Academic Relapse, Part 1: Time Travel

Academic Relapse, Part 1: Time Travel

In this post I talk about my (re)lapse into academia, the weight of trauma, and the shock I felt when it was all over. My legal battle is over, and I’m somehow left still standing. The blog will remain up permanently, I get to keep the series of posts “Why I Left Academia,” and finally, I feel I have my writing back. Now that I’ve reclaimed my words, I have a lot to say. Which is to say, buckle up academia.

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Academics Anonymous: Hi, My Name is ____ and I'm an Academic

Academics Anonymous: Hi, My Name is ____ and I'm an Academic

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the toxic by-product of academia, which is to say, the elitist mindset that justifies poor behavior. In many ways, I think a helpful lens to discuss this is that of Alcoholics Anonymous. So with that, here is a fun little diddy I’ve worked up for this week’s post. Of course, recovering from academia is not the same process of recovering from addiction, but it is a useful framework to discuss the sticky and less-discussed problems inherent to both leaving academia and academia itself.  

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Not "either/or" but "and & and": On Being a Scholar and a Business Consultant

In this week's post, Jillian and I's interview turns to talk about applying for jobs post-academia, the struggles of being a PhD in the business space, as well as the invaluable insights a mind trained by a PhD rigor offers. 
I love this post because Jillian makes no apologies for her desire to make a comfortable living (and, gasp, even a 401k!) despite her hatred of capitalism. Yeah, they're conflicting objectives, but life itself cannot be reduced to simplistic binaries of either/or.  Similarly, the life Jillian has constructed for herself appears to be an "and, and" situation, where she pursues social issues that matter to her-- such as her forthcoming book about adjuncting and her social engagement class that she teaches, alongside a burgeoning career as a consultant in market research. 

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Academic Fugitives: An Interview with Dr. Jillian Powers

Academic Fugitives: An Interview with Dr. Jillian Powers

In this post, I interview Dr. Jillian Powers, where we finally clap back to complacent white ‘feminist’ professors, rage against the university-machine, the glory and privilege of the pursuit of knowledge, the unsung heroes that are adjuncts. Jillian also talks about living intentionally and embodying the knowledge we gained through our PhD’s. Also, Flava flav makes what is most likely his only appearance on this blog, so soak it up folks. I think Jillian’s exodus from university and her actions represent a possibility for a dissenting voice to be heard-- both within and beyond the university.

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No Money, Mo Problems: An American Reality

No Money, Mo Problems: An American Reality

Finally, an update about what I’ve been up to, why I’ve been silent for the past few months, and what I’ve learned in the process. In some ways, I think of this essay as the afterward to my “Why I Left Academia” series. A beginning of an end. Perhaps.

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Searching for humanity/the humanities: Why I pursued a Ph.D.

Searching for humanity/the humanities: Why I pursued a Ph.D.

As my legal battles perhaps draw nearer to a close (but, of course, now that I’ve written this, it will most likely drag on for another 6 months—special s/o to the plaintiff-turned-defendant in my case), I’ve been thinking a lot about endings and beginnings. How I ended up here has been an oft-visited thought pattern in my mind of late.

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When PhDs tackle the Business World: Why Alt-Acs are the Ultimate Asset in the Workforce.

When PhDs tackle the Business World: Why Alt-Acs are the Ultimate Asset in the Workforce.

I’ve agonized over what to write in this post. Truth be told, I’ve been overwhelmed by the many spinning plates I’ve eagerly taken on in the past few months. And then, after my 5th or 6th in-person or email conversation with fellow alt-acs about the process of professionalizing ourselves, converting not just our CV into a resumé but also translating our hard-earned academic language skills into business language skills. It’s like the work of translation, you can’t just look up the word in the dictionary and call it translation. You have to immerse yourself.

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It Gets Better: Ph.D. to Freelance Writer

It Gets Better: Ph.D. to Freelance Writer

Since leaving academia, I have been: only part-time employed as a tour guide, a receptionist, unemployed, an editor, and lately I’ve been learning the ropes of business writing, web copy, and content writing. In the effort to help my fellow alt-acs who are thinking about editing and writing for their next career, here is how I stumbled into it.

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Academic Fragility & The Strength of Those Who Left

Academic Fragility & The Strength of Those Who Left

Academic Fragility is what maintains the status-quo, much like the concept of White Fragility. This is for all of my fellow scholars who have left academia: We are goddamned heroes, not failures.

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Teaching Under Trump: One Adjunct's Story

Teaching Under Trump: One Adjunct's Story

This post is by Kevin Allred. What happened to him strikes me as the type of epistemological violence that is contributing to the demise of higher education. His story is important. The way in which he was discredited, shut off from his own work, and exploited just tells me that academia thinks it wants radical thinking, but just not too much.

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The Myth of Meritocracies

The Myth of Meritocracies

I think it’s time we recognize that academia never has been, and never will be, a meritocracy. Is it something to aspire to? Absolutely. Does revealing the myth of a meritocracy imply that those who have been successful within academia did not earn it? Absolutely not.

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Why I Am Still Fighting

Why I Am Still Fighting

I believe in the power of knowledge to transform life. I believe in academia. I believe in the importance of earning a Ph.D. This is why I am still fighting. And looking for collaborators.

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Why This Conversation Matters: Adjuncting & Systemic Breakdown

Why This Conversation Matters: Adjuncting & Systemic Breakdown

This post is about the need to continue discussing adjunct and graduate student exploitation. The mistreatment and exploitation of graduate students and adjuncts is atrocious, but it is made even more egregious that they are treated this way under the false promise of a permanent job.

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Call for Support: Keep Post-Ph.D. The Blog Up

Call for Support: Keep Post-Ph.D. The Blog Up

I am being sued for defamation and conspiracy. 99 people who are current or former graduate students of my former university are listed as co-conspirators. This is what happens when you speak uncomfortable truths. But I will not be silenced.

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Alt-Ac Realness: On Leaving

Alt-Ac Realness: On Leaving

People keep asking what has happened to me since I posted my story. I am always unsure how to answer that question; the writer side of me says that I can’t respond yet because it’s too soon. There is no neat and tidy resolution to my story yet, which is frustrating in both a narrative and personal sense.

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'No One's Interested in Backstories'

'No One's Interested in Backstories'

This post is about my own former department’s response to my blog. Their response reveals entrenched and willful blindness. Thus, they are a perfect example of exactly what is wrong with academia.

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Panic at the Ivies: Graduate Student Unions

Panic at the Ivies: Graduate Student Unions

This post introduces the question of why is it Ivies are so adamantly against Graduate Student Unions? The ferocity of their reaction to the unionization of graduate students suggests that there is something very powerful to be earned with collective bargaining.

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Burn it Down: Emails of Adviser & Professor Abuse Expose Systemic Crisis in Academia

Burn it Down: Emails of Adviser & Professor Abuse Expose Systemic Crisis in Academia

This is a post about how systemic the abuse and exploitation of adjuncts and graduates students is: Know if this is happening to you, or in your department, you are not alone.

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Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia

Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia

This is a post about the toxic culture of academia, how it perpetuates systemic abuse, and how this ultimately thwarts both scholarship as well as education.

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A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment

A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment

This is a post about Graduate Student Empowerment. A professor once told my friend: you have no idea how much the faculty is afraid of you graduate students. Know your power. Use it.

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