Tuesday, December 11, 2012


In classical Greek, an idiôtês (ἰδιώτης) is a private individual, as opposed to someone acting in an official capacity as a member of a community.  From the unskilled or amateur actions of an ἰδιώτης comes the later sense we use in English.

Everything I post on this blog I do as an idiôtês;  sometimes, too, as an idiot.  When I vented my frustration with the way PhD programs are failing our graduate students, I made the mistake of trying to present my critique as satire.  I should have realized that people currently enduring the horrible stress of the academic job market might misread this as criticism of the job candidates.   No one should fault new PhDs for the impossible situation they find themselves in:  a better writer than I should still highlight how PhD programs in the humanities are failing their graduate students.

To any one who found my prior post in poor taste or offensive, I apologize.  Since comments can seem insignificant when buried beneath a post, I wanted to elevate this note to a post of its own.


Assma said...

commitment and desire for the position that the writer is applying for. Give ‘em a story! write your essay a reason to think that the writer is indeed right for the position. Motivate the reader to pick up the phone, or send that email to lineup that all-important interview.

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