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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Waits


This time next year I will be Dr. Waits.

You hoes are about to be SICK of me.

As many of my avid readers know - I have had an incredibly traumatic PhD experience both because of and not because of my university. It isn’t until just now that my colleagues and myself have even had time to process that we are in fact writing these long term large scaled projects that will now come into fruition. So much of this process is explaining over and over and over and over and over again why you are even doing the shit. “What will this project bring to the world?” I don't know why are you depressed working for a department that historically screws over people of color? Why are we being held to these old ass standards of ‘rigor’ that include working past our physical and mental capacities? How is it humanly possible to prioritize a writing project over feeding yourself or your family? ALL of us except the international students have full time jobs and it’s only because the US is xenophobic that my international classmates don’t have additional 9 - 5s.

This summer all our 6th year students were assed out for funding. The department basically said they ran out of money. So we have all these people running around and trying to find funding so they can pay rent and then something so stupid happens. I am assigned TWO jobs within my apartment. I was basically double booked. Booting one of those 6th years out in order to fill the spot. I am finishing a DJ gig on campus and heading back to Detroit when I check my email. Twenty students have emailed me irate that I “missed the first day.” I email my higher ups to show them I had declined the teaching gig back in June and accepted a second fellowship at the same time. It’s also illegal for me to have two jobs so I wanted it to be clear I wouldn’t be taken on the responsibility. That was about 5 days ago - and no I have not received an email from the teaching coordinator yet. They emailed all of the grad students at 7PM the night before the next class to ask someone to show up the NEXT MORNING at 11AM. THESE are the people who are entrusted with our education. Not to mention that it was communicated to my students (without me knowing) that I had “other responsibilities” and that there would be a new teacher GUARANTEED. But emailing people the NIGHT BEFORE when I sent an email almost immediately and avoiding my email.

I finished my first day in my last class for my PhD and that was even more irrelevant than the administrators who do nothing and avoid accountability. We went over 50 word blurbs y’all. I’m trying to get a salaried position in education administration not on the tenure track and we are over here reading alternative text captions. I’ve blocked so much of this shitshow out I forgot about the majority of my white classmates. Y’all are still here too huh? And yes they proceeded to add the most unnecessary points in class. And YES they all do work around Black and Brown people…the jokes write themselves.

So for this last year I want a job. I want to never have to speak or see the majority of these people again. And I want to center my art projects and job search over my dissertation project. My photography, films, creative writings, and philanthropic writings are way more interesting than ANYTHING going on in the ivory tower, no shade. The reality of this though will probably include lots of time alone and in seclusion. I’ll spend this year manifesting, dreaming, and searching for that dream job. I’ll work on enjoying my first year married. I’ll read books I like. And I’ll eat whatever the hell I want. I’m taking trips for fun. And I’m writing shit that makes me happy!

Fuck this class. Fuck the rules. And fuck feeling like shit. This year will go my way. I’ll make sure of it.

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