I've been delaying this moment as long as possible. For thirty years, actually. But, push comes to shove, and all the procrastination and wishy-washinessness and uncertainty and second-guessing finally come to a head and here we are. For the first time in my entire life, I am gainfully employed in a permanent job.
(You too can avoid permanent employment if you are willing to live cheap, with a consignment-shop + Target + Forever21 wardrobe and ancient plaid sofas. Generous parents followed by a gainfully employed spouse also help. I recommend a smooth transition between the two forms of support, if possible. Being an infant bride, as I was, is useful.)
The hilarious part of my job is that I accepted a full-time position at the legendary University B, where I taught as an adjunct (read: underpaid teacher-wench) last fall. My class was full of students on cell phones and student-papers that failed to use commas in a way that made any sense whatsoever. I complained about it all semester long, but when it was over, I felt like I had actually taught those students something.
When the chair of the department asked me about the job in February, I said I didn't think I would be interested. At that point, I was barely dragging myself through teaching two classes. A full-time load teaching students who didn't know how to use commas seemed absolutely impossible.
When he asked me again in April (evidently he thought I was just being coy in February--or he was just really desperate), life felt just a little more manageable. Many of my friends from grad school were getting jobs and moving away and it did kind of feel like my PhD was just hanging around being useless after all those years of work (read: drinking cheap beer and writing long papers) to get it. I had no reason to work part-time. Plus, I'm really sick of working Saturdays at the learning center since David's new job had him working long hours through the week (seriously, how many after-school events can one grade school have?) and I feel like we never see each other. Also I've been wanting to buy new window treatments for the living room and that requires cash. So I figured I might as well see what the salary package looked like.
I went to an all-day interview process a couple of weeks ago--meeting with faculty councils and various administrative officials and answering and asking a million questions and doing a presentation of my research. It started at 8:30am and my final meeting of the day finished at 4pm. Exhausting. Also they turned off the window AC in the presentation room so I wouldn't have to shout and I was totally paranoid about my armpits sweating the whole time.
But I guess my deodorant held up because they called me a couple days later and offered me the job. And I took it.
So there ya go. After all this time, I am finally working full time. A real job as an assistant professor. I have an office with a window and file cabinets and bookshelves and everything. It's a 9-month contract on a university schedule and I'll be teaching two classes a day. And advising students. And grading papers. And prepping to teach works of literature that I am more or less familiar with, depending on the course. Believe me, it will be a full-time job.
And (hopefully) a full-time distraction. Or at least most of the time.
Here's to new beginnings, at long last.