Back to the grind, chickadees. I was actually kind of dreading it in the days leading up to the beginning of the semester. The spring was traumatic, so the scars are deep and slow to heal. Even driving in today, I said out loud, “What am I doing?” Probably not a good way to start things off, but my first class went just fine.

It’s not that I don’t want to be in academia, it’s just that I’m rather disillusioned with all that it’s been for me thus far. To a certain extent, one must pay her dues. I accept that. But at what point does my lot in life become more about just exploitation and less about paying my dues? I am most grateful to have a job, but I fear it’s leading me nowhere. A visting position for a year or two is likely not a big deal, but I’ve had a number of people tell me that any more than that is the nail in the coffin lid.

It’s rather like meeting someone in his or her 50s who has never been married: You wonder why it is that no one gave them the old college try, and fear that there’s a “good reason” that this person is single. That’s not to pathologize unmarried folk or to imply that people who don’t get married by a certain age must be defective goods. In fact, I’m saying quite the opposite. Some people just don’t get a fair chance to show who they are, but that shouldn’t necessarily be a dealbreaker. However, that’s not how the game (whether dating or job-hunting) works. Decision makers rely on lazy heuristics to determine your fate. If you aren’t easily categorized or quantifiable, they keep moving.

Earlier today, I created my job hunt spread sheet. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I titled it “Job Search Part IV: The Finale.” So far, no listings for which I am qualified have come out. It will be nice to have a week or two to refine my materials yet again before things kick into high gear. I’m not really dreading this round of searching. More like it, I’m just indifferent. It’s hard to give a shit about something that seems entirely random and based on so many factors that have nothing to do with me.