My shadow resumé

Others have written shadow resumés of failures, but mine is of roads not taken. In the years in which I was realizing what my real interests were, I had these intuitions:

24-25. Realize I wanted a B.S. in Economics, and to go from there. (What I could have done, with my M.A. and partial Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, emphasizing Latin America: move programs, to Latin American Studies.)

25-28. Founding member of a union that is still going strong, system wide.

28-29. Realize I wanted to move from poetry and poetics to critical race theory.

30. Realize I would rather teach beginning Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science or History than beginning foreign languages.

31-32. Dream of a second Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies, leading to work in international organizations.

34ff. Dream of the J.D., to work on immigration, trade, globalization, human rights, criminal defense, and the global prison industrial complex.

42ff. Intense work on program building, student and faculty rights, funding, research support, curriculum modernization, governance, academic freedom.

In retrospect it is quite clear what I was discovering during those ten years. I acted on none of this because I had already gone so far on this road.

Now I must stay on this road but must cause it to resemble those roads as much as I can. At least I am in Spanish, a more convenient field than some.

There is something else as well: the reason I was always attracted to the fields I was was that nobody in the family was in them, knew about them, approved of them.
I felt, and feel free in them, autonomous, my own person in ways I never could allow myself to be in arts or humanities or literature.

Axé.

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Filed under What Is A Scholar?, Working

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