I will be back to the victimizations tomorrow, but today I’d like to continue on the same topic I was on yesterday. A question I am often asked is what a former college instructor can do outside of a university setting. The other question is what on earth I would want to do outside of a university setting. The first question has an easy answer: a former college instructor (who was good at his job) has demonstrated excellence in writing, research, teaching (management), oral presentation, oral sex, and whatever skills and knowledge come with the subject the instructor taught. In theory, someone with these capabilities should be snapped up almost immediately by employers. However, as I indicated in my last post, it does not turn out that way because so many people have negative views of people with a Ph.D. Or maybe the lowly resume readers in HR were never forced to read a word with more than one syllable in it while they were in college. Same difference.
And that brings me to the second question: what I would want to do. A lot of businesses assume that a Ph.D. means that I don’t want to be working for them, that a Ph.D. would only be happy in the university. As you know about me by now, that’s not true. I’ve been amazed at how much there is outside of the university and I’ve seen quite a few things (that are legal in at least 25 states) that would make me very happy. I don’t much feel like going through a complete list, so I’ll offer up a take on my dream job… if it exists anywhere. And to get things started, I have a pretty little picture for you:
Okay, so it’s a cheap PowerPoint slide, but this picture symbolizes the kind of job I would like to have. To protect their jobs, educators spend a lot of time inflating students’ self-esteem and the kids often become arrogant and a little lazy. And then businesses hire them and have to figure out a way to make them productive. These kids need pretty little pictures if they are to pay attention to reading material and, like with the picture, they have a hard time deciphering anything that hints at their lack of unique awesomeness. It is my hope that a business will hire me as an educational deprogrammer who will
put these kids in their place explain to these kids what was done to them when they were students. Because I’ve worked in college teaching, I understand the psychological complexes that the universities are sowing in their students and I can speak with authority when I tell the kids that it’s not their fault that they need to change. (And let’s be honest: “it’s not your fault” is the only message the kids will listen to. Fortunately, it’s the truth.)
I’ve never heard of a job like this… but if your business needs help straightening out its recent hires, I would be happy to victimize them. And I even promise to be nice about it! I’ll be my usual happy-go-lucky self.
Many of my regular readers are probably familiar with three basic facts about me:
1. I have a Ph.D.
2. I am unemployed.
3. I blog anonymously.
The anonymous blogging thing may seem like a no-brainer to many of you. You probably think that a lot of my humor would turn off potential employers who are looking for someone a little less cruel, vicious, and outlandish. Of course, you’d be wrong… as usual.
Now that I have left the university, I am often confronted by people who believe that Ph.D.-holders are incapable of interacting with “normal” people or being an enjoyable colleague to have around. The education is supposed to turn you into a lifeless walking brain. Hooray for stereotypes, and all that other stuff!
But that situation is also liberating when I sit down to blog. If a company is ever able to attach my real name to this blog, what could they possibly say against me? No matter how brutal or grotesque I become around here, I will always be more wonderful on this blog than they think I’d be in the office. Despite that, I have no intention of going public with my true identity any time soon. That also means I won’t be posting any nude photos of myself; I apologize for the disappointment.
And there’s one more interesting fact to consider. After less than five weeks in existence, this blog is already inching towards Alexa’s top million websites for the past month. So… yeah. Stupid Ph.D. person can’t connect with other people. Right…
PS: If you would like me to post nude photos of you, please send them to me and I will consider putting them on my test blog. If you don’t want me to post nude photos of you, please send them to me anyway and I promise not to post them. It’s almost wonderful to live in a world where asking people for nude photos is less likely to get me in trouble than writing intellectual posts about philosophy or history. On the other hand, a world where nude photos are valued more than knowledge is a world where Sarah Palin can become president.
Did you take out piles of loans while you were a student? Did you spend your college years drinking and having sex and doing everything but developing your skills and knowledge? And did you emerge into this horrible economy with no job and no obvious way to make money? Things may look bleak, but cheer up. There is a way for you to get out of the situation you are in. Although your college failed to give you the skills employers want and you refused to learn much of anything, there is hope. All that time you spent with beer and prostitutes can now pay off because you can sell your STD’s.
But you may object: isn’t prostitution illegal? Of course prostitution is illegal, but you won’t be engaging in prostitution. You will be going into business selling things that other businesses are able to sell. Have you ever ordered crabs at Red Lobster? Good! Then you know the a few things about marketing your product. (Surely you noticed that the shellfish at Red Lobster seemed to taste a little odd…) However, you must always remember one critical difference between you and Red Lobster: you must always offer free delivery. If you charge for shipping and handling, you have become a prostitute.
And you will finally have a job that matches the passions you explored in college. As if that weren’t good enough, there’s an added bonus: you still won’t have to use those inconvenient little condoms that you avoided so religiously in college. That means your operating expenses would be nearly nothing. It’s a great career opportunity to help you ride out the Recession, so what are you waiting for?
Disclaimer: Necrotic Hijinks Inc. cannot be held responsible if your genitals fall off after a couple of years. We also cannot guarantee that your eventual child support payments will come out to less than what you earn.
This post was inspired by a response I received to my last one. For those of you who don’t want to read it, here’s a quick summary:
I wrote a “love letter” to one of my bratty former students. She hated me then but probably loves me or my teaching now. She also thought I was attracted to her back in the day. She’s hot and would be fun to sleep with in a decade or two, but she’s obnoxious and immature now.
The response I received made me imagine that she could have been reading the piece. (And she could be you, my dear reader. She could be all of you for all I know.) And so I’m going to administer a little pop quiz, in part because I’m curious and in part because I really miss torturing students with pop quizzes.
When I implied that you don’t have the brains to back up your bragging, did you think I was talking about you? Did you recognize yourself in my description of someone who desperately needs to grow up?
You always thought I loved you. When I made jokes about wanting to receive nude photos of you and eventually sleep with you, did you view that as confirmation of your beliefs from all those years ago?
Question 1: If you recognized yourself in the criticisms I made, you are not my former student. The ability to recognize your shortcomings is something that our educational system does not encourage you to do; therefore, it is not a quality to be found in the typical immature person. You are special and unique because you know that you are not special and unique.
Question 2: Although a “yes” response may reveal your inability to recognize a joke, it’s more likely that you’re not psychologically capable of realizing how silly your earlier imaginings were. I wouldn’t complain if you sent me those nude photos anyway, but you’re deluded if you think any former teacher could focus that way on a student for so many years. And even if I could, why on earth would it be you? The fact that you think I want you is more likely a symptom of your desire for me. You were always hot for teacher and you just can’t let go. You went into a lot of debt for that degree and you think you deserve everything your teachers have to offer. You are an entitled little brat, but you are probably cute. (BTW: Don’t get your hopes up. Kittens are cute too.)
You were my student four years ago when you were in your first semester of college. You despised me and made sure that hatred was known, but you also thought I was madly in love with you. Or maybe it was lust you thought I harbored. No matter.
Through some miracle, we made it through the semester and went our separate ways; somehow, I never was able to forget about you. And I know you never forgot about me. It’s a sad fact of life that teachers remain psychologically connected to the students who created the biggest problems, not the ones who were exceptionally good. But we are not just connected through our memories of one another; we are connected through our mutual intellectualism. You like to proclaim your braininess as loudly as you can, and I can never be too far away to hear you brag. Seriously… you brag that loudly. That’s what makes you so precious and lovable.
But I can also see your pain. Your student loans are dragging you down and your boasting has become muted by people asking you how someone so smart got so far in the financial hole. In the meantime, your mind has created an idealized vision of your college experience and you have grown to love me, the teacher you once abhorred. Or: you love my teaching, but probably not me. I sure hope you don’t love me; you’re not my type. (However, please send nude photos my way if you get a chance.)
You have to love me now because it’s all you have left. College is over for you and no one has to treat you like you’re special any longer. And you have to justify to yourself why you spent so much money for a fancy school. So while I used to be annoyed by you, I now pity you. This love letter is not to the student I once taught, but to the one who will someday have grown up. And you are growing up… finally. Sooner or later, you will be someone I might enjoy sharing a coffee with, but it is saddening to know that you won’t be 25 or 30 until that happens. College has kept you and your classmates as infants for too long. I really don’t enjoy sleeping with infants.
And I do hope you decide to share that coffee with me sometime. Pour it over my grave if it takes you that long to grow up; I’d prefer the coffee to the saliva you wished for once upon a time.
May our love continue to blossom!
In the current economy, we all probably know a few college graduates who took out behemoth student loans and have not been able to find employment to pay them back. (Getting the humor yet?) Some of these folks had no choice; they may come from families that could not afford to contribute financially to their college educations. These aren’t the people I want to mock.
There is another group of college graduates who are deep in debt. Some students just couldn’t resist the allure of an expensive college and had to have it. (The humor is on its way, I promise.) I’m not here to make fun of stupid financial decisions; 18-year-olds are, by nature, prone to make the occasional mistake. But let’s take a look at what happens during four years of college… and I don’t mean beer.
At a lot of private colleges, students end up spending over $200.00 per class hour (even after adjusting for contributions to the college’s administrative and facilities costs). And there are a few precious lines that professors often hear from these students. My personal favorite is “I’m paying $40,000 a year to come here, so I deserve an A.” I’m not joking; students really say this. But as a former college instructor, I pine for the days when students would openly wish for class to be canceled or for a movie to be shown. Really. I wish I could assemble a group of people, charge them $200.00 per hour, and do nothing more than show them a movie or tell them to go home. For what they’re getting out of that education, the kids could just as easily subscribe to Netflix and save a load of money. The only problem with Netflix is that it does not give students a sense of accomplishment. However, Netflix does offer material that students will stay awake for.
Of course, students embark on this debt because they think the expensive college will give them something that the reputable State University will not, and sometimes they are right. The diploma might have some use when trying to impress potential employers, but then how many people sneer at folks who graduated from places like Harvard? And for the honor of holding that diploma and the bump it gives to their precious self-esteem, kids are shelling out the down payment for a house and becoming financially disadvantaged for many years after graduating. And then they start drinking…