Just to be sure I remember…

→It is the gaslighting and the undermining, even more than the lack of a research culture.

My claustrophobia. I did not say this myself, but someone else said my problem was having to work at too low a level. (He said something much blunter than that, about having to work “seven categories” beneath my capability.) I discern that my claustrophobia is self-inflicted. I keep trying to lower horizons, have less verve, become less intelligent, limit thought. That could be where the claustrophobia comes from.

My hesitancy or mental fog. It is a result of trying to adjust to the claustrophobia. That is to say, it is in part self-inflicted. It is also a reaction to the gaslighting and the undermining, but it is in part a result of my acquiescence to these, my intentional effort to become less capable.

→I do not like those people who claim superiority to their surroundings, and those claims are often false. But I could consider resisting engulfment by surroundings at the very least.





Filed under Banes, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

7 responses to “Just to be sure I remember…

  1. sophylou

    (WordPress ate my comment!) This was really useful for me to read — I’m having a similar experience (the having to make myself smaller, and the resulting fog). I need to overcome it to feel confident enough to leave, I feel like I need to leave to be able to overcome it, and I’m hamstrung by a terrible job market. A big issue for me is worrying that I’ve put myself into a field where I must be permanently smaller than I am. Maybe we need to visualize ourselves in more capacious spaces…

    • Z

      I have decided to go ahead with my longstanding plan to apply for jobs as department chair in places where they need help — chair jobs others do not want, so I can get them. This is very helpful because in the back of my mind I am preparing for the interviews and then, the role. It is giving me more backbone in the here and now.

      I am glad I am not the only one who suffers from these weird problems.

  2. sophylou

    Yes, I do better when I have something to apply for–applications are great for reviewing and acknowledging strengths. Good interviews are good for that, too. I’m trying to switch to a different area of my field, one which I have prior experience in, and I have someone good mentoring me in that area and doing a lot of fun collaborative work with towards that. It’s my current dept and the fear that all other libraries will be like this, also being too far away physically from family/friends who know/love actual me. Movement is good!

    • Z

      I spent too long not applying for things, it is isolating.

      Isolation, difficult, and yes, alien environments encroach. Forza!

    • Z

      p.s. sophylou, I am also going to seriously remember to apply for this. As early as this fall if I can, and if not, the following fall. You might consider it too? http://shc.stanford.edu/fellowships/non-stanford-faculty/#exfac_answer_5

      • sophylou

        I would *love* to do something like that, but I would never in a million years be allowed to take a year away from my job to do it. I would lose my job and be unemployed at the end of the fellowship year, with absolutely no hope of being able to get an academic job (I am pretty sure I’m well past being able to consider returning to academia). Plus I’m working in a field that is already suspicious of PhDs who look like they want to do research (hence the fog etc). So, sadly, something like this would be completely impossible for me, unless I were at a different kind of job where this kind of leave would be seen as contributing to my job. But thanks for the thought! I miss being able to think about things like that.

  3. Z

    …yeah… and I am probably not a new enough PhD to really aspire. But you get to aspire to a different field. We have been talking about this issue all day, will other places be the same? We concluded that objectively speaking they might even be worse, but not for us, because we will go places we can show up as ourselves. Even if they are worse places, we will show up as ourselves.

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