Alchemical Thoughts

I can definitely identify with this

Posted on: January 5, 2011

I was glad to see this post entitled “because: a manifesto.” The anonymous author writes out her (I presume “her”) reasons for leaving academia. This moved me because it is a topic I talk about very often, if at all these days, but I chose to leave an oppressive, often abusive doctoral program as well. I have not left academia all the way given I work in an academic library. However, there are days when I feel that a lot of what that author writes is very applicable to librarianship– both the profession overall and my particular work situation. I do like librarianship and what I do very much, but once in a while I do find myself wondering what if I left academia completely to do something else. I certainly have good skills someone out there would value.

Anyhow, the post is certainly worth reading, and it is one I think more students in doctoral programs who feel trapped should read as well.

I am listing some of the statements from the manifesto that I identify with or move me. I feel there is some applicability to my current profession, but I will abstain from commenting further since I think that these speak for themselves, and I do want to keep this post short. I also just want people to go read the whole thing:

  • “Because participating in a system that degrades, demeans, and disempowers you is masochism.”
  • “Because stupidity, masochism, and futility should not be rewarded.”
  • “Because obfuscation, elitism, arrogance, and self-righteousness should not be rewarded.”
  • “Because those in a position to change the system do not.”
  • “Because there are other places where that training and preparation will be rewarded, respected, and used.”

So, to the author of the paraphernilian blog, whoever you are, thank you for writing this. May you find peace, happiness, and a good career in your new life outside of academia. And thank you for letting the rest of us know that we are not alone.

A hat tip to Inside Higher Ed.


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January 2011
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