It makes me happy to see that at least one university is doing the ethical thing by acknowledging that not all of its Ph.D.s will find jobs in academia, that not all of them will necessarily want said jobs, and that some of them will want to take their skills elsewhere. And it also makes me happy that they're taking the additional step of actively helping graduate students do just that.
The Powers That Be in my department have started overhauling the structure of our doctoral program, and at the next "town hall" meeting on the subject (I missed the first one, which was yesterday; I was coughing and hacking too much to inflict my germ-laden presence on a roomful of colleagues) I fully intend to point out that we need more options like these.
I'm rather dazed with a combination of fatigue and cold medication, but I'm relishing the sensation of reentering the world after the paper-hell weekend. Not to mention reentering the blogosphere, but I'll have to catch up on the bloggage later, after I go home and spend an evening doing nothing but watching Spike's guest appearance on the new season of Angel and drinking several gallons of orange juice and echinacea tea.
PMS and grading do not mix. That's what I learned today.
I'm in the fifth -- or is it sixth? -- day of a too-long-postponed grading marathon. I'm down to the last half-dozen papers. Somehow, those six papers seem far more daunting than the initial stack of fifty-plus. I look at them and I think, how on earth am I going to be able to do this again with their next assignment? And again, and again, with longer and longer papers to read each time?
Today I had the "Er, actually, not going on the job market, looking elsewhere instead" conversation with my outside dissertation committee member, who said "Really? After all this?" To which I had no real answer. Then I made a deeply embarrassing gaffe in front of one of my sections and now I'm convinced they think I'm an idiot. Then H. and T. and I graded together for several hours, drinking an ungodly amount of coffee, and I smoked too many cigarettes. Now my throat hurts and I'm jittery from the caffeine. And I'm tired. And, thanks to the PMS, I'm on the verge of tears or paranoia or some unpleasant combination of both.
I want to be in a different profession right now. I want companionship. I want a life that doesn't consist entirely of telling the umpteenth student in a row to be more specific and to watch out for the passive voice. I want a bubble bath. I want to write, but I have to grade. Stupid effing hormones.
But at least I'm pretty much guaranteed to feel better as soon as the mood swings calm down and the last of the papers are in. And at least I'm not in a public-school education program, wondering about whether future school administrators are reading my blog.
Right. Time for dinner, then back to grading. 46 down, six to go. 46 down, six to go. That's going to be my mantra of the evening.