I’m Done With Academics & Academia

this is my actual main Tumblr acct; there’s another one but it’s just for Medium articles that gain no traction

In the spirit of concealing the identities of the two PhD social psychology holders who share a name, I’ll just say that only one of them was the final straw for me. The other is just kind of, whiny and pathetic. This works because they’re both whiny, and both could’ve been the final straw for me.

I think a mutual on Twitter said it best, a lot of professors don’t like to be challenged and want to feel superior to their students. I did a no-no and still continued to cyberstalk one of the people in question, not because I’m infatuated with them…but because I needed tips to get published. I need MONEY, I’m BROKE and anything I could do to remedy that would be a step in the right direction. I don’t like this person anymore, in fact, I hate them now; the other is just whiny and pathetic to me (don’t hate them).

But that wouldn’t have been the final straw if it hadn’t been for another event that happened on April 11, 2022.

By the time you read this, it’ll be long past the moment I wrote it. I have a lot of stuff to do now, and then; and being re-traumatized by my academic trauma is the very last thing I need.

The other event that happened was a Dean’s ceremony to congratulate every student that had been awarded a scholarship. I received one, I applied for a LOT of scholarships to get there; A friend of mine also received a scholarship. This isn’t a big deal, I’m genuinely happy when a friend does well (even if they surpass me along the way); I had lots of other friends and classmates receive scholarships that day, people that needed them. But, my friend let me in on a secret when I asked him how many he applied for, he didn’t apply for ANY scholarship. None, he told me he got an email and that was it; In fact, he was playing video games at the time he got it too.

A White Cisgender Male got a scholarship without applying, and I applied to at least 10+ to get just one. Like, what a load of shit this system is.

And then, an academic that I don’t even like, blocked me from asking a question on Reddit about whether or not THEIR upcoming book addresses some genuine questions I have. And then they blocked me on any other social media platform they could find me in, and the question didn’t get answered BTW…at their AMA.

I’ve been yelled at, scolded, been called outright stupid by academics; been told that I don’t know what I’m talking about when I challenge their views. I’ve been ignored, looked over, and even told to wait because of my male privilege. Well, I’m done. I’m done done with academia. If this article is the one that doesn’t get me an academic job, well…life goes on.

Currently, there’s a teacher shortage in Texas, and I’m going to apply for substitute teacher positions (I am, after all, still broke and need money). But these will be the LAST positions I apply for now, sorry y’all but I can’t deal with the level of office politics academia has. Y’all can keep it.

If any of my friends who are teachers are reading this, sorry…but it is what it is. Y’all are on y’alls own, I know it’s been that way for a long time…sorry but you’re gonna have to suck it up buttercup. That’s what your colleagues have been telling me to do since I was 6 or 7 years old.

I could go on and on about how in the first grade the teacher I had looked at me with contempt first, and only started to be nice to me once my mom said “we can always just put him in another classroom”. But, that’s probably something I’ll have to get over by myself.

Laziness does exist PROFESSOR, and academics seem to be the first ones to be guilty of it. Everything I have is because I had to work hard, and I don’t regret that one bit. Hard work got me ahead, most academics in my life DIDN’T. I deal with a LOT of family politics in my life, even in my daily life sometimes; and it is EXHAUSTING. I don’t need another setting to have to play those styles of cutthroat politics…I just…DON’T.

If you don’t want to do hard work, that’s fine but don’t pretend to know what it’s like to do actual hard work. Don’t pretend that your hours on the internet are the same as to what the ACTUAL working class does. You’re not one of us, even if you were one of us in the past, you’re not anymore. The world you perpetuate is not the same one others have had in the past, maybe for some school was a safe haven…but people like you didn’t make it a safe haven for people like me.

If academics want to keep people like me out, then they can keep their setting the way it is, that’s obviously what most want; they don’t want to change things for others, they want things to change for them first. So they can change things on their own if they want to be gatekeepers of their precious profession.

Keep it, just keep it.

I’m tired, I have work to do. Work that I LIKE to do. And I don’t need this, I haven’t needed academia teet since I left for the United States Marine Corps at age 17. And the USMC was hell, but it was better than what I had already dealt with. I am a non-binary man, who still presents as mostly male, so I didn’t get assaulted; I had heard of some who did, but it wasn’t me. I took the lessons academics had already given me.

And those lessons were:

  1. Keep your head down and do what’s expected of you and you’ll be ok
  2. Don’t challenge the person who has more rank than you, they don’t like it and they’ll make your life hell if you do.
  3. Drill Instructors are like Professors who yell louder, just do what you’re told and everything will be ok.
  4. Lie to them if you have to. You don’t have to deal with them forever.
  5. Get good at something they like to see; rinse and repeat.

I know some teachers reading this think the system is better than those lessons I learned, that were ingrained in me by the public school system. But the hard truth is, that almost all the American school systems (public or private) will at some point teach these lessons to their students.

Smart students will pick up on the contempt you have for teaching and for how many students teachers have to deal with. The biggest problem is that they won’t be emotionally mature to handle the information they discover on their own. Is it the tone of your voice? Your social media accounts? Is it the way you dress? What about the book you just wrote that they don’t feel like reading? Is it your insane bravado that you feel is necessary for the job? Or is it simply, that you just assumed you knew better about what they were feeling better than they did?

Kids, and students, aren’t stupid by default; Maybe, maybe it’s just you that doesn’t know how to communicate with them. Did you ever think of that? Or did you just shut out another student?

Good luck with the teacher shortage Texas, you’re gonna need it.

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E. I. D. Esqueda

E. I. D. Esqueda

Writer/poet for hire and fighting game enthusiast. I’m a neurodivergent queer who is also a military veteran. I write about politics & culture sometimes.