Well, I've been updating info on my little sidebar all about job applications over there (no, there, look on the right side), and I guess I'm going to have to add a new line of information: job searches I've already applied for that are now canceled. Sigh.
I may have to start seriously thinking about what sort of alternative plans I would consider. I've been talking with the kids a lot about what going to college is for and what they think about doing afterwards, and so I've been really thinking lately about the way work, and pay, and career, and vocation, and satisfaction all get connected up with each other, or don't. It's strange ---- the thought that your work that you get paid for should be somehow satisfying and fulfilling must be a very recent invention, and a very classed one. It's certainly not something that ever comes up in Dickens, say, or The Jungle. And yet it's something I have totally taken for granted as necessary, and that assumption, I think, is part of why so many bright undergrad English majors head off to grad school, after having had a college experience that is (and is supposed to be) deeply rewarding and fulfilling and full of personal growth. Perhaps we need to think more of how to prepare our students for thriving out in a world and a job that doesn't necessarily have those qualities. How to create them, perhaps, when they aren't already there.
I have some very sweet kids who want to someday write the Great American Novel, or, more terrifyingly, the Great American Poem. I keep telling them that if they really want to do that kind of work, they can't expect to get paid for it ---- that they should recognize they need to take some sort of job that will pay enough bills that they can concentrate on what they truly love, but that won't turn into its own career and suck up all their creative energy away from their vocation. Thinking about it, I realize that I've been insisting that intense ambition and secure pay and fulfillment and career progress must be all wrapped up in a single job, when I can so clearly see how on the creative or performance side that is a very limiting way of thinking about things. I guess now I need to consider if breaking these apart into separate aspects grants me any additional flexibility. And that would entail breaking apart and answering the question "what do I want to do" with much more specificity. Hmm. I'm going to have to do more mental chewing on this.
PS I did work on my revisions for an hour before posting this, so I'm not being a total reprobate with my Friday. Also, I hate tupperware, especially when it disgorges leftover soup all over my backpack. Grr.