My dissertation has been officially approved and accepted by the Graduate School, which basically means that I am for sure going to graduate in May.  I realize that this is a big deal and that I should celebrate this accomplishment, but it’s being overshadowed by this persistent sense of liminality.

We thought that we would have an answer by at the latest, early this week.  It’s currently 9:30 PM on Wednesday evening, and I’ve yet to hear anything.  Normally, I’d just remain patient and wait, but there’s been a wrench thrown into the cogs: Spouse has an offer to extend his contract for one more year, but he has to answer by the end of the day on Friday (2 days from now).  Apparently, none of the candidates for his replacement wowed his dean, and they honestly want to keep him as long as they can.  This developed 2 days after I returned from my call back, and it really took the edge off of things because we pretty much learned that no matter what, at least one of us will be gainfully employed next academic year.

This is, of course, good.  I have often enjoyed such things as food and shelter, and so I certainly can’t complain about this development.  However, knowing that I may be stuck here another year AND possibly unemployed depresses me in a way that even I can’t articulate.  Some days, I sit at my desk working and struggle to hold back tears.  It all seems so…futile.  I realize that anything I do only enhances my ability to get a job later, and that giving up isn’t an option, but I worry that the grind of searching for a job two years in a row and the ennui of unemployment will dull my edge.  I so love what I do, but at a certain point, if I don’t have a job, I can’t do anything.

So, I will have to call the search committee chair and ask her about their projected time line.  There are a few potential outcomes (in order of worst to best)

  • I do not get the offer and Spouse takes the job here.
  • I get the offer, but don’t find out in time, and Spouse takes the job here.  We would live apart for most of the year, but we can make it work.  Then, Spouse would have nearly a full year to find a job in the same area as my job.
  • I get the offer by the end of the day on Friday, Spouse turns down the offer here, and searches for work in New Town.

I’ve heard that there is a Chinese curse, “May your life be interesting.”  Now I understand it.