Do you know anyone at Turf? They have an open post in [Field 1] once again. If I apply, this will make my fourth such application to them in three years. I'd very much like to make contact with someone there who can tell me just what they're really seeking. Their job announcement is vague almost to the point of being meaningless. ("Specialization in [vaguely-defined subarea] desirable. We seek a creative scholar with broad interests, exceptional promise, and a strong commitment to teaching historical and cultural studies in an imaginative and compelling manner.") I suspect, despite the vagueness of the announcement, that they really have a sense of what they're seeking, which might help me decide if it would be worth applying once again.
Let me know,
There are two schools of thought, and I'm afraid the best I can do is outline them. The first is that since you've already applied three times and haven't gotten so much as a nibble, nothing is going to change, and it isn't worth applying. The second is that since there is no cost at all to applying, you have absolutely nothing to lose, though probably not much to gain. In the end it is a psychological question: if you can apply without too much expectation and without being done damage by their rejection, there is no reason not to apply and, considering the stakes, it will be worth applying even if there's only a one in a thousand chance of the desired outcome.
As always, I'm glad to write on your behalf.
I'll decide one way or the other in the next couple weeks. Meantime, I'm working on "the notion that you are perfectly happy doing what you are doing, and that while you'd consider their job, you don't need it" as you put it in a letter last month.
We'll be moving in about a month to the Rocket City area, where the Rocket Scientist takes up her new job at Rocket Central October 16. I'm looking to rent myself a small office or studio space to finally get some solitude for working. This year has been working out of the house (with the boys and other distractions to attend to) or working in the [Field 2] department computer lab (with all the graduate student chatter as distraction). Neither terribly conducive to concentrated work.
I'm going to get started on my [Longitudinal Project] once we get settled, I make contacts and recruit volunteers. I need to find [description of subjects]. We'll see how it goes. I've got some feelers out for post-docs as well. Karl-Heinz Schmidt who runs a neuroimaging lab specializing on [area related to my research] at Big Top East has agreed to sponsor me for a [granting agency] individual grant, which I plan to submit in April. There's also some interest in getting me to come down to Hurricane Magnet University to work with Stewart Small and his group (also involved with [Field 1], [Field 2], and brain sciences). My PRW website is attracting a good deal of attention, about 10-20 visitors a day. Every few weeks, I get an email from someone with a question, or to announce another conference of interest.
Also, working on some book ideas (I made initial contact with [Publisher]), and submitting articles and conference abstracts around. It's disappointing that the faculty job search has been a dead end so far, but I'm an unrepentant [Field 1] & [Field 2] scholar, and damn it, that's what I hope to remain. If I have to strike out on my own, and figure out ways to get published, and funded, then I'm committed to doing that. Meantime, I'll keep plugging away at applications, keeping my expectations and anticipations in check.
Will I see you at SOD in [Location]?
Keeping in mind of course that many, if not most jobs you will get make the kind of engaged, experimental and exciting research all but impossible...Cheers,
Well then, I should work hardest on developing my own research niche, especially publishing and presenting it to as wide an audience as I can, finding as great a degree of satisfaction in that domain as possible. Then apply for jobs in the hope that one day some department will realize that yes, I'd make a great addition to their program. For the time being, Rocket is willing and able to support the family, which is indeed a great relief. Would I like to bring in some income? Of course. But it's good to know I don't need to.It is a question of ego, as you've said before, and one of energy. It's far easier to produce for the applause of an enthusiastic audience than for the silence of expectation, especially when my work could (and does) lead in many directions at once. I fear to tread too far down one avenue, that I might lose sight of the others. But, life is adventure. Getting lost is part of the journey.Your comments, engagement, and encouragement are a great source of comfort to me. Thank you.Yours,
Dear Articulate:Thanks, but I didn't say you shouldn't think about money. You should be framing your ideas so that you can apply for grants, possibly multi-year grants either in the sciences OR the humanities, OR in some initiative that is designed to bring the two together.Keep up the great work,