Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life Direction Is Not Easy

I had my third class yesterday. I enjoy my class.

The hardest thing for me is that we are dealing with a century where most people in Great Britain believed in God. A theologically rich century, as it were. My professor is great, supportive, a wonderful teacher. But I do not believe she is a Christian and her understanding of the Scriptures, the Church and texts are quite post-modern.

It can be hard to live in such a non-Christian world now.

My professor and I have been talking about the fact that the job market in English Lit with a PhD is very competitive and intense. After class I did some research. I had already read an Amanda Cross mystery novel that discusses this problem (A. Cross is now a retired English professor and her sleuth is an English professor) and the huge MLA (Modern Language Association) rat-race to try to get a job.

I found this book:

The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities By Frank Donoghue Published by Fordham Univ Press, 2008

which I read pages from online. The situation is incredibly bleak, with more PhDs with jobs. And I know that the culture of today is not supporting meaningful scholarship like in the past. Universities, I have heard, are getting rid of their classics departments; English departments may be jeopardized. Why? Because of the end result of capitalism and a "for profit" only orientation. Why else? Because our culture has ceased to care about truth, about exploration of what it means to be human. Because of despair and deep apathy to searching for meaning in life. Because many people have ceased to believe in God and are left with only themselves.

And it is not just the humanities either. Canada is destroying true scientific research; I used to work at their science library and the government has drastically (were talking OVER 50%) cut their budget.

Which also means that within a year here in Ottawa, there are going to be a lot of librarians looking for work.

Well. What to do? I am going to keep doing my class. I am still going to see if I can do the MA and if I can get funding for it. But what I will end up deciding and what way I will go - I don't know yet.

This part is hard. Not to mention the fact that I have no rich relatives to provide for me, nor do I own my apartment.

Lord have mercy in the midst of these questions.


E Helena E said...

I have also heard this said about some modern languages departments at some major Canadian universities - shrinking rapidly from what they used to be.

Glad you are enjoying the course, despite the ongoing uncertainty and questions. May each step be divinely illumined for you.

elizabeth said...

thank you so much E-H. I pray that I will have the eyes to see...

TeresaAngelina said...

The College of the Fraser Valley has an opening for a 19th century Engl Lit professor. Was in the newspaper today.

elizabeth said...

Thanks T-A. I appreciate this. I am continuing to push forward and see what happens...