Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So much to do, so little time

Spurts! That's how my life seems to function, in spurts. I twiddle and twiddle, and diddle, and dum... then all of a sudden I'm swamped.

Let's see, no deadlines, nothing pressing (except job applications) from the start of the school year. Then, conference talk last week, interview this week, colloquium lecture next week, international conference in three weeks, revision requests for my forthcoming (dissertation distillation) article, due in a month. Still have to write up the book review for [Field 2] journal.

And, most pressing, I've got to write this syllabus (I've been so bad in procrastinating) for my application to Tough Commute U. and get that sent off to be received before the deadline of May 15... meaning, in all reality, I have to do it today, and express mail it tonight or tomorrow a.m. before my flight to Beautiful Nowhere.

I want to do my best at this interview. But I'm quite apprehensive about what the prospect of taking such a job might do for my family (especially the Painter). Partly, this is my own personal baggage. My folks were divorced by the time I was four (the age the Painter is now). My two older brothers, my mom, and I moved 200 miles away from my dad at that point. We got to see him only during holidays and a few weeks in the summer.

Okay, one semester is not a lifetime. We'll just have to see. What sort of scheduling can I work out? Is it possible to be on campus only four days a week, so I could go home every weekend? We'll just have to see. But this adds greater impetus to getting out other applications like TCU, since they may offer me alternatives. [SIGH] God, I wish I just had a real, permanent, full-time, tenure-track offer! I don't want to be forced to make these sorts of choices: your career or your family! It's just not right.

1 comment:

Prof. Me said...

Keep your perspective here, AD. It's only a semester, and while it would be a difficult one on both you and your family, you would make it work if you felt it was the right thing to do. And your family would support you, no matter what.

And I think we are all constantly faced with the "career vs. family" dilemma, no matter if we're unemployed or in a tenure-track position. On the one hand, academia is great for families because you have that lovely summer "off," as well as school holidays. But on the other hand, the expectations of academia are far from normal, and even when you're "off" you feel like you should be doing something for your research. If you had a tenure-track job, you'd be facing the same career vs. family problem, just in a different way.

(All stuff you already know, but nonetheless...!)