Since grading my last final exams about a month ago, I’ve found myself in a peculiar situation: I’m still employed (and getting paid!) until the end of this month, but I don’t have any work to do for Tulane and haven’t yet lined up my next opportunity. This has left me with an awkward schedule. … More The Urgency in My Leisure
A while back I wrote about the difficulty I’d had finding a group to represent Contingent Faculty. Although there are a few entities serving this purpose–the New Faculty Majority and the American Association of University Professors among them–I’d never seen much action from either group in all the time I’ve been working on this issue. … More Okay, I’ll make my own megaphone!
Over the last week I’ve been thinking about how New Orleans culture is like a cauldron of gumbo: a crazy hodge-podge of ingredients that don’t seem like they can possibly go together but somehow manage to produce something delicious. This isn’t an original observation, of course, but I recently experienced a few things that really … More Eating My History: Shellfish and Shabbas in New Orleans
With the exception of one semester in 2013, I’ve taught every academic term since the fall of 2008. Taken together that’s nine years in the classroom. So the ebb and flow of the semester has now defined my working life for the better part of a decade, and I’ve grown accustomed to how the excitement … More Retrospective
As I was chairing the first official meeting of the Society for Classical Studies’ Committee on Contingent Faculty last January, somebody posed a simple question: “Do you think we should try to make some kind of award for people in non-tenure-track positions?” Our group was brainstorming ways to bring greater attention–and recognition–to people in the … More Rewarding Excellence: An Unexpected Dilemma for Contingent Faculty
Over the last three years a number of our MA students have come to me to talk about their plans for what to do after Tulane, and in particular about what career prospects look like in Classics. For all that I’ve been flattered they would want my advice, my own decision to leave the field … More So you want to get a doctorate…
I felt a little bit like I was breaking a promise. I’d been hustling to make new contacts, sending out my resume in the hope of getting interviewed, and had said–quite expressly–that I would be writing on here once a week. It never seemed that I had quite enough time to get it all done, … More Breathing Room
It may come as a surprise to learn that the duties and responsibilities of college faculty are only loosely defined. My contract with Tulane, for example, is less than two pages long. And while it does set out the courses I was slated to teach when it was issued, my salary, and the benefits I’m … More Conflicts of Interest
There’s been a lot of progress in the two years that I’ve been advocating for contingent faculty within the Society for Classical Studies (SCS). We’re now represented by our own committee, have a seat at the table in Professional Matters, and are about to gain greater protections–at least in theory–through a revised Statement of Professional … More Does anyone have a megaphone?
Seeking a new career forces you to abandon the familiar. Management consulting, politics, business operations, and crime analytics are all jobs I’ve applied for that I never would’ve considered in graduate school. One of the problems I’ve faced in doing this, however, is that not many businesses have in-house training programs. Instead, they often seek … More The Problem of Being Overextended