Conferences · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (#APSA2017 edition)

  1. You are praying there isn’t an earthquake/tornado/fire/hurricane/swarm of locusts in San Francisco next weekend, because everyone knows APSA is cursed.
  2. You are still frantically writing the second paper you’re presenting (why did you commit to 2 papers?!) and are still laughing at APSA for demanding you upload it last month.
  3. You bemoan, for the 57th time, why the f*#& we have a major conference on Labor Day weekend right after the semester has started. (Thank God we know how to petition to change that shit.)
  4. You are wondering if you can squeeze in a trip up to Napa while you’re there, and how you could word it that so your institution will pay for the rental car.
  5. You are looking forward to seeing your friends- the ones that could afford the million dollars it takes to conference in San Francisco, that is.

party time

Departmental Politics · Hilarious But True · Nature of Academia · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

If Job Talks Were Honest…

During the Skype Interview…

Interviewer: So, tell us why you applied for this job.

Candidate: LOL, are you kidding? I applied for every single job on the market right now. Even ones I’m not remotely qualified for.  You’re my third Skype interview this month. I will literally take anything at this point.

On-Campus Introductions…

Faculty Member: Do you have any questions for me?

Candidate: I went online and found your name and one research project you’ve worked on. I don’t care about you at all, but please tell me about that project so I can act interested and seem prepared.

At Interview…

Search Committee Chair: How do you feel about moving to this crappy city?

Candidate: Well, I would never move here in a million years, but tenure track jobs are impossible to find, so I’m going to use this as a stepping stone.

*interviewers nod and take notes*

Candidate: Also, I got divorced and want to get as far away from my ex as possible.

*audible impressed sounds from room*

During Job Talk…

Faculty Member: Tell us more about this project.

Candidate: It’s actually a failed chapter of my dissertation. The topic sounds sexy, but I will never revisit it once I have a job.

At Dinner…

Search Committee Member: Would you like red or white?

Candidate: Anything that can get me absurdly drunk, so that I can complain about my current department and regret everything at 4am.

*wine glasses clinking*

During Last Meeting…

Search Committee Chair: What’s your perspective on diversity, and how will you contribute to our mission of inclusion?

Candidate: I am a woman/minority/LGBTQ/not-old-white-man.

Search Committee: You’re hired!

Candidate: Excellent. I’ve just used this to negotiate a retention offer at my current institution. Thanks for the help!

You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (end-of-summer edition)

  1. You are desperately trying to gather the final data, run the last model, and/or corral your co-authors for your APSA paper(s). You almost certainly have not started writing yet (that’s for the plane ride).
  2. You haven’t taken a vacation yet, and you never will, because look away for five seconds with this administration and someone is sucking his own cock or entire departments are eliminated.
  3. You are trying to come up with ways to justify your summer binge watching of Game of Thrones. “I’m doing preliminary research on what happens when women take power in unstable regions that are facing natural disasters…”
  4. You are thinking about going on the market again… or maybe not… but you’d like to move somewhere nicer… but these ads are asking for the literal moon… hmmm let’s check Political Science Rumors… never mind, abort, abort.
  5. You have no idea what the fuck you’re going to teach this fall because norms are dead and


Hilarious But True · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (MPSA Edition)

  1. You always forget how pretty the ceilings are in the Palmer House, but you NEVER forget how slow the elevators are.
  2. The discussions on Poli Sci Rumors about the best hookers in Chicago no longer shock or surprise you.
  3. Your entire trip to Chicago is filled with back-to-back cocktail hours with grad school friends, co-authors, former coworkers, current coworkers, and other “networking” opportunities.   “Dry Second Half of April” is the Political Scientist version of “Dry January.”
  4. More than half of your events in #3 involve a woman and a man having drinks unsupervised. Mike Pence would not approve.
  5. And you’re officially a political scientist when you’ve graduated from starstruck grad student to confident scholar at the bar. Now you’re the one the grad students ask for career advice (while hitting on you).
Hilarious But True · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

On Political Science Rumors

Oh, Political Science Rumors.

I heard about you in grad school. You were whispered about by the other grad students- no one wants to be overheard talking about you- and I had to find you ASAP. A place where people in my exact position, my exact place in life, engage in gossip about jobs, journals, and senior scholars? Whoever gave birth to you was a genius.

And in our first days together, I was so in love. I compulsively checked in with you every morning, to see if a job I’d applied for was mentioned. You are where I find out about Michael LaCour, where I learned that supposedly Yale isn’t that good (it really isn’t), where I consoled myself after interviews gone bad. Even after I began my full time tenure track job, I still hit you up, because you can be a really good time!

But, as in all toxic relationships, the cracks that I had always known about but tried to pretend didn’t exist grew too large to ignore. You tend to spend a lot of time on Nazi talk. You are also extremely sexist, which is a big problem for me. A lot of your more terrible discussions end up deleted by the mods, but then your other friends complain about how aggressive and mean the mods are. It’s like the third most popular thing to post about (dear God, leave the poor mods alone- they’re doing this for FREE).

So even though I know you’re terrible, I just can’t close the door on you. If I have the time to sift through all your garbage, I can sometimes find a really useful thread I can totally relate to, because the exact same issue has occurred to me. I want to leave you for good, but then I remember the good times we used to have and I grow nostalgic. (This happens a lot after I’ve been drinking wine and grading papers, and want to know I’m not alone.) What if you’ve changed for the better? What if you teach me something new? I can’t miss that!


You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (part 4)

10. you see the hashtag “#SAS” and wonder why statistical software people keep talking about cruise ships (… oh wait, that’s Semester At Sea, got it)

11. an acquaintance says, “So what would actually happen if we get rid of NAFTA?” and you just can’t bring yourself to answer.

12. during the Student Conduct appeal you had to sit through, you find yourself referring to the full appeals panel as the “en banc session.”

13. you are having to rewrite all of your lectures this semester (scratch this section on judicial independence, oh and that section on presidential campaigning, and this lecture on states as unitary rational actors).

You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (President Trump’s First Week Style)

  1. You’re keeping a running tally of the American and international institutions that have been undermined, insulted, or simply shut down since Trump was sworn in (current count: at least 9).
  2. You compare the inaugural speech (#America, baby) to previous speeches and, using that prior, estimate executive orders that will be issued in the first 100 days.
  3. You think about how, in the current geopolitical climate, an inaugural parade with the president in open air is just asking for an assassination attempt- and what that might mean for the rule of law in the United States (probably not good things).
  4. You see all your colleagues at the Women’s March downtown (except the public choice guy).
  5. When you write about any or all of these observations on social media, some idiot pisses you off- not because he disagrees with you, but because he called what you do political “science.”
  6. You’re as scared about social science research funding as Trump is of that bald eagle (and actually having to run the country).