Sunday, October 23, 2005


I'm giving up the ambivalence about going on the job market by remembering:
I need an adventure.
I want my own students. There's something about TAing and working for peanuts that makes me feel a bit removed from my students--like there's always a graduate director in the room.
I need a 401K.
I get summers off.
Erik doesn't want to do camerawork for news the rest of his life.
Erik might start working nights.

Erik always has a somewhat awful schedule but when he works nights, I go crazy. And as those of you with babies know, the baby is one kind of creature by day and another more scary creature by night. I know that will change but it's A LOT easier at nights.

I'm not so good at getting it together in the morning either. By the time I read the paper, walk the dog, check the blogs, make breakfast, it's time to make lunch. I'm more of an afternoon worker and if Erik leaves me with Zo right at the time I usually sit down to work, I won't be able to get anything done. Plus, it's just depressing being home alone every night. The last time he had this shift, my friend Steve was still in town and we went into deep debt drinking red wine and going out to eat at every good restaurant in the Valley. Steve and I went to restaurants far and wide--out in Draper at some huge French gig, out west to a great barbecue place, up canyon for good salmon. Mostly we went to Greenstreet. But, the point is, Steve and I went out more than Erik and I ever did--I don't have that Steve friend because he's got one of those jobs I'm thinking about trying to get. And, even if he was here, I don't think Zoe could go with us.
So with Zoe and sans Steve, the idea of Erik being gone every night instills me with a deep panic.
Say what you will about professorships, no one has to get up before 7 or work after 5.

As I think about moving, I allow myself to watch "Sell this House" where Roger and Tanya Memme go in to people's houses and fix, in a weekend, what's wrong with a house so they can sell it. Usually it involves paint and new linens. But it's an amazing transformation. The hard part for me to swallow is the price of the houses. One in Scottsdale AZ should sell for $700,000. One in Glendale, CA, $650,000. And these are nice, but normal houses.
Who can afford a $700,000 house? The average appearance of the potential buyers make it appear that everyone can. Our housing market, though booming, isn't skyrocketing like everywhere else in the rest. I'm not sure how Erik and I could make enough to buy a house anywhere in, say, California. I guess this is how the Midwest will lure us. Or even the East Coast.

So. One more pass over the job letter and touch up the CV and call it a job search. I already feel the job thing has taken me away from what I want to do:
Hang out with Zoe.
But this writing of the letter and imaging all the consequences of the is the lame part--anxiety-making, self-doubting, and time-robbing.
I still plan to cook Chili and bug Zoe.

Update. The current episode of Sell the House has a house for sale for $125,000-well, it's a townhouse.... I am grading while I watch. Well, in between blogging and checking my email too....No wonder it takes me all day to grade.


Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

Of course, professors do often have to work after 5. I have to teach two evening classes a week, getting home between 9 and 10:30 p.m., depending. Just to keep in mind. At Roosevelt, all graduate classes are taught evenings and weekends, because we have so many students who are doing their grad work while working full-time jobs. I think that may be fairly common.

In the early morning, I think you're safe.

Nik said...

That's true. In fact, I'm teaeching a 6-8 class this week. And ALL our grad courses were at night. Well. Early mornings then. I'm free! We'll see. I'm really trying to want a job, damnit. You're so busy though, I bet it's hard to distinguish one kind of work from another. And of course we grade at night too. I suppose I meant we don't have ridiculous hours every single day like some of the more structured jobs of the world.

middlebrow said...

I only teach in the mornings now. Of course, I grade at night.