The Chronicle now says we should “embrace our inner North Dakotan” and I disagree with most of the old, tired platitudes they reiterate in their article.
But then, I am apparently unusual in that I know what I want and what I want, I want for realistic reasons, not for merely conformist reasons or prestige, and in that I not only can move to very different places and understand them well, I also enjoy this and am energized by it. I also do not find that my tastes have changed very much, ever (the article says, as people will, that one thinks one wants one thing, but discovers one wants another; I am more aware of my actual preferences than this).
Was there ever a time I did not want red shoes, an apartment in a large city, and weekend visits to the country? Was there ever a time I did not prefer dry climates and large institutions? Was I ever not research oriented? Did I ever not find snow acceptable? And on and on, I have never changed.
The post I should write, but do not have time to write now, would expand upon my objections to the piece, but would also discuss the subtler ways in which it speaks to truths.
I am just coming from lunch with a new faculty member who was convinced of numerous falsehoods, e.g. that it must have been for lack of money that a certain position was not filled (not true), another position must carry a salary supplement because if not, why would anyone do that job (there is no supplement, but those who do this job have reasonable reasons to do it). I kept saying: you have not fully understood how things work. Some of the dark conclusions you are drawing are false, and they are also causing you unnecessary stress.
So my essay would also be about adjustment and interpretation, but in a very different key.