Saturday, November 04, 2006

Relief

Hey, blogfriends, thank you for all your little notes of celebration and support over the last couple of days. I love ya!

There is relief right now. Relief in knowing that I am marketable, since someone wants to interview me. Relief in knowing that I can write things that people want to publish in Big-ass Journals. But most of all, there's a very surprising relief having to do with my current Uni, the (contractual) Dream Job.

As I wrote the other day, I've been wary of letting myself get too invested in the place. And ever since I was hired in the spring, there has been this talk of a TT job opening up that, perhaps, I would be well positioned for. Long story short, they are trying to secure the funding for the position and post it very soon. What they were initially aiming for was a very broad posting, listing about four different possible areas of expertise - including one that fits my profile. So I've just been quietly obsessing over this.

And then, on Thursday, I went in to talk to my Chair, to let her know I have this two-day campus interview in a faraway place - at the worst possible time...the last week of the teaching term. So I'd need to miss at least one class. We ended up having a long chat. She told me that because of political pressures, they've just had to scrap the initial job call and redesign it - specifying very precisely a field that has nothing to do with my fields. I won't even apply for this job. She expressed disappointment that she couldn't create a posting that might be geared to me, though, and said she hoped that I'd consider coming back here in the future - she said that wherever I end up, she'd keep me in mind for the next TT position that comes up. And she also asked me if I would be willing to take another contract next year. I told her that I would, but only if I didn't come up with a TT job, which she understood. Before I left, she offered out of the blue to write me a reference letter.

Now, I would have guessed I'd leave such a meeting disheartened, since the possibilities for a long-term future at Dream Uni are shot (at least for now). But it was a profound relief, I've found. Now I know I won't be there next year - unless, that is, I don't get another job. I can focus my energies elsewhere. I can let myself integrate, or not. There's no more pressure. I can just do my job. And I can also be assured that if nothing else works out (god forbid), I have an option to stay on there for a year - I won't be unemployed.

I can't believe what a weight I feel has been lifted from my shoulders. And how lucky I feel. It's lovely.

*

And tonight, GF is arriving home from her three-week trip. We have lots of catching up to do. Lots of talking about futures. I'm excited to see her. Soon I'm going to trek out to the airport to surprise her.

3 comments:

Flavia said...

I had the same feeling last spring, when I suddenly got this job and was feeling conflicted about the (seemingly very likely) possibility that Big Urban, where I was then lecturing, would be hiring for a t-t position in my field in the fall. Although I knew I couldn't give up a t-t job offer, it was still such a relief to learn that BU actually *wouldn't* be hiring in my field for another couple of years.

And you know, although BU is a research school (a decent one, though certainly not top-drawer) in a big Eastern city with an invigoratingly diverse student population--and although I really could have seen myself being there for maybe my entire career--in many ways my current job is a much better one, at what I can see is a healthier and more functional institution and department.

Getting one's heart set on something, or falling in love with it, can be a dangerous thing, since it so often prevents one from being truly open to different and sometimes better possibilities. So, although I'm sorry in one way that this job won't turn into something long-term for you, I'm also happy that now you know--and I remain convinced that you've got great options ahead of you.

MaggieMay said...

I totally understand your reaction. You are in the best situation now: as Flavia says, you have OPTIONS! What a wonderful week for you, all around!

medieval woman said...

That is good information to have and I'm so happy to hear that you left the meeting feeling upbeat. It is so great to know that you can rely on a situation that you enjoy right now AND that you have potentially even more exciting options in your future. Best of both worlds, dearie!