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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


I had a hunch this might happen

The grad program that kicked me out is now begging me to come back and teach this summer. They cannot find anyone to teach the class I typically teach for them, so they need me.

"Hi Shrinky,

I don't know if you are still around, so I hope you get his message. I still have not found a teacher for psychology of xxx for this summer. I know you are not part of our graduate program now, but you could still teach the course. Any chance you are interested?

Department chair"

I'm "not a part" of the grad program? You fuckwads kicked me out! Right before Christmas!

So, let me get this straight - I am good enough (and skilled enough in a unique area) to teach for you, but not to get a PhD from your program? Bite me.

Frankly, I feel like pointing out to them the ridiculousness of this. I was kicked out of a program after dedicating years and years to it - I was totally screwed over - and now they want me to teach?

On the other hand, I wish I had a job so I could just turn them down - but to some extent (if I don't get the job for which I am interviewing) I could really use the money. But classes begin next week, so there is no way (phew). But, how do I turn them down? I don't want to just say, "Oh sorry, I'm busy teaching elsewhere." Because I don't want them to think it is just a scheduling issue - but on the other hand, I don't want to say anything that could get back to my advisor and cause her to give me a bad rec.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger Clio Bluestocking said...

Maybe give a little laugh and say "thank you; but no thank you."

Still, they deserve a "bite me!" and a double bird, if you know what I mean.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

I keep wondering how desperate they might be. Like if I sent back an email saying, "Gee thanks for thinking of me, but the only way I'd come back is if you let me finish the PhD" - if that might do anything. Because the more I think about it, the more I think that is the only way I'd do it. And for fuck's sake - if they supported my last diss proposal, I could do a dissertation in just a couple of months - the cost to them would be negligible. I hate them.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I right in thinking that you were kicked out by email, not interview or letter? Would it help to ensure the chair knows about the unofficial (and involuntary) nature of your departure? Could they convert the kicking-out to a suspension or something?

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous schoolsmelt said...

I think your first impulse is correct - make your teaching contingent upon your non-negotiable return to the program. If not, so sorry - but clearly it would reflect poorly on the program for you to teach where you were asked to leave as a student.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

Here's the crazy thing:

I just talked to the assistant chair (who called me at home), and she had no idea what had happened. How crazy is that? Wouldn't you assume that certain channels would have to be gone through before a student could be kicked out? She was very nice and supportive - she has always been a great presence in my life, and a great person. But honestly, it is crazy to me that the administration were not consulted before such an action was taken.

And yes, kicked out via email. But, I wouldn't ever do anything unpolitical (like telling the chair how it happened) because my ex-advisor is the golden child of the department, and I am working hard to ensure I am careful about everything and to ensure I continue to get good recs from her.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Clio Bluestocking said...

Did you ever receive anything in writing about this dismissal? Something smells fishy about this whole thing, because there are proper procedures to follow and paper trails to create in dismissing a grad student, and they seem not to have done that. You might want to go to the dean of the college, or the student affairs office to find out what is supposed to happen and compare it to what did happen. (Also, you may find that you have more allies along the way than you know.)

But, aside from all of that, there must be a way to word a letter to them to indicate some negotiating terms in regard to the teaching. Something like "I don't feel that it would be ethical for me to accept a teaching position in your school since my work was deemed unacceptable in your program" or something like that (maybe a bit more diplomatic).

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Seeking Solace said...

"I don't feel that it would be ethical for me to accept a teaching position in your school since my work was deemed unacceptable in your program".

That is exactly what I would say to them! See if they take the bait in letting you back in. I wouldn't go back unless they let me back into the program and any mention of any dismisal is removed from my record.

I think the way they let you go was fishy! I wonder if there isn't something going on behind the scenes!

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Lina said...

Seeking Solace is bang on with her advice, I reckon.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

WTF?! Yes, tell them only if you're allowed back in the program! How freakin' rude and ignorant of them - how dare they?

I'm shaking my head. I can't get over that!

At 6:48 PM, Blogger StyleyGeek said...

I think that Clio Bluestocking's reply is spot on.

"I don't feel that it would be ethical for me to accept a teaching position in your school since my work was deemed unacceptable in your program".


At 7:13 PM, Blogger k8 said...

That takes gall. I'd chat more with that assistant chair. If they didn't actually formally kick you out, you might have recourse either within the department or withing the university. It doesn't sound like they (whoever they are) behaved ethically, and they might not have followed the appropriate procedures. And if this is an opportunity to return, and if you really want to return, take it. If you don't want to return to this program, you might have an ally in this assistant chair who could help you transition to a different program.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger susan said...

I think the "it wouldn't really be ethical...." response is a great one if you want to say no to the job more than yes; chatting more with the asst. chair seems better if you want to use the offer as a way to explore the possibility of them letting you back in. It sounds like there well might be more support from you than you knew....this is definitely one weird program.

At 3:14 AM, Blogger Bella Sultane said...

That is seriously messed up. And nervy!

I agree with the "it wouldn't really be ethical...." response, too!

I mean, really, what are they thinking?!

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Oh the possibilities...

If you want to come back, something like, "Considering the way I was dismissed, I don't think I'd be in the proper frame of mind to teach at Uni. Were I reinstated, I'm sure I'd feel differently and I would be happy to fill the course for you."

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Breena Ronan said...

How can you expect to get good recommendations from someone who kicked you out of the program? I think you have little to lose by being honest.

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