Sorry that posting has been a bit sporadic lately, all. I've been very busy with work, got sick for a few days, and have a few personal things that are going on that are occupying my mind and time - nothing directly to do with me, but some friends who are going through some really hard times right now.
I have some ideas for posts - part 3 in my "recommendations" series, as well as another post on the trend toward temporary faculty and adjuncts and a post about assumptions of privilege in academia. I'm particularly excited about the last one. My department recently sent out an email (I'm still on the listserv) announcing that the only grad students who would be recieving departmental funding to go to conferences would be those with solo-authored papers at national conferences in our discipline.
So the rest of the students - those collaborating with other grad students or faculty at national conferences (even if they're lead author), or those who elected to submit to regional conferences or conferences for other disciplines - will now be expected to foot the entire bill for travel, registration fees, per diem, etc.
And, of course, if a student is unable to foot those bills and therefore decides to not attend as many conferences, questions will be raised about their level of dedication to academia and to their work, and of their quality as a scholar.
It's one in a long line of examples I've observed in which grad students are expected to have a great deal of economic support behind them via savings accounts, parental or spousal support, or some other hidden source of income. But don't go get a part-time job to supplement your income! No way!! Then you're a lazy slacker.
The assumption of privilege is an ugly hidden aspect of grad school and academia. I'm working on writing and finding resources for a longer post on this, which will be posted soon. In the meantime, if you have any stories about assumptions of privilege that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!
And in the meantime ... I'm still here. And still feeling great about my decision to leave.