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Bad Netizen

December 13, 2006

I seem to have been a bad netizen of late. I have been picking some random fights with unknown people on comment boards with little to no ultimate goal other than said person pissed me off.

Bad PPP. Hang your head low.

Of course, I still feel right, even two days later. Here is the link if you are interested. Basically I responded to an article in InsideHigherEd that related the MLA’s review of tenure and tenure-track requirements. The article was informative and well-presented, but when I got to the comments, whoooo…of I go.

It seems that there is a definate age bias (including my own) in tenure discussions. I have no doubt this is true to the pyramid structure of academic departments–small numbers of tenured elites tsk tsking the poor ad-junks scrapping it out below. Oh, they say they remember those scrappy days when they pulled all-nighters writing their first of two books. But it worked out, all that hard research. The system works because they succeeded. I mean, if they can do it, anyone can. Youngsters should quit complaining, crack a book and write something, for god’s sake. Then they can rest on the work for a good ten years, produce another and be fixed for life.

Listening to it, I wonder, what the hell is wrong with me? Is that all there is to it? Why, crap, I will just let the mortage slide a little, rack up some more credit dept (run up through grad school) and loans and devote myself to my “work.” And if I waited too long and went and got a family, then I guess that is just too damn bad for me. Survival of the academic fittest…

Unapologetically Tenured was and remains a pompous, elitist ass.

I guess I am still pissed.

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3 Comments
  1. SourDad permalink
    December 13, 2006 3:35 am

    PPP I don’t blame you for being pissed. I went the Adjunct route mostly to keep my foot in the academic pool after a move for the spouse’s career, but now I’m ( hope you don’t mind if I steal your phrase?) an Adjunct Addict. I’ve found myself geographically restricted with a surprising amount of competition of the few jobs in my area. I don’t like it; it often makes me feel like the lowest form of academic life– hell I’ve even taken to tutoring recently. I saw the discussion on tenure, but I really couldn’t get past my own contradictions on the topic to comment. From here at the bottom it sure feels like an MLM scheme.

  2. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    December 13, 2006 7:20 pm

    I understand about the geographic isolation/competition. It seems that if an area is attractive for me to live, it is also attractive for many, many others with the same skill-set needed to teach the classes that would be open for me (low-level lit and lots and lots of comp).

    I was told throughout my grad school time that there would be a mass retirement of tenured professors, opening positions and opportunities. That was wrong. Retired positions were not replaced with full-time or tenure-track positions. They were adjunct backfilled. So, whether by intent or accident, the present tenure state is a Ponzi scheme.

  3. SourDad permalink
    December 13, 2006 9:49 pm

    We heard the same retirement thing in the sciences. I didn’t see it happen, but it kept plenty of us from jumping ship.

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