i’m not dropping out after all

I forgot about April Fool’s day. All week, I’ve been going on and on to my wife about how I was going to orchestrate a monumental prank on April Fool’s day–something like making a police car appear on top of the MIT dome, or making the statue of liberty disappear. But then my wife convinced me these weren’t great ideas, because they would require a lot more intelligence resources than I possess. So I settled for something more pedestrian, namely, pretending I was dropping out of academia because I’d gotten fed up with the poor hours and lack of M&Ms.

Well, while Google was busy renaming itself, and Andrew Gelman was disavowing any relationship with multilevel modeling, I dropped the ball and forgot to pull off my epic prank this morning. Turns out that may not have been such a bad thing: around noon, I found out that pretty much every other academic blogger on the planet had had exactly the same idea. Here’s Professor in Training:

After talking to my postdoc mentor last week, I’ve decided to resign from my position as assistant professor at Really Big U. Postdoc Mentor convinced me that I was a much better postdoc than I am PI and has generously offered me a place in his lab. He can’t afford to pay me as much as I was earning in his lab a couple of years ago and I won’t have my own computer or desk but I’m sure it’ll all work out for the best.

And here’s Prof-like Substance:

After all of the discussions how good postdoc life is and how teaching is sucking the life out of me I have decided to bail on this job and take a postdoc position in another country that I’ve always wanted to live in. My department and Dean are understandably upset and it took some time to make sure that all of my trainees can find PIs to work with so that they can finish their degrees, but sometimes you just have to do what’s right for yourself.

What the hell, people. Do we all share a brain? Are you all listening in on my conversations with my wife? Or is it just that all academics secretly harbor fantasies of dropping out in favor of a less stressful life featuring sunny beaches, cocktails, and afternoon sessions of Jai Alai?

Anyway, long story short, there won’t be an April Fool’s joke this year. I’ve decided to stay in academia. Just to be different.

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