…so I pretty much have no choice but to resurrect, briefly, my “I Lose My Shit At Trolls Publicly” feature, always a controversial one. I would like to remind anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to make an Internet comment on an article that your comment is public, and thus anything that anyone chooses to do with it once you’ve made it is fair game. That said, here’s a complete gem from a conference-interview-defender from today’s piece:
And by the way, your introductory anecdote is puzzling: so your partner has the resources and time to travel across the globe to visit with you over the holidays but complains bitterly at the “injustice” of being expected to travel to a job interview? Please.
Do you know how academic intersessions work? You have a certain amount of time between Fall and Spring semesters and it’s set in stone. Those are the “time and resources” of which you speak, idiot. The sole “time and resources” of the entire year. The conference also happens during that time. My husband and I saved up, and sacrificed a lot so that we could split the cost of a ticket for him to come visit me once during the academic year. Once. The cost of a well-in-advance-purchased ticket from St. Louis to Vienna was about $1500. The cost of a last-minute Vienna-to-Philadelphia ticket, plus hotel and suit? I can only imagine, but I’m guessing $4000? $5000? Not to mention the heartbreak of not getting to see each other for more than a few days for an entire academic year.
He never, ever, ever complained about “injustice.” Neither did I. He simply made a very reasonable request that was flat-out denied for a stupid reason (or, really, no reason), and I merely highlighted — with substantial effort collecting data and working through it — why that reason was stupid. You, “Allison Wallace,” are one of the many reasons I could not be happier to have left academia for good.
Here is a Tweet I made that I think/hope pretty much sums it up.
This is the problem with academia: Sacrifice all for it, and MAYBE you’ll get something. Sacrifice it for anything, and you deserve nothing.
— Rebecca Schuman (@pankisseskafka) January 8, 2015
UPDATE: While I’m at it, I’ll have a go at this one too:
There is valuable data to be gained from meeting a candidate in person. If we ask our Dean to foot the bill for a campus visit and the candidate turns out to be obnoxious or disdainful of teaching it’s no excuse to say “well they sounded so good on the telephone.”
Yes, because nobody ever, ever, ever made one impression at MLA and then a starkly different one on campus. That never, ever, ever, ever happens (except it happens so often that searches are often KILLED because all the campus interviewees turn out to be a “bad fit,” even though they did so well at the conference).
Here’s “Allison Wallace” back again:
It takes planning and, yes, even small sacrifices. Not unreasonable for a tenure track job interview, I would say.
All right, I guess I can forgive this person because she is clearly spending far more time commenting on my article than she did reading it. The $1000 average figure was the total out of pocket (i.e. non-reimbursed or funded) costs for these grad students . That was more often than not with their MLA grant. But lady, please: even $600 is hardly a “small” sacrifice given the stipends that most grad students have, and with interview requests coming but a week (sometimes five days) before the conference, no “planning” can take place. I seriously can’t with you.
Oh, and PS: a TT first-rounder means you are MAYBE one of 15, more likely one of 20 candidates, so it is beyond unreasonable to expect a $1000 outlay for the privilege.
This has been: I‘m About To Burst, So Is Our Pipe, and I Lose My Shit. Thank you for joining me.