Sunday, October 09, 2005

On to the Next Thing

I am learning a lot about myself this Autumn. Realizing, actually. Although it seems that I was dying to finish graduate school, I am realizing that being a student fit my personality very well. There were always short-term goals with some semblance of a scoreboard. That suited my competitive nature nicely. Ever since my esteemed committee members signed on that dotted line, however, there has been a bit of a void.

I love my job. It could not be much better. I have good students, I like what I teach, research is going well, I have friends among my colleagues, and I will finally have real air conditioning soon. But what's the next thing? Where are those intermediate-term goals that keep my competitive nature in check? Now they are largely missing. Tenure is 6 years away, and I think it is a stupid goal anyway. If you are good at what you do -- and I work pretty hard to be that -- then tenure is simply akin to staying alive. How lame would it be for me to announce that my 6-year goal is to stay alive? Hella lame, that's what. Plus, looking forward 6 years is an eternity. Forever. In reverse, it is but an eyeblink. But looking forward it is not. I neither want to gameplan for an event 6 years away, nor do I really want to contemplate it since my first-born will then be 13, and that freaks me out on so many levels that I cannot list them here.

So my brain has been doing some jostling about as of late searching for the next things. It's who I am, so trying to deny it is like trying to deny gravity, and you know how that goes. So channeling it properly is the only key, and that's not as easy as it sounds.

In a related -- yet unrelated -- turn of events, it looks as if we are headed to New Mexico for Christmas. This will either makes things better or much worse. I don't quite have a prediction yet.

As a final observation, I am noticing that my easily influenced language patterns are being warped by reading so many Junie B. Jones books with Isabel, and this simply will not do. I have to fight saying "Plus also" way too often.


Anonymous iujen said...

Maybe being a student STILL isn't so bad...thanks for your thoughts...

9:27 PM  

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