on reaching the end of your rope
January 24, 2014
this ongoing convo with girljanitor on being trapped by ethics and ability into a cycle of poverty is really hitting hard today.
i”m literally at a loss for what to do with my life. when it became crystal clear to me that i had no future as an academic, i made a bet on a different career. picking something that i hoped wouldn”t entirely invalidate all the time and effort spent trying to be an academic and that, from all appearances, seemed to be doing okay economically.
this latter point essentially turned out to be a lie. and a deliberate one foisted on my field. there really aren”t many jobs. and the ones that do exist are often for people with management experience or 5+ years. but schools have to make money. and one of the ways they do this is by inflating their placement rates (omg, this program has a 95% placement rate! except that this information doesn”t convey that the majority of these people either 1. left the field and are employed in another sector 2. are on part-time and/or short term contracts or 3. already had jobs before they graduated.
also… b/c i”ve been poor my entire life, i really didn”t realize the absurdity and necessary class privilege required to succeed in this field. because, the best paying entry level jobs are maybe… $60k. Which, yes, sounds amazing to me… but it is less amazing when you are in a field that requires — at a minimum — one master”s degree, and for my particular subfield, usually privileges people with two master degrees. this is a lot of money and time spent for what amounts to a lower-middle class salary range.
another thing unknown to me when i started… my field is ridiculously undiverse. Like, almost 90% of the people are white. this — for obvious reasons — has created that extra level of barrier that is making things much more difficult.1
and so… i”m clinging onto my part-time, contract position with zero benefits of any kind because it is looking less and less likely that i”ll get anything else (i”ve been searching for full time work for almost three years now).
people have encouraged me to maybe start looking at the alternative jobs i can do with my degree… this would be a viable option if not for brain.
i literally cannot translate skills and knowledge learned in one context to another. not, at least, without being told with more explicit details and information than is actually available. i can barely conceive of how to use my current skills set for different kinds of jobs within my field.
and my inability to do self-directed study also largely means that it is beyond my ability to pick up skills outside of school. like, i know that school/higher ed doesn”t work for a lot of people, but it does work for me. indeed, to a certain extent, pretty much nothing else works for me. and yeah, i”ve been trying. trying to use the free online courses. fuck, i even paid for one, but couldn”t finish it.
i don”t want to get anymore loans (and i”m not even sure I can since i”m fairly certain that i”ve already borrowed the maximum allowed from the gov”t and i”m not willing to ruin my life trying to get a private loan — which i probably wouldn”t get anyway).
stuff like biyuti publishing helps and i”m passionate about it, but i also never really intended for it to get as big as it is becoming. like, i just wanted to try and make some money from my writing. now that there are other people involved and publishing with me, i also can”t bring myself to really act like a proper business lady, with the whole capitalism whatever. of course, this means that i”m putting much of what little money i”m making from my own books back into the business on top of whatever personal money i can and it doesn”t look like this will change any time soon.
i”m getting too sleepy to think clearly anymore, so i”m going to take a nap. i don”t think this post has any real purpose beyond me whining.