Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Receipts

I was just getting my APA receipts organized. I'll submit them next week to my University, and in due course I'll get reimbursed for nearly every dollar I spent on the APA Eastern. But I have to say that the grand sum is pretty staggering, considering what one gets in return.

Unless one happens to live close enough to DC to not need to fly, the cost for most of getting to the conference and staying in the conference hotel has to be roughly $1000. How do graduate students and non-TT slave-wage earners who don't live on the East Coast afford it?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a huge issue. I'm on the West Coast. It costs me a painful amount of money. As a VAP, I get nowhere enough money to be able to afford this regularly. I take it to be an unconscionable "regionalist" bias against anyone not on the East Coast. Given that job market stuff is so important to the Eastern APA, this is bad. Bad bad bad.

There's so much talk about changing the dates of the APA, but I don't think that's the solution to anything, really. Instead, the three APA meetings should rotate locations. Let the "Winter APA" be on the East Coast one year, Central the next, Pacific the third. Let the "Spring APA" do the same.

I take this issue more and more seriously, the more and more I go in debt just to get to job interviews on the other side of the country every year.

Anonymous said...

When I went in 2007 as a starving graduate student I figured the financial cost as more than I made in a month as a graduate teaching associate or about two months worth of rent. I also had the fun choice many of us had at that time of year between going to APA or going home for the yearly visit to see the family.

It really is disappointing how our "profession" handles the job market. I guess they want evidence, up front, that one is willing to sacrifice anything to get the job.

Anonymous said...

I shared a room, and I stayed around the corner, at the Omni. So my total room cost was under $200 for the three nights. I just brought some oranges in for breakfast, grabbed a cheapish lunch across the street, and bought a burrito from Chipotle for dinner, so my food costs came to about $50. I do live on the east coast, so although I flew (it would have cost *more* to drive on my own, including gas and wear on my car) it wasn't very expensive (Southwest to BWI). The whole shebang set me back less than $500. Not cheap, but 'sacrifice everything' seems a little over-dramatic.

Flying from LA instead of from my east coast city would have cost me about $170 more, by the way. So, living on the west coast costs you an extra $170. Hey, that's a whole lot less than my heating bill this winter -- what an unconscionable anti-northeast bias!

Anonymous said...

I also had the fun choice many of us had at that time of year between going to APA or going home for the yearly visit to see the family.

I'm glad to see this acknowledged. For those who are on the market year after year, not being able to visit one's family during the holidays becomes a regular thing. For me at least, that's a greater cost than the no doubt significant financial strain of attending the Eastern APA.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:25: do you and your roommates wanna share a room with me and my kids next year?

Glaucon said...

A thousand bucks? Sheesh! I spent at least that much on new sport coats, only to have them stolen by two douchebag muggers who escaped into the elevator. I wonder what happened to them...

Anonymous said...

For those who are on the market year after year, not being able to visit one's family during the holidays becomes a regular thing.

From my perspective, this aspect nearly makes up for not getting a job several years in a row.

Anonymous said...

I spent about a month's salary on my trip, and that's staying at the Omni rather than the conference hotel. It gutted our Christmas, forced me to part with some personally cherished possessions, AND ate my trip to see my family.

The amount of money that this process required from grad students seeking jobs is unconscionable and, further, has no equal in the private sector (in my experience). I worked in the private sector for a decade before coming to academia and know of no other profession that would find it even remotely acceptable to force hopeful, new professionals to spend such an exorbitant amount just to attend some interviews.

I should note that I attempted to make this point exactly in a discussion on the subject over at Leiter Reports, only to have my comment deleted by The Man Himself, who sent me an email dismissing my concerns with the airy observation that "many professions impose financial burdens on job seekers." Financial burdens, perhaps, but COMPARABLE financial burdens? No way, which was my point precisely.
The financial burden imposed by the interview process could easily disqualify students without upper middle class families or relatively well-paying stipends to help them out, a fact that only exacerbates the lack of diversity in philosophy (aside from just being a shitty thing simplicter).

Anonymous said...

yeah, and the exiting director, David Schrader, though he can't be bothered to get the APA website sorted out or even address a fraction of the mess he's allowed the APA to slide into, still has time to swan around the smoker and defend its existence to an IHE reporter. What a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Oh joy, now PhilAnon has turned into the Smoker.
I'll come back in a week or two.

Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to Schrader's birthday this year...

Anonymous said...

I flew to NY for one APA interview a year or two ago. The interview lasted 20 minutes. The trip cost $600.

I was working as an adjunct and got no financial support from my school.

Anonymous said...

The comment at 8:23 says that the exiting director attended the smoker. If the new director attends next year, perhaps a group of job seekers should corner him and present him with a list of grievances.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the faculty who teach in graduate programs pushed to get departments to fund graduate students instead of faculty?

But that's just crazy talk, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

The most effective pressure to change the hiring system is on departments, not the APA. It was good to see that more and more departments are opting for Skype and skipping APA screenings.

Some of the pressure on departments actually seems to be fiscal problems funding their search committee to get to the meetings, but I suspect many also are aware of this problem for applicants.

So, be optimistic that this trend continues for next year.

Anonymous said...

TO: 1:38: If you are seeking a job with the federal government, you will have to pay all your own interview travel expenses to the location of the job. In addition, you will have to pay your own moving expenses for that first job. Most academic departments will pay some or all of your moving expenses if you get the job. So, it could be worse. (You can thank Congress for these rules.)

(There are a few exceptions in the federal government for hard-to-fill positions, but not many.)