Thursday, December 06, 2007

Well, I Suppose I Can At Least Stop Thinking about It

As I've mentioned, I've been looking at the stupid wiki a lot lately, which has been a ridiculous way to spend my time, but I think that anybody can forgive me, given the time of year and that I did have a handful of applications out this year. I'm only human, after all. Knowing that such a thing exists, well, it's difficult to look away. Slowly, I've been coming to think that I'm pretty much done for this job season, and from the looks of things this evening, yep, I think that's true. There's only one place I've applied where there seems to be absolutely no action yet, and I suspect I'll know about that (probably also via the wiki, honestly) by the 15th. Now, sure, it's possible that the wiki is filled with lies (though I don't think so) or that some of the SCs are calling people in waves or something (though that seems unlikely) or that I'm an alternate of some kind and will get some kind of 11th hour interview request, or that the hold-out will be into me and ask for an interview (even though nobody else has), but realistically, I'm out.

It's strange. There is a part of me that's disappointed, obviously. But then there's also a part of me that kind of expected that this might happen. And I can shoulda-coulda-woulda all I want, but you know, I'm not sure if I care enough to beat myself up in that particular way. I really believe that I've done as much as I could have possibly done given the constraints of my job. And so, there we are.

So, I need to focus on other things, which I've pretty much been doing anyway, but so really I need to put this behind me. And I really don't think I'll do the market again next year. I'm going up for tenure next year, and you know, I think I'm done with the looking elsewhere. Where I am is pretty ok, and if I decide that I want to be someplace else, I'd rather make that choice based not on the constraints of the academic job market but for personal reasons that are specific. I don't know what that would look like, but well, whatever it would look like, it wouldn't look like the process that I've been part of over the past couple of years.

It's hard, because well, my job is fine. My location? Well, in some ways it's fine but I also know I'm not terribly happy here personally. And I know I would like to be more satisfied than I am, but I think that in many respects I've not been sure how to achieve that outside of going on the market, which is pretty silly given how little control one has over one's role as an applicant. The thing in my life I'm most satisfied with is actually my job. I really do good work here, and I really *like* my work here and my students and my colleagues. So why exactly have I been going on the market if that's true? Well, because going on the market means being able to see other possible futures, and I'm not terribly satisfied with the options for my future here outside of work. But maybe I've been limited in my thinking. Maybe the job isn't the index through which one should perceive one's future. Especially as I don't care terribly about being a tenured faculty member. I mean, sure, if I stay here then I want that, but I don't feel like that defines me or that it should define me. And so, next year the book will come out, and that will be awesome and an achievement that I care about. And next year I'll get tenure, and that will give me a certain kind of security here, and that's nice, too. But those things aren't everything, and I feel more and more aware of that the longer that I'm in this profession.

The things that matter most to me in my job really do have to do with what I provide for my students and the work that I do to make my university the kind of university where I want to work. This isn't to discount the reasons that I gave a while ago about why I chose to go on the market - those reasons are still there - or to discount the things I said in another post about what kind of a job I'd like. But I'm thinking that maybe it will be possible to think about my life - with my career as a part of that - in a way that doesn't make finding another tenure-track job the only way to achieve the things that I want.

And so, on the bright side, this means that I will have one rocking MLA. Because you know what? Nothing's more fun than an MLA where one is *not* interviewing. And really, all I want to do at MLA is to socialize anyway, so those places that think I'm not cool enough for them? Well, clearly they don't know what they're missing :)


Nik said...

Wacky wacky wiki. Who knows how reliable? But I tend to side with you, it's pretty accurate. That said, I got a call today from a place that someone had noted both rejections and very late document requests.
But you're right--it doesn't really matter. The likelihood that one will apply to the one right job in the one right place and get that job seems very impossible. When I got this job, place wasn't the concern. Now that it is, I realize how very limited my mobility is. Getting a call is nice--it makes me believe in mobility but in the end, if I want real control over place, academia, or at least as you say, Tenure Track academia just might not work out.
Sorry to bogart my comments. I'd post this on my blog, but I do love many aspects of my job (and therefore don't want anyone to know I applied to even the 3 jobs I did apply for) and I don't really want to leave it. In some ways I think, if they could somehow up and move my department somewhere slightly more reasonable, I'd be happy.

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, you didn't bogart at all. And I agree - sometimes I think if I could just pick up my job and move it someplace else that would be exactly the thing!

Again, it's not impossible that something might happen late in the day, but I pretty much feel like it's very close to a done deal at this point, if not a done deal already. In many ways, I feel like it's actually a *good* thing and I do feel a sense of relief. Of course, that sense of relief could mean that I do then get an interview request :) Who the hell knows!

Nik said...

Bogart YOUR comments.
So here I will go bogarting them some more with my errata slips. That's what I'm writing for my AWP panel. How typos really are windows of opportunity....

Nik said...

For further bogarting:
BTW, the wiki appears to be down at the moment. Ack. What to do with my spare (ha) time?
That's one reason to go on the job market in perpetuity--the drama.

Maggie said...

I'm sorry it doesn't seem like things will work out for a move for you this yr, Crazy.

And I'm with both of you guys: I really like my school and love my department (finally): I just want it to be located somewhere else [sigh].

timna said...

this is somewhat ironic for me as I got the location and not the job I thought I wanted. interesting how this job has morphed into many things I wasn't expecting though it will never be about research. I love my job.

and what do I complain about? the damn location. it's a great metro area but the snow, how does one live for months with snow??

New Kid on the Hallway said...

My sympathies. Really. Only one place I've applied has had any action on the wiki, actually, but I'm pretty convinced nothing's going to come of any of my applications. Ah well. Your MLA will be awesome!

historyprof0 said...

I wasn't on the market (up for tenure, which is its own kind of drama-hell) but can I say that I kind of miss it? It felt weird not to be kicking into gear in the late summer and now I feel all the let-down of no phone calls without any of the hope that went with putting in the apps.

I am trying to come to terms with a good-enough job in a totally wrong place. We'll see how that goes, but I think if five years isn't enough to find one's niche, there might not be a niche to find.

Belle said...

The whole take my job and move it vibe speaks volumes. I also want to move my house, which makes it more interesting. And my mortgage, which is both fixed and reasonable. I simply want it in another country, or at the very least, another region.

That's not unreasonable, right?

Oso Raro said...

The wiki this year has been really weird. Seemingly, as its importance has risen, it also has attracted, through the chaos of the wiki form, either malicious editors or clueless ones. For instance, after reading this post, I went to access the wiki and now it is gone, the homepage blank. Is it down, or has it all just been deleted by a critic? When the black-listed and white-listed pages were renamed last week, whole discussion threads went missing. The academic wiki is a place of collective knowledge, so when parts of it (or the whole thing) go missing, then we do lose the time and energy of that collective knowledge.

It may be getting to the point, me thinks, where the wiki format is not doing justice to the increasing importance (and addiction, yes) of the site to academicians.

Karet said...

Those jerks! (I mean the ones at your home state school). I haven't heard about any interviews yet either. Sigh. But, this may be it for me ... it may be time to find another career in a real city.