Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Morning

Ugh. I'm in the mood to write this morning, but I don't really have any material, if that makes any sense. I'm just exhausted from the week, I'm procrastinating about grading some quizzes that I've got to return this morning, and I'm feeling both disgruntled and stressed out.

Disgruntlement (and no, I'm not sure if that's actually a word)
I think that going on the market this year has made me a disgruntled employee. Not that I thought my job was all sunshine and roses before I did this, but going on the market, with the way that it requires you to get excited about other jobs in order to perform well, has kind of forced me to pick some nits related to my current situation. I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing, as in the long run, I think it's good if I stay here not to be mystified about exactly what this place is. That said, I fear that I'm expressing more disgruntlement than is wise because deep down I'm allowing myself to believe that I'm going to get another job, which is a really fucked up thing to allow myself to believe, even though believing that really is probably necessary to doing well at this final stage of the game. I won't get into all of the reasons why I'm disgruntled with my current job, but suffice it to say that I feel like any institution of higher education that uses the words "revenue neutral" and tries to pretend that those words don't mean "hey faculty, you realize that you're getting fucked over, right?" is a pretty sinister place. Oh, and in doing my taxes I allowed myself to realize that I'm actually earning LESS money now (even with my shitty raises) because of the huge increases that my institution has instituted in things like parking fees and insurance. Which makes me pretty disgruntled, you know?

Stressed Out
There is one particular thing that is generating a lot of stress, which is resulting in weird dreams that freak me out and some major exhaustion. The thing that is generating a lot of stress will happen very soon, and it will involve:

a. travel (which I hate)
b. teaching a class to a bunch of students whom I don't know
c. giving a talk to a bunch of colleagues I don't really know
d. meeting with various administrators
e. leaving my cat for 3 days
f. wearing a suit
g. having to be charming for three days
h. did I mention that I hate traveling? And that I particularly hate it when I have to be at the airport at 5 AM?
i. convincing myself that I really do understand the text that I will teach, even though it's not in my period or genre of specialization.
j. convincing myself that I'm not a total fraud as a scholar.
k. trusting somebody to care for the Man-Kitty, and I really don't like that at ALL.

The only things about the above situation that are not stressing me out are the fact that I've figured out what I'm doing to cover my classes when the above happens and that ultimately it doesn't really matter what happens because I do have a job. Except of course I'll be devastated if I make it this far and then can't close the deal, but I'm trying not to let that kind of negativity color my thinking.

I am also stressed out because while all of the angst of the above is preoccupying me, I've also got to deal with the following:
  • a review essay that is due in one month's time for a friend's book
  • wondering whether that editor will actually be interested in publishing my monograph
  • activities related to the not one but TWO searches that my department is running at the moment
  • grading approximately 60 papers over the next week
  • conference week with students in my writing class
  • revealing that I no longer want to do the quasi-admin position to the person who's the director of the program to which my quasi-admin position relates.
  • review proposals for my MLA panel (the deadline is 3/1 or 3/10 - I sent out two calls because the CFP list has been totally lame lately and I thought they just weren't going to send my first CFP, so then I sent another one because it had been three weeks since I submitted the first one, and then both of them came out within a week of each other. Note to CFP administrators: you really need to get your crap together so that doesn't happen.)
  • wonder whether I really have an interest in doing a collection out of the panel, and if so, wonder who would co-edit with me, because I really don't want to take on such a project on my own, I don't think.
  • read many novels that I've not read/taught for two years or more.
  • I don't even know what else.
So yeah. That's everything that's going on with me. I am disgruntled and stressed out. Not unhappy, just not exactly... relaxed. I can't wait until some of these things are no longer in play. I can't wait until summer.


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

When I travel I tend to divide the stuff I'm concerned about into before and after the trip. There are only so many things you can think about before you go, so focus on those now and after the distraction of the trip is over you can worry about the other stuff.

Also, Man-kitty will be fine.... really. He'll be irritated when you come home, but he can be self-sufficient until then.

Good luck with your interview!

Hilaire said...

Oh my goodness, that's such a lot of things to worry about. Yuck.

But good luck with the interview!

helenesch said...

Good luck! I tend to worry a lot before traveling (for work or pleasure, either way I still get stressed). But once all the packing and prepping is done, I find that I can relax.

One thing that's kind of cool about these interviews is that the folks interviewing you are often really interested in you, in your work, etc. That kind of attention can be a real ego boost. So try to bask in that... I'm sure you'll do well!

BrightStar said...

I hear you about most of what's stressing you out. I'm stressed about similar upcomming events. I hope all goes well for you. Also, I agree with the disgruntledness that arises with current situations as a result of job searching.

Tenured Radical said...

OK, but look at it this way -- I bet the search committee won't make you order a pizza.


AAYOR said...

The year before we left TinyTown I applied out and had a couple of interviews. I remember flying home from one and fantasizing about driving away from TinyTown, shaking my fist and yelling, "So long, Stinktown!" in the style of Homer J.

I didn't end up taking either job, and it was a year later when the whole job transfer ultimately pulled us out of TT, but I totally identify with the feeling of dissatisfaction that comes when you actually let yourself think about moving on.

Terri said...

when i read this it seems so familiar to me that i feel empathy stress for you. ugh. i get so nervous when i travel that i actually get some chemically smell going on when i sweat (TMI? probably).

anyway--you are the expert on the campus visit. go in thinking that you're job is to be exactly who you are (something you are totally prepared for all the time!) because you want them to hire the "real" you and not some sterilized, nervous version of you. does that make sense? but yes, it is stressful doing all that visit crap. just do your best to minimize it by thinking ahead and then letting go a bit.

i wish you the best. oh, and to give you one more thing to do: at some point could you decipher the medieval labyrinth of the MLA deadline schedule for the weary? I swear I've read it five times and still have no idea how, when, or to whom to send a damn abstract.