Saturday, May 4, 2013

Geology Degrees, Salmon Eggs and "Boys Are Weird, But So Are Girls"

Let the interviews come!

So I was extremely despondent about the not getting renewed, particularly because I cast my CV at some pretty low-level places and got no response.

However, turns out I was using the wrong bait.  The wonderful person who has guided me so long and knew the problems with my CV-cover letter package asked to see them, used the magic red pen on them, told me to stick it on University letterhead and... bang.  Now I'm getting interviews.  Not at Harvard, but interviews and at places far better than I thought I could aim for.

I'm not going to open a vein if I get a community college job.  Actually, I probably would like it.  The path to tenure is clear, and even a tiny bit of research counts as HUGE there.  But I just interviewed at a 4-year with many master's programs - and they were interviewing me for a tenure-track position where I would build a new master's program for their department.  A total "wow."

The big message here is "There are people you can really trust and love and they will make the biggest difference in your life.  And when you go fishing for trout, be sure to use salmon eggs."

Also: encourage your kid to get a geoscience degree.  0.3% unemployment.  Maybe not your dream job, but d#mn, it's good not to really fear unemployment.


The other issue: boys and girls and science.  Or, better, men and women and sex and science.

There is a lot of sex in science, and not just between the fruit flies.  I know far too many people who married their former grad students (Odd cultural observation: almost invariably master's students; not sure why.  Not always younger than PhD students.)

When I say "people" in the paragraph above, I mean "men."

The other big part is the "two career" problem, which almost always spells Bad News for her career.  Not always; many universities have what's called a "married hire," so both people in the marriage get the job.  But that's almost invariably "She's awesome, so we'll take him, too."  I've never seen "He's awesome, so she gets a job as well."

I also know a lot of girls (women, whatever) who feel geographically bound to their boy.  If the boy goes, the girl follows, and usually ends up an adjunct or in some other trivial position at a local university.

That's okay.  Personally, I think if your goal is "mom," adjunct is about as perfect a part-time job you can get.  You're paid far better than McDonald's and it's intellectually stimulating.

However, what I notice is too often the female will dump her career and follow a male... with no ring.  Which brings me back to the "boinking the master's student" problem.

I'm not sure why women feel it's acceptable to do that.  (I'm not sure why sex without a ring is acceptable.  Necking, petting, but... I hear my grandma here.)

But ditching a career you've worked very hard to advance for a guy who won't even commit to a ring?  That's... pretty... self-debasing.  IMHO.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that's how I feel.

From the Concrete Jungle,


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