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.