Tomorrow, says Firefox, but Firefox has been wrong before. Firefox is usually wrong, in fact.
Anyway, on this preternaturally dark and dismal Sunday morning, I am staring down the following tasks:
- Write a dummy paper for my comp students to revise. This should take me all of 10 minutes--in fact, I will deliberately limit myself to 10 minutes--but I find the prospect soul-crushing and can't seem to get myself to do it. Hence the blogging.
- Read like 6 pages for a Tuesday class.
- Drag my ass back to campus to get last year's notes on SGGK out of my office. Then use them to come up with a wildly exciting SGGK lesson plan for tomorrow. Hey, you know, I taught one of Marie de F's poems on Friday and it went really well--far better than last year. I think it was partly because, when a student called the fairy lady "the hottest chick ever," I replied, "Yes, she is the hottest chick ever," which greatly amused the class.
- ...Start working on the job letter--particularly that pesky "future research" paragraph. Grouse. The whole letter needs redoing, really, since it's still got lingering traces of gradstudentism all over it, I think.
The lack of research support and expectations, coupled with the very small size of the faculty, means that there's very little sense of a larger academic community at Field. First, no one really has anyone else to talk to about his or her specialization, since we all cover different areas. And second, the total orientation on undergraduate teaching gives us little incentive or opportunity to stay really current with scholarship, which seems to erode the faculty's engagement with the broader world of academia. I miss talking about my work and hearing about other people's work. The Minister and I have shared some of our writing, but of course we're in pretty different fields, and there are only two of us. Since my actual professional training was all about research, I hate to think of never doing any of it again--much as I value and enjoy teaching.
Oh, and the pay = not good. Raises--even cost-of-living increases--are extremely infrequent. At least one full prof who's been here for more than 15 years makes less than 50k. Given my starting salary, I'm unlikely to wind up in the same boat, but it's also scandalous that they've increased starting salaries for junior faculty so much (they're still low, though) while senior people had salary freezes. The financial problems, they run deep.
So why wouldn't I want to go on the market this year? Well, I'm getting more comfortable here. I like some of my students a lot, and like almost all of them at least a little, and I'd like to stick around and work with them for a little longer. I love my tiny house; I love my garden; I'm in a local relationship (although he may not stick around here forever, either). Also--I admit--I feel guilty. My people are not going to be pleased if I jump ship, and I dread asking for a letter. So, yeah. Guilt. Which I know I don't need to feel--but since they basically did two searches (the VAP and the t-t) to get me here, I think that I feel a little bit of an extra obligation to stick it out for a while.
Anyway. We'll see. I'm only applying to jobs that are clear moves up, not to jobs that would be lateral moves or about which I feel ambivalent. Most likely, nothing will come of these applications, but I'm going to have to buy that ticket to SF regardless.