Archive for August 18th, 2009

Based on my publication record I think it is safe to say that nobody who doesn’t already know me would recognize my name from my work.  This has never posed a problem at conferences when people tag check me because, until now, every time I’ve attended an academic conference my nametag has carried the name of a school with a top-25 sociology program.  This year at ASA, however, instead of a nametag that said, “John Smith, Top-25 Program,” I had one that said “John Smith, SLAC You’ve Never Heard Of.”

I don’t mean to diminish the novelty of being affiliated with an institution of higher learning that is going to pay me with actual money.  I am happy to be affiliated with SLAC You’ve Never Heard Of, as the multitudes of people I showed my faculty ID can affirm.  Rather, what this experience made clear to me is that my reputation is now in my own hands.  People will no longer smile approvingly when they see Top-25 Program on my nametag.  If they smile approvingly it is going to be because they know me, they’re drunk, or they’ve read my work and it didn’t suck.  If the pressure of making a name for myself wasn’t enough, I also realized that because they have no prior knowledge, people will likely be judging SLAC You’ve Never Heard Of based on my work.  So much for a taking a break after finishing my dissertation.

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