[Also originally shared on FB]
Sharing a thought (adapted from a FB comment below):
This whole recent kerfluffle about wHaT Is tHe PoInT oF tHiS [FB] pAge, a version of which arises about 2x a year, is so weird to me. I’ve always held and presented two somewhat but not entirely contradictory ideas at once:
that the academy is spectacularly toxic, but it’s also some peoples’ best chance of a decent paying job and may also offer a chance of finding a less-toxic corner to do meaningful work. AND it’s also a place a person should depart ASAP as soon as it becomes too toxic to tolerate. Updated: And, it’s getting more toxic [literally] with covid.
To me this is the ONLY rational position wrt academia! And it always has been, since I started TPII in 2011.
And, I am genuinely – not performatively, but genuinely – flummoxed why some cannot follow along.
But that’s academic gaslighting and academic exceptionalism for you.
As we know there are new cohorts of grad students, new PhDs, new Asst Profs, and new tenured profs, every year! And every year there is a new set of academics who love TPII and a new set who hate it, and a new set of people who transition between the two, in both directions.
And of course as I remarked yesterday, TPII evolves as well.
I don’t offer the advice I used to. I don’t write blog posts about what to wear for interviews.
I honestly COULD NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK WHAT YOU WEAR TO INTERVIEWS AT THIS POINT.
What I care about is that you survive, and thrive, in your life.
And academia is antithetical to that for A LOT OF PEOPLE. bUt nOt eVeRyOnE. (Seriously, how hard is this to understand?)
I’m working on a new edition of the book and it will be very different indeed, if I can ever get past my covid-depression enough to finish it. It’ll be substantially about leaving. Also about racism. Basically: racism, and leaving. (And being less cis-gender and heteronormative which has been very embarrassing for me personally for obvious reasons.)
All that to say: this page and my work is not for everyone. If you’re mad, you can leave. And if you want to see something else, you can start your own page and blog and business. Please do! There’s room for everyone. Or not. It’s a weird time. Do what makes you happy.