Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why, If It Weren't For My Family, My Life Would Suck

Believing in evolution outside of a biology or other hard science department makes for a lonely life. Religious conservatives reject evolution outright, mistakenly believing that accepting evolution means one must reject God, so I get no support from them. The Left presents they believe in evolution, but the truth is that when you present them with any sort of details, especially regarding behavior, they reject all evolutionary explanations. The plank slate model of the mind is the only one they accept -- if people aren't completely malleable, then most Leftists beliefs fall apart pretty quickly.

Heaven help you even more if you're like me and have a degree in the humanities AND believe in evolution AND support free markets (AND believe in God -- might as well throw in that politically incorrect belief too while we're at it). That's a combination which will guarantee to keep you out of a job. Combine that with a belief in truth, beauty, and excellence, and you might as well give up ever getting a job in the humanities.

Where is one like me -- an interdisciplinary humanities scholar and poet -- to find a job? In places where I should be able to be hired, my being "interdisciplinary" makes people think I'm unfocused, when what it really means is I see problems in their full complexity. I've had an English department tell me I'm overqualified, though the job required a Ph.D. and my dissertation was about literary analysis. I've quit an interdisciplinary studies department because such departments are being treated as places where students failing in every other discipline can go to stay in college and I think that universities should be aiming for excellence and not for mediocrity -- or less. I cannot find a humanities department that is interested in hiring someone who is pro-science -- and if I were hired, there's little chance I'd get tenure due to my support of free markets. I'm not a Leftist, so work is closed off to me to such an extent that you'd think this was the Soviet Union.

So what are my choices? Go back to hotel work? Deny my education so I can get an $8/hr job? What have I done to myself by following my passions? Aren't we told that's the path to success? Then why do I keep failing? Why am I rejected by everyone? -- well, not everyone, I suppose, just everyone who could pay me for what I can do. WHy am I barred in this culture from making a living?

Maybe it's time I just gave up on all this stuff and got a job in a mail room somewhere so I could work my way up the corporate ladder. All it would take would be for me to cease being who I am, doing what I love, and supporting what I believe in while rejecting my education. Is that really what it takes to get and keep a job? Do I really have to work to make the world a worse place by supporting positions that I know will make the world worse off so I can provide for my family? Are there any other options? If so, I'm completely unfamiliar with them. I'm at a complete loss.
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