Oct 10, 2010, 12:46 PM
Post #1003 of 1018
My point was that private-sector jobs are no longer 40 hour/week jobs, and if TAs weren't being paid and getting health insurance and tuition remission from universities they'd be in the private sector working more than 40 hours/week. That makes university jobs look pretty cushy, as you yourself seem to intimate in noting that no one ever has to work late in such a job. As to whether TAs stay late, I'd say even the most hard-driving TAs I've ever seen wouldn't dare to claim they work more than 25 hours/week on a 2/2, or much less on a 1/1.
The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States
[In reply to]
I see your point about adding in classes, writing, and studying, but in fact that then skews your calculations--as the value of the degree that studying earns a student is, in pecuniary terms, about $20,000/year over one's lifetime, or about $800,000 between the ages of 25 and 65. So the value of what the university is giving a student/TA is not just the tuition remission, or the stipend, or the health insurance--which I also didn't factor into the value TAs are getting!--nor the job security, which can't be quantified, nor the relative lack of stress (the health problems public defenders develop, physically and substance-abuse-wise and mental-health-wise, are not those of TAs), nor even the teaching experience, which surely leads to a higher-paying job later on (and one more likely to be in the area the individual wants to live in), but the value of the degree itself in terms of future earnings. The point I think we're both seeing is that this is a "relationship" both student/TA and university benefit enormously from, and that students wouldn't keep going to MFA programs rather than working 60 hours/week in a construction job if they thought otherwise.
But Anis's "apprenticeship" model is absurd because he's using what is primarily a pedagogical term to completely misstate how MFA programs work pedagogy-wise--and Pongo, low-res programs are a different beast altogether pedagogy-wise--and then he's glossing over the fact that the economic valence of the term "apprentice" simply doesn't apply to MFA students whatsoever.