1. First, blogging the lost: Where, oh where, are the two books that are now overdue that I'd checked out through ILL? Did I return them? Did I take them to my office? Are they in a bag somewhere?
2. I am sick of when people, in a conversation about the crappy job situation in the humanities or reasons not to go to grad school in the humanities, trot out the "you know, that dummy who majored in English could have become a plumber/HVAC guy/mechanic/ etc. and would be making twice as much money blah blah blah" line. People either say this when they are anti-humanities (why wouldn't you get a degree in something that has value?) or when they are pro-humanities (why don't people value English professors as much as they value people who unclog toilets?! What is this world coming to?!). Why does this bug me? Well, first and foremost because I grew up knowing a lot of dudes in trades or unionized jobs (and we are talking about dudes here for the most part because all of these are highly masculinized professions) and the reality is that those people work really hard at those jobs in order to send their kids to college so their kids will not have to work in those sorts of jobs. If those jobs are so great, then why would people in them not want those jobs for their children? Second, it bugs me because it totally romanticizes these sort of trades as if there is no unemployment, no being laid off, no inequality, etc. My friend A.'s boyfriend is a pipe-fitter. In a union. Guess what, people? He just got a job after over a year of being unemployed. And because of his being in the union, he could not just go out and find a non-union job unless he wanted to give up all of his time clocked in the union, etc. I could tell you similar stories about my dad, my uncles, my grandfather - all guys in union sorts of jobs, in trade sorts of jobs, with no higher education. So you know what? The next time anybody trots out that example, I am, I warn you now, totally going to go ballistic on that person. I hereby declare that I think this is stupid and anti-intellectual rhetoric and that academics who resort to it should be ashamed of themselves.
2 years ago