Friday, May 02, 2008
I didn't get the teaching gig for next year. It was only a one-year replacement job, but it went to some Chinese guy who already has a PhD. Good for him.
But a girl can still dream, right?
No, really. Right.
Call me crazy, but I knew that the teaching job was pure suicide, an instant death of my dissertation.
And the idea of limping through another sunless, g-dless winter in Upstate New York? Will someone please pass the crazy?
The good news is that they wanted to hire me, but the committee was wrought with discord over the fact that I do not yet have a Ph.D. in hand. That said, they are offering me a couple of courses to teach in the fall semester only. The wonderful thing about this arrangement is that the courses I will get to teach are more in line with my specialization. This is very exciting for me because I will not be strapped with all of the generic crap courses that young faculty normally have to teach in order to pay the dues. (Of course, if I had taught those courses, they would have been FABULOUS, but apparently there is some unwritten rule that political science introductory courses are supposed to be staunchly conservative, difficult and drab. I can just imagine my sweet students dancing through a highly nuanced semester of US Foreign Policy to the tune of a Chinese man, who is neither American by nationality nor a native English speaker by design. May Heaven help them all.)
Nevertheless, there is a method to the madness. I believe that one opportunity leads to the next. Because of this way of looking at things, I find it exceedingly difficult to be disappointed. The bright side of this scenario is that I now have absolutely no plans whatsoever to endure another New England winter! By the time the semester ends in early December, I will have money in my pocket, more teaching experience under my belt, and I will be long gone before the hateful cold and foul weather begins. Yay! More travels!
...and speaking of travels...
I will be steadily on the road for the next month. This weekend, I am hitting up Jazz Fest in the Big Easy. Next weekend, I am making time for a friend's graduation and a family reunion. The following week, I will be in Denver. The week after that, I will be back home in Virginia, hanging out at Bro's place and teaching the rabbi how to chase chickens, drink beer from the bottle and relax like a Southerner. Ultimately, I will end up back where I am now. Call it good karma, but I have been offered a most commodious living arrangement for the bulk of the summer. From June to August, I intend to drink a lot of tea, go for long runs and bike rides, buy fresh berries along the roadside and write...like my life depends on it.
Things work out. The glass is always half full, even if you decide to pour it all out and hang in the limbo of hope...hoping that what comes next might not be so bitter. I am packing up my few earthly belongings again and moving what I cannot carry with me to my new commodious room with a view across town. The wonderful thing about having momentum is that you can't be too burdened by the heavy stuff. Rather, you only take what is absolutely essential. Over the years, I have trained myself to look at life this way:
Cut out the fluff, cut out the nonsense. Take only what you need, and share openly what you know, what you have to give without expecting anything in return. Even if all you have in your back pocket is $20...and a pure heart...expect to be surprised.