Even though I have a low paying community college job, this is why I am absolutely hesitant to go on the job market ever again. Screw my "dream job" if this is what it takes.
Today's myth is: "When interviewing for a tenure-track academic position, it’s best to just be yourself."
Good advice if you have a personality that the hiring committee wants to work with. If you're not a "good fit" or you're a big jerk, then try hiding it until you sign the contract.ReplyDelete
To get hired, one should blend in with everyone else and not be different. Don't give those future colleagues any reason to harass, badger, insult, intimidate, or persecute one either into submission or, better yet, permanently off the premises.ReplyDelete
By the way, permanent status or tenure does not grant immunity from any of it.
I'm fixating on one of his minor points, but dear god, save us from the relentless demand for "innovative" teaching. Our students know how to use social media and digital devices. You know what they suck at? Reading, thinking, and writing.ReplyDelete
Maybe they need LESS time staring at glowing screens, hmmmm?
Our faculty development days theme this term was something along the lines of "Connecting with the Modern Student" or some such BS.
My suggestion was with a baseball bat.
Pat, your comment about a baseball bat reminded me of the scene from the Untouchables (?) in which the mobster began by talking about teamwork to colleagues and ended with beating the brains out of somebody sitting at the table. That type of faculty development seminar would have been memorable.Delete
Thanks, Surly. You got it in a nice nutshell. I'm gonna memorize your comment.Delete
Beaker, that visual will stay with me all day, and I thank you for that.Delete
Amen, Surly. A-freakin-men.ReplyDelete
Just being myself means mocking the questions asked... that must be why my job searches always end so poorly.ReplyDelete
I would take what Karen Kelsky says with an enormous grain of salt. She is the person behind "The Professor is In," which is at its core a self-promotional website designed to get people to pay her to "consult" with them about their job searches and other related issues. My guess is the "inside higher ed" piece wasn't something she was paid to write, because when she doesn't write for her own website she's generally writing about stuff that will recruit business for her. Her main point is basically UR DOIN IT RONG! and of course some skyping with her, and her sage advice (for which you will pay quite a lot), will solve all your problems. This from an academic who had to flee back to the Northwest because the Midwest "crushed her very soul". Someone with such a delicate soul is not qualified to give advice about academia.ReplyDelete
If you'd like to give her $75 an hour for her to give you very restrictive advice on how to get a job, go ahead. But only do so if you are planning on getting interviewed with R-1 universities. She doesn't know her ass from her elbow when it comes to any other type of teaching job. She certainly can't give any sort of decent advice on how to get hired and tenured at a teaching university, or a community college. If you do what she suggests if you have an interview at my college, well, you won't get farther than the interview stage because it's going to be obvious to us that you aren't a good "fit" because you're focused on research. Also, because you're obviously a tightass.
But hey, you may want her help on "close reading" of your work, for which she charges $90 an hour. She's got quite a racket going there and I'm sure a lot of clueless people are hiring her. Or not. According to her own vita she's only published one scholarly article in the past eleven years.
If any of you are paying this woman, or intend to, you're getting fleeced. College Misery offers far better advice, and far more personalized advice, for free. My guess is Kelsky lures in a lot of clueless people getting internet doctorates.
She has some classic bully/abuser moves: denigrating the victim, offering herself as the only person who understands, pretending she has the kind of inside knowledge of the process that confirms the worst fears of the vulnerable. It's fascinating how many early grad students, recent grads cling to her every pronouncement, despite the chorus of more senior scholars pointing out that there's a lot of chaff in the wheat.Delete
I'm going to second Stella and Ahistoricality on the "don't trust Kelsky" position. One of my mentors is an anthropologist of Japan who knows Kelsky personally and told me that she is "mean, nuts, and prone to terrorize people." While I think that in this article Kelsky's main point (that young professionals need to think about and polish their interview personas) is valid, I would never consider paying for her services based on my mentor's advice and because of the points that Stella outlined above.ReplyDelete
One of the best things about being in physics is that we're too socially inept to be able to play games like this. What's the matter, haven't you ever see "The Big Bang Theory"? The show is surprisingly accurate about any physics that is mentioned, but most especially about social interaction. Physicists make computer scientists look normal, although pure mathematicians and philosophers can give us a run for our money.ReplyDelete
From what I've seen of computer scientists, that's quite a statement. Actually, the physicists I know (mostly of the plasma sort, though doing other things these days) range from a bit odd to pretty normal (at least for PhDs, which admittedly isn't saying much). I haven't encountered any undergrad physicists, however; I think my uni leans more to the applied rather than the pure sciences. We do get some mathematicians, but most of them plan to teach. And the philosophers are, indeed, often interesting (but/and quite varied).Delete
But physicists are the kings of science, we humanities people tend to think.ReplyDelete
We all have physics envy, it's true.Delete
Richard Feynman called it, "cargo cult science." This guy lost me with his statement, "Velikovsky is one of the geniuses of our century." He wasn't, I hope you know. Carl Sagan debunks him in "Science and the Paranormal," ed. by George Abell and Barry Singer.Delete
For an anthropologist, Kelsky seems rather oblivious to the existence of subcultures within academic institutions (otherwise known as, er, departments -- you know, the actual hiring unit in most places), not to mention the differences among institutions of different kinds (or even different institutions of the same kind). But admitting how great a role luck/chance/fit/whatever you want to call it plays in the job search probably wouldn't be good for business. No, if you can't find a job, it must be your fault, and she'll help you fix the problem -- for a price.ReplyDelete
Maybe Greta could introduce her to William, a few posts up? He couldn't afford her, but it sounds like they deserve each other, and the reaction that resulted from bringing those two personalities into close proximity might be interesting to watch.