Thursday, October 22, 2009


I generally have to come up with around four or five paper ideas before I hit upon one that can be developed/is worth developing into an actual paper. Is that normal?

Marist College isn't advertising ten adjunct positions. Small victories.

I was recently offered the opportunity to buy a poster of the cover of a journal who published a paper I wrote. It would cost almost $70. Do people buy these things?

--Mr. Zero


Xenophon said...

I'm confused. Is it better that Marist isn't advertising any jobs? Maybe that means their adjuncts all are staying put rather than hitting a terrible market, but maybe they're just doing without.

Speaking of adjuncts, some interesting observations from Monday's Wall Street Journal (A18):

"16% of big companies have taken the previously rare step of reducing pay . . . 61% have frozen pay."

"More than half of 638 chief financial officers surveyed by Duke professor John Graham said they expected their companies to employ fewer people in 2012 than in 2007."

"Some labor-market watchers think such situations [companies firing workers, then rehiring them as consultants to save on health insurance and other fixed costs] could grow more common as companies tap temporary or contract workers to hold down overhead."

It looks like the move to adjuncts is part of a larger trend. And the second stat might imply that things might not be a lot better next year. Just thought I'd brighten your day.

The poster thing seems weird to me. Kind of cool, maybe, but I don't think it would be worth $70 to me. And in 20 years, where you hang all the posters if you did this regularly?

zombie said...

That seems like a lot of dough for a poster of a journal cover. If I was going to frame anything, I'd just frame the actual cover. I'd be kind of embarrassed to have some giant blowup of it on my wall.

jhdeleuzian said...

Your journal cover reminded me of someone's $750 class ring in that it made me make the same "sucking-on-a-lemon" face. I don't know anything about these things, but I'm inclined to agree with zombie.

(A Fatboy Slim video is much better than a smiley face emoticon.)

Anonymous said...

I could imagine very vein getting a poster like that. Don't do it.

Adjunct said...

If you must have a poster, have the cover xeroxed in color and blown up at your nearby Kinkos.

Christopher Walken is so scary.

Anonymous said...

Why stop with the poster?! I say splurge $150 for a wall-sized version of the journal cover. And, wherever you land a tt-job, have it installed on a wall in your office. Make sure students can see it over your shoulder when they come to your office hours; just so they know who they're fuckin' with. I doubt any of your colleagues will notice, much less think it peculiar. Trust me on this one.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Zero,

4 or 5 ideas per paper seems about right for me, although the story is a bit more complex. I have ideas constantly, many of which die as soon as I write them down or bounce them off a colleague. Others make it onto my zip drive, where they will languish eternally. But once I start writing a paper, it's rare if I don't make a full go at it. Only, every time I start writing, the idea begins to change, and I begin to see new things. So the paper never ends up quite as I thought it would.

P.S. Does the journal cover have your name plus January Jones in leather? If not, I'd pass. Unless it has Johnny Depp shirtless. But if not, then again, pass.

Anonymous said...

zip drive? still? :)

Anonymous said...

Is the video a suggestion for what all us job seekers should do when we get to the Marriot Marquis in December? If so, I'm totally in.

Anonymous said...

is there a reason for fatboy slim? did i miss the reference?

Polacrilex said...

Since this thread is titled Miscellania, I don't feel so bad posting something entirely off-topic. I am sure that pedigree will become, yet again, a much discussed topic on here. It does every year, doesn't it? Inevitably there will be people who have to use that idiotic phrase, "sour grapes." Well, before any of that gets started, I'll throw in my two cents: any time I hear about the importance of pedigree, this is what immediately comes to mind:

Mr. Zero said...


No, no real reason. I just sort of feel better when I watch this video, and I thought maybe other people would, too.


If the room rate at the Marriott included the ability to fly around the lobby, I wouldn't resent it nearly as much.


That's about how it goes for me, too, but maybe a little different. I'll bounce the main idea off some people, or do some reading, or some informal drafting in my notebook, or spend some time fiddling with the logic, and give up if it doesn't go well. But once I've made a Word document, I'm in for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

what is "the smoker"? i'm assuming it's some sort of party at the apa convention? and why is it called the smoker?

Anonymous said...

The Smoker is indeed an unpleasant social event on the second evening of the Eastern APA. The schools each have a table, and if you've had an interview, you're supposed to go say hi at the table(s) of the school(s) that interviewed you, and try to make the impression that you are also a normal person. This is of course mandatory if the people interviewing you said "Come say hi tonight at the Smoker". Oncew at the smoker you will find long lines at those tables, forced conversation, and a dense air of panic and awkwardness. Don't drink - resist the urge - and of course, do not expect this to be any kind of pleasant social event. If possible, try to find solace at your own school's table. Then get out and go drink with your own friends, but not too much (since you may have interviews the next day; but this is a hopeful view from years when there were jobs!).