For whenever I start feeling sorry for myself

I know I kvetch from time to time about the currently dismal funding situation for biomedical research and worry about whether I’ll be able to keep my lab funded. However, every so often I’m reminded that cancer researchers by and large have it pretty good, at least compared to some academic disciplines:


  1. #1 Amy
    October 29, 2010

    Sadly, as a humanities PhD student, there are large elements of truth in this (although no one worded it this way- it’s more “it’s extremely difficult to get through, funding is tight at all levels- you may not even get teaching let alone any other financial support and at the end you may not get a job- but you’re passionate about it, you’re talented enough, and you’re willing to do the work. Go for it.”)

  2. #2 Corina Becker
    October 29, 2010

    oh dear god, yes. Especially when trying to go into creative writing, and doubly especially when you write a genre that they don’t consider to be “literature”.

    Luckily, I decided I didn’t need the piece of paper saying I can write fiction, and got out.

    Now I’m going back in to study Disability Studies. sigh…

  3. #3 Daniel J. Andrews
    October 29, 2010

    Tea parties are going after humanities as well as science then? Perhaps they need a Tea Party Theme Song…


  4. #4 rob
    October 29, 2010


    i am an adjunct professor now. *and* i get awesome health benefits. the pay *is* crap, but the work is fun!

  5. #5 Lawrence
    October 29, 2010

    The one they did about the sales guy talking to his boss about getting screwed out of his commissions was too funny – and hit waaaay to close to home!

  6. #6 KWombles
    October 29, 2010

    Wonderful! It cracked me up. I still love being a college instructor, though. 🙂 Hah, I’m downloading this and sharing it! I love the “get the frak out of my office!” BSG fan!

  7. #7 Laurel
    October 30, 2010

    Amy, nobody warned me in any form. I was doing PhD classwork before I caught on.

    rob, glad you’re amused. I currently adjunct for 1-3 unis (one online) teaching 0-9 sections of Comp at $1500/class/semester and live in my mother’s spare room. Insurance? I don’t have a desk. (Two ruptured discs in my neck that make carrying books and papers miserable, but no insurance, no desk, and no parking permit. I asked for a measly file cabinet drawer once. Nope.) I’d get an honest job, but I’ve been off the market teaching for ten years, and this doesn’t seem to impress employers.

    I’m 45 years old, and I chose to go back to college in my 30s because I knew I needed to be able to support myself. The film is hilarious, but it’s pretty serious, too.

  8. #8 Xplodyncow
    October 30, 2010

    It could be worse. Some of us English majors go into marketing.

  9. #9 Barbara
    October 31, 2010

    Absolutely true – even before the election next week.

    When I told a theology professor I was quitting a faculty job to go back to clinical practice, he was astounded. Dumbfounded. He explained that if he quit or retired there would be 100 applicants for his job immediately. And he was chair of his department.

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