Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I have such a headache

I just ate a fried egg, not because it's some sort of folk-remedy for headaches but because I had it in the house and thought that perhaps I hadn't had enough to eat yet today and that was contributing to it;

I've been drinking water like a madwoman thinking maybe dehydration was causing it but to no avail;

maybe it's the windiness today, or perhaps something I'm allergic to is pollinating. Whatever it is, I haven't gotten any diss work done today despite being drastically, frighteningly behind. And headaches make me incredibly grumpy and full of hatred for the stupidity of all human beings.

Supreme irritability is just not the right mindset in which to consider the plight of various fictional characters.

Or else my final chapter might be re-titled "That Silly Bitch Had It Coming!" (taken from a larger work, You All Suck and This Entire Project is A Worthless Waste of Time.)

My cat is naked. More so than usual; he was rolling around on a catnip toy and got his collar stuck on a carpet loop. It was a breakaway collar, so by the time I looked up to wonder why he was writhing around like that, it broke. Now I have to go buy another collar for the little fucker. Gah!

I had a collar for Timido, the Other Cat, but he never got used to it; I had to take it off. He would jump or move and suddenly notice the weight of the name tag and absolutely freak out --- wild wide eyes, all the hair standing on end, he'd rush around the living room frantically trying to claw it off his neck.

So as long as Timido hides rather than runs away everything should be fine. It's his favorite hobby so I think this will work out.

Teaching is looking up so it might just suck instead of being completely unbearable. I'm not sure though; is it normal for soc-sci instructors to read large passages from the textbook and summarize the main points via powerpoint? This method seems so useless; I kinda agree with the students ---- why do the reading and come to lecture if it's the same thing? (Oh, I'm back in a different department, by the way.)

There's also all sorts of other crazy shit going down here that is making me incredibly depressed. Think huge fights over whether something we do is work or not, with some people so desperate to do it and so in love with it that they are fighting to do it anyway, and I'm not sure whether them doing it for free would make TAships and adjuncting more available or less available for the rest of us next year.

I must confess I'm starting to feel really shitty about the notion of adjuncting next year while making another try for a tenure-track job as that just perpetuates the system as it is; forget the arguments about "qualifications," "competition" and the worth of tenure ---- the whole point of the job market is to make me jump at the brass ring while staying right where they want me: shoddily teaching large classes for a mere grand a pop. On the other hand, not getting any adjuncting next year will feel pretty shitty too. I don't know if that would mean I don't bother making another stab at the job market in fall but maybe.

And now for something completely different ---- go read this funny conversation. It's better if you imagine it's being spoken by the characters from Life in Hell.


Dr. Crazy said...

Have you considered doing some other sort of job while on the market next year rather than adjuncting? The year that I was full-on on the market I was still ABD but not in residence at PHD institution, and I consciously decided not to adjunct - I already had teaching experience - in favor of temping which was much less work hours-wise for better money, and had I not gotten a t-t job, I'd have been eligible for benefits either through the temp company or the place where I was working would have hired me on (and had that happened my plan would have been to pick up one adjuncting class just to keep my teaching consistent). While it's true that you don't want to be totally out of the game teaching-wise, there's nothing saying that you're condemned to adjuncting if you don't want to do it. And yes, menial office work sucks, but at least you're paid what you're worth for the work that you're doing, as opposed to being paid pennies for work that is worth much more. And you've got more mental and emotional energy left over for research at the end of the day. Something to consider.

(I should also note that where I was hired, they looked favorably on the fact that I chose to do a regular job rather than to teach for nothing. They thought - and they told me they thought - that meant I was smart. Not all people at all places would feel that way, but that was my experience.)

Belle said...

No, it's not normal for soc-sci fac to do that, but too many do.

As to headache; if you live in areas of SoCal with Santa Ana winds, there's not much you can do for the headache. If you're in the Central Valley... Death might be a cure, but not much else is. Argh.

Ancrene Wiseass said...

forget the arguments about "qualifications," "competition" and the worth of tenure ---- the whole point of the job market is to make me jump at the brass ring while staying right where they want me: shoddily teaching large classes for a mere grand a pop


Also, definitely feelin' ya on the headache. Seriously.

As to the cat nudity, did you have a safety collar? If not, you might want to consider getting one: they're a little more expensive, but they pop off, unscathed, if kitty gets caught on something.

Dr. Brainiac said...

(taken from a larger work, You All Suck and This Entire Project is A Worthless Waste of Time.)

Isn't that the subtitle of Every Fucking Dissertation on the Face of the Planet!?

Just get done, honey, and leave the details for the proles.

Oh, and BTW, never ever just read from the text - make them responsible for it but give them something more interesting for lecture - and make them responsible for that too, whether they're in attendance or not. It will improve your attendance rate.

Been there, done that, and made it fun.

Bardiac said...


I wish I had suggestions for the headache.

On the other hand, I once had a team taught genetics course for which the professors had written the textbook. The "lectures" involved regurgitating the book while slides of illustrations from the book were shown in the dark lecture hall. It was also at 1pm. Not the very best learning experience for me, I must admit!

J. Pannell said...

Hum. Well, on the one hand, working a non-academic job can, as Dr. Crazy suggests, actually pay you for the work you do rather than holding you in academic servitude.

On the other hand, consider for yourself what gives you energy and what saps it. I wasn't able to find adjunct work here on the prairie so I find myself working a full-time job over the course of a weekend in order to afford food and childcare to work on the diss during the week. It is utterly draining. Last fall I temped in an office which was similarly soul-sucking. Adjuncting, sucky as it may be in terms of prestige and pay, seems to me a good choice if teaching gives you energy and keeps your head in an academic space. Supervising the hygiene of disabled adults has sadly not given me that kind of fuel, as good as it has been for other reasons.

I am super-lucky to have landed a fellowship next fall and I am quitting my group-home job in three weeks. Even if I weren't on fellowship I would have been looking hard for a teaching job.

There's also non-academy teaching (I was considering a Quaker school) and I know of at least one person whose search committee loved that she taught at a private high school in NYC while dissertating.