Thursday, September 12, 2013

Something I learned this week.

Yay Mama Kat!  I've been learning so much these past weeks, but I promise I'm going to try to narrow it down to just two things.

1. I am not ready for the academic job market.
Some people know they are ready to apply for professorship jobs while they are still writing up their dissertations.  Looking through the calls for applications that are floating around the internet for cultural/medical anthropologists, I have come to the realization that I am absolutely NOT ready for the academic job market.  I have zero publications to my name.  My dissertation is only half done.  I only have a vague idea what kind of classes I would teach, and the idea of competing with some of my colleagues (that I know personally) makes me queasy.

Yes, I have submitted one article for consideration.  Yes, I do actually have a little teaching experience, including designing my own course.  Yes, I do have a successful record of getting my research projects funded.  But do all those things add up to a competitive candidate for a professorship?  I don't think so.

The result is that now I am going to concentrate on only applying for postdoctoral positions and independent research funding.  I'm working on shaping a research proposal that would keep us here ideally for another 5 years, and I get to present it to the potential field site on the 24th.  I'm really excited about the prospect of conducting more independent research, even though the process of getting it all set up is a little daunting.  I've also narrowed down the postdoc positions that I'm applying for to just a handful that I actually want.  I'm hoping this is a good strategy, but only time will tell.

See, we really ARE hanging in the balance again right now!

2. I have totally bitten off more than I can chew.

In addition to all of the things I'm working on right now, as listed above, I've also started doing some freelance work part-time.  First up, I've been working on some qualitative data coding.  It is the same kind of stuff that I'm working on for my dissertation, so it isn't difficult.  It is paid by the hour, quite nicely I might add, and it is a contained project with attainable goals.  Secondly, I've taken on a freelance gig doing some simple SEO research for a very small company located here in Evansville.  It is completely unrelated to anything else in my life, other than blogging which I'm only mildly good at thanks to my guru Marianne, and I like it that way.

The issue: I cannot actually do ALL of these things and still sleep.  My working days are limited to Monday-Wednesday-Friday 8-10:45am, Tuesday 8-2:30, all weekdays 5-9pm, and weekends when we don't have other plans.  Does that sound like enough time to you?  Did you notice that there is very little time to actually spend with my husband in there?  I've TOTALLY bitten off more than I can chew.  Here's hoping that Alanis Morissette is right in recommending biting off more than I can chew. (Apologies if that reference is too old for you.)

I mostly thrive when I have too much to do.  I really do.  When my time is precious is when I get the most done.  Just thinking about it makes me a little exhausted, but this too shall pass.  There will come a time when I will be free to do what I want, and I'm sure that I'll mostly spend it knitting and watching bad television.  Until that time comes, I'll be busy pounding away on my laptop if you need me.

What did you learn this week?

Mama’s Losin’ It


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