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Response to TA T-and-A

February 5, 2008

The following comes from one of the responses to the grad-stripper column from Salon.com.
I felt it directly related to the theme of this blog, so I copy it completely from here:

Good luck

One of the things they don’t tell you when you enter a PhD program is that you better have family money either from parents or a spouse or don’t even think about starting. As this poor woman points out most grad students only get funded for a couple of years of what for most is at least, at least, a 5-6 year endeavor. And for that matter “funding” usually means enough money to share an apartment. In my experience at a fairly prestigious humanities department, the most successful students were not necessarily the brightest but the ones who had spouses to support them. As competitive as the academic market is, one pretty much has to have not only a dissertation, but a publication record when you apply for jobs. Many, like me, had to work full-time just to support ourselves, which leaves little time for what is in essence another full-time job.

Unfortunately I have no solution to offer for this young woman’s dilemmma. But God love ‘er for finding a way out of the grad student vicious circle, at least for a while.

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