Thursday, June 29, 2006


Time to get more organized. I find (like many of us) when I'm busiest, I'm often most productive. When I've got idle time on my hands, I get little accomplished. To ward against that, I'm going to get organized. I figure the more efficiently I use my time, not only do I get more work done, but I'll have more energy and time to spend with my boys.

We're thinking of renewing our au pair for the coming year, but cutting back to the educares level, which would be about 30 hours a week of childcare, allowing her time to take 12 units of classes, instead of the current 6. That would be her preference, and it would save us some dough.

Assuming we're still here in the fall, and I don't have a full-time gig, I might like to take the boys two days per week on my own, instead of the current one. That would leave me three days to get work done, and a weekend with the family. We're also planning to get The Painter in a preschool, two or three half-days per week. That'll cost something, but it'd be good to get him more socialized, and for us to meet other parents. We're pretty much loners. So, we've got to work against that tendency.

In any case, money isn't really the issue. We've always lived within our means, and found a way to save for future dreams and such. The real issue is happiness. And I'm happiest when I feel my work makes a contribution to bettering the world, to furthering our knowledge and understanding. And so, I must work, research, publish, and present. I'll do that even if I open a cafe.

Meantime, scheduling. I've started by keeping track of the time I spend doing what, like a calorie counter marking their intake. I'll do that for a week, and see what it tells me. Then I can budget my time, allotting time for specific tasks, setting my priorities.

One of those priorities is getting back in shape. I did my 21 minute ride on the bicycle trainer today. Then a shower. I feel energized, awake, and alive.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More more more

I've become addicted to the website Each time I visit, I see more and more postings that might, just might provide me what I want. More and more I see research of interest going on in the UK. Most of it is in [Field 3], but maybe that's where I belong. Who knows? My greatest bane is trying to combine my areas in the humanities with cognitive and behavioral science, with medicine and neuropathology. What could be more humanistic than studying the behavior and minds of humans? Perhaps I'm just out in left field.

The humanists won't talk to the scientists and the scientists don't talk with the humanists. Each has something marvelous to offer the other, each is (in essence, at least in part) interested in the same phenomena. Why should research be one dimensional, when the world we experience is not? And where I sit is on the stern and reinforced fence that separates them, shouting in both directions, hoping someone on either side will notice that what I'm talking isn't nonsense. I've got enough training or background on each side of the fence to feel confident applying, but the question is whether it's enough to convince them to take me on board.

Okay, enough of my rant and plea.

Last night the Rocket Scientist and I engaged in our recent most favorite activity, talking and planning for the future. Her career is on track. Crazy things are happening at her work, however, and there is the perception that this job site may be shutting down in the next couple years, with employees shuttled out to other locations. We're thinking of having a third child, which surely plays into the matter of timing. The opportunities for her to remain in her chosen area and continue to advance are somewhat geographically limited. She'd be willing and able to relocate to the UK (there are opportunities there) but as she put it, it wouldn't be her first choice unless I had something of merit there.

I suggested that she should hone up her resume (which she's been doing this past week or so) and send it along to places that might be of interest. She should pursue her career chances, since mine hasn't exactly been driving us lately. If options or offers arise in either camp (hers or mine) that warrant our attention, we'll consider another move. Paradise doesn't really seem to be a place for us to settle down permanently. So, she looks for new opportunities (to rescue her from a ship that just may be sinking), and I continue to look for opportunities (to get off shore), and we see.

I've said I'll give it one more season. I'm not sure how committed I am to that. If she gets a good job elsewhere, I may open up a cafe/bookstore, and continue my research quietly, writing and publishing as I can. The question is how do I get where I want to be in 5 or 10, not where I want to be next year. Who knows what the future will hold?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Where is home?

Early morning.

The rain splats in heavy, occasional drops on tree leaves. Not rain really, I suppose, just damp air from the fog, condensing into drops, drip drip dripping down.

I'm awake. The Painter came in around 5:00 to ask me to start the music over. I tucked him back into bed, and started his Laurie Berkner cd "Buzz Buzz" once again from the beginning. (He insists on it at bedtime, every night. It's alright. It's a phase. It will pass.)

So, I'm awake. I come to the family room. Open the sliding door. And listen.

The birds, many birds: cheedirp cheedirp twak twak chee dup chee twee twee twee twee chirp chirp chirp

They have a home. A morning. A day. A drum circle of song. A chorus of daybreak. Qua qua qua qua qua qua. Some large bird. Bechee bechee bechee bechee they all continue.

Where is home? I'm lost.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Why do successes feel anti-climactic?

I sent off the revised version of my big dissertation distillation article a little while ago. It's off my desk, off my to-do list. I don't feel much elation however. A bit of relief that I can move on. I guess in some ways, it just feels like more of the same. The big question for me is whether anything will come of it.

It's not that I've really been sitting on my hands, doing nothing, just waiting for something to happen, some job to come knocking on the door. I mean, I have applied for a few jobs (somewhere north of 100 in the past three years). I've given conference talks, and invited lectures. I've published articles, organized and chaired conference sessions. I created a personal research website, which has averaged somewhat more than 10 individual visitors daily since it's inception two months ago. Get famous, that was the dictum. Patience is always my trouble.

I sent in the application materials for the RCUK Academic Fellowship on Thursday night. Done. There's at least one more RCUK fellowship come up that looks attractive to me. So, I'll be applying in the next couple weeks. It does look like positions are opening up in the UK and elsewhere. I guess their job season begins earlier than here in the States. So, I'll be applying. But I confess enthusiasm is harder and harder to come by these days. And when the excitement comes, it is inevitably followed by a hard crash, an existential crisis about my career and life choices.

The Rocket Scientist and I have been having quite a few heart-to-hearts lately about where we wish to be and how and when. We're trying to plan our exit strategy from where we are. We're a family. That's important. The trouble is, I've been expecting something to come along, some opportunity to take. It's like I've been fishing with all sorts of bait, but the fish just aren't biting, and though I'm not yet getting hungry, I'm getting pretty bored of waiting.

I find the more I go along the less confident I am in knowing what sort of career I want. Somewhere along the way, I got stuck in auto-pilot, down the highway to an academic career, and I can't remember which off-ramp I've taken, or just which way to turn. I've got to spend some time figuring out what I really want to be doing. And I'll need to honestly assess the best way to do that. In the meanwhile, I guess I'm free. No obligations for the summer (oh yeah, well, there's that book review... but I'm not going to worry about it. They haven't followed up. I'll either get around to finish reading the book, and writing it up, or I won't).

Nothing pressing. Time to step back from the tree of my life, reassess the shape of its crown, and decide on how best to prune it for optimum growth.

Denise Denton

I knew nothing of Denise Denton, but her suicide as Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz is a sad, cautionary tale for those of us living (or seeking) the high-stress world of the academy.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chameleon (breakfast edition)

This morning at breakfast:
The Painter: (slowly blinking his eyes) Daddy, how come you keep changing to grey, and then back to the usual color?

Au Pair: Maybe he's a chameleon.

The Painter: No, he's not a chameleon... you think maybe it has to do with me closing my eyes?

No comment.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Talk the Talk (or the Chameleon)

With time on my hands, I have the leisure to cast and recast, forge and reforge, write and rewrite the materials for this fellowship application. Thanks to all who have commented on my recent posts regarding this current opportunity. I am indeed going for it.

I've been a chameleon much of my life, but now is an occasion to wager my spots. Will they stick to me, or fall off like zebra stripes painted on an ass? I think of Randall Boggs from the movie Monsters, Inc. I may be opportunistic. I just hope I'm not as evil as he.

I shift yet again, taking on a new skin, honing new hues, to blend in with potential surroundings. Underneath it all, I'm still the same multi-faceted character I've always been. My greatest strength lies in drawing together disparate realms. I'm a schmoozer. Just watch me at conferences, speaking to different groups and individuals in the hallways. I've read their literature. I know the language, the issues. I can be critical. I pride myself on that, though sometimes the breadth threatens narrowness of depth.

Got to stay focused. It's not that I'm the best there is out there. I'm simply best at being me, at doing what it is I do. The trick is to present that to others with enough excitement and verve to pique their interest.

I find writing these applications, and cover letters, reworking my thoughts in new vocabulary, stiffening the sinews, summoning up the blood is a huge psychic drain, like a marathon stage performance. Can't let the energy drop until the curtain does.

Well, now back to it...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

An email exchange

-----Original Message-----
From: [Articulate Dad]
Sent: 19 June 2006 20:42
To: [Rojo Bulba]

Subject: RCUK Academic Fellowship

Dear Prof. Bulba,

Perhaps you will remember me from the [recent conference in Scotland]. I came across the posting for the RCUK Academic Fellowship over the weekend. I'm quite interested in the opportunity. I would welcome the chance to hear from you more of the details about the fellowship and what you are seeking, in preparation for my application. I see the deadline is this coming Friday. Would I be able to submit materials electronically?

I have a PhD in [Field 1] and [Interdisciplinary Field] from the [University of Paradise]. Currently, I'm a postdoctoral visiting scholar in [Field 2]. My research focuses on [Area 1] and [Area 2], in particular [Research Focus]. I have one outstanding grant application (decisions in December), and will submit grant proposals for a planned longitudinal study this summer.

[Brief Description of Longitudinal Study]

For more information about my research interests and activities, feel free to visit my website http://[Personal Research Website.url], which also includes my CV and my dissertation, as well as postings regarding these grant projects.

I look forward to hearing from you,



Articulate Dad, PhD [Field 1]
Visiting Scholar, Dept. of [Field 2]
[University of Paradise]

Dear [Articulate]

I believe that there is a way of applying on-line - the attached further
particulars will help you. I had a look at your CV which [Post-doc] passed
on to me. You have an interesting range of research - I think in an
application for this post you would need to emphasize the [Field 3]
nature of your interests and proposed research.


GAH! Okay, it's not so bad. In fact, it's quite exciting to take the opportunity now to clarify and express my honest-to-the-heart ideas about just where my research lies, and specifically what contributions I can and will make to [Fields 1, 2, & 3], and [Interdisciplinary Field], through [Research Focus]. Am I scattered?

I feel like Dr. Sayre [fictionalized alias for Oliver Sacks] in the movie Awakenings is describing me, during the conference bathroom scene. If you're not familiar with the movie, Sayre has been working with a group of encephalitis patients who appear catatonic, yet who can under unusual circumstances (hearing music, having a ball tossed at them] awaken from their slumber. He hypothesizes that their symptoms are akin to someone with Parkinson's only their collection of tics is so pervasive that rather than constant motion, each tic cancels another out, rendering the surface appearance of immobility, while underneath a cascade of impulses threatens to explode in every direction. He follows a speaker (with a delightful Dutch or Afrikaans accent), who has just given a presentation on L-Dopa (a synthetic dopamine), into the men's room to ask about Parkinson's, L-Dopa, and to express his theory, while the poor gentlemen he accosts is simply interested in peeing and washing his hands. It's a great scene.

So, now I'm back to being swamped, since I promised revisions of my dissertation distillation article by the end of this week. The editor had requested by the second week of July, so I could let my self-imposed deadline slip. Well, now back to work. Where do I fit?

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Painter's Father

Oh yeah... Dean Dad reminded me, I had promised ABDMom I would post a picture of one of my father's day presents from the Painter. So, here it is:

Please note (as I was so advised) ... the squiggly decoration along the bottom and right side is not, as you might suspect a mere decoration, but in fact a sentence, all connected together, and it reads, ahem, i love you. I can't stop grinning that my wonderful boy did that. Enjoy.

Someone in the UK's got a good idea!

Leslie Madsen-Brooks has made her latest contribution to Blogher, under the title Academic Entrepreneurs. She writes:

I think it's time for many of us in the humanities to start accepting that the job market for faculty is really quite awful, and thus we need to nurture in our graduate students (as well as in undergraduates who are considering grad school) the idea that if they decide to work outside the academic, they're not being whores for money.

She's onto something there. As I've struggled with this career path, I've come to value less and less a job with PhD students. I've come to fret that recruiting and training PhDs in my areas would be a cruel act of punishment, encouraging the passion of bright idealists, while knowing all the while that many of them will not succeed.

Leslie continues:

As grad students, we should be given every opportunity and encouragement to follow through on ideas and innovations that might provide us with a comfortable living and enrich society as well.

Yes, we should take care to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, and the open embracing of alternatives to an academic career. Yet we should also work to change the social and political environment that renders the prospects in academia so poor. The fellowship that I've been drooling over lately, is part of a scheme funded in part by the Research Councils UK. It's a program to offer 1000 5-year fellowships (at 200 per year), focusing at first on research, including training and a slow transition to half-time teaching, culminating in faculty contracts (pending satisfactory review). Check it out.

As they write, they seek to create more attractive and stable paths into academia. Wow! That's all I can say: WOW! If only there were more programs like that, stateside. Are there such programs in Canada? Australia? The EU? Just imagine. While we're taking care of our own careers (and that we must do) let's do what we can to forge a shift in priorities, a shift in public thinking toward... thinking!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

What do I remember about my father? His laughter. I miss his hearty, jolly guffaws, his teary eyed chuckling wheezes. He lived through much. He died in pain. He held many regrets, and though he suffered greatly in the end, I think he was at peace, with life, and with dying. He held on. Oh, how he held on to those shreds of living, in his last days. He wanted to see my second son, his third grandson, born. Yes, only boys in this gene pool: two brothers and me (perhaps others) and now three grandsons. My #2 takes his middle name from my pop. He was born one month to the day after my dad's passing.

What did he teach me? He many times recalled a comment (perhaps casual, in passing) from a good friend, that my father was the best father he had ever met. He was so proud of that remark. It was one of his greatest prides. Was he a good father? How is one to tell? I'd say his most remarkable feature in that regard was that he never spoke down to his children. He never treated us as if our minds, our thoughts, our feelings were anything less true to him than they were to us. He listened, and he reflected. Sure, he smiled knowingly at times, as if to say you think this is new, what you're feeling, but I've been there before.

Once in comment to a poem I had written in my teens, he said: Remember, I've been you're age; you've never yet been mine. But he never meant this cruelly, or with disregard. He allowed himself to remember, I suppose, and in that memory he remarked, through us, to himself those many years before. He wrote a poem, I recall (though I haven't yet found it) "to myself as an old man" or some such. I look forward to finding it. I hope I will.

He was a good man, a caring soul. He made mistakes. He had his weaknesses. In the 60s and 70s, he rushed too far too fast headlong into his own world, caught up in ways by his own selfishness, his own drive. I think for many years he wished he could have taken that all over. But time travels but one way. But he never ran away from his past, though, like all of us, he was at times blind to his own actions.

He was a generous man, who gave freely of his love, his thoughts, his laughter. He taught me to love books, to read as if I were sitting by a fire with the author, across time, sitting, and carrying on a personal dialogue. Their words were written for me, he said. And he imprinted in me the obligation of tikkun olam: to heal the world. He implored: Make the world a better place when you leave it than it was when you were born. In his own way, I'm sure he did.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I still get excited

Oh my god! Okay... so, here I am just casually opening up my email listings of job announcements...

I'm scared. I'm real scared. Only I think I'm more frightened by the prospect of success than by failure. At least failure I'm accustomed to. Okay, first off this is just a posting... a multi-year fellowship in [Field 3]. [SIGH]

There was a paper at the Scotland conference I just attended given jointly by a Research Fellow and the Director of the Program. They are interested in and have an established (though still small) program in my real interdisciplinary research focus.

The fellowship is essentially a research post for the first couple years, with a transition into teaching. What a dream! Don't need it. Don't need it. Gotta remember that.

But, god I want it! Deadline is next week! Short notice, eh?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What about terraforming?

Alright, first, let me say, I'm no atmospheric scientist. But, who can tell me about the practicalities here? Let's look at the problems: okay, there seems to be strong consensus that there is global warming. Now the permafrost in Siberia is melting, and threatening to release unheard of quantities of carbon. Now, carbon is one thing and carbon dioxide another, but... well, I'm no chemist, but work with me on this.

Carbon dioxide is processed by plants and released as oxygen. If the carbon released is in the form of Carbon dioxide, or can be easily converted to it, why couldn't be transport some of it to Mars, contained in bubble cities along with plants, and start the process of terraforming. I mean, global warming of Mars would be a good thing, no?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Acting not as I'm expected

Sometimes, it seems, we behave as we believe we are expected to. I don't mean like a child remaining quiet in public, or an immigrant avoiding discussions of open borders among a crowd of Minutemen. I'm speaking of how we feel inside, and how we show that to others.

I'll give you an example: When one of my sons behaves in an inappropriate way, say throwing rocks or sticks in the house, I may wish to indicate my displeasure. Do I always feel significant displeasure at his behavior? Well, when I choose not to ignore the behavior (which is sometimes the most effective response), I often allow myself to feel upset, and to display that outwardly, even when my inclination might be otherwise. That is, I behave as I am expected, or perhaps more precisely I display outwardly the feelings that I wish to be perceived as having. But being an actor as I am, that process of display often corresponds to inward changes, and I become as convinced as anyone that those are my true emotions.

How does this translate beyond child-raising? Let's look at my career. Should one be pleased at having completed a Ph.D., yet remaining unemployed, adrift in the waves of uncertainty? It's inappropriate not to be upset, not to be depressed even, not to anger at the questions, or sulk in shame when forced to admit this continuing state. It takes great fortitude of self-assurance in the face of these insults, an inner strength to believe enough in oneself, to face the world and say, "there is no lack in me, it is mere circumstance that puts me where I am". I am not always so strong. So, I play the role, whether I feel it truly or not. Perhaps it is also the hope that others will prop me up, my desire to hear words of encouragement and praise.

But sometimes we simply need to pull up our own bootstraps, and get hiking. All the means are before me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The thousand mile journey begins with... small step.

Perhaps it's the natural result of taking down time. Or perhaps it's simply me, and my own neuroses, my own teeter-totter ups and downs. As soon as I state clearly and emphatically that I am not depressed, the weight of life settles in on me, and I begin to despair.

I've found myself too often of late sitting down at my computer, after dinner, and spending hours, just beside my wife, sitting down at the other computer, each of us in our own little worlds, not exactly avoiding each other, simply avoiding. It's not that we haven't taken breaks from our together solitude to spend some time enjoying each other's company, it's just that that enjoyment has been the pause, rather than the other way around.

Today, I decided, among other tasks, to look over what needs doing for my dissertation distillation article revisions. Just a few things, but each article I found online, directed me to another and another. Soon enough, I have a reading list (just for the revisions!) which I couldn't possibly attend to and address thoroughly in my revisions.

Then, I began to get down on myself, my life, my path. How can I possibly keep up with all that? I thought I had something to contribute, something worthwhile. I recognize that this despair comes of the leisure to do nothing. In reality, I don't need this. I could leave off, and begin performing again, or take up my erstwhile profession as a gardener, or open a restaurant (the au pair's personal preference), or simply take a job.

Maybe I could become a school teacher. You'd think with a Ph.D. I ought to be able to hone up on the requirements to get credentialed in short order. They might even have alternate paths for people like me, learn while on the job.

Or maybe I could go into the foreign service; I've often fancied myself a diplomat, a citizen of the world. Lord knows there's need for some intelligence in our foreign affairs. Hell, the C.I.A. even has adverts in the latest Economist. And you know, Intelligence is their middle name.

I know that this is the path I have chosen, the path of the academic. As I've written before, I've lived half of my life inside the university. I've measured time by the cycles of the school year. I don't need this. But it is my choice. As hard as that is, it's really good to know. It is the truest sign of love to recognize the dispensibility of something or someone, and yet to choose it anyway, to hold on firmly, to embrace. That's me with the academy, with the world of ideas and books, contemplations and criticism.

So, these self-doubts I recognize as part of the journey. And, I realize (in moments of quiet reflection, more rare than I'd like to admit) that this journey is a long one, that I don't need to seek the end, but merely the direction. I will always be me, whatever the world or circumstance permit me to outwardly appear. The Painter was given his name (indeed even before I had met my wife) after an individual whose life was marred by the inconstant winds of favor, who achieved both great fame and wealth, and the depths of despair and poverty. Yet, through it all, he kept true to himself, to his vision, to his path. There is a reason I chose to name my son after him. Names, I believe, are powerful omens, carrying with them, throughout our lives, their meaning and lessons to be unpacked, and repacked, again and again. I need to recall those lessons in my own life too.
...I've seen in the shadow of colorless fear
the glimpse of a rainbow, the taste of a tear.
And I've heard in an echo as faint as a moan,
a beautiful song that I'd swear was my own.
And with that, I shall end.

Monday, June 12, 2006

unmotivated uninspired... just taking a break

So, where have I been?
Here, mostly...

I've not felt much like blogging.
Uninspired, unmotivated? Mostly just taking a break, I suppose.

The school year is over. We had our end of the year departmental picnic. It was nice. The boys had a good time. It was good to gather with my colleagues. I'm not so depressed lately, about not having a permanent gig. To some extent I've grown accustomed to it. I'm less bitter and discouraged at each new rejection letter. I'm ready for a fresh start, for the new season to begin (but that won't happen for another couple months, trickling in with listings in Australia and New Zealand in the late summer, and early postings stateside in September). I'm a little apprehensive about having to ask my recommenders for yet another new letter to keep my file up to date. After about the fiftieth application, I've only been leaning on my dissertation chair to draft targetted letters, except in exceptional cases. I've just been thinking about other things.

I've been cleaning up the house, organizing, taking care of finances (have to invest the proceeds from our house sale). And, thinking ahead to next year, and beyond. The previous month had been so filled with activity and travel, that I feel I needed a chance to simply recoup and recover. I'm still around. I'll be back.

I hope you are all well.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home again

I'm back from an exhilirating (though exhausting) week in Scotland. I'll write more over the next few days. Briefly now, though: I felt very much "in my element" during the conference. I felt very much a part of the community. I'm somehwat more settled to continuing the effort to land myself a permanent post, somewhere, somewhen, within the academy. I wish to remain practical however, and do not rule out other options. Yet, I've returned a bit to my "three-year fellowship" plan, settled more into the prospect of continuing the search, without the urgency to lower my standards, or reduce my expectations. Thanks for the encouraging and supportive comments over this past week.

By the way, the weather was gorgeous there (warm, not a drop of rain), during my entire visit. A bit brisk in the mornings, quite appropriate and pleasant to accompany my 25-minute walks from the university hotel (dormitory) to the conference venue. Lots of exercise, rather welcome. And, to add to the sense of belonging, the flight home presented the movie "Gideon's Daughter" with a nice convergence for me, highlighting the very city I was visiting. Who knows, maybe they'll have a post opening up in the next year.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Northern climes

I had failed to realize just how far North I am here. It was light until 9:00 or so, and I awoke (hadn't really fallen asleep at all) to find the day bright, and the birds achirping, only to discover it was barely 4:00 in the morning. So much light! I forced myself to lie in bed (serially) until sometime after 8:00 in hopes that my head on the pillow would somehow absorb enough rest.

But I actually feel quite refreshed and ready for the day. Discovered this morning (Statcounter obsession) a reader of this blog (multiple returning visits) who's here where I am, perhaps someone I will meet today at the conference. Will they know me? Will I recognize them? Odd, but not terrible. Interesting.

I'm planning to simply enjoy the conference, to revel in the research, the excitement of interdisplinary thinking on a focused topic, my topic (at least part of it). I'm a bit less committed to cutting and running than I may have appeared in my last post. Not that I won't pursue those options. I must. Pure survival. But I still hope against hope that the world of academia can provide me a home. But I am certain that the world of research and ideas is already my home.

Enjoy the day. It's bright and breezy here. Delightful.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Scotland, safely

I'm here, safe in the GMT. It's quite beautiful. It's always a thrill to fly into new parts, discovering their beauty from the air, watching the way the land divides up. I had the further pleasure of taking a bus through town, getting to see all the sites from eye-level as well.

Tomorrow the conference begins. I present on Saturday. Had a long time on the journey for thinking about the career. Just got hooked up to the internet, to receive this impersonal email re: a job posting I applied for last month:

Dear Articulate Dad

Your interest in the Visiting Assistant Professor of [Field 1] [specialization] position has been received and reviewed. While you clearly have many talents and gifts to offer to this role, I'm sorry to say that we are currently considering candidates who appear to more closely meet our job match.

Please do not let this discourage you from applying to other positions within the University that you may feel qualified for.

Good luck with your employment search and thank you for considering employment with the University of Revolutionary Times.


Human Resources
I've come to realize that I really don't need this crap! In part my frustration arises from the fact that there are no jobs in my specialty. And this year, there were no postings in the interdisciplinary area of my [Field 1] that would be the best match for my work. NONE! Not a single, solitary position for which I could unabashedly present my strengths and interests, without a hedge, without an effort to demonstrate my bonafides in the more traditional areas of my discipline. I've expended untold energies in trying to fit my square self into the round holes of established discipline. I've clearly done a miserable job of convincing anyone.

I'll keep applying. But I'm less and less committed to the effort, less and less content with reducing myself in hopes of satisfying their expectations. Damn it. I'm good just the way I am. And if they're not good enough to recognize that, not interested enough to give me a go at it, then there are other fields for me to plow.

I did some brainstorming on the plane. I'm ready to start sending out my resume on alternate paths. I've come up with some ideas for starting my own business (or businesses). I've done it before. I know how to branch out, to schmooze. I'll keep thinking about it.

My job in this life is to make the world a better place. How I do that is somewhat irrelevant. We'll see what comes. For now, I'll enjoy the conference.