27 February 2009

More of Life in Limbo

Yesterday, I got an email telling me that an article I submitted a few months back has been accepted for publication. No revise and resubmit, just straight up taken.

I should feel good about it. It's not one of my dissertation chapters, but an old seminar paper that I reworked. It shows that I have more expertise in ethnic American lit. But it's hard to be excited about it. I can't help but think that it won't really matter in the long run. There's not much difference between 2 and 3 publications on a CV (or even much difference between 2 and 4 if I ever get around to revising and resubmitting another article that a journal has shown interest in.)

I'm trying very hard to distance myself from all of this, so that I'm prepared to move on in a year if I have to. But then a random article hits in a decent journal and suddenly I feel vindicated--that this is what I'm supposed to be doing.

But I'm not doing it--so something's wrong. The market. My project. Something.

I was one of 15 finalists for a generalist position at a small Catholic college in Wisconsin. They asked me to fill out a pre-phone interview questionnaire.

I never got a phone interview.

How much does that suck? Because you know, straight up, that it's something I wrote in those answers to the ten stupid little questions about "gifts" and "values." I'm hoping it was because I'm not Catholic enough, because I'm not sure that I could have answered the pedagogy questions much better than I did.

I keep hearing this saying about how it's all about "fit." That's all fine and good, but what if there are just not enough shoes in the store?

So I have another line to add to my CV. I should feel excited.

But I don't.


Jennie said...

I am so sorry. The situation sucks, there is no way around that, but it truly is about variables of fit beyond your control. I am not sure if you have ever been on a search committee or not to experience this firsthand, but the politics and randomness of how one gets (or does not get) a job is in the very least demoralizing...95% of the process has nothing to do with the actual candidates. Feel good about your article. There is a difference between two and three publications, and certainly between two and four.

AcadeMama said...

I won't bother telling you what you should feel, because, like, you only have so much control of that during pregnancy anyway....BUT

I will confirm what Jennie suggested about the market--it's soooooo about The Market being a bottomless pit right now, and sooooo not about you or your work. You have multiple publications!!! That, in itself, is something you should parade around on a t-shirt, at least that's what I'd do :)

I have 0 publications. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Just an almost- finished diss, a ton of conferences, and a rock star advisor. And I still got nothing out of the US job market except a tiny little nibble (from a regional branch of my home university), which didn't even lead to an interview request.

This is not just an awful year for the market in general, but especially for those of us who are ABD. Committees just aren't even looking at ABDs, unless they're coming from the Ivies. Once you've got the degree in hand, I have no doubt you'll be snatched up before you know it!! If not, you can always join me in the desert ;)