No one tells you that the *easy* part of academic life is the torturous process of obtaining your Ph.D. If you’re lucky enough to get a job after becoming “Dr.” whomever (see article on the scarcity of jobs for doctorates), you’re not off the hook yet! Provided you secure a tenure track job (see this article for the even scarier job market scenario for professors), the Road to Tenure is rocky – filled with potholes in the form of grant application denials, article submission rejections, unfair student evaluations, contentious faculty department meetings, and frustrating changes in college policies regarding job expectations. Time is always at a premium. So why am I taking valuable time to write this blog?

Because, well, I’m an imposter. Not really. But, as those of you who have a Ph.D. know: the imposter syndrome is real. I won’t get too much into defining what imposter syndrome is (see here for a very good article on it), but what I will use this blog for is to share. I am big on sharing. I want to share my experience as a student in my program and how, despite receiving almost no support from the faculty, I was able to finish. I want to share my experience with how I was able to form relationships with persons similarly situated and how we supported each other across the PhinishD line and beyond. I want to share my experiences as a single woman who learned very painfully that dating is not easy in or out of academia (yea, a doctorate does not make a person partner-worthy!). I want to share how I completed coursework, conducted my research, and wrote my dissertation all while working 3 full-time jobs. I want to share my story as a poor girl from the Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx – who went from the PJs to PhD. I want to share my experience with meeting leading scholars and researchers in and outside of my field. Because as I share my story, and you share yours with me, we can reinforce our legitimacy in this world filled with ivory towers. Maybe we can convince ourselves that we are not imposters. Maybe?

So where to begin? What shall my first blog post be? Possible titles for my *official* first post include:

  • Why The Accidental Académica?
  • I Should Be Writing – But Netflix is Calling!;
  • When the Professor Who Put Down Your Research Just Published a Book on the Same Topic;
  • Why Taking the Job As Director of [fill in blank] Won’t Get You Tenure;
  • How I Learned That My Cohort BFF Was Not My Friend;
  • When Cohort Friendships Work;
  • Can You Be Both Professor and Friend to Your Students?;
  • When You’re The Only One – Chronicles of an Academic of Color;
  • Why Dating a PhD/Professor Does Not Guarantee They’re Not an Asshole;
  • The First Time I Met My Bibliography!
  • Mysoginy is Alive and Thriving In Academia;
  • Why I Will Always Wear My Hoop Earrings;
  • Can You Stay True to Your Roots and Be An Academic?;
  • Just When You Feel You Can’t Go On, The Students Remind You It’s Worth It;
  • What Does Self-Care Look Like?;
  • How Important Is It That I attend Those Faculty Happy Hours?;
  • Professors Date Students More Often Than We Care to Admit;
  • Spotting the Heathers in Your Department;
  • What Does It Mean to Be An Activist Scholar?;
  • Should You Bother With Social Media:
  • I Didn’t Realize I Was a Politically Incorrect, Leftist, Antidisestablistmentarist Before I Got Into Academia;
  • Latina/o, Latin@, Latinx, OH MY!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When The Hate Mail Starts Coming In;

Don’t worry, all of the above will be addressed. But it is not an exhaustive list – there will be other posts. My first post will come soon – I’m planning on releasing posts every other week. Stay tuned, the first blog will be honest, frank, and fun (as will all others). I also encourage you to comment and share your own stories and perspectives – let’s keep the conversation going!

See you soon!

Dr. ShirLo

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