Saturday, April 21, 2012

gimme that


in like three months.  but in the spirit of consumerism, here is some stuff I REALLY want.

iRobot ROOMBA Pet Series

do i want an automatic pet vacuum to suck up all the kitty hair in my house? YES.

do i want to come home and find my pets riding it? HECK YES.

bathing suit

was this WILD FOX COUTURE bathing suit made for me? i think so


when people come to my home i want them to constantly feel like they are about to spill their drinks.!


i really want to get this hoodie for bowser and bangbang; they look so naked without it!
for all your cat clothes needs, check out !

okay, that will do for now. and certainly i dont need any of this stuff. i am pretty lucky to have awesome friends, a cool place to live, and the best family in the world. i think ill make it through my 29th year without the Roomba (maybe).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

i wont give up

jason mraz is kind of a weird lil weenie guy. but mannnnn, can he sing. I LOVE THIS SONG.

Monday, April 16, 2012

the perils of the tenure track job hunt

As I have mentioned before, I was on the "job market" this year. Having finished my PhD in December 2010, my next career goal has been to get a tenure track professorship somewhere NOT in Indiana (sorry Indiana!). Well before I filed my dissertation I heard horror stories about the difficulties of landing a tenure track job--e.g."schools have stopped hiring tenured faculty because there are enough desperate PhDs out there who will adjunct for less money," or stories like "the market is so saturated with PhDs from ivy league institutions they will get all the desirable jobs."

Despite the warnings I decided to get a PhD and now I am on the market with the aim of getting a tenure track job. This process is the worst. I know we've (probably) all experienced the pains of job searching, but I'd like to highlight the especially esoteric struggles faced by wanna-be-academics.

First, you send a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae/Resume, letters of recommendation, writing samples, teaching statement, research statement and teaching evaluations to institutions that have put out a job call for a hire in your subfield. I wish it were as simple as "HIRING A POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR!" But its not... its this:

The good news: I specialize in American Government and quantitative methods! The bad: WTF is Conflict Management and Resolution? I'm out.

The specificity of hiring is both good and bad. When its a perfect fit, its good. But because there are so many subfields and research in each necessitates an especially narrow focus, the chances become much smaller that an institution is hiring for your speciality.

Next, because of funding limitations, and traditions, departments usually only select 3 candidates to bring to campus for an interview out of hundreds of applications. Some schools conduct phone interviews from a short list to narrow it down to the three candidates, but very rarely will a school fly out more than 3 candidates. In the off chance you get an interview, the campus interview itself presents the next hurdle.

A campus interview usually consists of 2 full days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, one-on-one meetings with other faculty and school deans, and usually a lecture to students not always on a topic of your choosing, and then a research presentation to faculty. It can be fun, because there will be few other times in your career that a room full of people will be listening intently to you talk about your research. But these interviews are so so draining. And can go terribly! if personalities aren't clicking. If there is a faculty of 20 and you meet one on one for 30 minutes with at least half of them, its pretty likely one or more will go badddd.

This year I was fortunately enough to bag 2 campus interviews, so I can attest to the grueling nature of these campus visits. But don't get my wrong, I was really happy to get them! My first interview was at Towson University, which is in Baltimore. The second interview was at DePaul University in Chicago. I liked both schools/cities/departments a lot and probably would have taken either job.

Unfortunately, I didn't get an offer from either institution. While I did get some good feedback from department chairs, it was a major blow to my confidence, and general morale. For a little bit of time I grappled with whether or not I wanted to try this again next year--why work so hard to get the interviews, which feel like a death sentence for 2 whole days, to then be apart of a profession that people leave all the time, unsatisfied. For instance, earlier this month The Times Higher Education published this article on the sacrifices scholars face even once they've gotten tenure. It's actually a really short, not very substantive article in my opinion but it set off a windfall of comments and conversations via twitter from those in and looking to be in the profession. So it's no secret that many are reconsidering a career in academics.

DESPITE stories like those from The Times, and my first unsuccessful attempt at a tenure job, I will be back on the market next year. Because, like in grad school, even when I am miserable and tired and sick of it all, when I sit back and ask myself if there is something else I would rather be doing, the answer was, and still is "no." So until there is something I would rather do, I am going to stick it out. In the mean time I will be serving as the dreaded adjunct (i wish i could make that font all haunted and scary bc thats what that word makes me feel), at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. COME VISIT. and mom and dad, pls snd MONEY$!  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

happy easter

i never had a drunk uncle, but if i had, i imagine it'd be something like this...