R.I.P. my academic career

We've put years into academia, only to find ourselves cast out of it. Or we're trapped in difficult, precarious positions on its margins. We deserve better than what we got.

I think we deserve to mourn our lost careers, or acknowledge we're in purgatory. Half-seriously, I made this site: a virtual career graveyard.

My serious point is this: loss deserves recognition. Anyway, add yourself too if you want. It's for anyone. For all of us.

Add me now Reserve a plot
Dr Hanson
Ya know, she really tried.
Knoxville, TN
🌺 πŸ₯€
Professor Nomore
Reviewed, restructured, reviewed; finally I gave her the plan on how to RIP me!
Melbourne Australia
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k
Neglect. Nothing was ever good enough.
4 different schools
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C
The good ole boys won.
SC, USA
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LAA
Tenure-track but university is no longer honoring tenure.
USA
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Nikkin
6 years adjuncting & still underpaid til i'm laid to rest
CO
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KM
Zero support, confidence destroyed. 5 years on happy in new job
UK
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SdL
Impossible to get a PhD in my field
The Netherlands
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GW
Lost a lot of myself in this journey... I shall arise and live again.
Nigeria
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TheScientist
Dearly missed
Earth
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TKO
"You'll never get promoted doing work like that"
UK
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WY
"sub-optimal fit" & "Narrow and topical research"
The Netherlands
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Anonymous
I told you I was sick.
Dead end academic librarian
🌹 🌺
Recent Ph.D. Grad
Naive in my program choice ~ Severely bullied and drained of money and time.
A Prestigious School
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David
PhDone with this Shit
Boston
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SG
Too many ideas, too slow at writing them
The universe
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S. T.
No room for sick people
Academia
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K Giles
Published and perished
USA
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HB
I didn't know I was just supposed to build YOUR empire rather than my own ideas.
PhD Advisors' Former Pawn
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CP
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt
Cincinnati, OH
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EW
It was time to give up hope.
The States
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EMW
Black me out.
New England
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AD
Here lies the academic everyone wanted me to be. Everyone except me.
Hong Kong
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K.K.
To the prof who said "Maybe you don't belong here", I'm glad.
Heaven, too, is a gated community; Hell is for the people.
πŸ‚
Jane Doe
Refused to be a Marytr
PA-NY-IL
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Former Assistant Professor ASF
Being an academic engaged in the community is an oxymoron.
USA
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RP
Where do I begin?
Hobart
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JC
how naive of me to think it wasn't nepotism & backchannels all the way down
bumblefuck, indiana
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GMS
Loved doing research. His awards showed his fit. Never got an interview.
Porto Alegre, BR
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SC
Nervous breakdown, torched PhD. Now I'm a librarian.
The Northeast
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Bebop
Could publish but no funding
Northern England
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P. E. H.
Tried writing a thesis while severely depressed. Failed and dropped out.
Germany
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Endowed Professor
Not homophobic enough
Holland, Michigan
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Burnout postdoc
Bullied to the point of burnout
Scotland
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Jessica
"We're like a family here"
Flagstaff
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BJ
More degrees minted than departments hiring.
Texas
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Harpy
Over-40 PhD meant adjuncting in basements until death (I left instead)
USA
πŸ’ πŸ‚
LRG
NTT, heavy service, burned out
Southern US
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Former Assistant Professor
She realized tenure-track hell was paved with good intentions
Anywhere, USA
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DR
R.I.P.
USA
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Eli Rose
I miss teaching.
Atlanta, GA
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WGL
No job, no prospects, no hope.
UK
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
Sad but glad
Clung on grimly, free at last
Tasmania
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Tim Rayner
Saw The Light
Cambridge
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SP
It's not me it's you
NYC
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Godswisdom
I had abandoned everything... Farewell my years of hard work!
Nigeria
🌺 πŸ‚
FPM
A liberal arts education meant jack.
West coast, USA
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LF
Let down by those who should have raised her
SW
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Altha Jane Cravey
Fought injustice as long as possible.
UNC
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
Former Academic
I finally had enough. God, I'm so tired.
The Netherlands
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CT
You wanted enough income to buy a house here? You absolute moron.
Ann Arbor, MI
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Dr G
Of Blessed Memory
USA
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Andrew Johnson
Should have been better
Baltimore
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JB
A once promising graduate student spoiling every opportunity and relationship
USA
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Anonymous
The tenure trap is a feature of the abusive environment, not a bug.
USA
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DJ
Should have listened to the friends who warned you about that advisor
Brooklyn, NY
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Department Chair
Dreamed of paying student loans on her salary
USA
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RBW
She soon learned this "lifestyle" came with a cost: her health & happiness.
Maryland, USA
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Anon
Wouldn't spend 3 months living with a man I had never met
Colorado
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Anon
My work's in the REF submission, I'm not employed in UKHE anymore
UK
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AMH
Adjuncted too long, delayed completing my PhD, there is no longer a place for me
PA
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Elisa, PhD ABD
Adjunct - TA - Adjunct - admin GA - ?
Central NY
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A n other
Patronised once too often by faculty with fewer pubs and less grant capture
teaching and learning center
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CAP
I didn't respond well to being exploited.
Arizona
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JayCayR
Lost in limbo
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
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CMS
student 4eva
Colonial hellscape
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S H
Lacked the confidence of a straight white man and died under pressure.
France
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RN
they wore down the soft parts.
London, Englandia
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L
University destroyed my mental health so I had to drop out
Spain
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Jakob Williams Oerberg
Liked working and building things with other people too much
Denmark
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Laertides
Here lies a undergrad who thought he could be someone
Exeter, UK
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AMO
Published AND Perished
Everywhere and nowhere
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Jess
I never saw a well-balanced life I wanted there anyway.
Vancouver, BC
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S.E.N.
She thought her love for poetry and literature would see her through
Hyderabad
🌹 πŸ‚
FCKDK
I will haunt the dreams of those who create a toxic environment in academia
USA
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A
Forever ABD
EU
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SW
Couldn't balance job search with family needs
California
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Harassed out
Realized I, and my skills, would be more valued elsewhere
Everywhere
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The Ginger Dwarf
Forgot to Lie for the Dean
Bath Spa University
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DHA
Child of 2 academics. Failed grad student. In exile as staff of faculty union.
A Nutmeg in the Land of Steady Habits
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Pinar
In loving memory of "research time"
Liverpuuul
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AS
Tired of the job market
England
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Anon
Neurodivergence and academia=recipe for disaster
Betelgeuse
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RDK
Now to become the gnarled oak; to thrive uncut
Washington DC
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BJS
Quit after discovering there really was a last straw
Sydney Australia
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DL
Tired of being disposable labour
Oxford
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MS
Neurodivergent PoC grad student thought it was a safe space.
TO, CA
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MeghanBPhD
tenured in name only
Bloomington, IL
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SW
Failed academic, well, not really failed, A+ for effort, B for actual results
Ohio
πŸ‚ πŸ’
VC
Tenure denied
PA
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Anonymous
...Educational system that feeds on students
A country
πŸ‚ πŸ’
Just too much
Still fighting
Rural tri-state area
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M S
Left a husk incapable of loving the field that was a lifelong passion and escape
Cambridge UK
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Dymphna
Died a slow and painful death alone, body found covered in unfinished articles
Toronto
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Neizvestnyi
Academia is no place for a disabled person
USA
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S
He peaked too soon and ultimately disappointed his employers.
The North, UK
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JS
She started with hope, and she just was not what the boys wanted.
New Zealand
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DISESTABLISHED
Never allowed to fly
Newcastle
🌹 🌹
Tenured & Fired
Even tenure wasn't enough. Colleagues just looked away.
Happening Everywhere
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PSDC
Killed by Passion
Denmark
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AT
Laid off after 14 yrs of abuse, couldn't bring myself to go back for more
NAU
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Hannah Alpert-Abrams
would've been good at it
usa
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JB
Had to choose between supporting my children or furthering my career.
UK
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DSV
Cause of death: academic cliques, abusive partners, and becoming a mother.
Canada
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KBG
I thought there would be cake.
Washington, D.C.
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Bp
Former assistant teaching faculty
USA
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Black Dragom
Do you deny the favours of your lord ?
Englandiana
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LKG
Dum spiro, scribo. But... after 20+ years of online adjuncting, I quit.
the Interwebz
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
AA
Tried to unionize
Northeastern University
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RZ
dreams turned off
Kyiv
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MP
22 years and adjunct, still holding on. Why??
East Coast US, where there are lots of colleges but no jobs
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CM
Adjunct life killed the dream
USA
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Unknown Academic
Simply didn't "want it" enough
Cambridge, UK
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Meritorious Anon
More work and no money = burnout
Online Prof.
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Grad Stud - Postdoc - Contingent
Treated like trash every step of the way. One of too many.
Higher Ed, Everywhere
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BB
Here lies the dreams and goals of a young graduate student
Davis, CA
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Jennifer Polk
She had so much potential
Toronto, ON
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PTG
Simply not that good at doing experiments.
boston, MA
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GG
Wasn't very good at it
A different one every 6 months
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Alexis Santos
Let me run one more model
University Park, PA
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Unemployed PhD
Here rests a PhD that did worth less than a covering letter
United Kingdom
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Biffo
My PhD made me unemployable.
A Citizen of the World
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N/A
tried to climb the long ladder but fell into a wheelchair
Fortress Europe
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anonymous
She could no longer navigate the exploitative, sharky behavior of older scholars
South Africa
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CB
Overworked, underpaid adjunct.
NY
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MW
Had Bills to Pay
UK
🌺 πŸ‚
Anonymous
Giving birth was apparently the death of her academic career.
Missouri
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NR
Pushed out of my staff job at my Alma mater so boss could give my job to her BFF
NY
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AJF
Academia, rigmarole defined.
Canada
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shine choi
I tried but it was fucking impossible!!!!
aotearoa nz
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Beloved Wife and Mother
Death by Two-Body Problem
College Town, USA
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GW
Another five years buried, more years to bury.
Nigeria
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ZA
Actually found I can do research just fine outside of the academy
UK
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Dr. GFR
Abused but emerged from the ashes
Santa Fe, NM
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JW
Started lots of projects, never finished them
Purgatory
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WCO6
Life sucked out by postions of responsibility, but no authority.
USA
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pre-pandemic postdoc
Suffered from severe depression and a narcissistic PI
A Dark Place
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OB
Former postdoc
Cambridge
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RS
Likely Perishing
UK
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Jack H
Homless PhD resorting to crime to enter Cern or roof over my head? A Roof it is
Milton Keynes
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Dr. A
research not 'niche' enough
USA
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R.C.
No publications + no funding = no postdoc
UK
🌺 πŸ’
Gabriele de Seta
Just one more postdoc and I will be employable
Wherever there is a job
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GH
Outstanding teaching.Never published.
Atlanta, GA
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SC
Got out and found greener pastures
Everywhere
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SL
Exhausted Postdoc - expected the grind to have end - wishful thinking
Germany
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H
Death by trying to make a full time wage as a casual
Regional University
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A. Z. B
I got pregnant. RIP digging around the world.
Europe
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CS
Not enough papers and thought staying longer would fix it
USA
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DeathByOverwork
Killed herself working still not feeling she was good enough
Sitting at desk to mark those last scripts at 4am
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Liz B
Sanity Prevailed, I left.
UK and Ireland
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R
Here lies a career that would have ruined my life
A better place
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Anon PhD
Bullied by advisor. Will find some job that deserves my efforts...
UK
🌺 πŸ’
HB
Here lies wasted potential and a handful of years of trauma gained
~Moved on to the materials and microscopy industry realm~
πŸ₯€
VWN
Applied for jobs diligently but never got an interview, or feedback.
Normal Island
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S
12 years on staff at alma mater, promoted, forced out
R1 Bullshit Town
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DS
Here lies an academic who didn't want to be an academic
Hyderabad.
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s.a.
some dumb 1st gen redneck who thought working hard would be enough
new england (reluctantly)
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CD
A broken system that breaks too many. I miss my students but couldn't continue.
NW England
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
Death by toxic Admin
The everything else stripped the joy from teaching itself.
Does it even matter?
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Jenna E.
Off in search of a way to make real change in the world
Washington, DC
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Anonymous
I had the passion and got ignored. Big names mean nothing.
Center of PA
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A defeated Library Media Specialist
Here lies an awesome library program, now dead due to no district funding.
Florida
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
Ilona Sotnikova
Lost meaning
USA
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Anonymous
Long hours, low pay, limited opportunities
UK
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JD
Overworked and underemployed
a little bit of everywhere
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2nd Author
PhD + Postdoc + Fruitless Job Search = Divorce
A major metropolitan area
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DM
less production of knowledge than egos
nowhere stable
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Dr. Leahcim Semaj
Resurrected as Above or Beyond Inc.
Boca Eaton, Fort Lauderdale, Kingston
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J.B.
Too trans. Got ill. Here lies the career I wanted.
London
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MBR
Subjectivty and bullying, alas the tenure reqs could not be assessed well.
Corvallis, Ore.
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Department Chair
The new hired without experience makes $5,000 more. No hopes to match it.
USA
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C
Leaving with a little bit of sadness but an overwhelming sense of relief
Australia
🌹
WER
Crushed by the excessive expectations of the academic job market
NC
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A
Out of funding
Edinburgh
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
support open education
if i hadn't been laid off due to COVID i would have died from the toxicity
HELL
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
AJH
Dead academic careers leave no corpus
I travelled far to live
🌹 πŸ₯€
IRH
He wouldn't move to Sh*tsville Arkansas for a 1-yr VAP
Purgatory
πŸ’ 🌹
EJWB
Wanted to understand what makes a safe place
Scotland
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
FML
Bullied for two years and then kicked to the curb.
USA
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BLC
Abused every day for last 3 yrs of PhD. These people are sick and untouchable.
York, UK
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I gave up
Former Acadmeic
Melbourne
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AC
Never get a PhD. Always a waste of time, energy, money, and your soul.
AZ
πŸ’ πŸ’
KEA
Told my teaching aspirations didn't count; research only
Virginia, USA
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EA
Funding and passion dwindled to nothing
R1, USA
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Rainbow
Doesn't play well with narcissists
Oxford
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E
Perished instead of published
Australia
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Sarp Kargi
Welp, I hope round 2 of undergrad works and this plot goes unused..
Manchester, UK
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CMT
I finally get benefits, vacation, and can pay my bills.
Somewhere I chose to live, not where academia had a job.
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AOK
Scholarships all cut to pay public debt interest and praise neoliberals
Brazil
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AAH
To be true is to be free
Seattle, WA
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M.
Find a project you love and you'll work really fucking hard and then burn out.
Brighton, UK.
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Dead and dying
Death by UGC's apathy
Hyderabad
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NJM
I chose career stability and sanity over endless adjuncting.
Seattle, WA
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anon
15 years service, fired over MS Teams
UK
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M
Derailed off the tenure track
North Carolina
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SG
Believed in meritocracy, killed by neoliberalism
UK
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CG, PhD
She discovered only male academics were allowed to have families
VA, USA
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Dropout
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Visiting Faculty
🌹 πŸ₯€
Unemployed
🌹
Dead End Job
πŸ‚
Tenure Denied
🌹
Grad Student Worker
πŸ’
Grad Student Worker
πŸ‚
Former Academic
🌺
Contract Expired
πŸ‚
Contract Expired
πŸ’ 🌺
Former Academic
πŸ₯€
Former Academic
🌹
Fatally Exhausted
🌹 πŸ₯€
Former Academic
🌺 πŸ‚
Occupational Injury
🌺 🌺
Visiting Faculty
🌹
Former Academic
πŸ‚ 🌺
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Attrition
πŸ‚
Adjunct
πŸ₯€ 🌺
Toxic Workplace
πŸ‚ 🌺
Grad Student Worker
πŸ‚
Adjunct
πŸ’
Tenure Denied
πŸ‚
Former Academic
πŸ’ πŸ’
Faced Structural Violence
🌹
Tenure Denied
πŸ’ 🌺
Attrition
🌹
Contract Expired
πŸ‚
Toxic Workplace
πŸ’ πŸ’
Dead End Job
🌹
Visiting Faculty
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
Former Academic
🌺
Fatally Exhausted
🌺 πŸ‚
Fatally Exhausted
🌹 πŸ’
Faced Structural Violence
🌺
Former Academic
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Attrition
πŸ’
Occupational Injury
πŸ‚ 🌺
Tenure Denied
🌹 πŸ’
Adjunct
πŸ‚
Former Academic
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Former Academic
πŸ’ 🌹
Dead End Job
πŸ‚ πŸ’
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ₯€
Occupational Injury
πŸ₯€
Dropout
πŸ’
Unemployed
🌹 🌺
Unemployed
🌹 πŸ’
Former Academic
πŸ‚ 🌺
Dropout
πŸ’ πŸ₯€
Contract Expired
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
Former Academic
πŸ₯€
Toxic Workplace
🌹
Former Academic
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Adjunct
🌺 πŸ’
Grad Student Worker
🌹 🌺
Dropout
🌺 πŸ₯€
Toxic Workplace
πŸ’ 🌹
Fatally Exhausted
🌹 🌺
Dead End Job
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Attrition
🌺
Visiting Faculty
🌹 πŸ’
Former Academic
🌺
Former Academic
πŸ₯€ 🌺
Unemployed
πŸ’ πŸ₯€
Former Academic
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Occupational Injury
🌹 🌺