Oct 10, 2010, 2:31 AM
Post #1000 of 1018
The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs in the United States
[In reply to]
Respectfully, if you think that's what the "placement" category means in the rankings, you didn't even read the section of the Methodology Article called, er, "Placement." That measure has absolutely nothing to do with faculty connections, as it has absolutely nothing to do with job searches, as you'll see if/when you read the article.
You quoted something I said--"There is virtually not a single accurate statement in that entire article"--and then replied, to that submission, "Oh, come on." That "opened the door" (as us counselors are wont to say) for me to prove to you that yes, in fact, Anis's article was replete with inaccuracies, and that saying "Oh, come on" to such a contention would be an insufficient reply in every respect. I can understand that you don't like me pointing out how shoddy the article is--as it would suggest that the parts you like are probably also, as it turns out, pretty shoddy too--but your comment invited the partial laundry-list I offered, you must see.
So: Where you live, TAs get $28,000 in value every nine months, which is a pro-rated value of more than $36,000/year. A 2/2 means about six hours in the classroom per week; figure one spends triple that time outside of class (not, actually, a reasonable presumption, as it's over-generous to your view) and we're looking at someone getting paid at the equivalent of a $36,000/year rate for working 24 hours a week. And in many instances we're talking about twenty-one year-olds with zero teaching experience making this kind of money. Then you're saying that the average full-time job where you work pays more (to wit, $38,000) than the average person over twenty-five with an Associate's Degree earns in the United States ($36,000), and that unlike everywhere else in this country a full-time job where you live still only requires 40 hours/week of work, though the last time this was true for most jobs was 1980.
You're then telling me that our hypothetical MFA-student twenty-one year-old working the equivalent of a 50%-full-time job and making more than the average full-time salary for someone with an Associate's Degree is "cheap" for a college or university because they cost "only" $50,000/nine months, or the equivalent of $67,000/twelve months, which is about the full-time salary for a person over 25 in the United States who has a doctorate ($69,000). And from all this, you conclude that the university TAship system is the same thing as a blacksmith in 1389 bringing in a ten year-old apprentice at the cost of two meager meals a day and a sleeping-spot in the barn?
The purpose of an MFA is actually not--in any way--"learning to do a job," as fewer than half of these so-called "apprentices" even have any interest whatsoever in ever teaching (the actual figure's about 40%), and even of those who'd like to eventually teach most know (nevertheless) that they never will. So yes, if I point out that one of Anis's inaccuracies, from his article, is that he claims, with absolutely zero proof, that "it's almost impossible to find" any poet or writer in America who doesn't work in the Academy, can you see why his untruths are expressly calibrated to support his outrageous analogy?
(This post was edited by umass76 on Oct 10, 2010, 2:32 AM)