April 19, 2003

A Modest Proposal for Adjuncts

My fellow adjuncts,

Are you in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes? It sure feels like it sometimes, doesn't it? You meant to be a tenure-track professor, instead you are an adjunct. The worst is trying to explain it to your parents...all that booklearning, all those years, and all for naught?...I want to write about this, I am working on an entry, but honestly, it's so painful, it is so mind-****ingly painful, that I keep putting it aside. We need to leave the academy. You know that, don't you? Yes, and I know it too. Somehow it's tough to find the exit: it is not very well-marked, and it's hard to see clearly when the lights have been dimmed. But find it I will, and I hope you find it too. In the meantime: Listen, I know all about the sense of disgrace, and here is my modest proposal: Don't trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries. Get yourself a blog and trouble the blogosphere. You never know, someone might actually hear you. Strapped for cash? (yeah, I know). Try Blogger: they will host your blog for free.

Yours in fellowship,
Invisible Adjunct

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at April 19, 2003 04:11 AM

A promise, from me to you: It'll be okay. There's not just one road out, but dozens. Some of those roads are as noisome as the one you're on, I admit -- but the difference is *choice*, and that's all the difference in the world.

Be well. Choose well. And don't worry.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo at April 19, 2003 05:12 PM

I left academia 25 years ago (after getting an MPhil and teaching college for a year), and I never regretted it. Life outside the reservation is good.

Posted by: language hat at April 20, 2003 05:14 PM

I bailed on grad school after my MA, 11 or 12 years ago. I floundered for a couple of years, but now have a reasonably successful career and a very happy life that I would not have had if I had remained in grad school.

Let me add my voice to the chorus: there is life out here beyond the hedges. And it is good.

Posted by: Ginger at April 22, 2003 01:30 AM

Thanks for the comments. I know there must be life outside the academy, since that is where most lives are lived.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at April 23, 2003 10:36 AM

"We need to leave the academy. You know that, don't you? Yes, and I know it too."

The best writing I've read about leaving academia:


Posted by: Andrew at April 24, 2003 08:23 PM

The Journeyman article is great.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at April 25, 2003 01:52 AM