Monday, June 22, 2009


Elizabeth (a.k.a "cupcake" by a select few) defended her dissertation today.  I'm pretty sure it went well.  I tried to meet her outside the building with flowers, but she was heading out to lunch with her committee and couldn't give me any details.  

I am so incredibly proud of her.  She came into this PhD program without a Masters Degree and still managed to get her degree in 5 short years.  She's way ahead of anyone in her incoming class- nobody else has managed to complete their dissertations in such a short amount of time.  She's also managed to do a lot of teaching while writing, present papers at conferences, and get an article published.  She's one of the smartest, most driven people I've ever met.  Ok, I'm done bragging.

The completion of the dissertation has also been a bit stressful. The last 5 years of our lives have been built around this moment.  We left a community we loved to come to this school.  Elizabeth busted her ass to complete her dissertation early.  Just in time for the stellar 2009 economy.  The academic job market is always tough, but this year is particularly bad.  It's not uncommon for there to be upwards of 300 applicants for a single position.  Highly overqualified people are applying for entry-level assistant professor jobs.  This doesn't bode well for people like Elizabeth.  She was just a few months away from officially having her PhD when schools were hiring for the 2009 / 2010 academic year.  There's no way a new grad can compete against someone who already has a book out.

Elizabeth did get few interviews- some at really good schools- but no job offers .  It's been really tough on her self esteem.  She's also freaking out that she'll have to work at St.arbucks or Bar.nes and N.oble in order to have income this fall.  I'm hoping that she can get a last minute adjunct job at one of the many universities nearby.  Maybe working part time and getting some more articles published would put her in a better position for jobs next year.  This is definitely not where we planned to be upon Elizabeth's degree completion.  But I suppose if I've learned anything over these past few months it's that life rarely goes exactly as planned, and you've just got to roll with it.


thebao said...

Mazel tov to Elizabeth and to you! My wife is also working on her doctorate, so I know that this has been quite a crazy time for you both. What a huge accomplishment, and doing it in five years is really incredible. Good for her! Will she walk next spring in a funny hat?

Melissa said...


Boo said...

Congratulations! What an incredible accomplishment! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a fabulous job for her in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Big congrats to to her! She should be very proud of herself and while this is a major snag, it will all work out. This is a tough year for all but it can only get better and as the boomers leave the work force, they will leave all of us their prime positions. Hang tight ladies and good luck to her on her search.

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

Glad it's not just me w/ the magazines. It will be interesting to see how we feel once we're actually there.

Congrats to Elizabeth - I left academia after my MA. Sometimes I regret it and sometimes I'm glad. Hope some adjunct positions come through. Adjuncting is a tough life, but as I'm sure you both know, it's all about who you know. Much easier to get a full time gig once they know you. Here's hoping a great (tenure track) position is just around the corner!