Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Long Dark Night of the Soul

I just checked the Academic Wiki, a place where people can anonymously update job results, and there it was, on the tenure track job Avram had a phone interview for, the little phrase that sunk my soul - Campus visit scheduled. That's it.  While there is still a very small chance that they could call today and give Avram a visit, they almost certainly won't. We lost the job, which was our brightest future. And so far we don't even have another interview scheduled, only a week and a half out from SBL - the main clearinghouse for interviews.  I feel like it's all over. Like we don't have a future.  I am crying, and I am worried how Avram is going to take it.  I worry that we did something wrong, something we could have done better. That maybe I did something wrong - I was too needy during my pregnancies (that I kept getting pregnant....) that we should have a publication accepted.  That somehow they found this blog, and got scared that Avram's wife was crazy.

Of course, I logically know that it's not any of these things.  That there are a lot of qualified candidates, more than can ever get jobs.  That because of the job shortage for tenure track jobs, that there will be so many highly qualified candidates for each position that even if you are good at research, good at teaching, that this does not mean you'll ever find a job in academia.  That it's not about us. But....I still feel it.  I feel like all of our hopes and dreams are crushed, like we will still be here in Columbus in a year in poverty with no hope of the future, no steady income.  We spent the last seven years in grad school - doesn't that mean anything? Don't our years of work and sacrifice mean anything?  The not grieving part of me knows that they do - but sacrifice does not automatically equal a certain type of result - in this case Avram's academic dream job.  Who am I kidding - it was mine as well.  I knew what neighborhoods we would look at to buy a house. The parks we would go to.  The library, the mountains, being near family.

And not it's gone, just gone. Sure, there will be more jobs in another department in the future, but that is assuming that we can get a job in the meanwhile in academia - if not, we really don't have a chance, because there will always be more talent than openings.  It's like being dumped - except for way worse, because there are lots and lots of people, and no soulmates.  But there are only very few jobs.  I know joy comes in the morning - but just right now I feel that I have entered into the long, dark night.

1 comment:

  1. You and Avram have been in my thoughts a lot as of late. I am sorry things are looking so dreary just now. Here's hoping that there is a corner to turn sooner rather than later!