Friday, November 15, 2013

See You in Baltimore, Greenhorns?

A week from tomorrow you will be able to find me in the exhibitor's hall at the SBL/AAR annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. According to Le Donne's taxonomy of participants, I am primarily an "Observer." (I've also moved from regular participant to occasional observer in the biblioblogosphere, too, but you already knew that.)

I especially enjoy observing "Greenhorns" (like Joel and Jeremy, but especially Cliff) in all their wide-eyed idealism, basking in their fledgling exposure to academia, dreaming that one day they, too, will be respected scholars and tenured professors. I imagine they are the ones keeping the booksellers in business, too.

Perhaps I should have a booth in the exhibit hall where I could dispense free career advice to the master's students daydreaming over their future careers where "work" involves reading by the fireplace in an overstuffed leather chair. Ah, greenhorns, publishers need your purchases and schools need your enrollment and tuition, but they've run out of places for you to teach and make a living once you finish.

Most of my advice would be variations on what they can read for themselves at the following links:

If they think things might be different in Bible or Theology, I would point them to these 2012 posts from Peter Enns' blog:
If they insist on going forward with their plans (and the ones I talk to are unswayed by my cynicism), I'll recommend they head over to Wipf & Stock and buy Nijay's book: Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond.

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