February 19, 2004

The Cruelest Month? (A Thread for "P")

Seeing as some two-third of visitors (or at last respondants to IA's poll) to this site are academics-in-transition, and that this the 'ugly month' when often-dismal futures are foretold and difficult life-decisions made, I wonder if others would like to reflect with me on current travails and concerns on the adjunct track.

I don't want to thread-jack a useful conversation . . . but am nonetheless seeking conversation.

-- "P," comment to "Academe on the New Academic Labor System"

Here's a new thread for those who want to have this conversation.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at February 19, 2004 02:48 PM

Yes, indeed it is a dreary time, and I am finding that it's almost worse having done reasonably well. It's my first time on, my dissertation's not done yet, and I still managed to get two on-campus interviews for tenure-track positions. But in neither case did I get the job, and it was just a draining process, sucking up large chunks of time in October and November and then almost all of my January. And for what? "We wish we could hire all four candidates, but...."

To top it off, I can hardly complain to my friends who didn't get interviews at all. I am convinced that where I succeeded (at least vs. them), it was a matter of fit and luck; my failures seem much more my own than my successes!

February always sucks, anyway.

Posted by: af at February 19, 2004 10:41 PM

I have a job at a small teaching-heavy school (5-4 or 5-5 load), but I am trying to move on. I am waiting on the results of the one campus interview that I had two weeks ago. I had a lot of AHA interviews, but only one so far led to a campus visit.

I feel fortunate to have a job, obviously, but I am still hoping I can escape this one. It is depressing to sit through February waiting for the magic phone call, regardless of where one's career is at.

Good luck for everyone sweating it out!

Posted by: better left nameless at February 20, 2004 09:11 AM

Don't surrender to gloom just yet. A few of us hiring departments are still, thanks to unhelpful administrative cycles, nearer the beginning than the end of the application filtration process. Sure, we're not the most organized, slick, well-resourced of the hiring institutions, but we're nice folks who take our work seriously.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at February 20, 2004 01:30 PM

Am in a split-personality mode at the moment, enjoying rather cushy well-paid visiting asst. professor deal at liberal arts college on the one hand, and on the other paranoid about lack of interviews and absence of job prospects for coming year when it all comes to an end in June.

In fact the juxtaposition of current situation and future prospects is itself weird -- as if fate is playing Magus-like games, swinging you up high just to let you down with a bigger thump . . .


Posted by: flu in san diego at February 20, 2004 06:28 PM

Flu -- I find myself in similar circumstance (though I am reasonably sure I will be able to continue in this temporary role, many aspects of which I do like) but thinking nonetheless in some similar ways: is it time to start investing my energies/money/time in a new profession? Seek and renegotiate yearly contract or not? Put conference proposals in or not? Redouble publishing effort or not? Will any of this (more teaching, more presentations, more pub's) make any difference during next year's job search? Is it wise to keep one foot in even while I try to stick the other foot out, trying to find a foothold outside of academe? Or will these half-strides in opposite directions damn both efforts?

At some point, when blessed with a family, asking others to stay "in flux" for another year seems like damn selfishness -- or foolishness ("hey y'all, look away while I park our mobile home atop this sinkhole").

Too many questions today . . . which must be a clear sign that the 'bourbon' is wearing off.

Posted by: P at February 22, 2004 11:47 AM