Expect nothing.

I finally revised my teaching and research statements for the job market this year. For all the complaining I did about it, it wasn’t that bad. Mainly because I kept 90% of what I had last year.

On Tuesday I reviewed them with one of my advisors. I have learned to expect nothing from these meetings. Do not expect praise or recognition for your hard work. Do not expect useful advice. Expect nothing, and then, if for some strange reason, I get something, I am pleasantly surprised.

I got pretty much nothing.

On my teaching statement, she advised me to simultaneously shorten my teaching statement and add more examples. What am I supposed to do with that? [The answer is, ignore it.]

Even things that could be taken positively just turn sour when I’m talking with my advisor. She says I’m selling myself short in my research statement. I need to be more confident.


She also looked at my CV, and had a lot of thoughts about that. My publications need to be higher. No one cares about the research experience – more that lower. Is it helpful? I’m sure it is, but any useful feedback I receive from her is drowned out by ridiculous things she says to me. For example

Advisor (looking at my conference presentation section): Are you presenting at APSA [American Political Science Association conference held late August-early September each year]?

Me: No.

Advisor: Yeah, I thought that’s what [my partner] said.

Listen, lady. I know my partner is the apple of your eye, but can we leave him out of this conversation? Kthanxbye.

Advisor: Are you planning to present at all in 2017?

Me: No…

Um… it’s August. If I haven’t done it now, when am I going to do it? 

Advisor: Well, you should think about it. It doesn’t look good when you stop presenting at conferences.

For the record, I presented at a conference in 2016, and I plan on going to a conference in spring 2018. I took off one fucking year from the conference circuit while I was finishing my dissertation/getting my life together. Geez.

Me: …

What do I say to that? Any conference this fall has already sent out a call for papers. So I’m supposed to go to a conference that I won’t be presenting at? With what money?

Advisor: It can be a regional conference. Think about it.

Me: …


I find it most effective for me to keep quiet when my advisor says ridiculous things, because when I open my mouth I’m susceptible to being a little dramatic, and occasionally aggressive. Like the time I told my advisor that I was either defending or leaving academia. Or the time I told both my advisors that I didn’t trust them. So instead, I bite my tongue, and then I go yell about it somewhere else.

I fear that I fit the stereotype of the hysterical woman, with all the yelling that I do and the rage I feel against my department. I’m staying here another year as a lecturer, and I am a little afraid that I won’t be taken seriously because I was a student here first. But then I also think, why should I have to be quiet? Why can’t I speak up when I see things that are wrong? And then I remember why: because I need a tenure-track job.





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