“Working here is like working in a coffin or a tomb,” said my colleague. So part of my issue is, wanting to be somewhere more lively. Wanting to do this work but needing to be somewhere more lively to do it. Is that a crime? (My colleagues making six figures are in lively places often, but I am not.)
The other thing I wanted, and that I do not think is a crime or an indication of lack of interest, was license to do research, time to think about things. The prospect of writing desperately without having time or peace to read or think or evolve or let your ideas evolve, this is what I did not like. I did not like it in graduate seminars done on the quarter system, either.
But by now, it is I who think one must work like that. This is part of my problem. The other part is that when I try to work in my way, in the way that works for me where I am happy, I find that it is not enough: I still need a place with a landscape and kindred souls.
And I know we should just keep on writing and pray for the deliverance that is promised to come one day, but this career strategy and life plan always seemed all too passive to me. I also say one needs the landscape and the kindred souls now, and not just as potential.
Part of why I went on strike for so long was that I wanted to say these things. I do understand that one is to find the landscape and the kindred souls in books.