Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A very delicate (frustrating, difficult, etc.) situation

I probably shouldn't be blogging this because I want to remain semi-anonymous, but since it's one of the biggest things in my head lately, it's just hard to avoid altogether.

When I accepted my current "position" I knew that there had been a search for a tt person which had failed (I did write about it pretty indignantly). I also knew there was going to be another search. Well... it's one thing to know something intellectually and to try to prepare for it (because I knew that I would have no chance whatsoever in such a search) and it's another, completely different thing, to live through the experience (in this case reading the ad). So, after I saw the ad last week I was depressed for a few days and felt discouraged and upset.

It's a nice, broad ad (unlike that now infamous ad that seems to discriminate against adjuncts), but I know that I need not/should not apply because I just wasted the past four years of my life by not conducting research and submitting stuff for publication. I never thought I would in fact regret that... and I don't, but who knew I'd be in this situation someday?

Another tough thing about this issue is that I simply cannot discuss it with my hubby, the tt professor. First, because he's a guy, a rational person who has little patience for my whiny ways and my feelings of inadequacy and second, because he DOES have the tt job & I don't, so, yeah... tough stuff.

K says, mostly correctly, that "it's all vanity..." (wanting/having a tt job) ... all the publishing and service, etc... a lot of it is just to "show off," not necessarily to help knowledge advance. Oh, and there's the detail of the higher salary... hmmm.... yeah, as if that weren't a fair reason already.

In any case, this is a disjointed post that I'm writing while really sleepy and juggling laundry and trying to plan for tomorrow.

What happened last week was that I felt dumb for not having prepared for the possibility of being able to apply for a tt job (that was never a priority for me because 1) yeah, I'm lazy & adhd and didn't feel motivated to pursue publications & stuff; 2) I was waiting for K to get a job so I'd know where we'd end up). And in this process all my insecurities came to the forefront. I know I have some strengths, but lots of weaknesses and thinking that I may not be tt material is devastating at times, "vanity" and all. ('cause it is vanity, but not only).

OK. I promise this is almost over. One of the most frustrating aspects of all this is that if I remain doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life ("under" a tt person), I will not really enjoy "the fruits of my labor." i.e. I'm teaching some pretty weak students in the upper level course right now and I'm thinking about how in a year my current students will be much better prepared to take the upper level class. Except that if I remain in this position I probably won't ever get to teach the upper level classes. And that thought sucks big time. 

I think K can understand that part of my angst. But we still can't talk about it much. That's why I need to blog about this. I need to process this information.

Last, but not least, I will try to talk to people in my department and  try to determine if I should even bother to apply. I think I should not, but if it won't hurt me (re. my future chance of continuing employed after applying), maybe I have nothing to lose? 

What would you do in a similar situation?? 

I have a feeling that those of you in academia would probably agree that it would be awkward to proceed. Even if students love me and that right now I'm the only person in my area they have. BUT I AM ONLY AN ADJUNCT. Why would they care for me? (I need to blog more about this "position" and how clear the dept. has demarcated the line between US and them, all in a really nice way, feeding us lunch & stuff, yeah... Anastasia knows about these things, they happened to her a lot too). so, yeah... I can now cross out a line from that list/post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...not all your readers are in academia... whatever "tt" is (tenure track?) I hope you achieve it :)