I am totally blown away by the quality of “Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/. Typically these sort of teaching and learning centers seem to be staffed by people who have not experienced tons of academic success themselves and have reams and reams of well-meaning but essentially-contentless material. The Dartmouth site, in contrast, has “links to genuinely useful pages”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/ which include handouts on “time management”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/time.html, “reading effectively”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/reading.html, and yes, even “alcohol and sleep”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/stress.html. They even have “videos”:http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/videos/index.html on these topics which are cheesy and incredibly slow-paced for those of us whose idea of a good time is watching tankspot videos on YouTube but hey, they’re trying, right?
But what happens after you take a normal person and turn her into an anthropologist? The “Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education”:http://depts.washington.edu/cirgeweb/ issued a report a while back on “where anthropology Ph.D.s are five years after they finish”:http://depts.washington.edu/cirgeweb/c/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/anthro-final-03-11-08.pdf. The report has gotten some circulation before but I link it again here because it is the only study I can think of — outside of some cursory statistics from the AAA — about what happens to grad students when they finish.
The answer mirrors my intuitions pretty much: they adjunct for a couple of years, and then get academic jobs — although often not in anthropology departments. And of course they also go on to find jobs in other areas. What they don’t do, according to the report, is starve in an alley somewhere. This is a good reminder since sometimes the stories we tell ourselves of the hardships of grad students are really terrible and while terrible things do happen the entire thing is not, so far, as glum as we sometimes make it out.