Day 241: Grading Day

I don’t have much time to blog today, as I have to work my way through 46 student papers. I don’t have to grade all of them today (nor would I be able to), but I need to make at least a significant dent in the stack. My goal is about 15. We’ll see how that goes. I also have to write another encyclopedia entry, which is somewhat getting into the way of what I should be mainly focusing on right now: polishing my writing sample. (It is rather frustrating to have to cut down a 60-page dissertation chapter into a 25-page writing sample.)

So, for today I will simply leave you with a few graphic novel suggestions. I just re-read Vol. 7 of Preacher, which must be the best part of the series. God, I love Ennis for this. (Did I say God? Interesting, considering the protagonist of Preacher Jesse Custer is trying to find God, who disappeared, in order to kick his ass for abandoning humanity–just for those who are unfamiliar with the premise). Vol. 5 of Ex Machina, which was released not too long ago, was not as good as the previous volumes. This specific volume seemed to be somewhat of a transition work and did not really address current political issues in the US as rigorously as the previous volumes. Volume 3 of DMZ, however, as expected, delivered again. Fantastic! This must be by far Brian Wood’s best work and at least to me is one of the best graphic novels of the last few years. Here the top blurb from this most recent volume telling the story of NYC and the few people still living on Manhattan Island in a post-apocalyptic, post-Civil War era in the near future: “Reconstruction Firms. Private Security Forces. Immigrant Day Laborers. Terrorist Cells. Suicide Bombers. New York City, The United States Of America. Or As It Is Known Now: THE DMZ.”

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8 Comments

  1. May I ask how many places you are applying to? I was talking to one of my profs. (who doesn’t have a “Professor” position at UIC even though he should…) and he said that every year (around Dec.) he sends out 40-some applications hoping something will catch. That’s insane. Is the market really that tight for English PhDs? Shit, if that’s the case, then you might want to start believing in god and begin praying…at least until you get hired. Haha, I bet god would love that…you know, if he existed and stuff.

  2. Yep, that’s pretty much the gist of it. I have exactly 41 positions I am applying to at the moment (or will be between now and the middle of December) and I am seriously considering praying that at least one of them will even grant me an interview. The job market for English PhDs…how can I begin to convey how much it sucks? Well, I have a pair of stretchy latex pants from about ten years ago that were too small for me back then and have been washed too hot a few times in he meantime: those are a lot less tight than the job market.

    Yeah, there are lots of people who have to remain on the market for several years. But I’ve put such an insame amount of work into this and put my life on hold for so long that I am seriously considering adding to my collection of pants if I get no hits at all–I’ll wish for some mistletoe pants for Christmas, so that academia can really kiss my ass. No, just kidding (even though I am really not sure how I would react, if I got no job at all after all this–as a non-US citizen sticking around another year is simply not an option).

  3. Reading this, I am sooo happy I don’t have to work my way through those stacks and stacks of papers any more. It’s always such a pain in the butt. Just stay focused!

  4. Yeah, it’s not a lot of fun, but quite honestly: I don’t mind it THAT much. I get pretty decent papers. And at the moment, if I’m wishing for something, it’s that some university will allow me to do this borderline crappy grading work as a professor for the rest of my life. 🙂

  5. And couldn’t you just apply for a citizenship in this here great country? Or are there restrictions? I mean, where do they possibly expect you to go if you don’t land a job in the US right away?

    English PhDs = Tight Pants. Got it.

  6. Yep, lots of restrictions and it takes a LONG time. I wouldn’t mind a little bit of citizenship, though. Then I’d at least be allowed to vote. As it is, I’m not allowed to do a lot apart from paying taxes (even though I’ll never be eligible for unemployment benefits or get anything out of the pension fund I pay into). If nothing else, I’d like to get a vote in the political process that determines where my tax dollars go (did I already finance a bullet that killed somebody, or did my money go into education and health care?–yes, it’s not logical to think this way, but it illustrates the suckiness of paying without being able to be involved in what’s left of a democratic process).

    I wonder, if the tight pants paradigm for English PhDs is universally true. Maybe that’s the reason why they tend to have so few children, if any. Low sperm count.

  7. Yep, lots of restrictions and it takes a LONG time. I wouldn’t mind a little bit of citizenship, though. Then I’d at least be allowed to vote. As it is, I’m not allowed to do a lot apart from paying taxes (even though I’ll never be eligible for unemployment benefits or get anything out of the pension fund I pay into). If nothing else, I’d like to get a vote in the political process that determines where my tax dollars go (did I already finance a bullet that killed somebody, or did my money go into education and health care?–yes, it’s not logical to think this way, but it illustrates the suckiness of paying without being able to be involved in what’s left of a democratic process).

    I wonder, if the tight pants paradigm for English PhDs is universally true. Maybe that’s the reason why they tend to have so few children, if any. Low sperm count.

  8. you sure you won’t get unemployment benefits if you paid in? I know Austria is a whole different story, but I am of course enttitled to both pension and unemployment benefits?


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