photo challenge, 4

Something green:

The (mostly green) tools of a scholar/mama life.

* There’s one (really a few, but one big one) website where all of the next academic year’s English professor jobs – in the whole world – are listed, and it came out about a week ago. As I plan to defend my dissertation and graduate by either April or June, I am going on the job market this year: this is my list. It is more than possible that I won’t get a job this year. It often takes two to three years to find a good fit. Nevertheless, I will give this all I have. I will probably apply for about thirty jobs. The application process is a beastly one and involves tailoring multiple documents to each school.department.listing. For about the five millionth time, I am grateful to have an incredibly generous advisor. For about the fifty millionth time, I’m grateful to have loving, supportive friends, and a wife who will suffer the madness that will be this process with patience and lots of encouraging words. This is an exciting time, but it’s a daunting one too. I look at some of these jobs – especially the ones that feel like they’re written just for me – and my heart races. I don’t like the feeling of wanting something I’m unlikely to get; it makes me feel vaguely nauseated; I’m in no way a gambler. I would rather not want something until it’s close to being mine. Or better yet: until it’s mine. Coming off the heels of a long TTC process, it feels dangerous to head back into the territory of likely-unrequited desire. These are risks I’d rather not take. And I’ve never been good at this: ask J about the process of applying for PhD programs. I have loved every step of being a doctoral student (course work, teaching, qualifying exams, oral exams, prospectus drafting, dissertation drafting, and now editing), but I unravelled when I had to send cover letters and cvs and teaching philosophies out there to be judged by people I’ve never met over a cup of coffee. The distance – the lack of intimacy – pushes my buttons. In short: it’s taking a lot of work to talk myself up for this.

Here’s what it will consist of:

  • Round 1 – months of writing/applying/research about schools (all the while editing the dissertation and being a wife.mama.daughter.friend)
  • Round 2 – hopefully a handful of interviews at a conference in January
  • Round 3 – if I’m very lucky, one, two, or a few campus visits in the spring
  • Round 4 – if I’m profoundly, absurdly lucky, a job offer to start next fall (gods willing in a state where we would feel safe, in a place that could come to feel like home)

Some of the locations on our list so far: the Bronx, Manhattan, Amherst, MA, Amherst, NY, Nashville, Eau Claire, WI, Madison, WI, a couple of towns in New Jersey, a small town in Washington state, a town in Virginia, Boulder, CO, Austin, TX, Toronto, Saint Louis, another school in Massachussets, and a small city in Connecticut. Many of these are reaches for me, but you never know what committees will be drawn to. The first applications are due October 15th, so I’m (we’re) officially in it now.

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13 thoughts on “photo challenge, 4

  1. Rockem Sockem, Girlfriend! I believe in you 100%! Just break it down into tiny little morsels and do it to it. Here for (with) you!!!

  2. I hear you — W is “cycling” with you on the job-market front. The Ed jobs come out a bit later so she is just getting her feet wet with the Psyc ones, but its overwhelming for sure!

  3. I can only imagine how well-suited you’d be for any number of these positions. Hopefully the right one will realize it and hire you. I hate job hunting too though. I find it so hard to put myself out there like that.
    P.S. Toronto!!!

  4. You forgot to mention that the process lasts SIX to NINE months. I guess it is implied, but those months are such long ones. This is a time (like having/raising kids) that people who have been through the process have a lot to say, want to share too much, and freely give unsolicited opinions. Instead, I will just wish you (and your family — since you are all in it together) luck and fortitude and good health throughout the whole process.

  5. Love you and your good green tools :) And I relate to your words about the job journey — trying to open myself, too, to the vulnerability of this year.

  6. Well, I’m sorry to not see my fine state in your option list, but some of those sound like awesome places to live! Hopefully the search committees will see how great you are and you’ll work through that timeline as written!

  7. My wife and I are veterans (successful ones–happy endings DO exist) of the academic job market and it is brutal. She was able to get a job in her ABD year but I had three years in a row on the market. Two of them overlapped with our overly-long ttc process and can I just say that academic job hunting rejection and ttc rejection together is way too much?! So, you have all my sympathy and support as your embark on your searches. English is particularly griml, but we’re both in humanities and the market is beastly everywhere.

  8. Washington is a great state to be. And if the school you’re looking at is the one i think its an incredibly good place… One i think you could readily grow to love.

  9. Good luck! While Virginia is beautiful, I am surprised to see it on your list since their laws are not queer friendly. My partner is from there, and we often wonder if we’d be able to deal with that climate in order to be closer to her family.

  10. We’re at the same place, carreer-wise. I’m defending my thesis November 9th and have applied for one position. I found it sooooo hard to write applications, because of the same reasons you list (I know that people I meet often like me, but how can I get people that I haven’t met to also like me!?). Good luck-wishes (to both of us) from Sweden…

  11. GOOD luck! I’ve seen many friends go through this process and dipped my toe in it, myself, and I know it is a huge undertaking. Here’s hoping you get well-deserved interviews and offer(s) [in Washington State, hmm? :)] You can do this. You know that, of course, but still.

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