A Ph.D. Decides to Leave Both Academe 
and Its Self-Defeating Notions of Success

This semester I’m teaching a course at Macalester College called “Imagine Otherwise: Alternative Visions of Love, Family, and Nation.” Most of my students are seniors, many of whom explained that they were drawn to the course because their future after graduation is unclear and precarious. They hoped that learning about artists who have taken unusual paths would ease their own anxiety, and that being introduced to role models who lived courageous lives would give them the courage to do the same.

As the professor in the room, I never would have imagined that I would feel just like my seniors: scared, clueless, and hungry for role models who live bravely. Like my students, I have no idea what I’m going to be doing after May.

“What’s next for you?” I ask my seniors. None of them are sure. “Things are still up in the air,” they tell me.

While May signals graduation and the end of their four-year college careers, May signals unemployment for me. Since I received my Ph.D., in 2010, I have worked as an adjunct professor at three academic institutions.

Let’s be blunt: From the perspective of academe, I am a failure. <Read more.>

Via SooJin Pate,  The Chronicle of Higher Education.