and sidewalks, so that pays for them as well.

All total the school probably looses money offering that course, but they offer it because it is their duty as an academic institution.
 
2012-05-08 03:48:41 PM  

king_nacho: Hell, just ask the instructors your are learning from. Most of them would be happy to tell you


Our Economics department chair liked to use job data as the sample for illustrating statistical techniques, while simultaneously warning us that we may as well shoot ourselves in the head rather than getting a doctorate.

ph0rk: Where would you go for this information? The Chronicle is the usual source for discipline-wide job market information (at least, impartial information - disciplinary associations tend to be overly optimistic), but the even the Chronicle tends to paint a rosy picture.

Expecting market actors to have near-total knowledge of the current and future behaviors of the market is unrealistic. Most people move into a job based on interest and average pay - not employability. Average starting salary for assistant professors isn't that bad.


I'm not a regular Chronicle reader, but because my fiancee is an academic, I've spent plenty of times Googling these issues. The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed have always been a fertile source for articles on how absolutely screwed people are going into academia. Even the New York Times ran an article a while back, claiming, if I recall, that most humanities graduate students could not expect to earn a living wage. So, to answer your "where would go" question, the answer is "Google", or, as mentioned above, you could just ask around.

This isn't "near-total knowledge". This is remedial knowledge. This is knowledge that is so widely understood in our popular culture that it's been the subject of jokes on The Simpsons. I don't know who your "most people" are, but children want to become actors, athletes, and musicians because they can make a lot of money and it sounds like fun. Adults understand that it's kind of hard to break into those fields and develop attainable goals. Adults with unrealistic goals are viewed unfavorably.
 
2012-05-08 03:49:30 PM  

Rapmaster2000: quickdraw: Rapmaster2000: I don't really give a rat's ass about software engineering, but it pays a lot more than fun majors so I did it. You people think your great-grandparents loved working in a coal mine? Did your grandparents feel fulfilled on the assembly line?

Following your bliss has drawbacks. My bliss is to not work and go hiking all day, but I don't accept the tradeoff which is poverty so I work at something that pays. This should be elemental.

So software engineering is so easy anyone can do it?

I can barely read and I do it.


You don't even social graces to do it, I am picking my nose and doing it.
 
2012-05-08 03:50:20 PM  
i.r.id10t:


A PhD in medieval history... what exactly does that degree qualify you to do besides teach?


Among others: to write books, host miniseries and argue with others in the field. Not to mention scoring with those of us who like Useless Scholars.
 
2012-05-08 03:51:11 PM  

jshine: relcec: if this girl wants to pick belly lint and write about the Black Death's relationship to the Left4Dead series it is our duty to support her in a respectable if not luxuriant lifestyle.

[farm5.staticflickr.com image 640x291]


He's not, just stupid.
 
2012-05-08 03:51:28 PM  

optional: The Muthaship: Cyclometh: When a job slinging burgers and requiring no education pays more than a job in education requiring an advanced degree, you know this country has a problem.

When people respond to this issue by saying that someone should take a job in fast food over working in education, you know this country is done for.

We will reap the benefits of what we value as a society. Since we obviously value fast food over people with degrees in history, it's no surprise to see what a feces-strewn downward spiral this nation is on.

The idea that everyone must go to college (and the increasing pressure that followed to go to grad school, because a bachelor's degree became as valuable as a high school diploma) has created a glut of useless, but well educated people like the chick in the article. There are only so many positions available to do her "dream job", she should have known that. It's a shame she was too stupid to see that she needed something to fall back on. The fact that she continues to pursue it even though she can't provide for herself and her child doing it is testimony to her selfishness. The epidemic of that kind of selfishness is what's leading the downward spiral.

This is very true. I got my BA in history, and am about to finish a Master's in a related field, so I'm obviously not the kind of person who sneers at knowledge unrelated to monetary fields. At the same time, I don't think a college education is particularly useful for most jobs and, more importantly, most students don't really retain or learn stuff.

Basically, college is expected. So students go, spend exorbitant amounts of money to burn through (relatively) easy classes for four years, and then use it to get a job. Having to support a large student population is one of the reasons that colleges are so damn expensive, and I really don't think that most students benefit from or care about the education. They're just going through the motions.

If businesses stopped demandin ...


If everyone in America went to college and got a PhD, then you'd just have a doctor for a garbageman. Not all jobs need it, or require it, and not everyone can achieve it.
 
2012-05-08 03:52:32 PM  
ITT: People who will create nothing of lasting value demean others because they provide no value to society.
 
2012-05-08 03:52:47 PM  

freewill: I'm not a regular Chronicle reader, but because my fiancee is an academic, I've spent plenty of times Googling these issues. The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed have always been a fertile source for articles on how absolutely screwed people are going into academia. Even the New York Times ran an article a while back, claiming, if I recall, that most humanities graduate students could not expect to earn a living wage. So, to answer your "where would go" question, the answer is "Google", or, as mentioned above, you could just ask around.


Perhaps, but if they had that sort of analytical mind they likely wouldn't be interested in the humanities to begin with.

Once they've put 4-5 years into a BA in whatever they're already taken several steps down the commitment road - they need this information as part of a required curriculum in intro courses. They tried something even broader in my undergrad - some first year thing where you go and hunt down pay and other figures for a few occupations you see yourself in. In some hard science courses I took they were very clear on the employment front.

Shakespeare and Fiction courses? Not so much. Hell, the english dept at my school was like a pump for moving english majors through the MA program to suck labor back out of them.
 
2012-05-08 03:52:48 PM  

Private_Citizen: The second is, we stop spending public dollars to fund degrees so poorly suited to the job market that the resultant PhDs have to use More public dollars just to fend off starvation.

Frankly, this is not only good for the Nation, it's good for the students as well. It's easy for a University to offer a useless degree if someone else is paying. It will be a much harder sale if the student can't borrow to pay for it.


In general, I think this is already the case in the US. But there are plenty of people who still devote years to studying medieval stained glass, and go into debt in the process. If you're worried about PhD numbers, the solution would be stricter accreditation (which dumbwits like Rep Foxx oppose) and capping PhD degrees. But as much as conservatives like to bash education they won't agree to this, and faculty themselves would oppose it.

But I'd always thought that if academia wants to act like a guild system, it should abide by those rules.

Cybernetic: administrators usually make far more than teachers (many make six figures) while contributing little to the actual education of children


And this ^ - most public universities screw over even full-time faculty and give pay raises to admins. Look at Cal State.
 
2012-05-08 03:52:49 PM  
plenty of time Googling..."where would you go"

Blech. Always proofread.
 
2012-05-08 03:53:15 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: Because if your job was really worth anything, it'd pay you a shiatload of money. That's how we measure everything now.


It becomes worth something when you can pull your own weight and not be a crybaby. Any more than that is just the frosting on the cake.
 
2012-05-08 03:54:05 PM  

stonicus: If everyone in America went to college and got a PhD, then you'd just have a doctor for a garbageman. Not all jobs need it, or require it, and not everyone can achieve it.


It is far easier to obtain than it should be, yielding more PhDs than there are jobs.

That is the problem.
 
2012-05-08 03:54:07 PM  
Doc Daneeka:

I'm a postdoc in biomedical research, so I'm really getting a kick, etc.

Getting out of academia as soon as I can.


On to designing newer and better diseases to cure!

Yes, I'm kidding. What exactly is your thing?
 
2012-05-08 03:55:04 PM  
polisonic.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-05-08 03:55:35 PM  

freewill:

This isn't "near-total knowledge". This is remedial knowledge. This is knowledge that is so widely understood in our popular culture that it's been the subject of jokes on The Simpsons. I don't know who your "most people" are, but children want to become actors, athletes, and musicians because they can make a lot of money and it sounds like fun. Adults understand that it's kind of hard to break into those fields and develop attainable goals. Adults with unrealistic goals are viewed unfavorably.


encrypted-tbn1.google.com

I have a PhD in Philosophy and Folklore. I do not have time for this.
 
2012-05-08 03:56:40 PM  

jshine: ph0rk: Cybernetic: If you can't support yourself with the skills that you have, then you have the wrong skills.

And I'm sure the department told her she wouldn't have a job when they admitted her, right?

You think she didn't realize that medieval history was unlikely to lead to a plethora of good jobs -- and this fact should have been formally communicated by the university?


/ these people are adults; they're allowed to make their own choices and can do their own due-diligence


You're right, the college had no way what-so-ever to educate her on that topic.
 
2012-05-08 03:58:06 PM  

jshine: WhyteRaven74: relcec: these people are noble. they should be treasured by society regardless of any utility at all.

Americans actually used to think that way. And being able to tell people about things was considered quite the utility.

For a long time (post-WWII), the academic infrastructure of the US was growing. There were jobs for PhDs because there were (relatively) few departments creating them and universities were expanding (or being built from scratch).

...but, by now, there are enough professors to teach almost the entire population. Graduating with a BS is de rigueur for any high school graduate with any ambition whatsoever. So all we need are enough professors to fill the gaps left by attrition.

At the same time as need was decreasing, supply was increasing. As more departments were created, they were able to graduate more PhD's. These two trends work against each other, leading to an oversupply of PhDs.

This trend is well-known within academia and has been written about in very prestigious journals (I remember reading a good description in Science or Nature a few years ago).


And this. Seems like there are a lot of college professors. Market saturation levels of them.
 
2012-05-08 03:59:20 PM  
I was curious about what her Ph.D. in medieval history was awarded for. I found her dissertation:

"Outward Action, Inward Belief: Inquisitors' Manuals and the Construction of Heresy in the Thirteenth & Fourteenth Centuries"

by Bruninga Matteau, Melissa, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, 2011, 214 pages

This dissertation looks at how, during the latter half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth century, the papal inquisitors in Languedoc questioned deponents in heresy trials. Using three inquisitors' manuals, written in the late 1240's, the late 1270's, and the early 1320's, I will examine how, by questioning deponents on their actions, the inquisitors hoped to uncover, and thus correct, heterodox thoughts. By doing so, they forced the people of Languedoc to examine their own actions in light of another's perception of those actions. This in turn created a self-disciplined social network that aided the inquisitors in their desire to extirpate heresy. This trajectory complicates the understanding of the shift from a punishment to a discipline society happening only with the Enlightenment, as well as the understanding of heresy as entirely the inquisitors' own.
 
2012-05-08 03:59:47 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I have a PhD in Philosophy and Folklore. I do not have time for this.


images.wikia.com

The unemployment line: it's not just for philosophy majors anymore!
 
2012-05-08 04:00:32 PM  

Private_Citizen: Frankly, this is not only good for the Nation, it's good for the students as well. It's easy for a University to offer a useless degree if someone else is paying. It will be a much harder sale if the student can't borrow to pay for it.


Yeah fark the poor, if they don't want to study what you want them to study they can just upchuck and die.

ph0rk: That is the problem.


Perhaps we should look at why those jobs aren't there.
 
2012-05-08 04:00:38 PM  

The One True TheDavid: Doc Daneeka:

I'm a postdoc in biomedical research, so I'm really getting a kick, etc.

Getting out of academia as soon as I can.

On to designing newer and better diseases to cure!

Yes, I'm kidding. What exactly is your thing?


I work in a mouse genetics lab doing developmental biology.

My main project has been on organogenesis of the spleen.
 
2012-05-08 04:01:33 PM  

melopene: Yes, yes, economists always claim that in the aggregate, humans act rationally in a market


No, they don't claim that. People act in order to achieve what they perceive to be in their best interest.

Value is subjective.

melopene: And surely, we'll hear the argument that all the information is freely available


No one who isn't retarded claims that either. Information is an economic good. If it's valuable enough, then people will pay to get it. If consumers will pay more than the cost of assembling it, then someone will form a business to provide it.

Where do you work anyway? A strawman factory?
 
2012-05-08 04:02:09 PM  

stonicus: You're right, the college had no way what-so-ever to educate her on that topic.


College-level micro, macro, and financial planning should be mandatory parts of getting a high school diploma.
 
2012-05-08 04:02:30 PM  

Ambitwistor: This trajectory complicates the understanding of the shift from a punishment to a discipline society happening only with the Enlightenment, as well as the understanding of heresy as entirely the inquisitors' own.


I dare say that her dissertation could provide some insight on how to certain present day people and institutions behave. And that that, could be useful.
 
2012-05-08 04:03:07 PM  
nickerj1:

I can read the same book and wiki page and, in a week's time (and in my spare time), become just as much an expert at a specific topic in medieval history as this "expert" with a PhD.

It takes longer than a week. I've been doing such things in my spare time for decades and I'm still no expert.


This person isn't going out and discovering new medieval artifacts and drawing never-seen-before conclusions about medieval topics.

How would you know?

In that field it helps if you can afford to travel, can read medieval languages in a medieval scripts, develop contacts in relevant university departments, be fluent enough in languages, haggling and currency exchange to find affordable places to stay, etc. Failing that, you need very good Googling skills, and, at least, the ability to read medieval languages in medieval scripts. (This latter is where I fall down.)

Read much uncial Provençal, do you? Care to publish a HowTo?
 
2012-05-08 04:04:08 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Private_Citizen: Frankly, this is not only good for the Nation, it's good for the students as well. It's easy for a University to offer a useless degree if someone else is paying. It will be a much harder sale if the student can't borrow to pay for it.

Yeah fark the poor, if they don't want to study what you want them to study they can just upchuck and die.

ph0rk: That is the problem.

Perhaps we should look at why those jobs aren't there.


I think there are probably nearly enough "professor" jobs, give or take 5%.

We don't need another 4-500 PhDs per discipline a year to fill whatever vacancies there are.
 
2012-05-08 04:05:36 PM  
Complaining about how little she makes without working a full-time job just makes her come across as a whiner with little to no skills. If she is only teaching 2 classes, she should be able to find time to have another job - she could sub in the local schools (typically around $100/day for high schools). She could be a grader for ETS, SAT, or other standardized tests (AP History maybe?) Pay is about $15/hour but you choose your days so she could work around her teaching schedule each semester. Complaining about a low salary but only working 20 hours a week just screams loser to me. I've been an adjunct before. I taught at three different schools at one point piecing together a schedule that could pay the bills and gain the experience. I was hired full-time by one of the schools, kept adjuncting at one of the others for awhile until it was considered "conflict of interest". Most adjuncts I know are "freeway flyers" teaching at multiple schools to make ends meet. It's not glamorous, but it is meant to be temporary or "additional" not a sole source of income for a long period.
 
2012-05-08 04:07:35 PM  
The main thing I learned in this thread was "Hey, Dancin_in_Anson isn't highlighted in red as "Dumb Asshole" in my settings?"... Yep, time to fix that.

WhyteRaven74:
WhippingBoy: you should have to present some sort of business plan (especially if you're getting student loans)

That may not be the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but boy is it trying.


Give him credit for trying then, especially on Fark where stupid, stupid ideas are, alas, our middle name.
 
2012-05-08 04:08:51 PM  

ph0rk: I think there are probably nearly enough "professor" jobs, give or take 5%.


Not all PhD's go into academia. Engineering, applied math and some other PhD's could do very well in the private sectors. And in places like France, England and Germany they do. I mean hell if you want to be a CEO of an industrial company in Germany a PhD in mechanical, electrical or industrial engineering is the way to go. As for academia, do we actually have enough professors? Might be worth digging into the faculty student rations, not as a general number across the board, but institution by institution. Also there's the matter of adjuncts, what's going on that so many schools are taking the cheap way out? And there are other issues at play as well.
 
2012-05-08 04:09:35 PM  

No Such Agency: Give him credit for trying then, especially on Fark where stupid, stupid ideas are, alas, our middle name.


heheheh :D
 
2012-05-08 04:09:47 PM  

No Such Agency: The main thing I learned in this thread was "Hey, Dancin_in_Anson isn't highlighted in red as "Dumb Asshole" in my settings?"... Yep, time to fix that.

WhyteRaven74:
WhippingBoy: you should have to present some sort of business plan (especially if you're getting student loans)

That may not be the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but boy is it trying.

Give him credit for trying then, especially on Fark where stupid, stupid ideas are, alas, our middle name.


What's so stupid about it? You're about to commit 4-10 years of your life and untold thousands of dollars. Is it really that unrealistic to expect that you have some sort of plan for the future?
 
2012-05-08 04:10:48 PM  

Ambitwistor: I was curious about what her Ph.D. in medieval history was awarded for. I found her dissertation:

"Outward Action, Inward Belief: Inquisitors' Manuals and the Construction of Heresy in the Thirteenth & Fourteenth Centuries"

by Bruninga Matteau, Melissa, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, 2011, 214 pages

This dissertation looks at how, during the latter half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth century, the papal inquisitors in Languedoc questioned deponents in heresy trials. Using three inquisitors' manuals, written in the late 1240's, the late 1270's, and the early 1320's, I will examine how, by questioning deponents on their actions, the inquisitors hoped to uncover, and thus correct, heterodox thoughts. By doing so, they forced the people of Languedoc to examine their own actions in light of another's perception of those actions. This in turn created a self-disciplined social network that aided the inquisitors in their desire to extirpate heresy. This trajectory complicates the understanding of the shift from a punishment to a discipline society happening only with the Enlightenment, as well as the understanding of heresy as entirely the inquisitors' own.


if she was only one of a very small group of people who could do this, she would be handsomely compensated for this skill. the problem isn't that society doesn't value this skill enough, the problem is a saturated labor market created by the government directed student loan industry and a cultural narrative developed by societal authority figures that says doing what you enjoy is the key to happiness.
this situation is the reason why doctor and lawyer guilds (the bar and medical boards) restrict entrance. the preservation of wage levels (in the name of ensuring competency and safety) trumps all.
 
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