Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kudos, APA updates, etc.

Quickly, because preparation calls.

Again, Spiros is right; or, at least the spirit of his post. There's no denying that Professor Leiter's recent posts have been invaluable for many job seekers, search committees, and the philosophical community at large. In the end, despite any differences of opinion the Reports and the Smoker may have, they can sometimes obfuscate our mutual desire to try to do good by the profession. Kudos.

On another note: Boston is cold, windy, and slushy. I should've brought some getting around shoes and/or boots. My feet are cold. I was miserable this morning, but, my spirits have been lifted by my friends' reports of successful interviews (and beers).

I'm a veritable ray of sunshine now; or, at least will be for another 2 hours. Then, the smoker. Yay. I just hope this impending sickness strikes after tomorrow, rather than tonight.

This isn't to say that things don't still seem fucked up, but, I'm here, so, whatevs. We'll save the complaining for the post-mortem.

Best to all.

-- Jaded Dissertator


Anonymous said...

I sent my partner in crime off to Boston and am there in spirit, too. Have a terrible expensive beer at the smoker for me, guys.

BunnyHugger said...

I hope no one took my "Suckers!" remark in the previous post seriously. (I thought it was funny when I wrote it, but then later worried that it might be taken as genuinely unsympathetic toward those who are currently enduring the APA circus.) Actually, I want to extend my best wishes to those in Boston. I hope you have good, or at least relatively painless, interviews.

CTS said...

I have a sister who [still] lives in MA, where we grew up. We talked on her birthday - the day before Xmas - and she said, "I hope you aren't planning to go to that meeting you used to go to every year 10 seconds after Christmas."

I may get religion, at long last.

Best to all who tried and/or made it.

Anonymous said...

This is the most stupidly obvious and hurtful thing any person, let alone the executive director of the APA, could say: "Departments aren't scheduling interviews with people they don't think are very good." I'm starting the campaign now: Oust David Schrader from office. To top it off, he's a total Bible thumper.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.31 - Whilst I'm sure what David Schrader actually meant was "if you've got an interview, the department thinks you're good, and so will reschedule," he did certainly manage to make it sound like he meant "if a department didn't give you an interview, they think you're no good." Yet another strike against the APA's higher echelons.

Maybe one day the APA will be run be people capable of finding their asses with both hands and a map. Untill then, I endorse Spiros's suggestion of a new ASP or suchlike.

Anonymous said...

Anon. @ 6:31:

I think you misunderstood his remarks. He wasn't claiming that departments wouldn't bother interviewing those candidates who couldn't make it that were deemed not to be very good. Rather, he was pointing out that given that all of the job candidates were people the departments had already deemed to be outstanding candidates, the departments will likely make accommodations to interview the across-the-board good candidates who couldn't make it to Boston in time for their interviews. At least, that's the much more plausible and charitable interpretation of his remarks. But everyone can judge for themselves. The remarks appeared here:


Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31: ??? I don't think you have understood his remark correctly!

Anonymous said...

A good leader would state it in the positive instead of as a double negative: "Departments are scheduling interviews and accommodating those applicants who they still believe would make excellent additions to their departments." Otherwise the implication is that all people they did not schedule an interview with or accommodate are not people they think are very good....period. Start the ASP today. Schrader is a dufus. Schrader apologists can go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post the text of the Schrader letter? I decided not to renew my APA membership until I got an APA interview, and so I never renewed it.

zombie said...

Hey, beer at tonight's smoker was free! On the other hand, half the tables were empty. There was no one at the table for the school I interviewed with, but they told me that would be the case. One member of the SC arrived only minutes ahead of the interview. Ehhh, I'll try to catch up with them tomorrow night.
A sparsely attended APA, I think. But my experience is limited. Majorly relieved to have my first interview done with. My nerves are remarkably calmer now.

Philosophers have the most extraordinary facial hair in academe, I'm certain. We here at the PS need a secret handshake, or some kind of identifier.

word verification: coperse, as in, You'll never catch me, you lousy APA coperse!

CTS said...

I actually do think DS meant his remark to be reassuring to those who had interviews, rather than insulting to those who did not. He fumbled, no doubt, but he's just an academic philosopher - not a politician.

I read some pretty bitter, angry comments on an earlier thread, and I want to offer something to folks looking for jobs (or planning to).

I probably underestimate the number of a-holes still out there doing hiring in our discipline. I certainly ran in to a number when I was starting out. But most of the people I have met and dealt with over the years are perfectly decent, intelligent folks who really want to hire good colleagues and make them feel welcome from the start.

I cannot think of a worse thing to do than to start a position feeling that your new colleagues are a-holes who want to hurt you. In fact, I cannot think of a worse way to go into the interviewing process.

What will happen to you if you carry this anger into your interviews, your first positions, and so on?

Look, we T and TT colleagues DO understand what you are suffering - even those of us who faced a less generally awful job situation. It has always been awful - in my professional lifetime - in one way or another and to a greater or lesser extent.

If you love Philosophy and want to share that love with younger people and share your ideas with colleagues, don't undermine your own love and committment with temporary anger.

CTS said...

One last thought:

If the younger folks do not become members of the APA, there is no way to reform it.

We need numbers, and only paid up members can vote.

I would be happy to help grad students and un/under-employed Ph.D.s with dues. I am not very well-paid (ha ha) and cannot make a big difference on my own. Perhaps we could create a dues-support volunteer system?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:41

Imagine all the money you spent and hassle you endured to observe the weird facial hair of fellow philosophers and get a few free beers. You'll probably strike out with interviews and be $1500 poorer. You could have finished that revise and resubmit or spent quality time with family. Was it really worth it?

Anonymous said...

9:32, that's an ass-holish thing to say. What, you can't find anything better to do than to criticize a phil job-market candidate during an economic depression? My God, crawl back under your fuckin' rock.

CTS, thanks for your encouraging words. Not just on this thread, but over time.

BunnyHugger, I don't think anyone took your "Suckers!" remark too seriously. I mean, come on: you're the BunnyHugger!

Comin' atch ya' live, from Boston, 'bout to kill my only interview which wasn't canceled!!

Anonymous said...

If things don't work out at the APA this year there's always this position:


It is easily the weirdest philosophy job ad I've ever seen. The institution is a secret and, although based in NYC, "knowledge of Norwegian is a plus"!

The thing is, with the market the way it is, ever a bizarre and mysterious ad like this is likely to get many applicants.


Anonymous said...

Representing a portion of the T and TT folk, I'd like to confess that I come on the Smoker for the perverse satisfaction of reading about job seekers' suffering. I never personally suffered during my brief time on the market in the 80s. My superstar advisor just called up his friend chairing the search committee and got me the job. I hope that the Eastern APA continues to be held in pricey, snowy cities. Otherwise this blog will lose all entertainment value. Keep on sufferin', Smokers!!

Anonymous said...

We here at the PS need a secret handshake

I got one: immediately after grasping the other person's hand, tickle her/his palm with your middle finger. And if that person's not a fellow smoker, then,...well, who knows what'll happen!

Anonymous said...

I had way too much coffee before my interview this morning. I think it went like this:

WV: 'lonad'. As in, "That interview felt like a kick in the lonads."

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20

Mystery solved easily: It's Gateway College (Norway):




Nothing too exciting--a Norwegian Study abroad program.

Anonymous said...

1:24, You're a supremely fucked up human being.

Barebones said...

Anonymous @ 8.20 am:

I think its fairly clear that that ad is for a front for the CIA. My guess is that in the event that Julian Asssange is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. they're planning to kidnap the committee.

Fulci said...

Anon 1:24pm, are you in touch with how bad of a person you are? I'm a moderately shitty person: when I see a candidate interviewing for my job, I don't say, "may the best man win", but actually wish that his big stupid hair catches on fire on the way up to the suite. Still, I hope he can put it out in time to get to the other interviews we're not competing over. But you're not in competition with any of us and you still wish us ill, not out of any principled stand against philosophy or out of self-interest, but because you find other people's significant hardships entertaining. I'm in Boston right now buddy. If you want to set up a time and place, I'd love to throw down. Seriously, I want to wipe the fucking floor with your dead soul.

Anonymous said...

Chillax guys, I'm pretty sure 1:24 PM is just a troll.

BunnyHugger said...

I assumed 1:24 was engaging in a bit of dark humor, not being serious.

CTS said...

@Dec 28, 10:31:

Thanks for the thanks. How did the interview go?

As for 1:24: I assumed this was a not-very-funny attempt at humor.

zombie said...

Dear 9:32
This is 7:41 here. Not Anon 7:41, but presumably the same nonetheless.
As a matter of fact, I did spend a lot of money to go to APA, though not $1500. I consider it an investment. A risky investment, to be sure, under current market conditions, but one I am obliged to undertake if I want a job in philosophy.
And as a matter of fact, I rather enjoyed the excessive facial hair on display at APA. Especially the guy with the Rasputin beard. Was that you? Also some world class 'fros in the house, and vivid colors. I look at hair. So sue me. I also look at shoes.

Seymour Glass said...

Zombie, when we passed on the escalators, you were looking at my shoes.

Don't look at my shoes.