If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Slate)   English major accepts reality, inquires if thou dost desire a portion of a potato-based comestible of substantial magnitude with thine meal   (slate.com) divider line 124
    More: Obvious, Ph.D., Ron Rosenbaum, English, literature, Kafka, meals  
•       •       •

8070 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Apr 2013 at 3:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



124 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2013-04-05 02:55:16 PM
There's a big difference between an English major (BA) and a PhD in Literature. As long as software companies continue to hire H1-Bs, people with English degrees and a bit of technical knowledge can find decent jobs. A PhD in literature is what happens when you are terrified of graduating and are willing to shell out six figures to stay in school.
 
2013-04-05 03:28:59 PM
She wants a tenure track professorship.  Those don't exist anymore for any field.  Hell, when I was in engineering school in the late 80's half of my "professors" were guys hired to teach one class for a single semester.  Universities are moving away from tenured professors because they are crazy expensive and frequently don't deliver good value for the institution.  Yeah, it sucks, but that's how it rolls these days.
 
2013-04-05 03:32:51 PM
It's hard to get tenure when everyone gets fired after only nine years.
 
2013-04-05 03:52:58 PM
I have a hard time mustering any sympathy for a PhD in Literature who doesn't know the correct term in our language is academe not academia.
 
2013-04-05 03:57:26 PM
I thought they called them pommes frites to sound all Frenchy and intellectual.
 
2013-04-05 03:58:45 PM
She could write for a blog.
 
2013-04-05 04:01:12 PM
[The] English major accepts reality, inquires if thou dost desire a portion of a potato-based comestible of substantial magnitude with thine meal

...and then single-handedly slays the Music tab with his unrelenting douchebaggery.
 
2013-04-05 04:02:55 PM
"two months of unpaid research sequestration and curriculum planning"

Thanks, Obama.
 
2013-04-05 04:03:17 PM

Mr_Fabulous: [The] English major accepts reality, inquires if thou dost desire a portion of a potato-based comestible of substantial magnitude with thine meal

...and then single-handedly slays the Music tab with his unrelenting douchebaggery.


Hey, he could have said "repast".
 
2013-04-05 04:04:09 PM
I bombed out when I finished my MA.  I got accepted at a school that paid my tuition and gave me a (very) modest stipend in exchange for being a teacher's assistant.  That term means someone who, with no training, no guidance, no nothing, is handed a freshman comp class to teach.  I don't know how well I did--I'd like to think that my constant message of, "Just keep writing, keep trying, keep working on your ability to express yourself on a page" did some good.  But most of the students couldn't have cared less about the class, and in fact said so.  Frequently.
 
2013-04-05 04:05:30 PM
The English Major would be pushing the evil devil's soap weed, cilantro, on everyone!
 
2013-04-05 04:06:13 PM
I never understood the "tenure track" thing.  After reading this article from start to finish, I still don't understand it.

But I suppose that's why I'm a scientist making semi-crappy money after years of unemployment, and not a professor.
 
2013-04-05 04:07:12 PM
I thought we'd be riffing off Gilbert and Sullivan lines in this thread...

"I am the very model of a modern Major General,
I provide a portion of a fine potato-based comestible"
 
2013-04-05 04:07:30 PM
Rebecca Schuman is a visiting assistant professor of German at THE Ohio State University.

Fixed it for her.
 
2013-04-05 04:07:47 PM
This dickhole is incredibly long-winded when trying to convey "I made bad choices because I'm stupid."

/College doesn't mean shiat anymore
 
2013-04-05 04:08:04 PM
Done in the article comments:

To pare it down there are a couple fundamental problems here: 
 
1. Grad students are more useful to academic incumbents that PhD holders.  
 
1a. As a result, everybody wants to expand their graduate programs. Incumbent profs can teach graduate courses, which they like better, and which preserve their jobs, since it's the last sort of class that won't be farmed out to an adjunct. Incumbent administrators like the grad programs because their either a profit-center or a source of cheap labor, and allow the administrators to keep the money flowing to administrator salaries.  
 
2. As profs retire, incumbent administrators will continue to eliminate tenure-track jobs, because paying teachers is not what they want to spend money on.  
 
3. The oversupply of grads creates a situation where adjuncts have little bargaining power, since their labor is seen as interchangeable and replaceable, and no collective bargaining power since most of them see the situation as a zero-sum game with their fellow graduates rather than a crap deal they're being handed by professors and administrators.
 
2013-04-05 04:10:29 PM
i1003.photobucket.com
 
2013-04-05 04:10:45 PM

Lsherm: She wants a tenure track professorship.  Those don't exist anymore for any field.  Hell, when I was in engineering school in the late 80's half of my "professors" were guys hired to teach one class for a single semester.  Universities are moving away from tenured professors because they are crazy expensive and frequently don't deliver good value for the institution.  Yeah, it sucks, but that's how it rolls these days.


I for one support the elimination of tenure, as it encourages professors to work very hard for a few years and then sit on their asses for 40.

I do, however, feel that adjuncts should be paid better. High turnover isn't a problem if it means you are getting another bite at the apple. Elimination of tenure means this woman won't be able to get tenure, but it also means that many more positions will be opening up constantly, all over the place, so she'll have better luck landing jobs for 3-5 years at a time, like everyone else does.
 
2013-04-05 04:11:05 PM
Whaaaa, I have a high-paying job and a PhD FML!
 
2013-04-05 04:11:06 PM
*Correction, April 5, 2014: This essay originally misspelled William Pannapacker's last name.

Haha, well that's... kind of understandable, really.

Also:

thelithiumrobot.com
 
2013-04-05 04:12:02 PM

FrancoFile: I thought we'd be riffing off Gilbert and Sullivan lines in this thread...

"I am the very model of a modern Major General,
I provide a portion of a fine potato-based comestible"


And now I have Every Major's Terrible stuck in my head.  Dammit.
 
2013-04-05 04:12:05 PM
Let's do some math.

With a few exceptions, the point of a humanities PhD is to teach that subject at a university.

Assuming a constant population and a constant proportion that attends college, then every humanities PhD needs to train one (1) replacement, over the course of his or her entire career.

Even if we assume population growth, a steady increase in college attendance, and 'exporting' our professors to other countries, at best each PhD needs to train three (3) replacements over the course of his or her entire career.

An English department of 8 professors and 14 PhD candidates is running a Ponzi scheme.
 
2013-04-05 04:15:44 PM
BWAH-HA-HA!  That person thinks that literature grad school is "the hardest work you'll ever do".  That's why you didn't get employed, young lady.  You thought literature grad school was "the hardest work you'll ever do".  You have no idea what hard work is.

Boy that's funny.
 
2013-04-05 04:17:23 PM
I like the article linked to by the article:  Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

By coincidence, that second author uses some of my common suggestions:

As things stand, I can only identify a few circumstances under which one might reasonably consider going to graduate school in the humanities:

You are independently wealthy, and you have no need to earn a living for yourself or provide for anyone else.You come from that small class of well-connected people in academe who will be able to find a place for you somewhere.You can rely on a partner to provide all of the income and benefits needed by your household.You are earning a credential for a position that you already hold - such as a high-school teacher - and your employer is paying for it.
Personally though, I'd expand this a bit more - it's not just graduate school.  If you're going to college and getting a degree which does not translate directly into a career or job skills, the previous points also apply.   It is a luxury if you can't afford it, and it's not an investment that will pay for itself.

My only surprise about this is how many people dupe themselves into believing otherwise.  As if a 70k-120k debt will easily be paid off by someone with a graduate degree in 12'th century persian bathroom graffiti(*), who's 30 years old with no applicable job skills.

* - Specific degree may vary.
 
2013-04-05 04:17:30 PM

Tommy Moo: I for one support the elimination of tenure, as it encourages professors to work very hard for a few years and then sit on their asses for 40.


This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.
 
2013-04-05 04:17:57 PM

LordOfThePings: *Correction, April 5, 2014: This essay originally misspelled William Pannapacker's last name.

Haha, well that's... kind of understandable, really.

Also:

[thelithiumrobot.com image 286x296]


Well done.
 
2013-04-05 04:20:21 PM

HailRobonia: This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.


Same reason why we have to keep paying CEOs those obscene bonuses... top talent and all that.
 
2013-04-05 04:20:25 PM
College literature classes made me hate literature.
apparently there is something WRONG with enjoying a story... everything simply has to have some deeper meaning, and don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

Their eyes were watching God was a terrible book. Janie wasn't a strong character... she ran from her problems and constantly cheated on her never-ending string of husbands.

Apparently, that's an "empowering" message and I'm just a white, male, oppressor.
 
2013-04-05 04:21:34 PM

tricycleracer: "two months of unpaid research sequestration and curriculum planning"

Thanks, Obama.


Damn; I was gonna say that.

/ *sakes tiny fist*
 
2013-04-05 04:23:39 PM
I had three professors, including Margaret Meade, who gave very uninspiring classes. They'd lecture, shuffle off, and leave the grad students to do the heavy lifting. Each of these professors died the following summer.  I'm not saying that elder statesmen should not teach, but when they are very ill, they should retire. They don't do that. FSM love them, they all loved their work, but I can't help but think that writing one's memoirs with a glass of wine at hand is a far better way to spend your last year or two on earth.

I have a relative who teaches at Strayer. She has a masters in Accounting and all of her students are adults in law enforcement who are astutely lining up their Plan B career.  Those are the smart ones - cops, field agents and Secret Service people.

Academes should take note.
 
2013-04-05 04:23:39 PM

The_Original_Roxtar: Apparently, that's an "empowering" message and I'm just a white, male, oppressor.


Plus a patriarchical rapist who seeks to dominate "The Other."

I took a lit class once... I think the only thing of value I learned was the Formalists' idea that art is distinct from other methods of discourse because it is a process of "defamiliarization" and making things strange.
 
2013-04-05 04:24:26 PM

Explodo: BWAH-HA-HA!  That person thinks that literature grad school is "the hardest work you'll ever do".  That's why you didn't get employed, young lady.  You thought literature grad school was "the hardest work you'll ever do".  You have no idea what hard work is.

Boy that's funny.


You had to read something, understand it, and talk about it. Sometimes you had to explain that information to others... yeah, hardest thing ever.
 
2013-04-05 04:25:39 PM
The British staple of fish & chips (chips being chipped potatoes, AKA french fries) was invented only in 1865.

The french fry as we know it originated somewhat earlier in Belgium, where they eat them with mayonnaise, which is also customary in the American South.

Tomato ketchup is but one of many recipes for catsups or ketchups (the original dish was made with fish paste, but other forms of ketchup are made with a base of mushrooms, walnuts, etc.)

Shakespeare could not have sold french fries even if he hadn't made a good living as part-owner of the Globe, actor, playwright and man of busynesse.

What did people eat as snack food in those days? The potato was still fairly new. Bananas arrived in London earlier than we used to think, so Shakespeare might have noshed on one of those although any one of many varieties of apple, such as the Orange Pippin, would have been easy to get.

For a hot treat, roast chestnuts were, and still are, popular in much of Europe. They are quite tasty and healthy. The Swiss make chocolats in the shape of "marrons", which is the the French for chestnut, and we get the colour Maroon from them--it is a deep reddish brown.

Maroon is also the name of runaway slaves who hide in the jungles and forest of the Caribbean and the Southern coast and combined their various languages and cultures into a sort of improvised African tribal society. And, of course, it is how Bugs Bunny famously pronounces "moron".

In the Globe theatre, the spectators would have had their choice of oranges, nuts, and chestnuts to nibble on or throw at the actors. Since they had no plastic or cellophane wrappers to rustle and annoy other spectators, they had to make do with other bad habits. The rich and near-sighted were able to sit on the stage itself where they could enjoy the show above the fray in the pit, which was standing room only and full of pickpockets and villains.

And what the Hell is wrong with being a permi-student, by the way? Learning is a life long job. You might as well try to make the good times last as long as you can.

It is not the scholars who bring shame to the Academy. It is the dumbasses who stay on to get a degree in teaching. Really, how sad and useless can you get?

At least English majors can sometimes read and write.

A study funded many years ago by a major bank (Bank of America) and a major employer of engineers found that Arts majors had a rough start in business but after 15 years of employment were better paid and had more responsible positions than Commerce and Engineering students.

It is a very dumb engineer who does not wish he had taken English instead. Do you know what they call Engineers who can read and right? Managers.
 
2013-04-05 04:26:14 PM
Read and right? Whoops. Verbal dyslexia acting up. I mean reade and wryte.
 
2013-04-05 04:26:22 PM

The_Gallant_Gallstone: HailRobonia: This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.

Same reason why we have to keep paying CEOs those obscene bonuses... top talent and all that.


we? you don't pay them anything. go suck on a lemon.

/maybe you shouldn't have dropped that econ 101 class.
 
2013-04-05 04:27:48 PM

FrancoFile: Let's do some math.

With a few exceptions, the point of a humanities PhD is to teach that subject at a university.

Assuming a constant population and a constant proportion that attends college, then every humanities PhD needs to train one (1) replacement, over the course of his or her entire career.

Even if we assume population growth, a steady increase in college attendance, and 'exporting' our professors to other countries, at best each PhD needs to train three (3) replacements over the course of his or her entire career.

An English department of 8 professors and 14 PhD candidates is running a Ponzi scheme.


Plenty of Humanities departments are at colleges and universities that do not produce Humanities PhDs. I know at least 8, and I'm not even in the field.

Perhaps you should give up math. Have you considered the humanities?
 
2013-04-05 04:27:53 PM

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: I thought they called them pommes frites to sound all Frenchy and intellectual.


Why do you hate our freedom fries?
 
2013-04-05 04:28:30 PM

pedobearapproved: we? you don't pay them anything. go suck on a lemon.

/maybe you shouldn't have dropped that econ 101 class.


I guess you blinked out of existence momentarily during the heady months of 2008.

Some unprecedented taxpayer largesse was rendered unto the Titans of Private Enterprise.
 
2013-04-05 04:28:36 PM
English major accepts reality, inquires if thou dost desire a portion of a potato-based comestible of substantial magnitude with thine meal

Good thing she wasn't a math major.
 
2013-04-05 04:29:36 PM
She sounds fat.
 
2013-04-05 04:31:46 PM

pedobearapproved: The_Gallant_Gallstone: HailRobonia: This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.

Same reason why we have to keep paying CEOs those obscene bonuses... top talent and all that.

we? you don't pay them anything. go suck on a lemon.

/maybe you shouldn't have dropped that econ 101 class.


we vote with dollars, so in that sense, we do indeed pay CEOs. And considering the bailouts many of those companies took in the past ten years, we are absolutely paying them, and handsomely.
 
2013-04-05 04:32:14 PM

brantgoose: It is a very dumb engineer who does not wish he had taken English instead. Do you know what they call Engineers who can read and right? Managers.


Hopefully they can manage to write better than you
 
2013-04-05 04:32:28 PM
dianne.cheers.jpg
 
2013-04-05 04:34:53 PM

Contents Under Pressure: I had three professors, including Margaret Meade, who gave very uninspiring classes. They'd lecture, shuffle off, and leave the grad students to do the heavy lifting. Each of these professors died the following summer.  I'm not saying that elder statesmen should not teach, but when they are very ill, they should retire. They don't do that. FSM love them, they all loved their work, but I can't help but think that writing one's memoirs with a glass of wine at hand is a far better way to spend your last year or two on earth.

I have a relative who teaches at Strayer. She has a masters in Accounting and all of her students are adults in law enforcement who are astutely lining up their Plan B career.  Those are the smart ones - cops, field agents and Secret Service people.

Academes should take note.


With those "famous" professors you need to recall it's not about their teaching it's about their theories and books. I'm an archaeologist and I've met a lot of the "top minds" in my field and mostly they are full of themselves (although Ian Hodder, who's writing reads like someone who would be full of himself...is suprisingly not) or boring with nothing to add that you haven't read in their books
 
2013-04-05 04:35:19 PM

pedobearapproved: The_Gallant_Gallstone: HailRobonia: This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.

Same reason why we have to keep paying CEOs those obscene bonuses... top talent and all that.

we? you don't pay them anything. go suck on a lemon.

/maybe you shouldn't have dropped that econ 101 class.



austinist.com

"Why are you teaching this shiat at 8 o'clock in the morning? Are you trying to keep it a secret?"
 
2013-04-05 04:36:12 PM
Surprisingly, English majors do pretty well in advertising, marketing, and tech industries.
 
2013-04-05 04:36:17 PM

over_and_done: I never understood the "tenure track" thing.  After reading this article from start to finish, I still don't understand it.


There's not much to understand. For the six or so years that you're "tenure track" you're on a yearly or biyearly contract. You have annual reviews in which you summarize everything you've done for the previous year and attach copies of stuff you've published, teaching evaluations, and so on. If your department's colleagues like you and what you've done, they renew your contract for another year or two. At the end of the tenure track period, you put together a binder to show what you've done for n years, which is really just your annual reports rewritten to reflect a longer period of time. If your colleagues and the administration above them agree that your publishing/teaching record is good enough and they wouldn't mind spending the rest of their careers hanging out with you at meetings every week, you might get tenure.

/Former professor, recovering academic
 
2013-04-05 04:36:37 PM

The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.


If you're doing a subject where it comes down to opinions, you're doing the wrong subject.
 
2013-04-05 04:37:14 PM
Another whiner? Jesus Christ. Take a farking job in a related field and apply yourself to hunting down the academic shiat.

/English Lit; now working best job in the world: regional correspondent and investigative reporter.
 
2013-04-05 04:37:21 PM
What a sad waste of time... like so much of college. We really need to concentrate on phasing it out in favor of on-the-job training and working your way up based on competence rather than... whatever the hell we use now... cronyism? Plain old bribery?

You would have the added benefit of knowing you will actually be trained for an actual job.
 
2013-04-05 04:37:46 PM

Copper Spork: The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

If you're doing a subject where it comes down to opinions, you're doing the wrong subject.


I majored in Fark.
 
2013-04-05 04:37:57 PM
I don't see the problem. Someone with her qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.
 
2013-04-05 04:40:55 PM

jjorsett: I don't see the problem. Someone with her qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.


This magnificent feast represents the last of the petty cash.
 
2013-04-05 04:42:19 PM

HailRobonia: Tommy Moo: I for one support the elimination of tenure, as it encourages professors to work very hard for a few years and then sit on their asses for 40.

This only works if everyone gets rid of tenure. If you get rid of tenure and another institution keeps it, then they will get all the talented folks.


Not if you offer a higher salary for the top talent. Then it becomes self-screening. The lazy schemers who are plotting to spend 40 years jerking off as soon as they trick some department into granting them tenure will go where there is tenure, and the people who plan to work hard for their entire careers will go where they are offered the highest salaries, because they know that they won't need tenure to keep their jobs.
 
2013-04-05 04:43:36 PM
FTA: *Correction, April 5, 2014: This essay originally misspelled William Pannapacker's last name.

It's from the future!
 
2013-04-05 04:43:44 PM

The_Gallant_Gallstone: pedobearapproved: we? you don't pay them anything. go suck on a lemon.

/maybe you shouldn't have dropped that econ 101 class.

I guess you blinked out of existence momentarily during the heady months of 2008.

Some unprecedented taxpayer largesse was rendered unto the Titans of Private Enterprise.


Once, to a few corporations, and I thought he POTUS learned a hard days crying lesson from that about how when you just give a private corporation money they will do anything with it they want including flying private jets to your meeting where they tell you to your face to suck it. Which is why they should have gone down in the flames of reorgainzation and asset selloff.
 
2013-04-05 04:44:36 PM
A humanities degree is a joke.  If you go to college admissions and say "What's the fastest, easiest way for me to get a degree?", they will steer you towards history, English, or Poly Sci faster than anything else.  There's a reason why most of the guys in my wife's ROTC program were one of those three degrees.
 
2013-04-05 04:45:17 PM
quietwalker:

My only surprise about this is how many people dupe themselves into believing otherwise.  As if a 70k-120k debt will easily be paid off by someone with a graduate degree in 12'th century persian bathroom graffiti(*), who's 30 years old with no applicable job skills.

* - Specific degree may vary.


Well, when the professor who directs the academic careers of a given student has a comfy job, 3 books, and several dozen published papers due to 12th century Persian bathroom graffiti, the reality of the situation can be significantly obscured. The root of the problem (which is by far the worst in the humanities) comes in when that professor has been producing up to three students with similar delusions each year for the past 20 or more years.

As a grad student, I equate a stable career in academia to having the winning powerball ticket- something nice, but not worth investing too much towards unless some outside factor is tipping the odds in my favor. Thankfully my field offers a plethora of well-paying options (even in this economy) in private industry, a luxury which many humanities grad students don't have.
 
2013-04-05 04:46:55 PM

pedobearapproved: I'm an archaeologist


I received my MA in archaeology two years ago,  Haven't found a job in it yet.  :(  Very, very close to giving up.
 
2013-04-05 04:48:50 PM

pedobearapproved: Once, to a few corporations, and I thought he POTUS learned a hard days crying lesson from that about how when you just give a private corporation money they will do anything with it they want including flying private jets to your meeting where they tell you to your face to suck it. Which is why they should have gone down in the flames of reorgainzation and asset selloff.


The bailout was one of the few genuinely bi-partisan events of 2008.

I agree on what they should have done, but what they did do is prove that free enterprise, especially at the highest levels, is an illusion.

Between the subsidies, bailouts, government contracts and legislative exemptions, it's clear that governmental influence is a business asset.  Millions of taxpayer dollars are redistributed upwards, to the corporate elite, every year while we beat our heads against the wall because some single mother is getting $287 a month in food stamps.

This is why we can criticize the compensation of CEOs (especially those of publicly-traded companies) without necessarily being ignorant "econ 101 drop-outs."
 
2013-04-05 04:52:32 PM

over_and_done: jjorsett: I don't see the problem. Someone with her qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

This magnificent feast represents the last of the petty cash.


Yes it's true, this Ph.D. has no dick.
 
2013-04-05 04:52:55 PM

Copper Spork: The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

If you're doing a subject where it comes down to opinions, you're doing the wrong subject.


Dude, that there's the spergiest sperg that ever sperged. Internet high five, brah.
 
2013-04-05 04:53:55 PM
As tenured faculty I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2013-04-05 04:55:22 PM
No one's posted this yet?

i50.tinypic.com
 
2013-04-05 05:06:46 PM

phaseolus: No one's posted this yet?

[i50.tinypic.com image 640x480]


Ruh roh....
 
2013-04-05 05:19:48 PM
What you do isn't work, what I do is work.  I mean, my simplistic view of what your life might entail trumps your simplistic view of what my life might entail.  I deserve what I have, you don't.
 
2013-04-05 05:21:22 PM

The_Original_Roxtar: College literature classes made me hate literature.
apparently there is something WRONG with enjoying a story... everything simply has to have some deeper meaning, and don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

Their eyes were watching God was a terrible book. Janie wasn't a strong character... she ran from her problems and constantly cheated on her never-ending string of husbands.

Apparently, that's an "empowering" message and I'm just a white, male, oppressor.


Also, why do college literature classes use the most god awful boring books ever written in history?

No, I don't want to farking read War and Peace (again).  Russia is a depressing country because all they have to read is shiat like this.  This shiat starts in high school.  I remember one English class that used "Wuthering Heights" as the basis for the entire semester.  Seriously?  You want a bunch of teenage boys to actually read that snore-fest?

My dad taught high school English.  He liked to use science fiction novels for the reading assignments.
 
2013-04-05 05:22:55 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: over_and_done: jjorsett: I don't see the problem. Someone with her qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

This magnificent feast represents the last of the petty cash.

Yes it's true, this Ph.D. has no dick.


Tell her about the twinkie.
 
2013-04-05 05:26:45 PM
It never ceases to amaze and amuse me that someone can be so educated while also being so stupid.
 
2013-04-05 05:40:50 PM

GORDON: It never ceases to amaze and amuse me that someone can be so educated while also being so stupid.


You obviously haven't been on Fark very long.
 
2013-04-05 05:43:55 PM
Unrepentant University Dropout here.  I was a Comparative Literature Major at the University of Illinois in the mid-1990s.  I found my way to that major completely by accident and dropped out after 3 years, but I've got to say that the experience probably taught me more about real life than any amount of work I've done in the 16 years since then.  When I was in high school I went from wanting to be a pilot to a lawyer to a high-school English teacher.  I was inspired by the middle-aged, bearded, Hemingway and Vonnegut-admiring, possibly-alcoholic man who was my junior year English teacher.   My first two years of college were completed at a community college, where I majored in LAS with a concentration in British and American Literature.  I breezed through it.

However, after I transferred to the U of I, I quickly became aware that I was out of my league.  I had a couple of gen ed requirements that I had to finish up during my first semester, so I could only take three courses that applied to my major- Shakespeare Across Cultures, Middle French Literature, and The Harlem and Celtic Renaissance.  Shakespeare Across Cultures taught me that the stereotype of the lecherous, drunken professor hitting on coeds while plying them with wine and wearing a tweed jacket with suede sleeves was based on reality.  Middle French Literature taught me that I was wholly unprepared to study in a deadish language that I didn't know well.  The Harlem and Celtic Renaissance taught me that you can sometimes have a course taught by two tenured professors who figured out that if you combined two related courses into one you could both get full pay for doing half the work simply because you're considered to be an expert in your field.  All of my courses taught me that you have to be present to BS your way through them, but if you are present, it's easy to BS your way through them.  Unfortunately, I learned those lessons too late.

I also learned that pretentious people are often very insecure, college girls fark like minxes, and that you can live off of coffee, cigarettes and Guinness for 3-4 weeks at a time.
 
2013-04-05 05:49:06 PM
Well, what if I told you that by "five hours" I mean "80 hours," and by "summers off" I mean "two months of unpaid research sequestration and curriculum planning"?

It took a PhD to get taken off guard by this?
 
2013-04-05 05:52:44 PM

basemetal: The English Major would be pushing the evil devil's soap weed, cilantro, on everyone!


You can't have proper salsa without it. But if I'm making it for someone else, I leave it out because I never know if they're a genetic abnormality like you, basemetal.
 
2013-04-05 05:57:47 PM

brantgoose: Read and right? Whoops. Verbal dyslexia acting up. I mean reade and wryte.


Aphasia, dyscravia, or maybe dysgraphia, but certainly not verbal dyslexia. You should know the difference, am I right?
 
2013-04-05 06:09:54 PM

OgreMagi: Seriously? You want a bunch of teenage boys to actually read that snore-fest?


Actually that may be what the current generation needs. The millenials were taught that everything they did is special, and we're turning out to be a generation of self-entitled jackasses who won't do any actual work until we're broke (all the while, complaining). Maybe the next generation needs a nice dose of reality - that most of the time, you're going to be doing something you'd rather not be doing as an adult (whether that's taking a menial boring job to make ends meet, or reading a book even the over-imaginative victorian society would have found snoozeworthy..)
 
2013-04-05 06:16:48 PM
FTFA:

No, I now realize graduate school was a terrible idea because the full-time, tenure-track literature professorship is extinct.

This has been the case in just about every field for well over a decade. Universities realized a while ago that they could save a ton of money just keeping everyone at the Assistant Professor level, and there are so many people out there with PhD's looking for teaching jobs that they don't need to offer tenure to recruit high quality professors. There are also way more adjunct professors than ever before. People are increasingly willing to take those positions for little money because they want to pad out their resume. Basically the only way to get tenure is to go somewhere that nobody wants to go, or be considered the top person in your field.
 
2013-04-05 06:19:38 PM
Meh, if the article smacks reality into a few book-wormy dreamers' heads, the author has succeeded. Make sure you're not buying into someone else's "big lie."

You can always study what you love, but you can't always get someone to pay you to continue doing it after you graduate -- even if you graduate with a Ph.D. So major in something more career-oriented and make your passion your Plan B, or have a Plan B ready in case your passion doesn't pan out into a career.
 
2013-04-05 06:21:07 PM
I have an MA in English and, at one time, thought about pursuing a Ph.D.  The job prospects are dim, and most colleges are trimming grayed out positions left and right.
 
2013-04-05 06:23:22 PM

Copper Spork: The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

If you're doing a subject where it comes down to opinions, you're doing the wrong subject.


those of us who actually obtained degrees know that there are these things called "general education" requirements. Just because you major in computer science doesn't mean you take nothing but programming and math classes.
 
2013-04-05 06:24:05 PM
Restating once again what should be obvious to everyone - don't go into any field where the only outlet for employment is academia.
 
2013-04-05 06:26:16 PM

Pumpernickel bread: Restating once again what should be obvious to everyone - don't go into any field where the only outlet for employment is academia.


Or macadamia. 'Cause that would be nuts.
 
2013-04-05 06:32:45 PM

The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.


I almost flunked PoliSci because I had not learned that simple wisdom.

Teacher said, "there are four ways to change the Constitution".  WTF!?  I knew there were two ways.  He went on:

1. Constitutional Amendment.  Correct.
2. Constitutional Convention.  Correct.
3. Supreme Court decision.  Not correct.  The Supreme Court ENFORCES the Constitution.  They don't change it (well, they aren't supposed to).  They change lesser laws (usually by throwing them out) that conflict with the Constitution. But this is a common mistake, so I was willing to let him slide.
4. Congress passes a law.  WTF!  No.  Not only was he wrong, I knew the exact Supreme Court citation that proved he was wrong.  So how do you piss off a college professor?  By citing the Supreme Court in a way that proves he is wrong in front of the entire class.

No, I don't remember the citation.  That happened over 25 years ago.
 
2013-04-05 06:33:03 PM

raerae1980: pedobearapproved: I'm an archaeologist

I received my MA in archaeology two years ago,  Haven't found a job in it yet.  :(  Very, very close to giving up.


I'll tell you a secret that let me get a job using my masters in theoretical linguistics: The perfect job isn't.

Just get something that sort of maybe could use your skillset. And your skillset isn't archeology, it's the ability to understand complex problems, explain them, read technical reports and produce them.
I mean, if some small town needs someone to map and describe historically important buildings or sites, go for it. If some small museum needs someone to index their stuff, you're their dude, right?

If someone needs an executive officer who can read reports and do some slightly complex task like...I dunno, read and file applications based on twenty+ analogue variables it might be enough that you have an MA; the field isn't really that important.

That might help, it might not. I don't know you. Best of luck!
 
2013-04-05 06:41:31 PM

HatMadeOfAss: This dickhole is incredibly long-winded when trying to convey "I made bad choices because I'm stupid."

/College doesn't mean shiat anymore


Somebody get this Farker a pickup truck full of whatever beer is preferred.

That one line = post of the 2Q
 
2013-04-05 06:46:13 PM

pedobearapproved: Explodo: BWAH-HA-HA!  That person thinks that literature grad school is "the hardest work you'll ever do".  That's why you didn't get employed, young lady.  You thought literature grad school was "the hardest work you'll ever do".  You have no idea what hard work is.

Boy that's funny.

You had to read something, understand it, and talk about it. Sometimes you had to explain that information to others... yeah, hardest thing ever.


Maybe not the hardest thing ever, but harder than you think.
I've worked as a fisherman on a trawler, installing windows (the see-through kind that goes into walls and roofs, not the microsoft-thingy), as a stevedore, repairing sewage damage to houses and other menia, sweaty dirty jobs. I'd still say that writing my MA-thesis was amongst the harder jobs i've had. I mean, I could walk upright after 4 pm, which was nice, but you never really get a break. Since it's your mind that's working and making it stop is really really hard you end up sorta-working all day long, even when you're on a break.
And then it's the sheer volume of text that needs digesting. For me that was ridiculous. I tore through ca 100 pages of academic text each day, except when I was writing. Did you think your exams in High School were hard? Puh-leease.
So, it might not be the hardest thing ever (both fisherman and fixing sewage damage has it beat easily) it's still harder than you might think (if it paid better I'd still be a stevedore or work in deconstruction).
 
2013-04-05 06:50:52 PM
I have an English MA - my thesis was on Beowulf's dragon.

What I learned was how to research, analyze, and write clearly.  These skills are very much sought after in the world outside the ivied walls.

I can't believe the guy can't get a better job.  What a dork.

PS - Graduated 33 years ago, and never been without a "real job".
 
2013-04-05 06:52:23 PM

over_and_done: I never understood the "tenure track" thing.  After reading this article from start to finish, I still don't understand it.


The idea is that a professor who has tenure will be able to pursue research without having to consider the institutional and national political implications of their work.  A tenured professor can advance a theory on it's own merits without having to consider if it will get them fired.

In practice, research grants and funding competition has killed a large part of that original goal.
 
2013-04-05 06:57:35 PM

Explodo: BWAH-HA-HA!  That person thinks that literature grad school is "the hardest work you'll ever do".  That's why you didn't get employed, young lady.  You thought literature grad school was "the hardest work you'll ever do".  You have no idea what hard work is.

Boy that's funny.


I've dug ditches for a living, and I've written research papers (unpaid). The papers were more difficult.
 
2013-04-05 07:04:11 PM

Somaticasual: OgreMagi: Seriously? You want a bunch of teenage boys to actually read that snore-fest?

Actually that may be what the current generation needs. The millenials were taught that everything they did is special, and we're turning out to be a generation of self-entitled jackasses who won't do any actual work until we're broke (all the while, complaining). Maybe the next generation needs a nice dose of reality - that most of the time, you're going to be doing something you'd rather not be doing as an adult (whether that's taking a menial boring job to make ends meet, or reading a book even the over-imaginative victorian society would have found snoozeworthy..)


Forcing teenage boys to spend an entire semester on a book like Wuthering Heights is a bit extreme.  It's difficult enough to engage them with a book they might be interested in reading, but this is going too far.
 
2013-04-05 07:06:13 PM

pedobearapproved: Explodo:

You had to read something, understand it, and talk about it. Sometimes you had to explain that information to others... yeah, hardest thing ever.


And yet, thousands of college Freshmen find that task impossible (to judge from the papers I have had to grade).
 
2013-04-05 07:10:07 PM

thornhill: FTFA:

No, I now realize graduate school was a terrible idea because the full-time, tenure-track literature professorship is extinct.

This has been the case in just about every field for well over a decade. Universities realized a while ago that they could save a ton of money just keeping everyone at the Assistant Professor level, and there are so many people out there with PhD's looking for teaching jobs that they don't need to offer tenure to recruit high quality professors. There are also way more adjunct professors than ever before. People are increasingly willing to take those positions for little money because they want to pad out their resume. Basically the only way to get tenure is to go somewhere that nobody wants to go, or be considered the top person in your field.


Or pursue teaching in middle school/high school in an affluent suburb. We have teachers making six figures ---mostly PE teachers but with a few years teaching it is attainable for all. We still have summers off too.
 
2013-04-05 07:13:34 PM

OgreMagi: Somaticasual: OgreMagi: Seriously? You want a bunch of teenage boys to actually read that snore-fest?

Actually that may be what the current generation needs. The millenials were taught that everything they did is special, and we're turning out to be a generation of self-entitled jackasses who won't do any actual work until we're broke (all the while, complaining). Maybe the next generation needs a nice dose of reality - that most of the time, you're going to be doing something you'd rather not be doing as an adult (whether that's taking a menial boring job to make ends meet, or reading a book even the over-imaginative victorian society would have found snoozeworthy..)

Forcing teenage boys to spend an entire semester on a book like Wuthering Heights is a bit extreme.  It's difficult enough to engage them with a book they might be interested in reading, but this is going too far.


I've done a few litterature courses.They ranged from snore-fests with uninteresting drawl trite bs, to enraging scream-bait when I was required to learn how female writers are superior, to awsome stuff where we were required to read "do androids dream of electric sheep", "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus", "His Dark Materials", "Der Erlkönig" and "He, She and It" in addition to some smaller novellas. Needless to say the last course was the most enjoyable ;)
 
2013-04-05 07:15:46 PM
thousands of parents of wide-eyed college freshmen are discouraging them from taking literature, philosophy, foreign languages or history  the disciplines that comprised a college education in its entirety for thousands of years, but whatever), even though quite unlike humanities Ph.D.s, humanities B.A. degrees are actually among the most hirable?

Yes, that would be the thousands of years when people thought the world was flat and witches should be burned at the stake, you know, before the scientific method took hold to the limited extent that it guides thinking today.  Humanities B.A. degrees are most hirable because there will always be more jobs for take out burger fry cooks than there are for scientists and engineers.
 
2013-04-05 07:20:22 PM

OgreMagi: Forcing teenage boys to spend an entire semester on a book like Wuthering Heights is a bit extreme. It's difficult enough to engage them with a book they might be interested in reading, but this is going too far.


Ok, fair enough on an entire semester. Maybe a solid week or two, that would be enough to say "you're more likely to be an assistant than the guy in the $5000 suit if you don't try, so try to have goals and actually work.." for the millenial purposes..
 
2013-04-05 07:21:56 PM

OscarTamerz: thousands of parents of wide-eyed college freshmen are discouraging them from taking literature, philosophy, foreign languages or history  the disciplines that comprised a college education in its entirety for thousands of years, but whatever), even though quite unlike humanities Ph.D.s, humanities B.A. degrees are actually among the most hirable?

Yes, that would be the thousands of years when people thought the world was flat and witches should be burned at the stake, you know, before the scientific method took hold to the limited extent that it guides thinking today.  Humanities B.A. degrees are most hirable because there will always be more jobs for take out burger fry cooks than there are for scientists and engineers.


No, they're hireable because understanding aspects of humanity is actually a useful skillset. I work at a university and we have quite good statistics when it comes to who gets hired and as what. Graduating, whether it is a B/MSci or a B/MA will usually get you hired; buuuuuut getting a science degree will get you a slightly higher starting salary. Like 5-10% higher.
This is however in Norway, so not neccesarily comparable to the U.S :)
 
2013-04-05 07:22:41 PM
I'm a librarian with a heritage library at a university and I think going down the path of a master's in library studies was a better option for me than pursuing a PhD in history, which I had considered a few years back. I prefer being more of a generalist than focusing on one narrow topic. I still get that leafy, green academic environment. I still get the opportunity to go to the occasional conference and I don't have to worry about generating new research.
 
2013-04-05 07:23:31 PM

wickedragon: to awsome stuff where we were required to read "do androids dream of electric sheep"


I call bullshiat.  That book was in no way awesome.  That they got the outstanding movie "Bladerunner" out of that shatty pulp is a farking miracle.
 
2013-04-05 07:26:58 PM
Shiat, they need to get some literature majors to edit the terrible grammar and mechanics in AP articles.
 
2013-04-05 07:41:20 PM
Not sure which is worse, people who go "lol studyin books is dum n stuff stoopid art shiat yall got burger jobs" or people who think spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is useful.
 
2013-04-05 07:47:43 PM

OgreMagi: wickedragon: to awsome stuff where we were required to read "do androids dream of electric sheep"

I call bullshiat.  That book was in no way awesome.  That they got the outstanding movie "Bladerunner" out of that shatty pulp is a farking miracle.


When I read the book I knew that the movie was based on it, but I had been told that the similarities were few. I think the only thing they really have in common is scenery and some of the depicted technology(novums). The megatextual stuff isn't comparable at all imo, and I have problems with relating them as one work. They must be seen as two completely different stories. I loved the book. The story it tells and the problems it explores makes for an interesting read.
 
2013-04-05 07:56:54 PM

Contents Under Pressure: They'd lecture, shuffle off

. . . I have a relative who teaches at Strayer.

After reading your comment, I looked at Strayer's website, which says "You shuffle work, family and responsibilities."

For a second I wondered why there's so much shuffling going on in these schools.
 
2013-04-05 08:05:37 PM

FunkOut: Not sure which is worse, people who go "lol studyin books is dum n stuff stoopid art shiat yall got burger jobs" or people who think spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is useful.


Would it make you happy to know that the dude spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is viewed as a weirdo by other Lit-majors? I worked a year as a study consultant (I think that's the right translation, studiekonsulent for those who understand norwegish) for the language department, and the students were as hard working there as anywhere, and did actually try to learn useful skills. It's not like they're sitting around smoking pot and discussing how awsome poems that are 300+ years old are and how much Stephenie Meyer sucks.
 
2013-04-05 08:15:01 PM

OgreMagi: The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

I almost flunked PoliSci because I had not learned that simple wisdom.

Teacher said, "there are four ways to change the Constitution".  WTF!?  I knew there were two ways.  He went on:

1. Constitutional Amendment.  Correct.
2. Constitutional Convention.  Correct.
3. Supreme Court decision.  Not correct.  The Supreme Court ENFORCES the Constitution.  They don't change it (well, they aren't supposed to).  They change lesser laws (usually by throwing them out) that conflict with the Constitution. But this is a common mistake, so I was willing to let him slide.
4. Congress passes a law.  WTF!  No.  Not only was he wrong, I knew the exact Supreme Court citation that proved he was wrong.  So how do you piss off a college professor?  By citing the Supreme Court in a way that proves he is wrong in front of the entire class.

No, I don't remember the citation.  That happened over 25 years ago.


No, the Supreme Court INTERPRETS the constitution, as well as U.S. law.  Law enforcement, ahem, enforces laws.  A different interpretation of the constitution would effectively "change" the document by changing its meaning, but in a strict sense, this wouldn't change it like an amendment would.
 
2013-04-05 08:28:18 PM

Blame Hofmann: No, the Supreme Court INTERPRETS the constitution, as well as U.S. law. Law enforcement, ahem, enforces laws. A different interpretation of the constitution would effectively "change" the document by changing its meaning, but in a strict sense, this wouldn't change it like an amendment would.


No, the SCOTUS decides how the Constitution applies to a law.  The term "interprets" has been mangled into a different meaning suggesting they have the power to change it, which they don't.  They have the power to decide HOW the Constitution applies.

The executive branch enforces the LAW.  The laws are created under the rules of the Constitution.

However, we seem to be mostly in agreement.

FYI, the citation I used basically said, "any law repugant to the Constitution is null and void".
 
2013-04-05 09:19:46 PM
My dad's favorite joke was always "You know you're Asian when you majored in something practical like business, engineering or science".

That joke became infinitely funnier when I started my undergrad.

/science major
//doing a fast-track upgrade in water treatment/protection
///sweet summer job lined up
 
2013-04-05 09:31:46 PM
As someone with a BA in English I'm getting a kick out of some of these replies.

/working on a MS in software engineering if that tells you anything
 
2013-04-05 10:34:15 PM
i considered going to grad school for philosophy.  my professor sat me down and said, "you are a great student and you enjoy this subject, but for the love of god, do not go to grad school.  you will never find a job as a professor.  don't spend all that money and waste all that time, just to wind up getting a job as a taxi driver who can discuss plato."
 
2013-04-06 02:35:06 AM

hitlersbrain: What a sad waste of time... like so much of college. We really need to concentrate on phasing it out in favor of on-the-job training and working your way up based on competence rather than... whatever the hell we use now... cronyism? Plain old bribery?

You would have the added benefit of knowing you will actually be trained for an actual job.


My PhD took seven years to complete. But only because I combined it with botanical consulting work. Started as a junior and switched to independant contracting under my own name. When I finished the PhD I had enough experience in the industry to step into a Senior Botanist position. Worked out for me. Though a science PhD probably a hell of a lot more useful for employment.
 
2013-04-06 04:14:17 AM

Jubeebee: There's a big difference between an English major (BA) and a PhD in Literature. As long as software companies continue to hire H1-Bs, people with English degrees and a bit of technical knowledge can find decent jobs. A PhD in literature is what happens when you are terrified of graduating and are willing to shell out six figures to stay in school.


What's the difference between a PhD in Literature and a medium pizza?

The pizza can feed a family of four.
 
2013-04-06 04:50:26 AM

OgreMagi: wickedragon: to awsome stuff where we were required to read "do androids dream of electric sheep"

I call bullshiat.  That book was in no way awesome.  That they got the outstanding movie "Bladerunner" out of that shatty pulp is a farking miracle.


Having read several of Dick's works, I think his stuff is more like a Roarchach test. You can look into his rantings and see genius, or just a word salad. Plot lines? Um, he's either working in a geometry where lines are circular, or just plain out of his mind.

I can't tell. Nobody can tell. But that's the charm.
 
2013-04-06 12:18:23 PM

Tommy Moo: Not if you offer a higher salary for the top talent. Then it becomes self-screening. The lazy schemers who are plotting to spend 40 years jerking off as soon as they trick some department into granting them tenure will go where there is tenure, and the people who plan to work hard for their entire careers will go where they are offered the highest salaries, because they know that they won't need tenure to keep their jobs


I only know one tenured academic, and he's the hardest working man I have ever met.

On the other hand, promotion to a Senior Lectureship in the UK (which is done by sucking up to the right people) is often referred to as "retirement in post".
 
2013-04-06 12:32:38 PM

LiberalConservative: hitlersbrain: What a sad waste of time... like so much of college. We really need to concentrate on phasing it out in favor of on-the-job training and working your way up based on competence rather than... whatever the hell we use now... cronyism? Plain old bribery?

You would have the added benefit of knowing you will actually be trained for an actual job.

My PhD took seven years to complete. But only because I combined it with botanical consulting work. Started as a junior and switched to independant contracting under my own name. When I finished the PhD I had enough experience in the industry to step into a Senior Botanist position. Worked out for me. Though a science PhD probably a hell of a lot more useful for employment.


Odd question, but how is the agricultural PhD field looking at the moment? Say for....an applied plant breeder in Barley? I've heard terror tales of over-qualified Phds and wonder if I should stop at the MS.
 
2013-04-06 12:47:24 PM

Mr_Fabulous: [The] English major accepts reality, inquires if thou dost desire a portion of a potato-based comestible of substantial magnitude with thine meal

...and then single-handedly slays the Music tab with his unrelenting douchebaggery.


You beat me to this. I was banned for pointing it out last time.
 
2013-04-06 02:38:19 PM

TheSopwithTurtle: FrancoFile: Let's do some math.

With a few exceptions, the point of a humanities PhD is to teach that subject at a university.

Assuming a constant population and a constant proportion that attends college, then every humanities PhD needs to train one (1) replacement, over the course of his or her entire career.

Even if we assume population growth, a steady increase in college attendance, and 'exporting' our professors to other countries, at best each PhD needs to train three (3) replacements over the course of his or her entire career.

An English department of 8 professors and 14 PhD candidates is running a Ponzi scheme.

Plenty of Humanities departments are at colleges and universities that do not produce Humanities PhDs. I know at least 8, and I'm not even in the field.

Perhaps you should give up math. Have you considered the humanities?


??  This does nothing to invalidate my point.  Those are the universities that pull the average down, but there are lots of universities that push it up.  My hypothetical example was an 'average' university.

Let P = total number of current university positions for English literature.
Let n = total career length of those positions, in years.
Let C = total number of PhD candidates at any given point in time.
Let tc = the time it takes to get a PhD, in years.

The turnover in positions is therefore P/n, and the number of new graduates is C/tc.

The ratio between those is the annual growth factor, g = Cn/Ptc

If g~1, then we have steady state.  If 1<g<3 then we have sustainable growth.  If g>3 we have a crash.

Since n averages 30, and tc averages 6, then an average Literature prof shouldn't have a PhD candidate any more often than half of his/her tenure, even with my optimistic g=3 growth rate.

Even if only 25% of Literature profs work at PhD-granting universities (which is a conservative estimate of your assertion), then each of those prof should have no more than 2 candidates under instruction at any given time.

/did you follow the math?
 
2013-04-06 02:56:19 PM

wickedragon: FunkOut: Not sure which is worse, people who go "lol studyin books is dum n stuff stoopid art shiat yall got burger jobs" or people who think spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is useful.

Would it make you happy to know that the dude spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is viewed as a weirdo by other Lit-majors? I worked a year as a study consultant (I think that's the right translation, studiekonsulent for those who understand norwegish) for the language department, and the students were as hard working there as anywhere, and did actually try to learn useful skills. It's not like they're sitting around smoking pot and discussing how awsome poems that are 300+ years old are and how much Stephenie Meyer sucks.


I did half a BA in Eng Lit and was heading into the third year when I quit due to some literary criticism courses run by deconstructionists. I would have gladly beaten Derrida with a sack of oranges even thought he was an old man at the time.
 
2013-04-06 03:48:41 PM

FunkOut: wickedragon: FunkOut: Not sure which is worse, people who go "lol studyin books is dum n stuff stoopid art shiat yall got burger jobs" or people who think spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is useful.

Would it make you happy to know that the dude spending 15 years exploring deconstructionist literary criticism of one Poe short story is viewed as a weirdo by other Lit-majors? I worked a year as a study consultant (I think that's the right translation, studiekonsulent for those who understand norwegish) for the language department, and the students were as hard working there as anywhere, and did actually try to learn useful skills. It's not like they're sitting around smoking pot and discussing how awsome poems that are 300+ years old are and how much Stephenie Meyer sucks.

I did half a BA in Eng Lit and was heading into the third year when I quit due to some literary criticism courses run by deconstructionists. I would have gladly beaten Derrida with a sack of oranges even thought he was an old man at the time.



I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light 
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Billy Collins
 
2013-04-06 04:42:48 PM

The_Original_Roxtar: Copper Spork: The_Original_Roxtar: don't you dare disagree with a tenured professor's opinion.

If you're doing a subject where it comes down to opinions, you're doing the wrong subject.

those of us who actually obtained degrees know that there are these things called "general education" requirements. Just because you major in computer science doesn't mean you take nothing but programming and math classes.


Should've taken your degree in a country where "general education" is covered in secondary school. Then you'd be able to do maths and two sciences in first year, followed by two years of your main subject. But hey, I'm sure those classes in "eco-feminism" and "African American studies" contributed greatly to your education.
 
2013-04-06 10:06:50 PM

Kinek: LiberalConservative: hitlersbrain: What a sad waste of time... like so much of college. We really need to concentrate on phasing it out in favor of on-the-job training and working your way up based on competence rather than... whatever the hell we use now... cronyism? Plain old bribery?

You would have the added benefit of knowing you will actually be trained for an actual job.

My PhD took seven years to complete. But only because I combined it with botanical consulting work. Started as a junior and switched to independant contracting under my own name. When I finished the PhD I had enough experience in the industry to step into a Senior Botanist position. Worked out for me. Though a science PhD probably a hell of a lot more useful for employment.

Odd question, but how is the agricultural PhD field looking at the moment? Say for....an applied plant breeder in Barley? I've heard terror tales of over-qualified Phds and wonder if I should stop at the MS.


Odd my response post not appearint... try again.
In Australia there is a current shortage of agricultural/crop scientists for academic, government, and private positions. But I do not know the situation outside Australia. From what I have seen employers value the PhD about the same as the equivalent number of years of employment experience. However, I see the PhD having the benefit of the Dr title; gives the opportunity to attain part-time employment as an adjunct lecturer/prof later in my career as I approach retirement.
 
2013-04-06 10:13:02 PM

FrancoFile: Even if only 25% of Literature profs work at PhD-granting universities (which is a conservative estimate of your assertion), then each of those prof should have no more than 2 candidates under instruction at any given time.

/did you follow the math?


Factor in that not all PhD graduates must stay within academia? Not all of them want to either. I'm in the private sector as a consultant and very happy. I know someone with a Botany PhD who works as upper management in the insurance sector. Employers do value the skills attained in postgrad studies even in unrelated fields.
 
2013-04-07 09:54:45 AM

LiberalConservative: Kinek: LiberalConservative: hitlersbrain: What a sad waste of time... like so much of college. We really need to concentrate on phasing it out in favor of on-the-job training and working your way up based on competence rather than... whatever the hell we use now... cronyism? Plain old bribery?

You would have the added benefit of knowing you will actually be trained for an actual job.

My PhD took seven years to complete. But only because I combined it with botanical consulting work. Started as a junior and switched to independant contracting under my own name. When I finished the PhD I had enough experience in the industry to step into a Senior Botanist position. Worked out for me. Though a science PhD probably a hell of a lot more useful for employment.

Odd question, but how is the agricultural PhD field looking at the moment? Say for....an applied plant breeder in Barley? I've heard terror tales of over-qualified Phds and wonder if I should stop at the MS.

Odd my response post not appearint... try again.
In Australia there is a current shortage of agricultural/crop scientists for academic, government, and private positions. But I do not know the situation outside Australia. From what I have seen employers value the PhD about the same as the equivalent number of years of employment experience. However, I see the PhD having the benefit of the Dr title; gives the opportunity to attain part-time employment as an adjunct lecturer/prof later in my career as I approach retirement.


If that's true for Australia, it's probably true elsewhere. And the doctorate, I've been getting the feeling, is necessary to get some of the senior positions later down the line. Thanks for the heads up though! Just been keeping my eye on the job market and sweating the entire time.
 
2013-04-08 09:20:55 AM

LiberalConservative: FrancoFile: Even if only 25% of Literature profs work at PhD-granting universities (which is a conservative estimate of your assertion), then each of those prof should have no more than 2 candidates under instruction at any given time.

/did you follow the math?

Factor in that not all PhD graduates must stay within academia? Not all of them want to either. I'm in the private sector as a consultant and very happy. I know someone with a Botany PhD who works as upper management in the insurance sector. Employers do value the skills attained in postgrad studies even in unrelated fields.


Botany != humanities.  You've conveniently straw-man jiu-jitsued your way around the argument of TFA.
 
2013-04-08 10:17:52 AM

FrancoFile: LiberalConservative: FrancoFile: Even if only 25% of Literature profs work at PhD-granting universities (which is a conservative estimate of your assertion), then each of those prof should have no more than 2 candidates under instruction at any given time.

/did you follow the math?

Factor in that not all PhD graduates must stay within academia? Not all of them want to either. I'm in the private sector as a consultant and very happy. I know someone with a Botany PhD who works as upper management in the insurance sector. Employers do value the skills attained in postgrad studies even in unrelated fields.

Botany != humanities.  You've conveniently straw-man jiu-jitsued your way around the argument of TFA.


Derp. Yeah, because in the real world every single humanities doctorate student wants and expects to become a professor. Was simply an example.
Some kind of reverse-double-straw-man-jui-jitsue-troll post?
Was sincerly curious to see if you would adjust your math formula, though. Would change the outcome I think.
 
2013-04-08 10:47:59 AM

LiberalConservative: FrancoFile: LiberalConservative: FrancoFile: Even if only 25% of Literature profs work at PhD-granting universities (which is a conservative estimate of your assertion), then each of those prof should have no more than 2 candidates under instruction at any given time.

/did you follow the math?

Factor in that not all PhD graduates must stay within academia? Not all of them want to either. I'm in the private sector as a consultant and very happy. I know someone with a Botany PhD who works as upper management in the insurance sector. Employers do value the skills attained in postgrad studies even in unrelated fields.

Botany != humanities.  You've conveniently straw-man jiu-jitsued your way around the argument of TFA.

Derp. Yeah, because in the real world every single humanities doctorate student wants and expects to become a professor. Was simply an example.
Some kind of reverse-double-straw-man-jui-jitsue-troll post?
Was sincerly curious to see if you would adjust your math formula, though. Would change the outcome I think.


Go grab the data from the US Census, Dept of Labor, the MLA, and the various regional accreditation boards, and I'll be happy to do that for you.
 
2013-04-08 10:59:16 AM
Cool. Will let you know when I have that ready.
 
Displayed 124 of 124 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report