A Stepping Stone to DOOOOOOOOM

Here is my latest on Vitae, which is a brutal excoriation of the “secondary market,” combined with my stab at some sincere advice on if the VAP Trap is worth it for you. You’ll be surprised at what I say–it’s shockingly nuanced.

13 thoughts on “A Stepping Stone to DOOOOOOOOM

  1. “That one-semester, 5/5, service-heavy position in a town 500 miles away from any airport, the one whose application demands an undergrad transcript and a 10-page research plan? Just do not apply.”

    Yup. I’ve applied for and gotten VAP jobs, but at some point you have to say, no, this one isn’t worth it. One-semester positions–can we call them glam TA jobs?–aren’t worth it.


    • Not according to Dr. Mansplainy McMansplainerson on Twitter today. Did you see that grade-A mansplanation bullshit? Unbefuckinglievable. Like I had never heard–literally never heard–of the standard boilerplate party-line academic argument for VAPs


      • I think I saw some of it between bouts of grading/appointment-going. I think my eyes came dangerously close to rolling out of my head. My (former) advisor tried to FULLPROFsplain that to me once. She’s such an asshole.

        BTW, I told my friend/colleague today who is teaching the same linguistics class as me, when he was awed that I am almost done with all the research papers, that he was doing it ALL WRONG. No comments, just rubric, DONEZO, and he was like, “BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH GRAMMARZ?!!” and I said, “Do you allow rewrites?” “No.” “THEN WHY ARE YOU WASTING TIME ON THAT CRAP?!” and he was in awe at his newfound freedom to not mark the shit out of a paper that will never be read again by anyone. I am spreading the gospel. Amen.


      • Yeah, I saw it. Annoying. It’s the “reasoning” that leads people to say that because there is a black president there is no more racism. It worked for BO, right?.” Good grief! It’s beyond me how academics, who regardless of discipline, consistently teach their students that in terms of method, an example doesn’t constitute a pattern. Why can’t they see it when it comes to academia? They behave like kids “but I don’t.. but it worked for me….” ITS NOT ABOUT YOU. But then again, this is academia. The sun is supposed to revolve around you.


  2. When I VAPed I rejected a better-paying VAP offer for one that paid less, but was in a much better place and much closer to friends and family. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, although not VAPing at all would probably have been even better.


  3. I accepted a VAP back in 2008, right as the job market collapsed. And it took me only about 5 years of intensive (and very expensive) therapy to get over the depression I developed as a result of that VAP appointment. It was at an Ivy, too, so I don’t want to guess how long it gets to recover from a VAP at a place that pays less and offers even less.


    • I think the psychological abuse of the Ivy system is probably just as bad as poor pay! I’m very glad you ended up on the TT somewhere you like in the end, but I wish you hadn’t had to go through the VAP Trap to get there!


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