Annotated #Postac List

This page includes all of my posts about my experiences as a #postac. They’re listed in order of publication, with notes to suggest the ones you might find particularly interesting (or worth skipping).

Part I
Running roughly to the first anniversary of my decision to leave Academia, this first batch of posts lingers on the rawness that departure left. Many are bleak. Most deal to some extent with expectations.

Of Dreams, Carrots, and Towers
The first time I put into words what I’d been feeling since I quit. I published it before I’d appended the “post” to the academia category on my blog. The post covers some of the emotional fallout of my decision to quit the Academy.

The 962nd Cut 
In which I naïvely assume that an impending job interview will lead immediately to a job.

The 967th Cut: Writing, Writing, Writing
A mildly tangential post about academic writing and other kinds of writing.

The 983rd Cut: Academiconference
A discussion of my (presumably) last academic conference, the national meeting of the American Musicological Society.

Get a Job, You Schlub!
Continuing job hunt woes.

NaNoWriMo vs. Dissertation
A comparison of writing feats. Featured on Freshly Pressed.

A Year After Horns and Horses
Considering the first anniversary of my dissertation defense.

Success and the Persuasive Essay
How we sell (and sell ourselves on) different notions of success.

Too Much School, so…Back to School?
On the realization that sometimes too much is not enough.

The Push-Pull of the Un(der)-Employed Ph.D.
More on the job hunt, status, and entitlement.

The Tangled Web We Leave: Identity and #Postac
A little meta. On blogging, identity, and having a rough go of it.

Reconstructing Narrative
The narrative wreckage of an academic leaver. How the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves matter.

Longterm Ersatz
(Substitute) teaching and the lure of stability.

Quitting not Quitting
On novel-writing, the power and terror of quitting.

Winning Bread, Losing Guilt
Worrying about money. How mini-crises wake up old anxieties…and trying to break that cycle. 

Love and the Academy
The challenges and rewards of side-stepping academia’s priority structure.

Ersatz Redux
Revisiting my long-term substitute job.

The Brittleness of Happiness
Working on perspective in the wake of real and fabricated trouble.

The #Postac Prestige Trap
On the tyranny of expectations, “meritocracy,” and doing what you love (or not).

Part II
It is around this point that my writing on postac shifts away from what has happened in the past and toward what I am working to do with my future.

Gradations and Graduations
The spring graduation/job announcement season. Why ceremonies might matter even if they’re stupid and boring.

The Real World
Making decisions and moving forward. The oddness of getting to where one is “supposed” to be. Gratitude.

The Thousand Cuts
The publication of my long-form essay about leaving academia. The essay itself is here.

Does #Postac Ever End?
What does postac look like when the recovery is mostly finished? Happy postac is not an oxymoron.

This Is Why We Fight
A long response to a short question. Getting beyond ourselves and our own stories as we move out of graduate school.

Checking Boxes, Part I (and Part II)
Starting my alternative teaching certification program. Things we never talked about in grad school that were covered the first day in my teaching seminar. Standardized tests. Part II deals less with postac and more with middle school.

Knowing is Half the Something Something
Two days, two different echoes of graduate school. 

Checking Boxes, Part III
Wrapping up teacher training. Jumping through hoops. Online “learning.”

 Did I Fail?
Ambition and labels. A comparison between quitting the adjunct life and quitting food service.

Bad Grad Habits
Three bad habits of mine (mind?) that graduate school made worse…and that I’ve been trying to get rid of since leaving.



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