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 :)
5 years ago