Friday, December 21, 2007

Pouring out a full cup

Dear Tasse,

It's been a tour. As we face the new year 2008, I've decided the tour will end. I am no longer seeking a faculty position in academia. I resigned my "part-time" position at Lemon as of the term just ended. Working 25-30 hours a week plus a 10 hour weekly commute (for $6000 take home pay!) left me little time or energy to pursue anything beyond lecture preps and grading. Teaching 75 students is not part-time work. And for such pay, and no benefits, its rewards pale against the cost.

I leave with a great deal of sorrow and disappointment. A PhD does not mean what I thought it had. The academy is not the place I thought it was. It is the temple at which I have worshipped virtually all my life, believing knowledge and inquiry to be its principals. It seems I was deceived. It's sad to leave, but surprisingly not so hard.

I've come to believe that (surely some, including you, had tried to open my eyes to this) academia is not a welcoming home for me and my ideas. Although I still love teaching, and I have no doubts that I am a good teacher (my student evaluations, and gratuitous comments, attest to that), my commitments are not compatible with what has been and remains expected of a professor of [Field 1]. I realize (in part, teaching adjunct at Lemon has helped in this regard) that most of the jobs I might have eventually gained would have left me wondering why I had struggled so long to attain them.

I will be forging off on my own, building my research into something beneficial and marketable. I am confident that my ideas are worthwhile, that I will be able to accomplish some good with them. The only questions that remain are when, and whether our savings will last us long enough. I thank you for your support and encouragement these past many years. Be well.


Dear Articulate:

Thanks for your note. As you know, I am always ready to stand behind you and your work. I know that no one has tried more than you to make things work, and I admire your courage and your persistence.

As usual, warmest wishes to you and your family.


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