Author Archives: almosttruetales

About almosttruetales

The stories contained herein are entirely fictional. Any resemblances to persons living or dead are entirely coincidental. Anyway, what seems like a unique story probably plays out dozens of times in other academic departments each year. I don't know if that's consoling or depressing.

Three old guys: I

Oy! It’s getting to be that time of the semester, and last week I was buried under grading – and then I had to deal with a student who plagiarized. It was a messy week. But we’re back, this time … Continue reading

Posted in tenured life

From the author

I apologize for the delay in posting, not to mention that this entry is not another Almost True Tale. Last week I was buried under grading comprehensive exams and looking forward to a relaxing weekend – including a few moments … Continue reading

Posted in reality

Home alone

8 p.m. is still early, and here I am, drunk enough to be honest. I am not an alcoholic. Since we had kids, I barely drink at all, so when I do, it goes straight to my head. I’m almost … Continue reading

Posted in personal, tenured life

Multiple choice

Congratulations! One of your graduate students has accepted a position with a college or university. Right now you feel: Proud Disappointed that the market is so tough this year Baffled at his/her choice Glad s/he will be clear across the … Continue reading

Posted in grad school, job search

An open slot

Three years now. That’s how long we’ve been running this damn search. It all started four years ago when Georgia announced she was leaving. Georgia was a full professor who brought in good grant money, so her departure was a … Continue reading

Posted in job search

The love guru

Maybe it was because I was older than the rest of my cohort. It wasn’t like I was that much older – not old enough to be anyone’s mom – but it made a difference. I had worked for four … Continue reading

Posted in grad school

The essays

The academic job search is a lot like dating. You get excited about a college, only to find out they don’t feel the same way. You wait for the phone to ring, and they never call when they say they … Continue reading

Posted in job search

The cooled

Brint and Karabel made the phrase “cooling out” famous in their book about community colleges. The two-year colleges they looked at lured students in with promises of transfer degrees, then “cooled them out” into vocational programs – if they weren’t … Continue reading

Posted in grad school

Waking up

I’m your worst nightmare. Not as in, I’ll do terrible things to you, but as in, what might happen to you. I’m the kind of cautionary tale that you tell graduate students about. I’m the reason you warn new assistant … Continue reading

Posted in tenure track

The job you get

I got the job, finally, and let me tell you, it was a relief. It wasn’t the job I thought I’d get when I started looking, or even the job I still hoped for a year into my search, but … Continue reading

Posted in tenure track