November 10, 2005
If you know me, then you know I'm not wild about the idea of teaching next year, when my fellowship runs out in mid-August -- assuming that I even get departmental funding, which is likely but not certain. I've developed a stuck-up and bratty life-style with this fellowship. Not getting paid in the summer and getting paid less the other months will make it necessary to either move to a cheaper apartment, get rid of the car, stop my gourmet coffee affection (never!), take out student loans, or several of the above. No matter what, I want to get rid of half the junk and bullshit I've been dragging around the country with me over the last few years and to move to a smaller apartment. I'm sick of lining my landlord's pockets paying for an apartment I don't need. And I am sick of car ownership, regardless of the recent decision to keep the Focus we made a few weeks ago. I biked to school today, and I feel good about it. When we bought the bikes, we boughter "nice" ones, because we had an eye to not owning a car and to using them for transportation. And you know, I don't at all feel guilty about how much those bikes cost. Plus, I don't know how I'm going to write my dissertation with teaching four sections of logic, intro or ethics. Let's put aside the absolute horror I feel with a sickness in my stomach when I picture myself teaching next year. If you know me, you know how good of a public speaker I am. Or am not, as the case certainly is. So apparently my wife wants to leave Carbondale and didn't think I would want to. She was wrong. We've been talking about it, and it looks likely that we're moving this summer. At the very least, to another apartment. More likely, out of Carbondale. Perhaps to Baltimore or Boston. We both miss the East Coast and the city. And Dunkin' Doughnuts. We will apply for fellowship after fellowship. And the worst case scenario is that we will have to take out student loans and live in Baltimore for a year and finish our doctorates. I did the math, and the amount I'd have to take out to stay here for two years and make the amount of money I make now (which is embarrassingly little) is more than enough to live in Baltimore city for one year of full-time dissertation writing. Finishing with school is a weird thought. I suppose I've ignored the fact that it's around the corner anyway, even if we were to say here. I've been in "higher education" since 1997, a few weeks before I met my wife. I've had my eye on the prize for so long, that the idea that I might finish my doctorate and be Dr. Kickass in a year and half is strange. Freeing, but scary, too. It's definitely high time that I quit screwing around and thinking about the future ("Can I put that on my C.V.?") and making a career out of being a student. If leaving here, busting my ass over my dissertation and job-hunting for a year of grad-student no money, that's fine. This cushy fellowship has made it too easy to waste time with things which are not work and that in fact get the way of work. And these days, I'm not so sure about how much I want to be an academic or teach. The more I get into Pragmatism, the less I want to be a "philosopher" in the academic/professional sense of the word. We have some professional connections in Baltimore and Boston, and I think that having a PhD won't exactly hurt me on the job market. And damn, I miss my friends and my brothers. A lot lately.