Posts tagged things they never taught me
Posts tagged things they never taught me
High School Fads, 1944
Ok so now I’m on the look out for lesbians with hair bows in the back
I just like how the bow on the left is a ‘signal and a chllange’ it’s like yeah, Betty’s been going steady with Tommy for a few weeks now, but let’s see if Ronny can step up his game before Betty becomes a right bow kind of girl
can i use ‘she wears her bow in the back’ as a euphemism now?
OK, nonny, this is something I’ve had simmering in the back of my mind for six years. This is what I would say to me six years ago if I had the option. You asked. (DISCLAIMER: all of this is of course based on my personal experiences and those of the people I know. Don’t treat this as gospel, it’s only one girl’s subjective advice.)
I’d say first and foremost that academia is a lot of smoke and mirrors. The “ivory tower” mythology is something we perpetuate, not our critics, because we like to feel above everyone else. Truth is, this is a job. The job market sucks on the other end of grad school, but all job markets suck these days. It’s a huge investment of time and an even huger emotional toll, but those who get jobs get good jobs. If you get into one of the better grad programs—like the one I’m in, not gonna lie, this is an awesome place—then you have a slightly better chance of being one of those people on the other end who get a job. But even then your chances are pretty bad. But. Like I said, that’s just how jobs work these days.
But as for the experience of grad school itself. There’s going to be a lot of heartache. If your institution is good, they’ll have organized a system where your heartache is manageable. We do better than a lot of career paths at managing atypical circumstances, but don’t jump for joy or anything. Neuro-atypical people do not fare well. Young parents do not fare well. POC only fare well in very specific circumstances. First generation college graduates do not fare well. These groups are not systematically disenfranchised, but only the absolute best programs (and “best” here means “humanest” not the programs whose names will help you in getting a job later) make any allowances for these things.
The type of person academia was built for is (a) single, (b) independent, (c) comfortable mimicking upper class cultural markers, and (d) passionate about the material/responsibilities of teaching and research. The last one can make up for a lot. That’s the foundation of academia, really. A lot of heartache for the sake of teaching and research. It’s very hard work, much harder than the undergraduate experience of majoring in English (or writing an honor’s thesis, if that’s something you ever had to do). And no matter what type of person you are, you encounter a period where the world seems awful for a while. But if you love both the research and the teaching, you get paid back for your heartache.
So: if you’re thinking of applying to grad school, ask yourself how much you love the idea of teaching and research. (You can’t get away from either. Don’t think one can make up for the other. If they don’t both appeal, there are ways to get the experience of one without the other. I can talk to you about that at more length if you need me to.)
And here’s a handy list of some of the requirements of academia in the long run if you jump the hurdles of getting into a good program and then getting a good job on the other end:
- research involves a lot of isolation and self regulation
- teaching involves a lot of holding yourself back from helping people as much as you want to because you can’t allow yourself that much time
- teaching also involves a lot of disappointment. they’re not joking when they talk about the horrors of grading.
- you don’t get to choose where you live. you go to the grad school you get into (or the best one you get into if you’re lucky), you move to wherever you get your first job (or post doc or visiting professor or whatever) and then you move again when you try to climb the ladder
- this plays havoc with a marriage or a relationship. it is possible to sometimes negotiate with a university for a hire for your spouse, but those are tricky for a number of reasons and not all of the reasons are bureaucratic. a lot of them are emotional.
- you will never make the big bucks. ever.
- your summers will not be free
- you do not have a “work” time and a “home” time. every second you spend not doing work will begin to feel like neglecting work. this includes sleeping, recreation, and eating. if you work at it, you can manage the sense of constant guilt.
- you must publish and publish often. this means a lot of rejection and a lot of work that goes down the toilet when you realize no one will publish it
- you must schmooze. at conferences, in interviews, at signal moments in your career like reviews and exams. you must be able to walk into a room full of cocktails and small talk and no one you know where everyone is older and better established than you are and be ok. you have time to practice this, though.
- there is no ideal time to have children. it’s simply not in the program. if you do, you are bucking the timeline and will suffer for it. how much or in what way depends on how good your program is or your new job is. (do not listen to people who tell you what the ideal time to have children is. it will always be bad and you should know that and make your decisions accordingly.)
- this is very personal but: there are times in your career when your personal emergencies are not convenient for the program and even the best ones will cut you loose. no matter how wonderful they might have been if you had had your trauma at a better time or in a better way, they sometimes still fail you. and you can love the program afterwards, but still. I like you, nonny, and I think you should know.
So. Take it or leave it, this is my perspective on grad school and academia after six years.
How do you find calm in a chaotic world?
Isn’t it nice how people twist their religious scripture to suit their weds but when it’s used against them it’s suddenly not okay
I talked to a monk about this quote once (we have mutual friends, and he came to a New Year’s Eve party at my shared art studio). He said this isn’t even talking about homosexuality. That the bible never actually says homosexuality is wrong. What that passage means is this:
Women were treated as subservient and it that you shouldn’t treat other men as subservient, like they are beneath you. It is not talking about homosexuality. If it was, it would say it outright since the bible lists other things outright.
I take the word of a monk who have studied the bible extensively more than a self proclaimed Christian.
The above text, I would like to point out is from the point of view of this translation of the original Hebrew. I spoke with my cousin’s rabbi on the matter and his response was different, saying that it was a mistranslation. See, the true translation says that a man shall not lie with another in the bed of a woman, which is to say, the Hebrews had a shit ton of rules about when a man was or was not allowed in a woman’s bed and private quarters (including, if she didn’t want you there, you weren’t allowed there. Hebrew women were also allowed to divorce their husbands and the image of the ‘oppressive Hebrew people’ is an image that was propogated by Christianity which, historically speaking, doesn’t treat the Jewish people too well and liked to paint them as being rather barbaric and backwards and cultish with their traditions, which, another piece of fun info, their traditions were one of the main reasons why the Jewish people were less likely, in medieval times, to die of the plague. Because washing your hands and avoiding the dead and vermin and the like was a lot of help. Of course the Christians persecuted them for not dying but that’s another matter. I’m sidetracked). So the verse is literally saying ‘Don’t fuck in some lady’s bed because that’s just goddamn rude’
Also, whenever a Christian brings the book of Leviticus up, you should feel free to point out that these are rules that were given to make the Hebrew people prepared for when the son of God came to earth. In Christianity, it’s believed the son of God was Jesus. So by following the rules set in Leviticus or pushing them as things we should follow, they’re saying that Jesus was not the son of God, and that Jesus did not, in fact, die for our sins. Jewish people believe, in their faith, that the son of God hasn’t yet been born, so many choose to follow these rules.
Most people of course roll their eyes when I explain the translation of the verse (full breakdown found here) but it’s always fun to point out the nature of the rules in Leviticus and the implications of following them.
I’m a theology student and I am on the verge of crying because of how accurate this commentary is. Historical context is simultaneously the most interesting and most important part of interpreting any texts.
The great-great-great grandchildren of Dickens take a selfie with him on his 202nd birthday.
I’m a writer not a murderer