Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To Bail, or not to Bail...

An anonymous Smoker writes:

I am a 3-n year graduate student at a program in the top 15. I am by no means a star in my program. In fact, it's quite clear that I am one of the weakest among those in my incoming year. Although members of the faculty are confident that I can successfully navigate a dissertation in close consultation with my adviser, these same faculty members are also confident that doing so will be a struggle that is unlikely to yield future employment. Although a lot could change in the next several years, after reading many harrowing tales of the job market on this blog I'm beginning to think I should count my program's paternalism as a blessing. I like philosophy, a lot. Although it is admittedly much harder to like while constantly being reminded that I'm only mediocre at it. I am hoping those Phil Smokers that have found themselves in a similar situation might shed some light on whether to forge on. It's a dark place I find myself in.

It is, obviously, hard to find a tenure-track job in philosophy. Especially now. And it's particularly difficult if the people who are supposed to be your champions, writing letters on your behalf and stuff, aren't behind you 100%. On the other hand, the dissertation period is a pivotal time. It was for me, anyway. You might find that your skills develop a great deal as you work your way through your dissertation project; mine did. So I would advise you to give your dissertation a real try. As long as you believe in what you're doing and feel like you're making progress. And as long as your advisors do, too. (I assume you trust their advice.) If you start to not believe in what you're doing, or don't feel like you're making progress, or your advisors don't think you're making progress, then I would consider dropping out. But I'd give it at least a year.

What say you, Smokers?

--Mr. Zero

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

View #9, Apologies for the Interruption

View from the seminar room at the University of Houston, submitted by Cynthia Freeland. Thanks for submitting, Prof. Freeland.

Also, I'm sorry I've been tough to get ahold of for the last few weeks. I had a suckier-than-average spring-semester finale, and then Mrs. Zero took me on a little vacation so I could recharge my batteries a little. So I was away from our secret hideout for a while. But I'm back in residence here at Smoker HQ (Branch Zero), and so if you have been in touch with me about a post you'd like to see, or something like that, you'll probably hear back or see it this week.

Yours most sincerely,

Mr. Zero

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The May JFP is Not Web-Only

Holy shit! There's a print version of the May JFP! For the first time since '08! Holy shit!

--Mr. Zero

P.S. It has 30 ads and is a total disaster. But at least it exists.

Oh my God I am so fucking dumb. I thought I saw a link to vol. 194, but I guess I was wrong. Sorry. Shit. Sorry.