Miscellaneous Rumbles

Dr. Mercury!

1

Ya'll

I know I've been pretty quiet of late.

that's because I've been finishing the last leg of my PhD.

and last week I defended my dissertation and became Dr. Mercury!

My committee told me they want me to turn my research into a book (which is not unusual per se, but it's still an honor)

I spent the evening playing psychobilly in Philadelphia to celebrate!

Currently I teach at Rutgers Camden, but if anyone knows the dean there I'd love to stay on as a tenure track faculty member rather than move to another department now that I've finished (Ha! Wish me luck!)

3

Congrats Buddy! I'm still finishing mine, it takes a lot longer when you're also working full time, doesn't it?

4

you ain't just whistling dixie! taking on a full-time job halfway through really made it harder. but you gotta do whatcha gotta do!

5

Congrats! My dad got his way back when and I do remember how much time/work/effort he put in. Finding a tenure track job these days can be a struggle.

7

Many congrats, Buddy. I probably should know, but in what is the PhD? What was the nature of your research and dissertation?

It's great that it will become an actual book; that will give it some visibility and give you a strong start. At the time (1977), I was told my thesis (loose leaves in a crimping cover) would always be on the shelves at Drew U in Madison, NJ. Lots of long nights and pots of Mr Coffee went into it. I sometimes wonder if anyone has opened it since.

I maybe coulda shoulda gone on after the MA, but I was kinda fed up with lit crit as it was at the time (and I sense it's only gotten worse), I was developing a bit of a negative reaction to the more superficial (but seemingly pervasive) elements of The Academic Life, and Real Life was kinda calling.

Best of luck negotiating Academe! My sister's kids all became dedicated academics (in one sense fulfilling a 4-generational family arc), and it's been interesting seeing them adapt to the new realities of adjunct/assistantship and the mad scramble for any track headed for tenure. Seems like it's a jungle out there.

Props to you for seeing it through.

8

Way to go, Buddy! Congrats!

9

Brilliant news, Doctor Mercury!

10

Pro!

My degree is in Criminal Justice. My research is about how the internet is improving the situations and security of sex work. I talked with sex workers about how their lives look drastically different from the prevailing cultural expectations around sex work (there's basically no pimps or trafficking or other "traditional" negative outcomes if workers have the agency to make choices for themselves).

People have frequently commented that I'm starting out the academic grind with a bit of an advantage because I already have a full time job in academia as a full time non-tenure track teaching professor. I'd gladly stay in my current department forever, but my research is really important to me and i want it to make an impact.

it's looking like my research area will be online communities and deviance, which seems really cool and could use some more scholarship.

11

Cool stuff - and well worth doing. You'll be able to make a meaningful contribution. In my case, fun as the mind exercise was, the world really didn't need an examination of the evolution of concepts of order and chaos through Homer, Defoe, and Wallace Stevens. At some level I realized I would only be creating academic diversions for others who were already academically diverted.

Your work touches the real world, contributing to a better understanding of how people actually live their lives.

I'm not disappointed with the "payoff" for my liberal arts education with its concentrations in literature and myth/religion. It's been useful - foundational - in the way I've approached life. If I have regrets, it's that I just didn't have the mental math hardware for physics, astronomy, and cosmology.

I'm fundamentally kinda asocial, though, so the social sciences would never have been my bailiwick. Kudos to you. You might amount to something after all!

12

"Doc Merc" has a nice ring to it! Congratulations!

14

That's great! Congrats Dr. Mercury!

I only went as far as an MA (Communication Studies), then had a reaction to Academia similar to Proteus's. But that was in the early 90s, at the height of the "culture wars", so it wasn't a very fun place to be. Didn't have any ambition to do a Ph.D anyway.

I enjoyed teaching one semester as a sessional instructor though. Very challenging but also very rewarding.

I would argue however, dear Proteus, that literature is as much a part of the "real world" as anything else. Ideas are real, too! :)

15

Congratulations! That is terrific news.

16

Ideas are real, too!

Well, as recent findings in quantum mechanics and cosmology make clear, that's literally true. Ideas are patterns of electrical impulses...and so are subatomic "particles" (or are they just ridiculously tiny disruptions in a field?) - and thus everything. Apparently matter and energy cannot only be converted one to the other, but they're the same thing.

Who knew.

17

Great- congratulations Buddy!

19

Excellent. Hearty congratulations, Dr!

21

Ideas are real, too!

Well, as recent findings in quantum mechanics and cosmology make clear, that's literally true. Ideas are patterns of electrical impulses...and so are subatomic "particles" (or are they just ridiculously tiny disruptions in a field?) - and thus everything. Apparently matter and energy cannot only be converted one to the other, but they're the same thing.

Who knew.

– Proteus

We’re all light!

22

Congratulations. I was offered an opportunity to work on a doctoral while still teaching at university (I earned a M.Mus) but by that time I had lost my enthuiasim for academia, and I liked playing too much to take on a full time day job. Now that performance opportunities are not so great, and working as a sessional teacher has become more precarious, I wonder if I should have gone for it. All in hindsight of course. I wish you all the best and hope you land a position.

23

Congratulations! No one who has not completed their doctorate truly understands the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice needed to get this degree. Don't forget to thank those significant others in your life who also sacrificed in many ways, including time they would have liked to have spent with you while you were back again at the books and the computer.

Well done sir!

25

Congratulations, Dr. Buddy!!! That is an incredible accomplishment!

A long time ago I had similar ambitions.... Got through my MA but then "life got in the way..." And that is probably a weak excuse by me. Had I the clear determination that you clearly have, I might have.......... But I did not and you did! So hats off to you -- I salute you!!


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