This next week should be sufficiently insane. On the to-do list:

  • Finish packing (almost done, but there are some last minute things I’ll need to pack)
  • Attend a number of social obligations. For whatever reason, people all simultaneously decide that they want to see you before you go.  Where in the hell was everyone the past 6 weeks?!
  • Get rid of a bunch of stuff.  My fellow Westerners, we have WAY too much stuff.  You could survive with a quarter of what we own, and thrive with half.  Why do I have some of this stuff and insist on keeping it? Who the hell knows.
  • Finish tweaking an article.  This article is the one that was cruelly rejected during the holidays, and I’m just now in a state of mind where I can look at it and improve it.
  • Finish prepping for the semester.  I haven’t even drafted my syllabi yet, although this is in part because I’m going to be attending a pedagogy workshop in early August that may help me in this area.  I do have general ideas and I have the text ordered for two of my three sections, so that’s progress, right?
  • Come to terms with the fact that I’m moving away from a city I’ve lived in for 11 years and away from the state of my birth.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to leave, but I realize that this will mark a number of huge changes in my life, and I’m a bit nervous.
On the upside, I’ve accomplished a few things, too:
  • I turned 29.  While I was somewhat ambivalent about it, my friends turned out for what was the best birthday party ever.  All in all, there were probably 30-something people there.
  • I submitted an article!  I worked diligently throughout the month of June, despite being out of town for over a third of it.  Although I worked slower than I’d wanted to, I got the article out merely a week later than originally planned.  Not bad, I’d say.  Now, I keep my fingers crossed hoping for an “Accept.”
  • I wrote and submitted my proposal for next year’s Huge National Conference. Since I’m still officially on the market, I really need to get this paper accepted so that I can be there to network and keep building my vita.  My hope is that I will have secured a real job by then.
  • Speaking of the job hunt, I’ve started to get organized for my third go-round in the market.  Things will no doubt be different for me, and I’ve set a firm rule for myself: I’m not going to apply for any jobs outside of my exact discipline.  In my past two searches, I’ve made the mistake of applying for anything that even smells like culinary psychology.  While some tout this method as a way of increasing your odds, I find it unproductive and a huge time suck.  When you consider that even the most basic of application packages probably takes at least 2 hours to assemble, I’ve spent probably the equivalent of three full workweeks assembling packages for jobs I had no chance of getting.  Now that I have a job, I can’t afford this kind of inefficiency.  If I only apply for five jobs this entire cycle, so be it.  My odds are still better than when I used my old approach, and I’ll be much more sane.
I’m going to try to be much more consistent about my posting, particularly as the semester starts. There will surely be a lot for me to think through, and I will certainly need advice from my fellow academics.  T-minus 8 days and counting!