Category Archives: resolutions

Completely Disheartened

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I just found out that my dear friend here, my best friend here, has been denied tenure. Ze more than had the required publications and conferences, had the student evaluations ze needed, and service out the wazoo. Ze was given no explanation, no “you’re tenure was denied due to budget cuts, etc.,” just a form letter stating that the university has decided against ze’s tenure application. Which now the school is going to need to spend money to replace hir, so we are all a bit stunned and confused.

This has me questioning my move here then. If someone who has met and in some places exceeded the tenure requirements is denied tenure, then what does that mean for the two of us who were just hired for this year? I already have 2/3 of my page requirements for tenure. By the end of the summer I’ll have almost all of the new page requirements. I still have yet to find out what my teaching evals look like though, but there seems to be positive buzz in the hallways about me. And no one has complained…yet. I won’t hold my breath.

I’m beside myself with grief over this.  I mean, I don’t want to make this about me, but I’m full of doubt now about what I’m doing here, and how I’m going to be able to make tenure. In many ways I’m much happier with my job here although I I feel like my timeline for what I need to accomplish just got moved up.

I feel like what I’m looking at here, then, is that in order for me to be able to put in a successful tenure bid, I’m going to have to not only exceed the requirements, but I’m going to have to double them. I mean, I had always planned on not doing just the minimum because I wanted a safety net, but it seems the safety net isn’t even good enough here. Granted, things can really change in the next five years here, but given the state I’m in, it could also change for the worse because our governor isn’t really a huge education supporter, at least not when it comes to forking out money for it.

Again, I know that I have made this about me–it’s just seems that ze’s tenure denial means that the rest of us are on much shakier ground than we were a week ago. While I know that my stress now is nothing compared to the stress and uncertainty of my friend’s situation now, it means that I must really map out my research goals and plans here and quit dicking around in the mornings.

It means that I have to make good on my plan to get the smaller article done–I must now do it by the end of this month. Less than 2 weeks to do that. At which point I’ll then have to figure out a research plan that allows me to use the stuff I’m need for the conference paper for the larger article that now must be completed by the end of summer. At the very least, the rough draft of the article needs to be finished by the time classes begin in September. This also means that if I am indeed going to write this book that I want to, I will need to have a proposal written by the end of Winter quarter 2013 and at least a chapter ready by the end of next Spring. Those of you who have written books, is that a reasonable timeline? I need to secure the page requirements for tenure before I start trying to work on this thing. I’ve got to at least have a solid article to send out to something well-placed. I know the possibility of rejection is high, so I need plenty of time to work on revisions and the like.

Or is this a bad plan?

To Do Better

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Well, I already did my new year’s resolutions like 2 months ago which was ridiculous because I have to reevaluate stuff.

There were good things and bad things that happened last year. There were good things and bad things that happened last week even (the week before Christmas sucked!)

The big good things–I seriously beat the odds and successfully moved from a SLAC to a mid-tier research university. Not an R1, but it’s on it’s way. This is HUGE for me because throughout most of my grad career I had been told that *I* should not expect anything better than a 4/4 at a place like the one I was at (THis is not to say that my colleagues at Fancy Town are less than at all! Don’t misinterpret that!). I was also told that I got that job out of luck and charm, not skill or intelligence, and that the chances of my moving out of a job like the one I had were nil. That really, I had a better chance of becoming God him/herself than successfully landing not only another t-t job, but in moving up to a better school. And I did! And I did it on my own! I had help of course, but I had help writing a kick ass letter, had an apparently kick ass interview, and I know that clearly I kicked ass at the campus visit. And during a crappy crappy crappy job search year, still with a large applicant pool. And it was a job I thought for sure I didn’t get, but I did. So that was a great thing.

I also wrote two articles. Two small ones, but two articles. One of which is in press right now. The other I think is in limbo somewhere, but still. More than I thought I’d have done at this time last year.

We no longer live in a tiny apartment. And we are both in the same place.

The dogs are still very healthy, including the Divine Miss T, who is nearing 100 in dog years.

Bad things: left my friends for a new job, two cars were totally smashed up and the J was injured during one smash up. The J is still unemployed, and we are very broke. This time last year, we had a fat sum of money in savings. This year we have hardly anything in savings. And the move here sucked ass, too.

I am heavier right now than I was at this time last year. Actually, it’s the heaviest I’ve been in about three years, and I’ve been gaining and losing the same 15 pounds all year. So that kind of sucks. Actually, that really really sucks.

In general though, I am happier than I was last year. So one out of three isn’t horrible. It’s better than none out of three.

While I will detail my own specific plans for myself, I don’t want to sound like a broken record here. But here’s the goals/resolutions: To Do Better, in all aspects of my life, this year.

  • While I have another small article in the works, I’d like to write a big article, one for a mid-tier journal in my field. (not that I’m ungrateful for the small ones!) But one good solidly placed article, in addition to the two smaller ones I have will secure my scholarship for my tenure application. Anything on top of that will go toward promotion. And that’s the goal.
  • I need to make up my mind to commit to my health and fitness goals. I’m staring down the barrel of 40. I’ve got to get some fitness and some health rockin’ here.
  • Do better with money and savings.
  • Do better at organization and cleaning.
  • Just do better.

So that’s it. I hope I do better this year because for next year I’d like the goals to be “keep doing what you’re doing.”

Happy New Year Folks!