Monday, May 30, 2016


When I still used to think I could somehow become a scholar, I was faced with a quandary: I needed to keep publishing to even have a chance at getting a tenure track job, but since I was in a non-tenured position, the scholarship I did benefited my actual job not at all. In fact, my teaching load was so high, there was no time at all to even think scholarship during the semester.

Summers were the only time I could research and write. And write, I did. I would chain myself to books or to my computer for at least eight hours a day. I did an impressive volume and depth of work during those summers...more (I was told by reliable sources) than some of my tenure-track colleagues. Shame it never actually benefited me, though.

The arrival of my daughter coincided with me realizing I was never going to be a professional scholar, and, in anticipation of my girl coming, I decided I was done spending summers writing articles which never actually yielded tangible benefits. That was in 2011. This summer marks the five year anniversary of no scholarship.

Lest you feel this depressing in some way, I should tell you a little tale. Yesterday, I washed the dishes, made a big batch of burritos for the freezer (bean, mushroom, broccoli, onion, and vegetarian chorizo (the only decent vegetarian sausage)), cleaned the fish tank, and made my weekly batch of oatmeal. At the end of the  day, I felt more of a sense of accomplishment than at the end of one of the writing summers.

Just thought it should be noted. Of course, I did also apply for my third summer job...but you win some, lose some.

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