If I stay there will be trouble...Reality check: actually I'm quite free at the moment. We don't need the money. I mean need need. My wife is making sufficient income for now to support us comfortably. Even though she expects to take off (indefinitely?) after #3 is born around the beginning of February, we've got decent savings (thanks in large part to the real estate bubble that allowed us to realize a handsome profit from our tiny condo in Paradise, which we bought only because the cost of owning at that time was comparable to the cost of renting; and also which allowed us to realize a not-so-handsome, but still respectable profit on our house in Denver, which might have been more handsome if we had gotten out several months or a year earlier). It was luck mostly... that and a good deal of careful budgeting and money management. But I fully realize that having money in the bank does not in any way make us better people (nor reflect our inherent higher quality) than say my comrades-in-arms adjuncts who don't. But this is my reality; the one in which I operate.
but if I go there will be double.
Back to The Clash, if I stay at Lemon, the trouble is mostly of the psychic variety. It's wearing to willingly subject myself to the conditions that are imposed on adjuncts at Lemon. It's a constant struggle between my conscience reflecting a desire to be a really good teacher, and my conscience which wants to be treated with the dignity and respect I feel I deserve. There is little dignity in being overworked and underpaid, in being forced to eat my lunch in the hallways, because I haven't access to an office but one day per week, in having to choose between giving grades to students based on a perfunctory glance, or spending all my time grading.
And what of my business? What time do I really have left for that? What would be the function of remaining?
- There may have been an implied agreement that I'd teach for the whole year. But then, the institution chose to give me a one-term contract. So... who implied what? (Bait and switch, anyone?)
- Remaining may facilitate my continuing ability to get glowing letters of recommendation from Sara Chaisano ("It will be our loss if he moves on to another teaching position." Hard for her to say, if I've already left).
- Assuming I do get a tenure-track gig to begin next fall, the added recent experience teaching these two courses would facilitate the transition.
But part of me wants to just let it go. Part of me wants to leap, with my family, into that great unknown. I want to build my research firm. I want to hire these programmers (part-time for now), and spend some of our savings to build this firm. I want to simply trust that the 18 months or three years (depending on where we live, and how we manage the money) that our savings can sustain us, will be more than enough for my research to start turning a profit.
It's scary. It's uncertain. But are the certainties I'm given much better? Nothing in the world is worth wasting our lives. No amount of certainty is worth getting stuck, on a track defined by no one but circumstance. The wind blows of its own accord. It is on us to trim the sails.