So Favorite Daughter Thinks She Wants to Be an Academic Librarian

25 01 2011

“I am going to be a college professor. . .Money is not important to me.”
“Oh my god, who let you into this school?”

Hope she’s very patient and a masochist, lol.

I just found this do-it-yourself cartoon site through the Chronicle of Higher Education; apparently I’m among the last few academics in the country to hear about it. It is reported to be very popular as both satire and a teaching tool.

You don’t need much money or any editing skills. And you can publish the finished product, anonymously or not, to YouTube, Facebook, and Xtranormal’s own site. . . .”We’ve become the tool that every niche group can make videos with.”

Nearly every higher-education niche has done just that, it seems, though the gags often make sense only to insiders. For example, do you find regression-discontinuity designs funny? Political scientists do.

You probably don’t need to actually watch the four-minute academic library version above, to imagine the possibilities:

College libraries are like the “prissy” older siblings of their public peers, quips Ms. McDermott, 27, a reference clerk at the Pratt Institute’s library, in New York. She scripted a fake job interview for her affectionate send-up, “So You Want to Be an [Academic] Librarian.”

“I don’t want to work in a public library,” the job candidate declares to her interviewer. “I hate children and poor people. I am very sensitive to foul odors. I want to wear argyle sweaters and loafers to work.”

What follows is four minutes of riffing on the minutiae of library life:

. . .[Ms.McDermott and another featured cartoonist] stress that their real-life professional experiences have been positive, exceptionally so, despite the bile of their videos.

Favorite Daughter also thinks she wants to go on from her master’s degree in library and information sciences someday, after a few years of experience in that academic library. She thinks she wants to earn a PH.D. in the humanities, probably religious cultural studies or maybe English.

So You Want to Get A PhD in the Humanities — That’s the one where a jaded professor warns a bright undergraduate that she will waste away in a library for up to nine years of grad school, only to get a job earning less than a janitor at a college in Alaska, where she will remain single forever and work 65 hours a week “trying to publish an obscure article that no one cares about in an obscure scholarly journal that nobody will read.”

“I like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society,” the pigtailed idealist shoots back. “I want to live a life of the mind.”

“Oh my God,” the professor says. “Life is not a movie script.”

Advertisements

Actions

Information

14 responses

25 01 2011
COD

Actually, us cool Internet kids have already declared that the make your own cartoon thing is yesterday’s news 🙂

25 01 2011
JJ

Figures. Notice I didn’t claim *I* was cool, not even among academics much less real people. I’m much too smart to walk into that. 😉

26 01 2011
Lynn

I’m sorry but FavD can’t do any of that stuff. I want her to run for public office. Seriously. 🙂

26 01 2011
JJ

Then she’ll need a witch-hunting pastor and a pageant title, won’t she?

30 01 2011
Crimson Wife

One of my cousins is an academic librarian and his position got cut from full-time to half-time a couple of years ago. He’s been searching for a FT one for ages but with the economy in the toilet all the colleges in the area have really been cutting back on their administrative staffing. He does SAT & GRE tutoring to help pay his bills.

30 01 2011
Lynn

JJ: “(FavD)’ll need a witch-hunting pastor”

Will a gay-hunting pastor suffice? I’m a hop-skip-jump from Saddleback Church, after all – and I still know people who know people. 😉

Regrettably, I have no connections in the world of beauty pageantry. 😦

31 01 2011
JJ

Sure you do. They have homeschoolers now! 😉

31 01 2011
Lynn

Feel free to correct my logic but aren’t library jobs being killed because, generally, they work for public libraries and public schools/universities, i.e. nanny state socialist institutions, which are being dismantled because they’re “job killing”?

Did you see that Governor Rick Perry Urges Republican Voters to Abandon Public Schools?

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and I have met with leaders in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and area evangelical churches. The goal is to establish affordable fundamentalist Christian learning and cultural centers that would serve as an alternative to public schools. Republican members of the State Board of Education have graciously agreed to step down from their positions and serve as curriculum specialists for the Christian cultural centers. A limited number of tuition waivers will be made available for economically disadvantaged Christian Republican voters.

So, who knows. Maybe tomorrow’s librarians will be “Christian Republican” apologists?

31 01 2011
JJ

Everything that is public is bad and job-killing. Everything that only the privileged can access, that which they like to call “private” — that is good and job creating. It is all a lie but it is a religion with some folks. Maybe we need to start calling it their false idol?

1 02 2011
Crimson Wife

I’m 99% sure that the college where my cousin works as an academic librarian is a private institution. It’s got some religious word in its name- Trinity perhaps? Colleges of all sorts are hurting in this economy with endowments & alumni giving down and financial aid requests up.

4 04 2011
JJ

Except the “private” for-profit colleges. Which are of course profiting! — from public loan money they scam out of private individuals trusting the system and hoping to work hard and join it, to better their lot and help their families. (They don’t have a chance.)

4 04 2011
JJ

Favorite Daughter is getting her academic library wish even before starting grad school! Next month she starts work at the campus music library, an amazing opportunity she owes to the many wonderful people she’s enjoyed musical theatre and yo-yo championships alongside, from the summer of 2009 for instance:

Favorite Daughter came back from Europe, spent a couple of days buying books for fall term, got a haircut and some sleep, then repacked her Tom Bihn Aeronaut wonderbag and took off again, for this year’s World Yo-yo Contest. She’s there working as a roadie right now; her boyfriend is running the live feed . . .

4 04 2011
Lynn

Woo-hoo, FavD! 😀 Great news! Of course, “amazing” stuff happens “when preparation meets opportunity.” It reminds me of the Steve Jobs/calligraphy commencement address (http://bit.ly/YhHS1).

4 04 2011
JJ

Thanks Lynn. I’ll tell her you said so, the lady who unschooled herself in religion! 😉 She’ll especially appreciate that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: