Thursday, October 19, 2006

Beginning to settle

It's been a rough few days, up/down/up/down. The mornings are mostly good. Somehow, when my wife begins to tell me about the young turks at work, fresh out of school with a bachelor's degree, it hits me hard.

But, truth be told, I am where I want to be (except for wishing I had already found that ideal job). I'm not (over)working a post somewhere, teaching classes that don't appeal to me, losing time to meetings and administrivia, that I'd rather spend on reading and research. For that I can be thankful.

The trick is doing what I want to be doing. I've been working on this dissertation-to-book proposal this week. Well, that and getting things set up. Internet at home went online yesterday. Yay! We're planning to vacate the hotel room this weekend. I can't really see keeping it just for the sake of it. I'm comfortable at home, even if a bit more distracted.

I'm hoping to finish this book proposal today, and unpack a few more boxes, set up a few more details of home life (for instance, getting the chimney inspected, so we can finally have a wood fire... ah!). Next week, I'm going to work on some agent contacts regarding my more commercial book ideas (a few children's books: two already written; and a memoir/collection of my dad's poetry/letters between father and son; I also have planned a parents' guide on childhood cognitive development that comes from my research, which I'd like to move ahead with).

I spoke briefly with the regional sales manager for Big Academic Publisher. It's been about a month since I last heard from her, so I thought I'd follow up. "We've kind of put that position on hold for the moment. We're in the heat of conference season. You're definitely still a candidate though. Feel free to check in with me whenever." I had already sent her a couple emails, keeping her informed of my move schedule and interim contact information, to which she hadn't responded, so I can't take that last comment too seriously.

That's real useful: you're definitely still a candidate. It's like the dog turd on the sidewalk that you keep meaning to clean up, but haven't gotten to yet. I think I'll call the national sales manager I interviewed with as well, just to touch base, and see if I can get a better feel for what to expect, what may or may not be in the works, and what their time frame is looking like now. Otherwise, I'll put that possibility to the back of my mind. Not even sure I'll take it, if offered, but I don't like loose strands dangling.

I called the [Field 1] department chair of a local community college, which has a full-time position advertised. The posting was somewhat vague. He clarified it on the phone, and it looks like it would be inappropriate for me. And it's a 5+5 teaching load, ~15 hours of classroom teaching per term. Youch! But, he said he was intrigued by my background and interests, and suggested they might likely have use for me to cover some part-time teaching. I sent him my CV. That'd be nice to pick up some adjuncting. Get me back in front of a classroom! I'm missing it.

Meanwhile, I'm looking over job postings as they come up. My wife and I did a bit of researching on the internet to see which of the current postings that interest me might provide local opportunities for her career as well. We ruled out a few. So far this year, I've applied for one. There remain five more between now and January, that I plan to follow up on. This year, I plan to make phone calls or send emails before applying to any post, to feel out the prospects, and get as good a sense as I can for what they are really seeking. My job as I see it, is to weed out as many weak prospects before applying as I can, which hopefully will make the few I apply for that much stronger.

I mentioned the new post at [Lake View U.]. Yesterday, I wrote to two of my contacts there. I heard back from the first. He was my main contact there when I was applying to their doctoral program. I had known him from SII conferences before then, and have kept in touch since.
Hi Articulate,

We have the [true interdisciplinary field-related workshop] here in the next couple of days so I am up to my eyebrows in details.

I'm glad to talk after that. My clear understanding is that my dean is ONLY interested at this point in folks who are from a [subfield 2] background, so I'm not sure you fit her paradigm. We are talking [details of the sorts of courses], that kind of stuff. Let's talk sometime next week when the dust clears.

Best,

Rod
That confirms my suspicions. Too bad. But it's good to keep up my contacts with them. At present, there are only three universities in The States with programs in [true interdisciplinary subfield], so it's a tight bunch, and it serves me to stay in the loop. In all honesty though, while I'd love a post there, the prospects for my wife's career in the region are slim-to-none unless she moves to a different sort of work, which doesn't seem likely at the moment.

1 comment:

Prof. Me said...

Managing two big careers is so difficult -- and, knowing a bit about what your wife does for a living and comparing it to what T does for a living, the options for you and Rocket Scientist appear to be much more limited than they were for T and me. Very frustrating, AD.

I hope that you're enjoying your new home, and that you'll continue to persevere with your contacts in the discipline. I think the commercial book ideas sound fascinating -- are you going to seriously pursue that? You really should, especially since so much of the work is done already. Heck, you could soon be on nationwide book tours and then I could visit you at our local Barnes and Noble!

Keep writing, keep posting, and I'll always keep my fingers crossed for you.