Friday, September 14, 2007

Unfaithful in one's heart

Contrary to their years-old practice (YEARS! like, at least three!), this year the MLA--showing no concern for the needs of certain bloggers, who may or may not have been checking the ADE website multiple times a day, all week long--actually didn't make the job list available until today's official release date.

Now, I don't want to go on the job market this year and I'm not planning on going on the job market this year; short of being actively dissatisfied with one's job or trying to get closer to a long-distance partner, the idea of going back on the market in one's first few years on the tenure-track has always struck me as a sacrifice of time that could be better spent on research, writing, and professional-identity-building--all the stuff that would make one a stronger candidate a year or two or five down the line. The logic of that calculation may not have equal force for everyone, but given that I'm perfectly content in this job and this city, I really have no reason to be as excited about the release of the job list as I am.

But that's the thing: it's not about dissatisfaction. It's not about wanting to or thinking that one can "do better." It's just about wondering what else might be out there. And in this respect, I wonder whether the impulse is really so different from whatever spurs otherwise happily married people to flirt or fantasize or outright cheat on their partners: so many opportunities in this big, wide world! So many roads not taken! And the familiar is just so. . . familiar. Ya know?

So yeah: I've looked. I've indulged in a fantasy or two. I'm cheating in my heart, RU, but that doesn't mean that I'll be cheating in practice.

But then again, it doesn't mean that I won't.

7 comments:

MountainLaurel said...

I've always looked at the postings. Always. And often it makes me feel better about the position that I have now, so it can work both ways.

Dr. Shellie said...

Here's another idea: maybe it's not unfaithfulness or cheating, it's PTSD from the job-search process. Flashbacks of job hunting... anxiety... stress... potential major life sacrifices... with associated compulsions to search the job ads? Then again, if none of those apply, maybe it is just wondering what else might be out there. :)

Tiruncula said...

Aargh! I can't get on! I'm not even supposed to be looking, but I looked at the listings for my other field and the damage is done. Aargh.

Flavia said...

T: did you go to the ADE website? The MLA site seems not to be working, but the ADE site is. (Albeit v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y; it took me an hour and a half to get through the listings in my field, and all I was doing was skimming.)

Tiruncula said...

Oh, thanks - will try ADE. You'd think they'd have thought through the bandwidth issues, wouldn't you?

muse said...

I'm with Dr. Shellie on the PTSD. Why else do I still comb the real-estate listings for Montreal Craigslist when I haven't lived in Montreal for over a year and I have a wonderful house 950 miles away, huh?

redneck prof said...

After agonizing all weekend I've decided *not* to apply to a really interesting job. Because it's in Los Angeles. And there's no way I would ever move there, so why bother.