Da whitemen keep going on about how one must be ready to move anywhere, but they are also saying your primary goals should be suburban. Note how they keep going on about the value of being “a big fish in a small pond,” having “affordable real estate,” and if I remember right, parking. And while they harp on location, they never discuss type of institution or institutional culture. That is the more important issue by far and they evade it by talking about the virtues of the Midwest, upon which they assume you look down.
I like all of the Midwest very much except Indiana and Ohio, so I tend to be insulted by these professors’ thinly veiled disdain, “I, too, disliked it…”. I like the Plains states, too, and I do not like New England. I am so tired of being lectured about how I should like New England, yet be willing to sacrifice for academia by not living there. I have lost patience with professors who preach in this vein.
On “making sacrifices” for academia, why is one expected to do this? And is one expected to give plasma, or a kidney, in addition to financial and other compromises? I had graduate students selling ova in Houston to pay off student loans and would have done it myself had I not been over 30 and thus not allowed, but I would not give up an organ or a limb for any academic job.
I am surprised that people are so morally outraged at those who go into nonacademic or para-academic work so that they can enjoy life more. Why do they say the author of this response to the above piece should have been more willing to sacrifice more, or should have “tried harder” to pretend to like a life in which she had little interest, when a life very close to her ideal was in fact available?
My theory about people who rage at graduate students for being too “elitist” and not willing enough to live in the sticks is that they are having a hard time hiring. They lecture their own students on elitism, but the people they really want to scold are the candidates they tried to hire and who went elsewhere.
They claim it is about geography so as not to have to consider the possibility that they are actually being turned down because their institutional culture sucks and it shows.
Here is another view on these pieces.