I am hardly writing here, because I am writing a novel. I have sent pieces of it to Boulevard, Evergreen Review, Narrative, and Southwestern Review. You can see I am serious.
One of our major programs is being cut. That means dismissal of all faculty including tenured faculty. Notice was given Monday. I am looking at my vita. You can see I am really serious.
I am teaching a book on torture and realizing how sadistic some aspects of my upbringing were. It was all about teaching the correct gender roles. I still experience the same kinds of pedagogy at the university and I do not react well.
In one of my departments almost everyone is an adjunct or a year to year instructor. Continued employment is based on student evaluations in freshman courses. You can see why all faculty are competing with each other to see who can best serve these freshmen. It is a twisted atmosphere.
Meanwhile, there is the question of pleasure. I think I have said something like this before. We all have stories about how we fell into graduate school by accident. I wonder whether it is true, or whether it is part of a narrative which functions to justify poor work situations later.
I wonder whether we really fell in by accident, or whether we simply knew what fascinated us. I wonder whether it might not be more empowering, especially at the current, excruciating juncture, to remember that we fell in out of strength and not weakness.