Grüße und Begrüßungen (an intentionally bad literal translation of Christian Slater’s “Greetings and Salutations!” from Heathers, in case any pedants are reading — who am I kidding, you motherfuckers are all pedants). It’s a truly grausam day here in St. Louis, and I just got back from grocery shopping in the rain (all right, not technically shopping in the rain, but going through the rain to get to the shopping. PREPOSITIONS!).
Because of the gloom and precipitation outside you will have to live without this week’s Fatass Fashion Glamour Shot, which is a look I am calling Liberté, Egalité, Maternité, because it involves a maternity dress with horizontal black and white stripes. You’ll just have to use your imaginations. Meanwhile, here is what I’ve got going on today, which is my day off.
Knitting a bazillion little hats for the baby (also on the agenda is teaching myself to crochet):
Lately I have been feeling like my limbs are about to disconnect from my body, like there is nothing holding my skeleton up — so today also calls for some TLC in the form of, well, possibly some TLC, this hot water bottle, and my BFF the snoozing octopus…
…which was lovingly knitted for the baby by a dear friend of the family, but which I have already taken to calling “my octopus,” so I’m actually not sure I’m going to give it to her. I mean, she won’t even be interested in stuffed animals for like two years, so…it would basically be cruel to leave the snoozing octopus all by himself until then.
And, finally, I’m mixing it up with my caffeine-free tea this week; sipping some vanilla rooibus instead of pumpkin spice (I don’t know, I realize that I am a middle-aged Caucasian, but I have serious pumpkin spice fatigue already, like ENOUGH with the pumpkins and the spice, give me an apple).
This is my second (of three) Tower of Terror souvenir mugs. I got this one on a trip to Disneyland in CA during graduate school with my friend Erin. The ToT was our favorite ride, and we often called it The Nietzschean Abyss: The Ride.
Speaking of the Nietzschean Abyss, let’s look at the sole tenure-track listing for the week (keeping it company on the JIL are two non tenure track lectureships, and six jobs that are not in German at all. Stay classy, JIL).
Michigan State, Assistant Professor of German and Global Studies. Other than the fact that this sad, single job stands alone, bringing the year’s total up to a mind-numbingly awful 17 (will it reach 20 by MLA? Adjunct Nate and I have $20 riding on it, but I can’t remember which of us is the over and which is the under), it looks fine.
First of all, memo to all deans everywhere: This is what a dual appointment looks like. Global Studies is the kind of thing a Germanist would have a secondary specialization in, unlike, say, another totally unrelated foreign language. So, this might look like two jobs they are asking one person to do, but it’s pretty legit.
The only thing I don’t get is the admin-speak in the first paragraph: “The successful candidate with be appointed on an academic year basis.” I am assuming this does not mean that this is a one-year renewable NTT position. I am assuming. I am giving Michigan State, which has a PhD program, the benefit of the doubt here and assuming it would never adopt the odious trend of advertising a NTT position as if it were TT (Rhodes College, I am looking at you). But why put that? Because the new hire won’t have to teach summer school? Do any of you out there have to teach year-round as part of your base salary? Do tell!
But seriously, aren’t all jobs of this sort on an “academic year basis”? Is not every single person who responds to this ad going to know that? If someone allegedly has an earned doctorate but does not understand how the academic year works, are you sure you want the Brick Tamland of German Studies to work with you? ICH LIEBE LAMPE! LAUTE GERÄUSCHE!!!!!
I have read what feels like 600 jobs ads in the last six years (probably closer to 250, given how few jobs there have been), and I haven’t seen this weird-ass wording in recent memory. Anyone want to tell me why a search committee (or, more likely, the Executive Vice Associate Dean that micromanages them) would feel the need to include it? Is this yet another case of HR run amok, and of the growing disconnect between the people doing the hiring and the knowing of literally anything about what said people will actually be hired to do?