Saturday, October 29, 2011

the 12-step program for academic success!

Back in grad school, I wrote this satire, mainly as a response to some rather overly careerist behavior I witnessed. I'll post one step per day for the next, let's see, how about twelve days? I won't change name or dates, because there are no innocents, and some of this stuff is clearly dated (for instance, the antiquated references to something they used to call the philosophy "job market").

Without further ado,

The 12-Step Program for Academic Success
Step One:
Writing A Grant Proposal

The following example should give you some ideas:

Chris Nagel
Philosophy Department
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh PA 15282

Chair, Grants Committee
National Endowment for the Humanities
Washington DC 20031
May 5, 1995

To the Chair of the Grants Committee:

Enclosed please find the text of my grant proposal to study "Phone Sex Lines in the Postmodern Context."

My research work will fill a gap in the body of our understanding of sexuality. It's hard to get good, hot information from the usual sources, since phone sex is spreading so far so fast. We can only get what we need orally. In my work, I will push and push for more and more clarity. I am already thrusting into the field, but I crave the chance to mount a more systematic study.

I know the NEH has a reputation for being quite stiff. But I'm sure you will feel the pressing nature of my work. You can give me the tools I need to touch the depths of telephone relations. Then it will be my job to reveal the naked truth.

Thank you very much,

Chris Nagel

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