Monday, March 29, 2010

One Nice Thing About Graduate School

One nice thing about graduate school was that that there were a bunch of people who were either obligated by contract or who had a strong professional/departmental interest in reading my papers. Nowadays I must rely on the kindness of friends and acquaintances, almost all of whom have various contractual or professional/departmental obligations to a lot of people other than me. The results are unsurprising and not awesome. Usually if I send a paper to a bunch of friends one or two might get around to it in a month or so. Possibly this is in part because almost all of these people live a thousand miles away from me, and so never see me in the hall, and are consequently never made to feel guilty by the sight of me. I've also tried sending papers to well-known people from the paper's bibliography, but I've never had any luck.

No point. Just griping. Carry on.

--Mr. Zero

Friday, March 26, 2010

Following Up On The Job Market Wiki Situation

As we near the end of the '09 - '10 job market cycle, I thought it would be worth reassessing the various job-market wikis we've been using. I found that although I didn't initially prefer it (see discussion here), I spent the most time on the phylo wiki this season. I like the color coding and the way jobs with status changes would be moved to the top, which made it easy to tell what was different from one visit to the next. But I also missed the tiered-and-alphabetized structure of the first wiki, which made it much easier to find the schools you are really interested in. Of course, the phylo wiki's ability to create customized RSS feeds sort of solves that problem. But I used those RSS feeds for only a very short period of time; with it there was no point in obsessively refreshing the webpage looking for updates, and I am sick, very sick.

It looks like the Academic Jobs wiki never really caught on, and that people stopped using it altogether in January. It looks like phylo wins.

--Mr. Zero

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let's get real

Leiter has a post up, discussing some of the recent admonitions to not go to graduate school. Leiter makes some interesting points in the post (we'll leave yet another ad hominem attack against anonymous posters for another time; *sigh*) and offers this real advice:
[D]on't go to graduate school unless you get into a strong program. Period. If you get funding to go to a strong program, and you love the subject, then go to graduate school. The odds of securing a tenure-track job, indeed a good tenure-track job, from a strong program are very high.
Now, I take it that the recent admonitions about attending graduate school do not just depend on the empirically false claim that there aren't any jobs for philosophy Ph.Ds. Of course there are jobs. Fuck, the JFP is proof of that. So, let's just ignore the fact that Leiter takes that claim as his ostensible target and consider the content of his claims (based on the placement records from 7 of the top 36 programs). Here, I hand off those duties to longtime friend, who will remain anonymous, who puts the point so much better than I could have (and with data!):
Right now, there are 65 people listed on Leiter with TT or postdoc jobs this year. 65. Let's assume that only the Leiter top 20 count as good schools. If they're graduating 4 people a year, that's 80. Being that 4 people a year is probably a pretty low number, this 81% job rate is our absolute maximum. Not to mention that 7 of those jobs are people from outside North America getting jobs outside North America. So that knocks it down to 58, or 72%. Now recall that Leiter ranks 50 US departments. We'll ignore non-ranked departments. If we assume that they are rolling out 4 graduates a year, which is a pretty fair assumption given cohort sizes, we're looking at 200 people this year competing for 58 slots, which is a 29% chance of getting a job.

And this is again an upper limit, as there are unranked departments, people coming off of postdocs, people switching schools, adjuncts, and people coming off of VAPs.

Next let's recall that schools are moving away from TT jobs. The average age of a tenured or tenure-track professor is now 55 or so, as I recall. Which suggests that people are not retiring, and when they do retire, those lines are not being re-opened for junior people. So the trend is going away from TT jobs at all.

[Leiter]...makes a big deal out of his specialty rankings. And that opens up the number of schools significantly. If he wants students to not be misled, THEN MAKE SCHOOLS INCLUDE...PLACEMENT RECORDS TO GET RANKED. No school has an incentive to be honest about this, and most places lie about it.

Some people are whiners, I agree. I hate people that blame their job hardship on women and minorities. And [some] people do crap work. Fine, I may be one of them. But claiming that the job market is anything other than a crapshoot is just dishonest. When places get 400 job applicants, your application is not going to receive careful review. It's not anyone's fault, per se, it's just how the market is. Some people get lucky and get a lot of attention. Great for them. Most people don't. Let's stop lying and start realizing that the job market is just too noisy to guarantee that the best people get the best jobs, and the worst people get no jobs. Sometimes people do better than they expect, and most of the time people end up worse off than anyone would expect. But we currently have people telling us that good people don't have to worry and they will land great jobs. This, post facto, is a great justification for those with jobs to announce that the system is very good at finding the best people. But it's not the most honest story to tell.
Let me just highlight the last point that my very smart (anonymous) friend makes because I think it encapsulates a very real worry: "[We] currently have people telling us that good people don't have to worry and they will land great jobs. This, post facto, is a great justification for those with jobs to announce that the system is very good at finding the best people." This, I think, makes the call to either require schools wishing to participate in the PGR to have clear placement records or ask evaluators to factor in placement records in assessing the quality of a department all the more pertinent here. Placement and department rankings according to "the quality of philosophical work and talent represented by the faculty and the range of areas they cover" represented by PGR ranking can come apart in real ways. And, where they don't, we need to be aware of the fact that, while perhaps one important factor, it wasn't just the strength of a program, as correlated with PGR ranking, determining the placement record of a school.

The advice for prospective graduate students to consider the points and numbers offered in this post, I take it, is real and not silly.

-- Jaded Dissertator

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Philosophers Earn...

Over at Leiter, there is an interesting chart detailing the salaries of unnamed members of an unnamed department. Go read it, then come back.

One interesting thing to notice is that there is a lot of money in being (what I can only imagine is) a young, hot-shot assistant professor. Some of those young hot-shots make only a little less than the folks who've been hanging around since the eighties.

Another interesting thing is that there is not much money in hanging around the same department for forty or fifty years. The endowed professor person who's been in the department since the sixties makes almost a hundred thousand dollars less than the full professor who was hired in the last ten years. Jesus.

This last thing makes me a little sad. I don't allow myself to have many preferences about what kind of career I'll have or how it will go--I know enough to know that any such preferences are extremely likely to go unsatisfied. But I kind of like the idea of being one of those guys who spends his career in one department, investing in it and cultivating it and building it. Looking back, the professors who have meant the most to me were lifers who were committed to the success of that department at that school. And not to hastily generalize from this one anonymous example, but it seems like people who do that earn half the money of people who jump ship--even in the same department.

--Mr. Zero

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Done is good enough

Fellow Smoker, Seasick, writes in and asks:
I'm a prospective about to accept an admission. I'm doing this despite hearing, time and time again, not to go to graduate school for philosophy. I've never been dissuaded because in the back of my mind I've always assumed I could jump ship after two years or so with an MA. Now my question is whether this actually IS an option at most schools? I've begun to worry that schools might make it so difficult to actually do this that nobody does.
First, let me make clear that I don't think that there aren't good reasons to go to grad school; there are. That said, the admonition to not go to graduate school is really just an elliptical way of saying: 'If you aren't prepared, after 4/5 years when your funding runs up and you have half a dissertation written, or even if you are completely done with your dissertation, to live your life on uncertain terms from year to year or semester to semester looking for funding, having most, if not all of your applications denied, and having all this adversely affect your psychological and physical well-being as well as your relationships with others, then don't go to graduate school. If you are prepared for that and aren't prone to self-deceptive episodes in which you convince yourself you are the exception to the rule, because it's highly likely you aren't, and the job market won't shit on you, because it will, then, by all means go to graduate school.'

Okay, with that out of the way, here's my answer to Seasick's question: I think what you describe is a live option at most places that offer the M.A. on the way to getting the Ph.D.; after all, it isn't like we sign our grad contracts with the blood of our first born. Moreover, keep this in mind: if you do end up going to graduate school and M.A.s are handed out after two years before you have to do any real heavy lifting (e.g., comprehensive exams, writing chapters, etc.) and you are finding that you hate graduate school, then that's the time to quit. People have been known to do exactly just that and if you are in a welcoming environment, most everyone should be supportive of your decision. There's a very real part of me that envies those people who have done exactly what you suggest.

That said, and I probably don't have to say this because you seem like a smart fellow, just don't start broadcasting these plans or thoughts until you are sure you want to jump ship.

Best of luck.

--Jaded Dissertator

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Bizarre Interview Request

Ms No Name writes with the following tale:
I applied for a job to a major UK philosophy department (top-10 in the UK). I was delighted to receive their invitation for an interview. The trouble is that the invitation came only 10 days before the interview (7 business days). I am a citizen of a non-EU country (not USA or Canada either) and thus require a visa every place I go, even for a short visit, even for 24 hours. Getting a UK visa requires collecting a slew of documents (normally takes me at least 3 days) and sending them off to the UK Consulate in a big city. Normally they return it with a visa in a week, but sometimes take longer. It was clear to me that 7 business days is not just cutting it short. It's impossible!

So I asked the department to interview me by video. I fully expected them to agree because I've had video interviews with other good UK departments in the past, no big deal. But this university said no. No chance. I pleaded - explained to them the situation, added my personal details (I have a toddler who would have to be left with a stranger babysitter for several days for this trip to happen). Nothing doing. The chair kindly and apologetically explained that they just do not interview by video. They gave no reason other than they just don't do it. They didn't offer to delay the interview either. Moreover they added they turned down other candidates just on that basis, that they could not arrive for an interview to the UK with 10 day notice.

Obviously I had to turn down the interview.

I am still baffled by the department's reasoning (don't they want the best person for this job? was I not a serious candidate to them?), but there is also the ethical question: did they have any obligation to give me a video interview? The more I think about it, the less sure I am...
Weird, right? I've never heard of anything like it. What say you, Smokers?

--Mr. Zero

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crossing picket lines

Fellow Smoker, KD, points our attention to this letter concerning the Pacific APA Hotel Boycott over at Feminist Philosophers. Since I'm not going to the APA, continuing my untarnished streak of having my papers denied either due to lack of quality or bureaucratic nonsense or probably both, it's easy for me to take a pro-union stance. But, I'm assuming it's a bit more difficult for those who have either already booked rooms or are presenting.

JJ, in the comments on the aforementioned post, presents some reasons why it might be difficult to honor the boycott and sign the pledge to honor the boycott here. Go take a look at both.

-- Jaded Dissertator

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dissertation Mining

I recently got to a point in a couple of papers I've been working on where the most appropriate thing was to let them rest for a while and allow the dust in my mind to settle around them. I started thinking about what to work on next, and I thought that maybe the thing to do would be to polish up a key section from my dissertation. The section I'm thinking of is the section I should publish if I don't publish anything else from my dissertation; where I make the central argument for the central conclusion.

One nice thing about this kind of writing is that I've already done most of the legwork. I won't have to do much extra reading to acquaint myself with the literature, or spend much time trying to orient myself within the conceptual space. I've already got a pretty polished "rough draft" to work from. And I've already got a few new ideas about how to strengthen and buttress the argument.

So I'm looking at it, thinking about how to reorganize it, how to structure it, and where to modify or cut text. How the new ideas are going to fit in. And I'm thinking about how boring this is and how much I have no interest in actually doing it. At best, I would like to have already done it. But I don't want to do it. At all.

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of my dissertation. I think it's a pretty good one. I'm glad I did it. But there's hardly anything in it I wouldn't do at least a little differently if I had to do it over again. As I said before, one of the most stunning things I learned when I was preparing for my defense was how effective dissertating was at making me a better philosopher. But now that I am that better philosopher, I don't much feel like going back and revising that old stuff. Even though I still think I was right. One of the greatest things about not being a dissertator is that I don't have to do it over again.

But then I wonder, does not mining your dissertation send a signal? Or does mining too late send the same signal as mining for too long? Am I in a situation where if I'm going to do it, I had better do it now? Because maybe then I would go ahead and do it now.

--Mr. Zero

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fisking Nunley, Again

Apparently we haven't had enough cluelessness around the Smoker lately, because Troy Nunley, clueless critic of the APA's anti-discrimination policy, has visited us again to raise our quotient of dumb. He writes:
I said Zero changed the subject on my criticism of (c). He claims the subject was actually whether something(!) was wrong with the APA policy. Correct, and there is something wrong with it.
At least we're finally in agreement about what the topic is. I hope that in what follows, Nunley will let us in on what he thinks is wrong with the policy. I also hope that his point is something more consequential than how it uses the word 'integral' to describe the relationship between classes of people it aims to protect and the patterns of behavior characteristic of those classes that have been used to identify them (not by name but by description) in discriminatory hiring practices.
Zero changed the subject to whether everything(!) was wrong with the policy including its attack on bans on interracial marriage, etc.
I am baffled. The way Nunley claims that I changed the subject to whether "everything" is wrong with the policy, and then the way he puts a parenthetical exclamation mark after the word 'everything, strongly suggests that I said something about whether or not "everything" is wrong with the APA's policy, and that Nunley was surprised by this. But that's not what happened. I never said anything like that. I don't know what the hell he's talking about.

Nunley brought up interracial marriage, not me. He claimed that the APA's attack on bans on interracial marriage was problematic somehow, not me. I didn't put those words in his mouth. I just pointed out that if the policy contains an attack on bans on interracial marriage, that would be a point in its favor. I don't know what his problem is.
That’s cheating. And your talk about whether your new topic is “germane” is an attempt to slight over that explicit cheat; you ought to stick to whether what I clearly said was in fact false.
My topic all along has been whether there is something wrong with the APA's anti-discrimination policy. Nunley's original post contained a claim that interracial marriage was not "integral" to racial identity, and that this was a problem for the policy. I pointed out that his claim was false. I don't see how I was cheating.
And if you wish to speak of “germane” points or topics, make sure not to implicate me for taking a contradictory view.
I clearly did not accuse Nunley of being opposed to interracial marriage at any time. There's a certain delicious irony here: Nunley is saying that I have accused him of saying something that he did not say; in so doing, he accuses me of saying something I did not say. I think he should take a couple of deep breaths, and then learn to read.
Second, the attempt to find sex with white people “integral” to black racial identity by psychologizing those who forbid it is ridiculous.
I don't think I "psychologized" anyone; I said what I thought the racist motive behind anti-miscegenation policies was and pointed out that such policies are genuinely discriminatory. I also didn't say anything about interracial sex acts. I said that policies that forbid interracial marriage are discriminatory, because they are based on the false premise that non-white people are morally unfit to enter into such relationships with white people. Such policies fail to respect non-white people. Am I wrong? I am not wrong, and in just a second, Nunley is going to say so.
Even if those persons oppose equity for blacks (and I’ll allow that that is their likely motive)...
Duh.
...and even if permitting sex with whites is essential to that equity it does not follow that such sex is “integral” to being black. It follow only that being allowed (not actually having) such sex is integral to properly respecting (not being) blacks.
So, I am right.
Thirdly, with respect to whether you change the subject Zero, yes you do and do repeatedly. My arguments are simple Modus Tollens arguments. (1) The APA policy is committed to the view that X is integrally connected to Y. (2) It is not the case that X is integrally connected to Y. Therefore, the policy is incorrect in its claims about what is integrally connected to what.
Suppose I said several times that I granted the semantic point about the word 'integral.' Suppose I then devoted way, way too many words to explaining why this point was irrelevant. Suppose I thoroughly demonstrated that each of Nunley's objections to the applicability of the word 'integral' fails to demonstrate an actual defect in the policy: the policy does not prohibit behaviors it should permit; it does not permit behaviors it should prohibit; it does not do so for the wrong reasons. Then suppose Nunley came back a month later and ignored all those words and insisted that the semantic point about the word 'integral' was the only thing that mattered, because of modus tollens. Wouldn't you make fun of him? That's what I would do.

In the first sentence of the comment I am demolishing (which you can find reprinted at the top of this post), Nunley claims that "there is something wrong with [the APA's anti-discrimination policy]." But that is not the conclusion of his nifty modus tollens arguments. The actual conclusion of his actual argument is this bit about the word 'integral.' And I think we can all admit that Nunley has a point there. The problem with this point is that it is literally as insignificant as anything could possibly be.
AT NO POINT have you challenged a premise in any of my three arguments against a-c.
I can't wait to find out what the next sentence is going to say.
Well, OK, I have to grant that the points in which you desperately, desperately tried to make sex with white integral to being black were a challenge to my second premise against APA policy point c.
I see. So, IN CAPITAL LETTERS, at no point do I challenge any premise. Except, okay, where I do challenge the central premise. And where I challenge the idea that the argument is relevant to any important topic whatsoever. But when I did that, I did it desperately, desperately. So it probably doesn't count.

Also, my point was not about the integrality of sex with white people to black identity. My point was that having the freedom to do so is integral to it.
But that was a disaster. Not as disastrous as missing the arguments altogether though.
Oh. He must have forgotten about how he admitted that I did not miss the arguments. Slipped his mind. I mean, it was a whole sentence ago. I often forget what I write from one sentence to the next. What did I just say? Where am I.
Again, until you are prepared to challenge a premise in arguments of this sort, you have no legitimate reply to my arguments at all, only a lengthy commentary concerning arguments I never made.
Another delicious irony. In all this, Nunley has completely failed to address my criticisms, or even to demonstrate that he has understood them. In order to connect his modus tollens to the APA's policy, a further, suppressed premise is necessary: "if the policy is incorrect in its claims about what is integrally connected to what, then there is something wrong with the policy." I have demonstrated that this premise is false.

The problem with Nunley's criticism is that it is superficial and shallow. It is not deep or penetrating or revealing of an important flaw in the policy. Nunley continues to claim victory in a verbal dispute without realizing that it doesn't touch any deeper issue.

--Mr. Zero

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weatherson's Advice for Prospective Graduate Students

Here. I would have placed the bit about placement records at the top. And its worth attending to the placement data for students of your potential advisers, although I recommend keeping an open mind about who one's adviser will be and what one's AOS will be for the first couple of years in graduate school. (I chose my adviser in part by comparing the work of the students of the various candidates.)

Any other suggestions?

--Mr. Zero

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You used to be alright. What happened?

In the past, at the old venture and elsewhere on the Philososphere (I wish I had links for you, I really do, but you'll know what I'm talking about; if you don't, go look at Leiter, Phil. Anon. and PJMB archives), we're given brief glimpses into SCs' decision procedures for choosing candidates. Oftentimes, we can glean from these glimpses concrete prescriptions for behavior:
-Publish because if you don't have publications you will obviously be an unproductive colleague, are a lazy shitstain, and your app is going straight to the trash.
-Build a time machine and attend a Leiterrific school because your ability to build a time machine looks good as an extra CV line, but if you can't do that your app is trashed.
-Make sure you match up perfectly with the job ad because if you don't you are a poser (PHONY!!!!) and your app, well, is going to the trash.
-Don't have a gap year in your CV because if you do SCs will think you have gone stale and, in your staleness, are unable to catch up to the fast-moving world of philosophy; additionally, you will be assumed to have forgotten all the philosophy you did for the past 5 - 10 years and your app belongs in the trash.*
Maybe these are good prescriptions, but I doubt it since I don't think everything (anything?) we hear from SCs constitutes actual decision rules they employed. I have strong suspicions that they aren't. Instead, I think what we get are post-hoc explanations that tell us why they picked the particular candidates they have in the past.

In other words, I think SCs think about these things only when prompted by the Philososphere, then, realizing that stories are nice to give to those who, through something beyond their control, were unable to be placed on shortlists or unable to be offered jobs, they construct a story about their decision procedure that makes it seem like it fits into a tidy flowchart.

Let me be careful in what I'm saying here: I'm not implying that SCs don't make the right decisions in most cases or have no decision procedure at all; I think they do, but I think their decision procedure is this: "Which application do I find most interesting and the best fit?" and this varies wildly across schools and maybe even within SCs. As such, I think we should liberally salt the plates they serve to us.

What I take from my conjecture is that the trick to the job market isn't speculating about the decision procedures of SCs and trying to tailor your application and life accordingly (How do I explain my gap year in my application? GASP. Does adjuncting look worse on a CV than VAPing? OH NO!). The big-picture stuff gets you or doesn't get you jobs. The trick is to make every part of your application really fucking awesome such that it makes a compelling case for the SC to choose you.

That's all we can do: Sell ourselves as philosophers who are interesting, smart, and fit well with the school to which we are applying. And this, I think, can be accomplished without worrying about particular decision procedures SCs do or do not use.

So, stop worrying and get to work on being awesome. Sure, oftentimes that's not enough, but it's better to think about than wondering how that typo on the first page makes you come off.

--Jaded Dissertator

*The last one is my personal favorite: What? You mean we aren't still asking why is there something rather than nothing? We solved that problem last year while I was slanging coffee? Fuck, I am stale!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Little Perspective On Tenure

In comments, anonymous 6:59 provides a refreshingly even-handed perspective. I would quibble with the word 'will' in the first sentence; while I see some worrying handwriting on the wall, I think it's far too early to go past 'might' and head straight to 'will.' Anyways, I thought it was worth reproducing the comment in full:
It seems to me that there are forces at work that will ultimately lead to tenure positions being very rare and reserved only for the superstars who can command this. When we'll reach this state of affairs in the US is an open question that I think will largely depend upon what happens with state budget crises over the next 3-5 years. But for this to be the common state of affairs, given the pace of change in higher education might require another 20 years. It will depend I think on how long the "buyer's market" in academia continues.

Tenure is not in any simple sense a fiction. Its existence is that of all contractual arrangements and legally enforceable agreements, which is to say sometimes it is worth it for an organization to violate it, but it places a pretty high price on doing so. So for example, if at my SLAC, tenure were to be violated in any significant sense it would have consequences for morale (very important at SLAC) and for the successful operation of the college. It is in most cases a "nuclear option." At a large state school of middling to mediocre quality it's not so important. At a high end University it would ruin, I think, the institution chances of hiring the best talent.

That said there are all sorts of limits of tenure, since it is not absolute. Removal of academic programs can result in the elimination of tenure lines and therefore the faculty who hold them. (At some schools one is tenured to the college and so that even elimination of an academic program might not involve elimination of the line so much as a change to another department.

What's crucial is that tenure gives you grounds for a certain set of institutional and legal processes that limit the reasons for which you can be terminated. The most important of these protections is "corrupting the youth of Athens." Unfortunately, many faculty are under the somewhat silly idea that tenure means that they are guaranteed a job no matter how shittily and incomptetently they behave.

So, the idea that tenure provides additional security is I think correct, and I think it is a complex multi-variable problem of practical reasoning to determine whether or not a particular VAP is preferable to a particular TT job.
--Mr. Zero

Attitude, You Got Some Fucking Attitude

One of the most infuriating tropes that comes up again and again when you complain about the job market is this line about how you'll never get a tenure track job with an attitude like that. No one would ever hire anyone with such a bad attitude. But if the discussion of the last week or so has demonstrated anything, it's that it is totally possible to get a tenure track job while having the shittiest of attitudes. Small point, but I felt it was worth making. Now we can all shut up forever about our attitudes about stuff.

--Mr. Zero

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'll See Your "Grass is Greener" and Raise

In a recent thread, there was a lively discussion about the relative merits of tenure-line work and working as a VAP. The commenter that got the ball rolling has a fairly heavy 4-4 teaching load with the standard non-teaching duties, and was coming off a VAP with a pretty light 2-2 load. That's a lot of teaching, and the effect is probably magnified and focused by the transition.

But look. I have a 4-4 now. And I have almost no say in which four classes I teach every semester. (My chair is pretty good about keeping my preps down.) My classes are almost all at introductory level, which means they are easy to teach but which also means that my students almost all have no backgound or interest in philosophy.* I have no administrative responsibilities, but I also have no say as to what policies are adopted by my department or my school. And although I have an above-average amount of job security for a VAP, I have a lot less job security than your average "unmodified" assistant professor (UAP), and as long as I stay in this position, I will never have the opportunity to apply for tenure. I also make in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars a year less than your average UAP, and as long as I stay in this position, I will never have the opportunity to get a raise. And I have no travel budget, so I have to use my own money if I ever want to go to a conference (and I have less of my own money to start with).

I'm not trying to complain about my job. I love my job. Almost every job in the entire world would be worse, and only a few jobs could possibly be better. I'm having a great time, and I've learned a lot.

But the idea that a VAP's desire for a tenure-line job is a case of the grass is greeners is stupid. It's an objectively better job. More work and more responsibility, yes. But those meetings are a necessary evil and an all-things-considered good. Your department, college, and university could not operate without them, and you vote in those meetings. You have a say. And this having a say comes with more security, more autonomy, and more money.

--Mr. Zero

* To be clear, I like introducing people to philosophy who have no prior interest or background in the discipline. I also like teaching advanced students, and I would like to have more opportunities to do so.

And most VAPs are year-to-year, which means they go on the TT market in the fall and then the temporary market in the spring. This is time-consuming and sucks.

In the earlier post, I was complaining about the aspects of my job which lead to my being on the job market every year. That complaint is completely legitimate.