Summer Ought-Nine: Looking Back

It was a tricky one. We had a handful of hot snaps in SC, each one promising exacerbated insomnia and general misery, we had a big fire right outside of town, we had the usual ugly sunburned idiots on mountain bikes with plastic bags full of cans. The state's budget was dragged out behind the toolshed and shot, just about everyone lost their jobs, and we couldn't afford to move in to a two-bedroom apartment.

I really, really struggled to juggle teaching and working on my diss this summer. Now that it's over, I can look back and feel good about what I accomplished, but I feel like I lost access to my usual academic superpower.* I procrastinated a lot more than usual and suffered the predictable grad guilt as a consequence. I hate that getting things done is never enough; it's the knowledge that you could have gotten so much more done if you'd only kept it together somehow.

Anyway, just like that, it's job-hunt season in the wide world of academia. I've started bookmarking listings for ones I'd be remotely qualified for and I'm in the process of pinning down the people who will be writing me letters of recommendation. After the morning's toil of diss-writing and conference paper-citing I'm trying each day to get cover letters completed, my CV polished, and everything else I need to send out in a few weeks done. It's hugely intimidating. I will have spent six years doing this as the end of the coming school year, and I'm now facing the prospect of leaving the familiar confines of bad facilities and TA assignments and trying to be a real-deal historian. Dang.

* Writing fast and producing work of widely varying quality.

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