October 30, 2003

Are You (or Have You Ever Been) an Academic?

I won't attempt to define "academic." I believe the courts have ruled that this question is best left to a jury, who must determine any given case with reference to "contemporary community standards."

In a future poll, I'd like to get a sense of how many self-identified academics are grad students, how many are adjunct faculty members, how many are tenure-track faculty members, and so on.

If you wish, please supplement your response to this poll by indicating (in the comments) your favourite shampoo and (if applicable) your favourite conditioner.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at October 30, 2003 10:09 PM

1. Am an academic, happily or un. Mostly happily.

2. Would be happy to respond to a question asking "what is your gender?" precisely *because* of the choice of the term gender -- whatever I may be biologically, I am socially-constructed and self-identified as female.

3. 2 may be taken as proof of 1.

4. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner (and Thickening Spray, for styling purposes); all good for minimizing the bald spots produced when the academic life makes me want to pull out my hair.

5. That I have such a firm opinion about 4 may or may not be related to 2.

Posted by: KF at October 30, 2003 11:58 PM

1. I think I'm an academic.

2. Still a point, as nothing as changed in the last day or so.

3. Pert, I think.

4. One of those so-called professional European conditioners. It comes in a jug.

Posted by: A darned Europeanist at October 31, 2003 12:57 AM

Shampoo/Conditior - Garnier Fructis. The American bottles are labeled something to the effect of "Extra Volume", while the ones in French and German have something to do with fine or oily hair.

(I first discovered this shampoo on a research trip to Switzerland - yes, I am an academic!)

Posted by: Olivia at October 31, 2003 01:38 AM

Current academic using X-tra strength T-Gel coal tar derivative shampoo and whatever cheap conditioner Mrs. M3 buys.

Posted by: WM3 at October 31, 2003 08:26 AM

An academic who likes Prell shampoo and whatever conditioner I happen to have in those small hotel sample bottles I've collected.

Posted by: Cat at October 31, 2003 09:37 AM

A second-generation academic who likes whatever shampoo is on sale. (I see a pattern here...)

Posted by: Miriam at October 31, 2003 10:36 AM

I am sort of a curiosity here because I am a true adjunct -- a guy without a PhD who teaches occasionally because he knows a few things. I doubt that I'll ever make any real money that way though.

Almost an obsolete meaning of the word -- "adjunct" nowadays usually means a fully-qualified academic who's hard up enough financially to settle for a second-rate job.

Posted by: Zizka at October 31, 2003 10:46 AM

I use a generic shampoo with conditioner but I have to rinse my hair 2 or 3 extra times because I can't stand those aromas. I'm not an organic granola type at all, but the various fragrances and flavorings in soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes really bother me.

Posted by: Zizka at October 31, 2003 12:13 PM

Academic striving to me more of an academic (applying for Ph.D. programs - bring on the pain) working in academia.

Garnier Fructis, or Gerber (whichever I happen to grab off the shelf.)

Posted by: another boring academic at October 31, 2003 03:28 PM

Happily Academic, but less so than I'd like -- still working on the balancing teaching and attempting research thing -- one of the reasons my own blog is so neglected.

Whenever possible, I get my shampoo and conditioner from the beauty products store -- most have a great generic section where I can get fake Paul Mitchell conditioner and interesting shampoos -- there's one that smells like grapefruit (but rinses out) that's good. Otherwise, it's whatever looks decent and cheap at Costco.

Posted by: Another Damned Medievalist at October 31, 2003 03:57 PM

Oops... posted on the wrong thread before. Now I'm in the right place.

I got a PhD in Dutch at a major U.S. university and am still looking for a meaningful tenure-track position. It's a tough field to get a foothold in these days. I've been doing quite a bit of adjuncting though, and I can certainly sympathize with a lot of the posters I see here.

Posted by: Garth at October 31, 2003 04:03 PM

I'm finishing my dissertation and on the job market in history for the first time, so a happy academic when I like my dissertation and an unhappy academic when I don't, and the latter is more the case right now - I'm at the part where I've already written the interesting stuff and now I have to fill in background. I'm mostly just nervous, especially because my husband is also an academic (tenure track in a social science field) so we've got the two body problem.

I use whatever shampoo is on sale, but use Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner.

Posted by: Embie at October 31, 2003 04:29 PM

1. I'm feeling increasingly less like an academic everyday.

2. As far as hair care, I use the products recommended by my stylist. Of course, Queer Eye has taught me that washing only once a week gives you a better look.

Judging from the above post I'm beginning to think that #2 may have a causal relation to #1.

Posted by: Frolic at October 31, 2003 05:24 PM

Former, very former, academic. I taught my last class in the Spring of '80.

Posted by: jam at October 31, 2003 05:27 PM

1. New Ph.D. in English, now on a one-year lecturer contract at the university where I got my degree. Hoping that I won't be classifying myself as an academic in a year or two's time.

2. Shampoo and conditioner: If I had a higher-income job (see #1) I'd spring for Bumble & Bumble Alojoba. But at the moment, Suave (their green tea/jasmine shampoo and conditioner are actually rather pleasant, and less overwhelming than some shampoos).

Oh, and I'm female, although the Gender Genie thinks otherwise.

Posted by: Amanda at October 31, 2003 05:36 PM

Yeah, I'm an academic in that I teach - and enjoy teaching - and do research - also enjoyably - at a university (I'm tenured). But I'd never voluntarily describe myself as an "academic." The word has gone rancid.

Shampoo: Aveda Brilliant (builds self-esteem as well as volume). Immediately thereafter: Biolage conditioner.

Posted by: charlotte at October 31, 2003 06:29 PM

1. Tenured community college faculty, so some might argue whether that makes me a *real* academic. ABD by choice.

2. Anything not tested on animals. At the moment, Tea Tree shampoo and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle conditioner.

Posted by: cindy at October 31, 2003 08:32 PM

Happily ex-academy for 25 years now. As for shampoo, I used Head & Shoulders all my life, since I was a little dandruff-ridden kid -- it was like magic: one day I was shedding flakes until it looked like my desk had been blanketed by a mini-blizzard, the next (thanks to the wonder of Head & Shoulders) my scalp stayed in one piece and the humiliation was ended! Little did I know what humiliation was in store for me decades later, when the more sophisticated women of the 21st century, peeking into the sanctum of my manly shower, cried out in an excess of mirth: "Head & Shoulders? You use Head & Shoulders?? Oh, how cute/gross/weird/retro!" So now I use some damn thing in a transparent container that probably costs twice as much and does exactly as good a job. That's what they call progress. What? My time's up? OK, OK, I'm going, you don't need to use the hook...

Posted by: language hat at October 31, 2003 10:35 PM

LH, just have to say, that's a well-wrought comment.

Posted by: ogged at October 31, 2003 11:00 PM

If you rinse your hair in very hot water and scrub your scalp, it's better than shampooing. You still have to shampoo occasionally but nowhere near as often. My sister laughed at me when I told her she was shampooing too much, but a year or more later someone else told her the same thing and it solved all her problems.

Posted by: Zizka at October 31, 2003 11:14 PM

My favorite shampoo is beer.

I'm an academic, but I used to play in a vegan punk band called "Vegetar!"

I lament never having played organized sports on a team called "The Cornhuskers."

You will ask about conditioners, but I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Googly-Eyed Clown at November 1, 2003 12:49 AM

"Oh, and I'm female, although the Gender Genie thinks otherwise."

Yeah, I plugged in 4 recent blog entries, the Gender Genie said male for all 4.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at November 1, 2003 09:52 PM

Gender Genie thinks I'm male all the way too, so I simply wrote some simpering sentimental drivel with lots of personal gushing in hopes of triggering "female." No luck - even retarded, I write like a man.

Posted by: vivian at November 2, 2003 12:47 AM

Grad student. Pantčne Pro-V & Kérastase. No conditioner (conditioners are evillll).

Posted by: aa at November 2, 2003 08:12 AM

"so I simply wrote some simpering sentimental drivel with lots of personal gushing in hopes of triggering 'female.'"

This hits on my main question concerning the underlying assumptions of the Gender Genie's methodology. Does the Gender Genie (ie, those who came up with it?) equate "female" with "simpering sentimental drivel" and "personal gushing"?

Btw, my polls have disappeared, and the blogpoll page is not accessible. I have no idea whether this is a temporary outage or something more permanent. When I last checked (last night), about 140 people had responded to the academic poll. 90 percent identified as current or former academics, with 70 percent selecting current and 20 percent selecting former academic.

The results of the controversially named "Gender Poll" indicate that two-thirds of my readers are male.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at November 2, 2003 09:50 AM

I guess I'm an academic...I'm a grad student. I have lots of favorite shampoos; stuff for oily hair is best for me. I like the Whole Foods Market brand shampoo for oily hair, and pretty much all LUSH shampoos. For conditioner, I like Aussie Hair Insurance. I only like watery conditioners, not creamy ones.

Posted by: Clancy at November 2, 2003 06:53 PM

Former academic---left a tenure-track job in 2000 and haven't regretted it!

As for shampoo, I use Pantene's Shampoo for Color Treated Hair. Yep, I've gone blonder (leaving academia, I have no qualms about becoming a stereotyped blonde!). I swim a lot so I occasionally shift off and use this special shampoo for swimmers (I forget what's called---it's in a white bottle with green writing).

Posted by: Hana at November 3, 2003 10:05 AM

Happily academic (when I'm teaching)
anxiously academic (when I'm fretting about the seemingly glacial pace of my dissertation)


Shampoo: Whatever my roommates buy. I hope, for their sakes, that it is cheap.

Conditioner: Guh?

Posted by: David W. at November 3, 2003 11:09 AM

Former academic, not by choice. I am learning to look beyond the ivory tower with less than a jaundiced eye, though.

I like EOS shampoos (especially the rose and orange scents), Suave green tea, and some strange specialty lavender-scented stuff I got in a soap shop. My one luxury indulgence these days -- artisan soaps and shampoos!

Posted by: Rana at November 3, 2003 08:37 PM

I believe the Gender Genie was calibrated on fiction samples, not non-fiction pontificating.

I'm an ex-PhD student who is now much happier in the corporate world (I work for TIAA-CREF, which is actually pretty collegial, but we have real deadlines and real work! Huzzah!)

I use Suave shampoo & conditioner. Because it's cheap and it works. And I don't shampoo my hair as much as I used to. I'd like to get down to once or twice a week, but my hair is long and picks up too many of NYC's atmospheric qualities.

Posted by: meep at November 4, 2003 09:48 AM

Former academic -- one year of graduate school. Still work for a university.

Favorite shampoo -- whatever's on sale cheap when I need to stock up, which usually means Suave but occasionally White Rain or the grocery store brand.

Favorite conditioner -- ditto.

Posted by: Castiron at November 4, 2003 10:26 AM

Oh, for what it's worth, Gender Genie thinks I'm male, both for my blog entries, and for my "real" professional, non-pseudonymous writing.

The stats are interesting; it seems more women are submitting things than men, if I read them right.

Posted by: Rana at November 4, 2003 09:01 PM