On the Other Side of Academia

...just be persistent! That's what people have told me, right after they tell me that there are no teaching jobs in the entire greater Portland area, population just under one million (counting the suburbs.) People who work at the community colleges tell me that, sure, they would be willing to say something to the department heads, but it wouldn't really make a difference. Other people hear that I'm looking and just laugh (albeit in a very sympathetic manner.)

Meanwhile, I have an interview on Friday for a tech job and several friends in tech companies all around the city. More to the point, I've noticed this...let's call it an "absence of desperation" in most of my friends here. I always liked the craziness of academia, the gallows humor, the kind of camaraderie you get out of a bunch of people feeling equally screwed, but on the outside, it looks a little nuts, frankly.

We got an apartment yesterday. The lady at the property management company was really cool; she took our sob story at face value ("we are nice people with degrees and savings but no income to speak of") and signed off on the bunny to boot. I can easily imagine myself going to a normal job, grumbling about the early wake-up and the routine stress, but never having to speak mangled French to anyone or give two shits about "the state of the literature" again.

So we'll see (dramatic closing statement!)

1 comment:

noncoupable said...

Hmmm... Sounds like my love/hate relationship with my field and being in academia as well. When I tell people what I do I usually get the "well, you could always use the Chinese to do something else..." But when I say "oh and do some web development / digital humanities stuff sometimes" people get big eyes, you can see the excitement, and they say "yes, yes! what do you think will be next? What's the future of DH? Can you do xyz for me?"

I have to say that being away from UCSC for a bit has really changed my perspective on academic desperation...