So yes, it’s true. Walking the walk is not the same as talking the talk. I read the blog posts (see blogroll on the right-hand sidebar), I did my time at the shrink’s, I discussed with my SO, and I talked to my committee. The common topic was: this is going to be rough.
Well, now I have lived through the roughness. Basically, everyone inside the ivory tower -TNRU campus was mad at me. But rather than pushing me off the tower, they decided to make me walk down its main staircase. Wearing a giant dunce cap, of course.
For the warm-up lap, I was instructed to write to all academic jobs I applied to to withdraw my application. Yes, even the universities that hadn’t expressed any interest in me. Of course you should write to places that interviewed you, as a professional courtesy. But other places? I think it was just so I had to write that I was leaving a bunch of times.
Next up, the e-mail was to say I was withdrawing “for personal reasons”. Like I am sick. Leaving aside the part where this suggests post-academia is a disease, I consider my reasons to be completely professional: I want a different work environment that involves more team work, tangible results, more short-term professional development, and a 12-month salary. Saying I leave for personal reasons is a lie, but then again I had told so many lies during the season…
As I expected, the third lap involved cancelling my participation at conferences. You know, because of my illness. “It’s just not useful for you anymore.” This led to a smooth transition into the next lap: if I am not presenting at conferences and I won’t have a tenure clock, it really doesn’t make sense for me to continue being on those co-authored projects. I thought the professional thing to do was to finish what I had started and honor all my existing commitments. Furthermore, I wasn’t worried about the tenure clock when I started these projects. I got involved because I think they are interesting and challenging questions that will yield useful results inside and outside of academe. These lines sound very cheesy, but whatever. It’s true. The real bummer is I will never get the hours I invested back. Hell, I might not even get a “thanks”.
Enough shame for tonight.