If you are part of the sensitive Mormon set, you really won't find this post all that palatable; stop reading right now.
If you're not part of the aforementioned set, let me just say how frustrated I am right now with all aspects of my life. Frustrate means "to disappoint" in Latin and has as its root the idea "in vain."
Is all this effort in vain? I've been in school non-stop since nineteen ninety-five. I have been kissing ass instead of kicking ass during most of my adult life. This whole process of finding a job in academia is just a mess. I have encountered bigotry, weak scholarship, odious personalities, and a near pan-academia lack of professionalism as I've searched for a job. One school that I visited didn't contact me for FOUR F***ING weeks after my on campus interview. I emailed them to ask about the position. Three days later I get a response saying that the position had been offered to someone else and that they had accepted it the previous week. I'm left wondering if I would have ever been contacted had I not emailed them.
I don't really care where I get a job anymore. I really want the job at North Alabama, but Coker would work too. Hell, U of U for one year Visiting would be alright. I've quit caring. Yesterday in my interview with the selection committee I just decided to be myself and answer the questions how I would if I were just talking and not trying to get a job and to impress them. I call it my "Red" from Shawshank Redemption Parole Board Approach. Every interview, you always get the same two questions: 1) What are your biggest strengths as a professor? and 2) What is your biggest weakness?
I told them that my biggest strength is that I'm a gifted teacher, proven by my repeated perfect scores in my student evaluations. When they asked me my weakness, I answered "Pride." And when they asked me how so, I responded that I really didn't think I had any weaknesses that needed mentioning, that I read my evaluations and took the feedback from them to heart and tried to better myself more and more each semester.
I know it's prideful, but I admitted it to them, because if I had to say "I care too much" again I was going to hate myself.
Coker has poor pay, really bad benefits ($822 a month for health insurance for my family) and no dental insurance. But, it's a job, it's a great town, and the people were pleasant and collegial. They even invited me to their faculty senate meeting.
I am also frustrated spiritually right now. I seem to be numb to any sort of intuition or prompting of the Spirit. I don't have time to do anything that I should, so it's my own fault, but I was hoping I might have built up credit from years past to serve me in this time of need.
I am so stressed out. I am still getting over that hellaciously bad cold I caught in Whyoming (not a typo). One of my classes is filled with little preppie shits that jailhouse-lawyer with me over every point on every quiz. Their indifference to their acquisition of knowledge in my class astounds me. Their sole concern is their grade. It can feel maddening at times. George Harrison sang "All Things Must Pass" beautifully, and I know that it is true, but then I read something by say, Abram J. Ryan that says "
How swift they go,
Life's many years,
With their winds of woe
And their storms of tears,
And their darkest of nights whose shadowy slopes
Are lit with the flashes of starriest hopes,
And their sunshiny days in whose calm heavens loom
The clouds of the tempest -- the shadows of the gloom!
And ah! we pray
With a grief so drear,
That the years may stay
When their graves are near;
Tho' the brows of To-morrows be radiant and bright,
With love and with beauty, with life and with light,
The dead hearts of Yesterdays, cold on the bier,
To the hearts that survive them, are evermore dear. "
or by Ruben Dario that laments
"Juventud, divine tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro.
Y a veces lloro sin querer."
And I wonder if one day I'll wake up and be an old man and look forward to the grave and a hoped for reuniting with my loved ones beyond the pale. (No, I'm not depressed, just worn out and stressed).
I haven't been at home with my family in two weeks. I've been sick, on three different trips, to the doctor, been told I had blood in my sinuses. After working on my diet, this morning I weighed 387, so I can't seem to get below that number, no matter careful I might be.
Perhaps my faith is being tested, but I feel like I've been tested enough. I need a Staples Easy Button for my life right now.
Imagine going to school for 12 years and vying with 300 other people for 75 jobs and knowing that there is no private sector.
Fark me! This is worse than the dissertation, which I can't finish because I've been travelling all over the damned country trying to get a job so that this will all mean something.