Friday, April 17, 2015

Peace, Gone

Just like that! :-( I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it in a blog post that I was finally at peace with my work situation... Sigh...

A disclaimer: I know everything will be for the best in the end, whatever happens (or doesn't happen), but I still feel anxious, out of sorts, unsettled and many other feelings, including grieving in advance for what could change. I wish I could help feeling this way. Sigh... 

(Hopefully I'll feel better in a few days, but "peace" again only after it's all resolved).

I'm sorry for the "suspense," but I want to give some of the context & background for this and share some of the things that have recently transpired.

K and I have what's called in academic circles "the two body problem," i.e. we both have PhDs and it's very hard for the two of us to find permanent employment in the same university. This didn't really bother me as much as it bothered K and two years ago, when he found out that his doctoral advisor had moved back to India because of this very problem, he became very very worried.

Then just a month ago he received the news that his closest colleague who has an office next door to his and with whom he collaborates in research is leaving. He found another position at an university that will also hire his wife who just finished her law degree. This news send K for a few days on a slightly frantic search for possible positions for me (and even for him), just to see what kind of jobs were out there that we could maybe pursue in the future.

He actually momentarily considered applying for a position in California because the small university in question also had a position in my area. He had already been consulted to work there before, back in 2004 and in 2007. However, the ad for the position in my area was taken down, nobody responded to my emails, and while I fretted and "lost my peace" for a few days because of this crazy possibility of wo tenure-track positions for us, it died down.

Well, well, well! Last night I went to a talk and met with some colleagues afterwards. Then, suddenly one of them looked at me and had a sudden realization! Two weeks ago this tenured faculty person suddenly resigned and my friend was thinking that I could be the perfect person to replace this person! My friends "wildly" talked about having me go straight to the dean and do a cold call and gave some other suggestions.

When I got home I promptly went online to look for the faculty person that had left and I discovered that the department had already posted a job ad for a visiting professor to replace this person. This job is pretty much precisely in my area of doctoral work. However, it is for a one year non-renewable position in my husband's university (where I have already been teaching language for five years). 

The conclusion? There is no way I cannot apply for this job. No way! It's a risky proposition, but it is also a chance to maybe get a permanent job in the future. It's a very "iffy" chance, however, because they will obviously do a search for a tenure-track person next year, and I have a strong feeling that they will not want to hire their temporary visiting professor for that position.

Sigh... What would you do if you were in my situation? I have decided to apply, but I am risking losing everything pretty much in this "gamble!" At the end of this year U#2 (who will have to scramble to replace me last minute) Will probably not be back, and they will have to beg around U#1 to let me continue in a full-time position.

Important note: my husband's university is pretty notorious for not doing a good job in spousal hiring for faculty retention.

Well, now you know what's going on. I'll keep you posted!


Jamie said...

Praying for you!

Heidi said...

I'm glad you're going to apply. Since, if I remember right, you only have a one-year contract at this point anyway, I don't really think it's a "gamble", but more of an opening up of options, and hopefully being able to choose the better of two one-year contracts.