The end of the year already?
Wow, it was so easy to blog during November, and then I fell off the wagon again. Right now, I'm in a cafe, unable to settle on work, so am going to say some stuff. I would tell you about my year, but it sucked. Actually, many good things happened this year, but the bad things were the sort of things that were in ways devastating. Not as devastating as my last breakup (and that's a whole nother thing, as they say). No, these things were devastating because they hit me at the core of my professional identity and involved going through something we probably all go through once we settle into a place, or maybe when we get tenure and become senior faculty. All of a sudden, we see more of the politics, and are on different committees (actually, not true in my case, but I know it is for some), and when we have the freedom to follow our own agendas a bit more. Or maybe it's just that academic politics can be very much like the schoolyard all over again, with cliques and hurt feelings and all sorts of things that shouldn't actually happen between reasonable adults.
Hm. I am having trouble writing about these things, at least in a dispassionate way.
Let's just say that I kinda love my job. I like the students I teach, even though I wish they were more driven. I work for great people who I really believe would like to pay their faculty more and who have been very supportive of me and my work, and of my colleagues, too. They have foibles, but I wouldn't trade them. I generally like my colleagues, although I am truly disturbed by some of the things I see, particularly those that seem to be the result of giving junior faculty too much responsibility too soon, with too little mentoring and oversight. And frankly, those same things might also be a result of not having a good feel for institutional wisdom and its importance. I love the town I live in, and enjoy much about small-town life. I have a house, and cats, and good friends. I feel loved and appreciated.
It would be nice if this year hadn't seemed to be a mash-up of Mean Girls, Lear, Middlemarch, and Gaslight.
Hey, it's still the bleak midwinter where I am. Look for productive posts in the New Year.