I’ve gotten into academic blogging. Well, not me, exactly. My posts still mostly have to do with my hair or whatever Bravo happened to be showing last night or…get excited! only 13 more days!…how Prince William stomped all over my heart by marrying some
But I’ve been reading academic blogs.
Again, not for terribly high-minded reasons. I’ve come to realize that graduate school is about 75% freaking out, 15% working, and 10% killing time on the internet. I need something to fill that 10% of my time, and in my exhaustive and novel study of the internets, I’ve concluded that blogs fall into the following categories.
A.) Really famous (well, on the internets) ones, like Dooce.com. Which are awesome, but there aren’t that many of them.
B.) Mommy blogs.
I do not currently have children.
I am entering a profession that seems to prevent pregnancy better than an IUD.
(Just think about it. You mean you don’t find my theories about the downfall of the USSR adorable flirting material? Even if this goes anywhere I’m probably going to have to move across the country…oh shit, it’s ten o’clock already? I’ve got to go grade/teach/prep/write/wallow in self-pity and anguish…call me?)
(No babies. Ever.)
C.) Business/marketing blogs that tell me how to optimize my life goals.
Since several members of my family pen blogs just such as these, they’re totally awesome! Seriously guys, keep up the good work! But they really only apply to people who have…um…jobs. Or…you know…want them.
D.) Academic blogs.
Ding ding ding. We have a winner. So I read a ton of them now.
Except…they’re all massively depressing. Like…most of the people writing them don’t want to be doing what they’re doing and really don’t think you should be considering doing it either. One is actually titled “100 Reasons NOT to go to Grad School.”
And when they’re not being down on themselves they’re talking about how HARD they’ve worked to get where they are and HOW MUCH they know and HOW LITTLE YOU WILL EVER KNOW and WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF ANCIENT SANSKRIT??? DROP OUT NOW I HEAR MCDONALD’S IS LOOKING FOR MANAGERS.
(No offense to McDonald’s managers. They’re probably a lot happier than these people.)
Also, you’ll never get funding to go learn ancient Sanskrit. And without funding and 839 new publications in ancient Sanskrit you’ll be drummed out of the department. So you probably should just drop out.
So that’s kind of awful and it generally freaked me out and I had a major crisis of faith for like two weeks until I realized that…I’m okay. No. I don’t know ancient Sanskrit. But I can learn it. No. I probably can’t get funding to research my thesis overseas (because I picked a topic that’s 25 years late and there are approximately 3,902 Soviet-era historians who received their PhDs before I was born all applying for the same stuff.), but I’ll be fine. I’m doing well in classes, and never received one of the scary grades that is apparently not a grade but rather a pink slip.
And the stuff everyone whines about? The no external deadlines and the politics and the teaching (0h my God, the bitching about teaching!)? I’m okay with. I love teaching. Like, seriously. Honestly, if you let me do that I’ll be fine. And deadlines? Please. I was homeschooled. If I could impose a deadline on myself as an eight-year-old, I’m pretty sure I can still do it at twenty-three.
And we all know from the last post that it may be the end of the semester or something, but I’m having warm fuzzy feelings about my department.
Obviously, it’s hard. And if you’re going to tenure, it’s really really hard. And you need languages and yes, if you want to study ancient Sanskrit, you need to read ancient Sanskrit. And none of this takes away from it. It’s just…doable, guys.
Just keep breathing. It’ll be okay.