A Cruel War is Raging
I have got to stop reading depressing articles about the state of jobs in academia like this one from The Nation, which actually makes a lot of sense, but not in a very hopeful way.
But the depressing state of the job market isn’t totally discouraging me yet. The discourtesy of the job market does a little. I’m not entirely sure how many job applications I’ve submitted, I think nine. Two of them are still pending and one just asked one of my referends for a letter (this is probably not as promising as it sounds, but rather an indication that they read my cover letter and observed that I know two people who are highly placed at that particular place of employment, not a university). Of the remaining seven, I know from a job wiki that all positions have been filled, and yet I have only received two notices of application receipt and a single notice of rejection. Given the amount of time these applications take — frequently they require 60 or more pages of writing — it seems to me the least they could do is let applicants know they’ve hired someone else. In the age of electronic applications, it should take them a matter of seconds to respond. And yet a response is increasingly a rarity, one more humiliation in the land of academia.
Still, I, at least, have some skills and work experience outside academia, so I have some options. The two jobs where I have pending applications are both long shots. Both are education related positions requiring a Ph.D. and knowledge of academia, but neither is at a university. And honestly, both jobs sound like they’d be pretty awesome and well-tailored to both my interests and skills. We’ll see, though, if I hear anything from either of them.
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On a different, and more cheerful subject, I enjoyed reading Paste Magazine’s interviews with 18 indie musician moms. The subject made me squirm a little, but the interviews were fun to read and made me think about the importance of parental musical input. One of the questions they asked everyone is, “What does your kid think of your music?” They meant, of course, the music the musical mothers create themselves, but some responded with the music they listened to, which got me to thinking about the music I grew up with. Things I remember listening from my parents’ LP collection: The Beatles (Meet the Beatles and Revolver), Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary, the Time Life classical music collection, Chaikovskii’s Nutcracker and Swan Lake, The Kingston Trio, The Limelighters, Jimmy Cliff, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Frank Sinatra, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti and the soundtrack to West Side Story. A little bit later, we added some things on cassette: The Carpenters, Abba, Ravel’s Bolero. But it’s those earlier LPs that are still stuck in my head. I am reminded of this as I sit down to find new guitar rep to learn. I’ve been trying to find some songs to bring on our camping trip this weekend, in case I’m dumb enough to bring the guitar. I’m finding myself gravitating to the songs I grew up with. And so “Blowin in the Wind” and “The Night they drove old Dixie Down” are in my book (although the latter is still too hard to play), as are a number of Beatles and Peter, Paul and Mary tunes. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on trying my hand at Stravinsky. Yet.
What did you grow up listening to you? Do you still listen to those thing? How did what you grew up with influence your current musical tastes? Inquiring musicologists want to know.