Thursday, June 09, 2005

introducing timna

I read Donald Hall's book about two years ago after my first year on the job market and graduating in 2003. At that point I had an academic self - I'd been teaching for 3 years in a community college and was starting to publish - that I wanted to tweak into an employed self. I read the book with an eye to presenting this self in my applications that fall. Looking back, it seems to be a very shallow way of using the material, but I know that I found a way to read his book that also accepted the current academic self, even if I wasn't satisfied.

Two years later, I'm both more and less content with the self that has evolved. I'm a much better teacher, having taught more classes and having a clearer sense of my objectives for each class. My research has gone forward and back: I've had articles accepted, revised, and then had publishers withdraw when I discuss family opposition to my work (the subject of my work is a book published in 1995 and fairly widely used in academics; however, the original manuscript is held by the family and their permission to use has been withdrawn since my dissertation was written). Lately I've written encyclopedia articles and started different research directions. Seems like juggling a lot of different stages of research and perhaps others can tell me that's exactly what happens.

I continue to teach at the community college on a temporary, part-time basis. I've applied there three times and not been accepted. On the other hand, I literally have more classes than I want (3 classes = 12 credits is enough for insurance for the family, but I usually have 4 classes). We have excellent faculty development, both funding for conferences (2-3 a year) and workshops for teaching and curriculum development. Few of my colleagues do research work and I don't talk about it there much at all. My second year on the market yielded the most campus visits, but no offers. There were issues with "tenurability" with my lack of publications. This year I had fewer interviews and no campus visits, but I also stopped applying early in the season and took a break. I must admit I've been much happier not applying for jobs all of the time.

This summer I'm revising the diss for publication since one publisher read it and said they'd be interested in seeing it in a more narrative form. One article is coming out this month. I'm sending out two more that have gone out before (one of the one's that had been accepted).

So, my academic self is not at all sure that I'll ever be on the tenure track, but I guess I haven't given up entirely yet. Writing and researching seem too important to me on a daily basis to just skip out at this point.