10 February 2009


This will not be news to some of you, but I hate teaching.  Okay, I don't really hate it anymore; I've made a tepid peace with it over the years, telling myself it's better than working as a receptionist at an insurance brokerage, or on an assembly line, two jobs that an English major and an MFA in Creative Writing can get you.  And what else would I do?  Christian keeps telling me I would make a kick ass realtor, as he's been super impressed with my negotiation skills in buying and selling our own domeciles, but I think he's mistaking the fierceness that threat to her cave arouses in a mama bear, or a threat to her nest provokes in mama bird.  Or maybe he's just comparing my negotiating skills to his.  Either way, I have no desire to be a realtor. Owning a restaurant sounds fun, but I think I'm too old and tired for that.  Even as a teenager I found restaurant work to be physically grueling.  I 'm quite sure I couldn't take the stress or the physical toll anymore.

Another thing I hate is medieval literature, which is what really drove me to take a leave from my Ph.d program this year.  It's not that I don't want a Ph.d, it's that I don't want to have to earn one.  I'd rather be given an honorary doctorate for being cool than have to know about the influence of Boccaccio on Dante (or is it the other way around?  see, this proves that I am not cut out for academia).  Some people I know are comfortable pretending they know everything, and thus make good professors.  Others actually do know everything, and they make good professors too.  I don't fall into either category.

This post probably sounds whiny.  I know there are many worse situations out there, and I feel guilty for being dissatisfied.  I should be grateful for the experiences I've had, and I am.  But, maybe this is a mid-life crisis talking. I just don't want to spend my time doing things I don't love anymore.  So either I need to find a way to make a living doing what I love, or I need to find a way to love what I need to do to make a living.  Was that too convoluted?

Here's the other thing:  the numbers just don't add up--5 kids +140 texts to master for my exams + 1.20 minute commute to Salt Lake + 3 writing classes to teach= what?  A trip to Utah State Hospital?  It's just not working for me.

I need a book deal, a large grant, or Christian needs to win the Herb Alpert award ASAP!  (MacArthur Grant?  Can't apply for NEA grant until March '10.)

Please advise.


Marni C. said...

Book deal. And honorary PhD. For sure.

Boyd said...

the obvious course of action is humantarian work in africa, which (if done correctly)will lead to a noble prize, which lead to honarary PhD and TADA!

downside: might get shot in phase one. and phase two is easier said then don. then question remains of what to with H.PhD gained in phase three.

P.S. I am also excedingly tired right now, so this might not be the best course of action