Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What comes next

Today is the last day of school (high school), so while I have some AP training to attend tomorrow and Friday, today is the last day I had to get up at 5a, so I'm considering it done.

With the school year ending, my defense now less than a month away, and a couple of weeks until my online summer class starts, I'm been thinking a lot about what comes next.
Certainly I know what comes IMMEDIATELY next.
I get a couple weeks to sleep, and recover from this semester's exhaustion.
Then prep for the defense.
I've blocked off the weeks after for revisions if need be.

But after that? NOTHING. I rearranged required high school training, so I have nothing until a training day on 1 August and reporting back to school 5 August.
I do have employment at my high school for next year (although I'm still waiting on paperwork) so I can afford #JobMarketTheSequel.

I am teaching online this summer, a new class Shakespeare and Film Adaptation, but it's small (40 cap) and I already built it, so that should just be fun.
I do want to take the summer to try and get a couple of articles out. One, on the relationship between Merlin narratives and the English folkloric devil. I'd like to find a home for my pamphlet chapter of the dissertation in some form. I worry because other than (hopefully) Dr. in front of my name, I'm not going on #JobMarketTheSequel with anything different than round one. Because I've been so busy with the dissertation this past year, there are no articles out that might possibly get added to the CV.

I'm more than a little nervous about #JobMarketTheSequel. Because while I feel good about my basic materials (CV, cover letters for teaching/research emphasis, statements, etc.) I honestly couldn't tell you why I didn't even make first round cut on 86+ jobs. So I don't know what to do better. I'm sure I will bug people this summer on Twitter like I did last about taking looks at my materials and seeing if there's anything I can do. I don't know how much access I'll have to my committee this summer, so I think I'll be relying on Twitter.

I'm trying not to smack people who say "don't worry, it'll all work out." Because hello, it clearly doesn't a lot of the time. But I honestly don't know what else I can do to make myself a better candidate.
  • I present at conferences
  • I actively network at conferences in a non-kiss-someone's-ass way
  • I am active in scholarly communities on Twitter
  • I am consistent about sharing my work and getting it out there, both formally (by sharing article links and blogging)
  • I have four articles from peer reviewed journals
  • I have three chapters in edited collections
  • I have a strong teaching record, and a solid online teaching portfolio
  • I think the consistency of my publication record shows I will continue to produce
  • My work splits the medieval/early modern divide
So I don't know what else I can do.
And I hate that, because that means it's all out of my hands. And that's terrifying.
I don't know how much support I get from now on. Or how much is just me.

I started the last few days to think about quality of life. The type of life I wanted outside of any particular job. This is what I have:
  • Live near a park for Nehi
  • Larger yard for Nehi
  • Be able to bike to work
  • Stop being so stressed and anxious it affects my health
  • Find a church I like to attend Mass at
It's not a huge list. They're all pretty minor things.
Then I started to think of larger things, the "not required but would be cool list":
  • Minor league baseball
  • Town/city that cares actively about the environment
  •  Weather than allows me to run 11-12 months out of the year
  • Close to an airport so travel is not a pain
Again, not a huge list. Simple things.
I guess the reason these things have been on my mind is, if I don't get a higher ed job, I need to figure out what I'm going to do.
Will I continue to pay out of pocket to attend academic conferences?
Will I continue to try and publish?
Will I stay teaching high school?
IF I stay teaching high school will I stay at my current school?
Will I move? Across town? Across the country?

And with all this, what does THIS life look like?

The truth is I don't know. And no one can tell me.
So I guess I'm going to focus on first, recovering from this last brutal year. Then get through my defense. Hopefully celebrate some.
Then I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. And hope it all works out.

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