Friday, May 10, 2013

What's up.

What is up? I actually have no clue.

No word back on the interview, which I had thought they said we'd hear back at the end of this week since my day was the last day of all ---- but then again, maybe they meant next week at the end of the week I'd hear back. Or maybe they are just behind on their schedule. No clue.

The semester is pretty much to bed, except for all those grade-complaint emails already in my inbox that I am ignoring. Now I have time to --- well, what the hell am I doing this summer? I still haven't figured out.

I need to prep for another interview trip. I signed up for Dame Eleanor's writing group and on Monday I am going to look at the R&R for Floyd. I'm going to ... start packing? I guess I can hold off at least until when I get back from the interview. But I promised that I would have an end date on the academic job search, and five years is definitely later than most people put in. The search committee looking for new postdocs got tons of applications this year for some reason, and 2010 was the oldest conferral date ... and they only shortlisted the newest of the newbies. If anybody's PhD is old and rusty and out of date, it is mine. I was saying how it was stupid of me to come back for a renewal year here, and it was, I didn't get anything out of it new or interesting professionally, so I know I need to be giving up and moving on.

I just didn't think ... it would actually have to happen, you know? This is not the way books end, in a pile of mush and unresolved drivel that doesn't actually go anywhere.

I'll need to sell most of my crappy furniture (sigh ... it's sad how I am attached to it) and probably my car, to make money to make it back to "home." My sister has cleaned out her spare room and I can crash there while looking for a new career, but she says absolutely no cats. I am not willing to sell or abandon or hand off my cats to anybody else so that will be a major sticking point. I might be able to get my niece to harbor that cats for me for a little while, at least.

I still haven't told my fellow postdocs about this yet. I just went out to dinner with one and he wanted to go home and work more on a book review instead of go out to the bar after dinner. It made me sad and like I should go home and be "working." But I don't plan on sticking around, what work could I be doing? The postdocs --- the ones left that I still talk to --- are scattering to various places to visit family and friends and do their research trips, so I might end up just sneaking out of here once I've made my plans. Alas. The department? For this amount of money, you are lucky to get two weeks' notice. Fuck you, you Right to Work State! You'll know I've quit when I don't show up to orientation. Bite me.

But what is up next? I really, really have no clue.


Historiann said...

Oh, Sisyphus. I am sorry to read this post, but I also think that you're probably doing the right thing. You've got a life to live, and you deserve to live it on your own terms, not in a crappy "right-to-work" state with borrowed furniture.

Believe it or not, I thought of you today while in a faculty meeting in which we were trying to craft an ad for a job in my department. It made me think of that blog- and Twitter shitstorm inspired by the English dept. of my uni when it wrote the job ad about accepting only Ph.D.s from 2010 or later. (We didn't do anything like that, for sure, but participating in this meeting sure made me wonder why and how on earth anyone thought that was a good idea.)

Good luck with the kitties, too.

Contingent Cassandra said...

Oh, dear. I'd say yes, hang on to the kitties; they're a source of comfort, and, also, you took on a responsibility to them, and while re-homing them could absolve you of that responsibility if you were in truly desperate straits, it sounds like continuing to claim that responsibility=continuing to claim an important part of yourself, even if other things haven't worked out as you planned.

This is going to sound very strange coming from someone who strongly advocates Ph.D.s' looking into alternative careers, but I'm wondering whether it wouldn't make sense to continue for one more year, just to have a guaranteed income (and cat-welcoming roof over your head) while you search? You could even think of a horizon of one semester (because yes, you *can* quit mid-year, without harm to your students. Mid-semester strikes me as a bit dicier, though not entirely impossible, since you're teaching core courses. You picked one up for a colleague mid-semester, yes?).

I don't know; maybe geography, and the cost of transportation, makes it too hard to search in one place and live in another (I'm assuming you're thinking of searching local to your family). And/or maybe you need all your energy for the new job search. But I wouldn't rule out taking advantage of what you've built (and, yes, doing the minimum that you can and still be fair to your students) while figuring out what the next step should be.

And I'm still hoping that you hear something good back from one of those interviews.

Flavia said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm sorry, too, but like Historiann (and you, obviously!) think it's probably the right move. Your current employer doesn't deserve you--and YOU deserve more than the crap they (and the academic job market more generally) are dishing out. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the latest interviews, and for the kitties.

Thinking of you.

Psycgirl said...

Sisyphus, I wanted your story to have a happy ending within academia but I know it will have a happy ending with the academia part far far behind you. And no, don't part with kitties! Your sister is obviously not a cat person! Horror!

Anonymous said...

been reading you forever. sorry to hear that it didn't work out, but props to you for saying enough is enough. you do deserve better. i wish you lots of great things in new place (hopefully with cats nearby) and in searching for a new work.

as an aside, i just read your previous post about paying to interview... and i knew that in the humanities if there were conference, ie MLA interviews, you had to pay to get there... but seriously, pay to go to on campus interviews? that is brand new news to me. and i doubt it is restricted to the humanities.

Anonymous said...

Also, forgot to say, I've been reading/discovering post/alt-ac for a bit, thanks to Sarah Kendzior, my new hero. And i think, screw it, academia sucks, we're too good for them! or at least, that is how i try to console myself. random tidbit over.

Dr. Koshary said...

Oh Sis, I feel for you! I hope the whole moving-back-home process goes as smoothly as possible. (I anticipate reading about a battle over the cats at some point.)

I cede the rest of my comment space to Historiann and Contingent Cassandra.

Bardiac said...

I'm wishing you good opportunities in this very tough time. I hope things get better.

Squishy said...

Oh dear this is heart-breaking. But I guess it is the best thing to do under the circumstances. I too am going to be faced with a tough decision in a year when my postdoc ends - and no job offers in sight.
I have become increasingly unhappy with the way academia represents itself vis a vis the neoliberal reality of universities. And my decision to consider options outside academe comes in part from unhappiness with this inauthenticity.