Entering "Rana" as the person to search for generated the following, which has the quality of a late-night poetry jam when read all together:
rana is not playing tonight at the madrid
rana is dead
rana is board
rana is religious
rana is a holidays house ended in the year 2000 situated at 300 mt
rana is one of the nine sugar mills to implement an advanced cogeneration project by using a 1x12 mw extraction
rana is a fossil organism known as a trilobite
rana is one of our captains this year
rana is also a returning captain for the eagles and will be a strong leader on and off the field
rana is a socalled "storåttring" with the following data
rana is probably the first army personnel to be arrested on charges of poaching a wild animal
rana is fucken amazing man
rana is growing by
rana is a voluntary non
rana is a renowned name in parsi history and religious tradition mainly because of his very positive influence on the mughal emperor
rana is a relative of the scindias of gwalior and was general secretary of the rashtriya prajatantra party
rana is founder and ceo of the web site that showcases the talents of writers and illustrators
rana is a yellowface mutation ii and a cinnamon opaline
rana is a senior political analyst of the country
rana is still not
rana is the person who was able to win in the multiparty elections too
rana is the chairman of the necon air limited
rana is coming as the male lead in pardesi re
rana is also aided by his loyal friend and advisor
rana is forced to accept the tark’s apparent compliance with his leadership
rana is a talented young artist on the beginning of a long road
rana is an information technology veteran
rana is first and foremost singled out by its efficiency
rana is the youngest philippine born shih tzu to win an all breeds best in show
rana is a specific type of trilobite
rana is a lecturer in computer science at cardiff university
rana is a veteran of the information technology industry
rana is a wanderer
rana is not 9 years old
rana is the latin name for frog but in our case it stands for restoring australian native amphibia
rana is a serial entrepreneur and veteran of the it industry
rana is the administration of the norwegian act of legal deposit
rana is harmless and keshubhai should know this
rana is a research fellow at the center for contemporary conflict
rana is the voice of the echoes
rana is spanish for "frog"
rana is a nepali national and was previously a professor at the center for economic development and administration
rana is a nepali national and was previously a professor at the center for economic
rana is the daughter of usha raje scindia
rana is the vice president of science apologetics at reasons to believe
rana is the rural alaska native adult program of alaska pacific university
rana is a town in "rana kommune"
rana is optimistic about the future and believes that attitudes are changing in nepal
rana is back at it again
rana is able to organize the data for display by market value
rana is believed to have fled nepal immediately after the massacre and is reportedly now in europe
rana is involved with the community in various ways to promote and explain this unique program
rana is typecast as the psychopath here
rana is recovering well
rana is working on another family reunion in canada for 2003
rana is surrounded by spacious green areas
rana is ready to switch from negative to positive in govind menon's small
rana is een italiaanse berghond
rana is much more than a rock bassist
rana is equivocal about this suggestion
rana is also able to remotely view the activities of philip took
rana is developing problem
rana is a careful balance of tough and tender
rana is posted
rana is the word for "raja"
rana is realized only after written affirmation from the side of rana
rana is an "institution
rana is permanently debarred from providing services in any capacity to a person with an approved or
rana is technical director
rana is what dreams are made of
rana is a four
rana is a good suggestion
rana is located at the
rana is appearing in light comedy and romantic role
rana is a latin word for the genus "bullfrog"; so called because of its strong croak
rana is both office manager and
rana is vreselijk fijn in contact gekomen met de meester door gebruik te maken van haar focus apple
rana is a biochemist from reasons to believe
rana is especially interested in working with organizations advocating the rights of the child worldwide
rana is a radiation oncologist at arlington cancer center
rana is tasked with leading the marketing
rana is a fast eater
rana is the kind of shop you could spend many hours in just browsing at their gorgeous furniture and jewellery felicity from berkshire
rana is paying a two
rana is a loud
rana is after
rana is this kingdom's foremost novelist
rana is a teeny whites tree frog
For a while now I've had a vague yearning to grow some tomatoes. So when I went to buy a lightbulb at Ikea (don't laugh; they have a good selection of fluorescents) I noticed that next door was a DYI store that included a garden section. So I brought home three tomatoes (a "Big Beef," a "Better Boy," and a mystery tomato that looked healthy).
These lovely plants cried at me to take them home as well: a French lavender and a rosemary. (The latter smells especially good.)
This post at Making Light has developed a comment thread on useless degrees -- that is, degrees that have little if any relation to the possessor's current occupation. It's interesting seeing how many people out there experience this disconnect between education and career. (This theme begins about 1/3 of the way down the thread.)
You are "turbo" charged. Fast moving and classy, you get things done with power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be deceiving, since what you really value is quality and efficiency. As you're careening around those corners in life, finishing a dozen knitted objects each month, stop and smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!
Yet I am thankful for your stupidity. Whenever I feel regretful that your unhealthy state budget kept me from being offered a wonderful job with wonderful colleagues, you do something to reassure me that I'm better off not living within your borders.
Now, if only I could get certain beloved family members free of your grip...
Edited because sentences should not contain that many clauses.
Trees, meet forest. That's what I want to say, every time I encounter yet another self-satisfied member of a search committee whose experiences somehow prove the concerns of job seekers to be selfish and overly pessimistic. The current crop of Ph.D.s on the job market are too picky, or underqualified, or just whiny, the story goes. There are lots of jobs! I know this because I ran a search and we didn't get hardly anyone, and virtually no one worth hiring!
The latest such offering, Irving D. S. Winsboro's "Is There a Job Crisis? A Reality Check," is worth a closer look, both for its assumptions and for what it does not say about the U.S. History search Winsboro oversaw.
He opens by stating his premise: despite recent reports on the academic job crisis, Winsboro's institution received a smaller pool than anticipated. In order to make sense of this he speculated on the reasons behind it. He believes that sharing his speculations will benefit both job seekers and hiring committees.
Let the fisking begin.
He first assumes that both the position and the institution were highly desirable, and that the position advertisement reached a large audience. (This allows him to set up the strawman of the too-picky job seeking cohort later.) He tells us that Florida Gulf Coast University is a new (1997), growing institution that is teaching-centered and capped at the master's level. A distinctive feature is that all but a few faculty are on multi-year continuous contracts. (More on this later.) He cites the "good weather and sunny beaches" and proximity to "two of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States" as part of the appeal. He claims that "it was reasonable to expect a larger than normal pool of applicants for any position at FGCU."
(1) Florida to me says humidity, hurricanes, palmetto bugs and Jeb Bush. It would have taken a very tempting position to entice me there. I'm not sure what the metropolitan areas are; nothing stood out to me when I looked at a map of the area in question.
(2) I tried to find a copy of the job announcement to see just what was being offered, and to get a sense of how widely it was advertised. (He admits that it was not included in Perspectives which is a bit odd.) I found no sign of it at H-Net, AHA (the online listings that duplicate those in Perspectives), the OAH, nor even the Chronicle. Granted, it is now very late in the hiring season, but even a Google search turned up nothing. Given the lack of available data, I could, in the spirit of the author, speculate on what this might say about the effectiveness of the advertising campaign and what it says about the hiring committee, but I won't.
(3) A quick visit to FGCU and the history department page reveals that it is a an all-male department, comprising three individuals located in offices in two buildings. (It is unclear whether one of these is the successful candidate.) I don't know about you, but this would make me anxious as a candidate. For a candidate seeking colleagues as well as employment, such a situation is less than desirable. (For the record, I once interviewed with -- and was offered a position by -- a department very much like this one, and while I found all the individuals pleasant and professional the thought of staying there long term was not appealing. As a young, single woman entering an already-formed all-male community, the specter of an unthinking old boy's dynamic was real.)
Okay. I think we have established that, Winsboro's assumptions about his institution's desirability notwithstanding, there are some valid reasons why candidates might not have been enticed by the lure of a U.S. history job in southwestern Florida. Moreover, these are reasons that have little to do with the quality of the candidate pool in general, and nothing to do with the lack of desirable academic positions relative to the number of available Ph.D.s
Yet this is not what Winsboro concludes. He writes,
The above scenario suggests several multitiered lessons for candidates and institutions involved in today’s history job market. First, it is reasonable to assume—on the basis of the unusually low number of applicants for the position at FGCU—that most freshly minted PhD s are targeting tenure-track positions at research schools for employment. My theory is that many aspiring historians in the job market avoided FGCU, an otherwise desirable place to live and work in, because the advertised position listed an MYA rather than a tenure-track line.
There are two assumptions there that need challenging.
First: the assumption that everyone (or "most") is seeking a position at a research school. This is a stupid assumption. I have several friends who are specifically not looking for a research position. They are looking for teaching-heavy jobs at institutions that emphasize service and teaching over research. I can't believe that all the legions of current adjuncts -- whose jobs are the very essence of teaching, and thus can be assumed to be heavily invested in pursuing a teaching career -- are not looking for better work. To blame a small applicant pool on the supposed existence of unrealistic research ambitions in a majority of candidates is just plain dumb. (I will, in the interests of showing my cards, admit that I myself would have loved a position that was more research-friendly than the ones I held. I never went into grad school to teach, but unfortunately most entry-level visiting positions are teaching ones, not post-docs. However, I would never dare generalize my feelings to an entire population, or even a majority of it.)
His second assumption, that it was the multi-year renewable contract that scared people off, is worth considering. He explains,
A number of candidates who applied for the position seemed reluctant to accept an MYA line during our telephone interviews, and an equal number communicated to me in private discussions and in e-mail exchanges that they would only consider an appointment for a "temporary" job at FGCU as a last resort. Of course, I responded that FGCU was not offering a temporary position but rather a continuing MYA position and reasonable job security. Even so, my distinct feeling is that candidates were not inclined to process (nor even to hear) the message I conveyed.
This seems like a reasonable concern on the part of the candidates, and I have some degree of sympathy for Winsboro in that his institution's approach to renewable contracts seems to offer a greater degree of permanancy than such contracts typically do elsewhere.
Unfortunately, Winsboro then takes this as an opportunity to scold candidates for being so picky. If the job market is so tight, he asks, why are candidates shooting themselves in the foot by limiting themselves to tenured and tenure-track job opportunities? It must be because they don't understand the market or because they are too optimistic about the future of that sub-set of the market.
My first response is to point out that for the vast majority of candidates that I know personally, a renewable contract = adjunct position with no security and little respect. Moreover, many of us have heard the horror stories of fresh young things who moved across country for such a position only to be told that it was not going to be fully funded and would they accept a part-time position? Of adjuncts who worked for years on a renewable basis, never fully part of their departments and always worried that one ill-tempered student or one budget crunch would kill their chances for renewal. Of the contract employee who was a treasure to the institution, but when a tenure-line search opened up in that person's field, that devoted colleague was ignored in favor of the big name or the fresh face.
Rather than scolding candidates for being picky, Winsboro should think about why they are wary and find ways to alleviate those concerns.
He also ignores the fact that many of the current cohort of job seekers are not "fresh Ph.D.s" but their elder brothers and sisters who are still on the job market after several years. They've earned the right to be suspicious!
My second response is to take umbrage with Winsboro's unspoken assumption that a successful candidate should simply accept that it is a buyer's market and that "MYA"s are the wave of the future, and should get with the program instead of holding out for that antiquated thing called tenure. If it works for him, fine, but why should he assume that it would work everywhere else, for everyone else? What is wrong with wanting tenure? Indeed, Winsboro himself has tenure.
I won't address the lessons he gives to hiring committees (basically, forgo the big names and prestigious institutions in favor of a "good fit"). I think I've said enough.
Reality check? Indeed. Get over yourself, Dr. Winsboro.
Update: a similar perspective on Winsboro's article can be found here and here.