Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On the other hand, sometimes the grass really IS greener...

My friend says there are only 8 medieval positions (I only counted 6, but I hurried) in the JIL, compared to about 30 last year. 8!

My UC alone is going to field more candidates for medieval literature than there are positions open in North America.

I'm pretty sure we could match or come close to filling all the other fields too. If not us, then UC collectively, definitely does.

Damn. This profession is dead, people. We witnessed the death of tenured academia and didn't even notice.


medieval woman said... your UC hiring for medieval? You're right, there are 6 tenure-track medieval jobs on the list right now (I don't count the VAP position and the two Renaissance positions that would like you to know a bit of medieval) - and then there's one true Old English job (a rare find!). As of right now, the pickings are indeed slim - in the next few weeks a few more jobs will be added I'm sure, but my bet is not more than 12-15 t-t jobs in total for medieval (including 4-4s and R1s).

It's a baaaaad year....

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for someone to say that after all, we don't need medievalists. :-P (Okay, probably not someone around here, but somewhere, someone's probably saying that.)

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

We knew this year would be bad because of the economy. Nonetheless, I'm sure more jobs will appear over the next few weeks. It takes time for requests to hire to work their way through the approval process at many schools.

And about your last post: Milwaukee is a fun city, & my only complaint about Minnesota would be the winters. It is hard, if you grow up on the west coast, to adapt to real winter. Not that it sounds like that was what newbie grad was actually worried about.

Earnest English said...

It may be hard, as Dame Eleanor says, for a west coaster to adapt to real winter, but it's not impossible. I was a west coaster who went to grad school where there is real winter -- and when I moved back to the west coast, I missed it!

Absurdist Family is very much looking forward to winter now that we're in a place where there is real winter.

Sisyphus said...

MedWoman: Nope, as far as I know, the UC has a hiring freeze (which, when I checked our campus employment page, discovered must not mean the same thing in materials engineering as it does everywhere else in the English language. Maybe if you do Medieval Materials Engineering? That would, actually, be pretty cool!

NewKid: my friend in the VAP is actually fighting that fight with the administration at this moment. "Do we even need to replace this person, considering how all this old stuff is obsolete?" Fuuuuun.

Dame Eleanor: Do you know what school she was pooh-poohing in Milwaukee???? I would totally want to work there!!!!!! Sign me up!!!! I could play the "Laverne and Shirley" opening credits with the beer bottles! How could you not want that!

Ernest: I'm a little worried about driving, since I have only driven in conditions with low moisture but high concentrations of stupid people, so I don't know how that would work out, but I like the idea of snow. Snow and garages, not so much the chipping the ice off a windshield stuff.

Bardiac said...

As someone who grew up in a nice climate, and went to your school as an undergrad, and who now lives in a climate not nearly as bad as Fargo but close enough, I have to say, I hate winter. But I like having a job.

So, I've learned to adapt to winter. Long johns, just long johns. A car with all wheel drive helps (and a covered place for the car helps, too!). And finding some way to get out and be out and happy helps, so I took up cross-country skiing last year.

That's all to say, even I have managed to make winter do-able, but I will always think anything more than a night or two of frost is just too much.

By way of comfort about driving: they are generally amazing at getting salt and sand on the roads even when there's a storm; most of the midwest isn't nearly as snowy as the sierras, either. So the driving isn't as scary as it could be.

ps. I would love for you to end up in Milwaukee for selfish reasons, but mostly I have my fingers crossed for a department to discover how very much they want to hire you!

Earnest English said...

It IS scary when you first start driving in the snow after a lifetime of people driving stupid after a couple drops of rain (Urban Home City). My first year in Grad City I didn't have a car and walked everywhere in the snow. Driving may be scary, but it (mostly) beats walking, especially if you're in a winter climate where it gets above freezing, then freezes again and again so you get lots of ice. Ice sucks -- driving or walking. But now I'm in a place where it stays below freezing, so it should be better.

Basically, you start by driving slowly only when the roads are very clear (which, in most places, they do quite well), then eventually you end up doing what I did, which was be the person who drives right after the snow when it's all fluffy. I've done a lot of chipping snow and ice of the windshield. Believe me, it's all doable for a decent job. (Hell, I did it for grad school!)

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

EE: Okay, I'm a wimp. But I've been doing winter for 23 years now and feel like I've done all the winter I ever need to do. Global weirding is just making it ickier, as the freeze-thaw cycle is harder than just staying cold.
Sis, my first thought is the UW-Milwaukee (haven't looked at the list myself); I have a friend who taught history there for a few years & liked it fine. I liked visiting her. Nice cheap housing stock, lake, parks, some cultural life, & you can get to Chicago on the train.

Bardiac said...

I wouldn't discourage anyone from taking any job offered, but be aware that Wisconsin has done the furlough thing this year, not as harshly as California, but it's been done. And Wisconsin U system salaries are consistently lower than comparable institutions in the region by a fair amount. :(

Sisyphus said...

Oh, I wasn't thinking of the UW system (or maybe I am applying there; I haven't looked back through my whole pile)! I'm sure she'd think UW Madison "counted." But she was going WTF is *that* to here, And I was saying WTF do you mean WTF!?!?!? if that isn't too much fun with acronyms.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

OK, now I just think she's uninformed. I mean, that's not even snobbery, that's just ignorance.