Academe's Creaky Foundation

One Academic Pilgrim's Progress 1

Douglas Paulin for The Chronicle Review

In her short story "How to Become a Writer," Lorrie Moore opens with some very funny advice: "First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/missionary. A movie star/kindergarten teacher. President of the World." It's what I'm increasingly tempted to say to students who talk about going on to grad school and teaching at a university.

I was recently asked to write about my experiences on the tenure track. The editor of the press wanted me to write a