Friday, April 13, 2012

Stress and Confusion

Thursday, April 12, 2011—Orange, CA

Exhaustion. Craziness. I decided to go thru with the IVC interview, in some respects against my better judgment (I finally just came to the conclusion that I’ve gone all this way with the process so I might as well finish it). I called up the school on Tuesday and my interview is set for tomorrow morning. The lack of warning adds to the stress in some ways (I had to throw together a teaching demonstration on early hominid evolution in just an afternoon), but in others ways it helps with the stress because I don’t have a bunch of time to sit around thinking about things—I just go in and do it and it’s over. I’m still very uneasy about what this all might mean for me. If I get this job does that just make me a part-time writer or does it give me a base to pursue my art full bore largely free of financial restraints? Am I making the same mistake I almost made when I was planning to do my Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara: the trading of my literary self for an academic paycheck? Can I be a full-time teacher and a full-time writer at the same time? Or can I blend anthropology and my writing so tightly together that they’re both different aspects of the same thing (which is what I’ve sort of done with Backwaters of Beauty and Mother Earth).

There’s of course a very good chance that all of this emoting is over something that will not happen. I still think that my odds of getting this job are about twenty-five percent—at best. In fact, based on my qualifications I really shouldn’t be getting it; there are a lot of people in the application pool who far outshine me, at least on paper. But I’ve noticed over the years that people often tend to get these jobs for odd reasons, for reasons that have more to do with how the person who has the final call on the hiring thinks the applicant will fit in personally with the department. So who knows. As of right now I’m incredibly conflicted. If I don’t get the job I’ll be disappointed—and relieved.

Not much else going on. Having to prepare that teaching demonstration on the run has thrown me even further behind on school work (the next few weeks will be a blur of lecture/test writing and grading). Hoping to dig out by the end of this month. I’m really chomping on at the bit to get some writing done. Been reading Chomsky on Anarchism, which is a collection of essays and lectures by Noam Chomsky (who else would it be?). This is adding to my trapped feeling, my hatred of heirachy and regimentation. I’m ready for big things in my life—but can’t get out from the day-to-day dream crusher banalities. Feeling tired. Weird.

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