The Broad is Back!

November 7, 2012

Is it all over but the shouting? Reality bites

Victory went to Obama last night, as everyone is sure to know by now.  I knew when people outside my apartment building starting hooting and hollerin’. I was working against a midnight deadline, so I quickly checked CNN online, told my son the result, and went back to work.

I was hoping that once the election happened, it would end: the sniping, the nastiness, the general eight-year-old behavior.  Ever the optimist, that’s me.  I had “sworn off” Facebook for NaNoWriMo but between disseminating Sandy information and the election, it’s been difficult.  Today I just realized how easy it will be.

A big question of the election was “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” No. No I am not. I am actually slightly worse off. So I should have voted for Romney with that logic, but then he has a pretty negative view of public education, and I teach for a city university, so that probably would not be in my interest.

Job creation is “goal #1”. Sure. Who is going to create university jobs? Universities have discovered the joy that is “contingent faculty”. We’re replaceable cogs in a wheel, hired when there’s need.  There’s always need. In all of the places I teach, contingent faculty out number full time faculty.  We’re cheaper. So I work for three different schools. I teach the equivalence of one and a half full time positions and get paid less than a full timer.

Logic dictates I leave my profession. I’m trying.  After 23 years as a university professor, as an award winning teacher of excellence, I’m trying as hard as I possibly can to find a full time job.  Thanks to misconceptions about my profession, I’m not having much luck.  And I really don’t see how the president of the United States is going to help with that.

Somber thoughts.  Four years ago, I felt more hopeful, I admit. But then I’d only been back in the US for a little over a year.  I hadn’t realized then that moving back to my home country had been a mistake.

I never thought I’d leave the US to live overseas, but when I graduated with my PhD, I couldn’t find a job.  Things were hard in the profession, I was a single mom, and I thought, “what the hell?”  So off I went.  I almost came back three years later, but then I fell in love and married a European and moved there.  But then things happened, and I ended up back here. At the time, I wanted to return. It was good to be back with my family and friends.  

But the quality of life I had in other countries, no matter how dire things were (and at times they were dire indeed), was almost always better than my life here. This breaks my heart.

Perhaps that’s why I’m so somber lately. So sad, really.  I’ve realized that I cannot live successfully in my own country.  It’s not that I’m bad at my job. I turn down part time work every term since I can only teach so many classes according to union rules.  But I can’t find that elusive full time position.

I’m giving it another seven months. Then who knows? The Broad might be abroad again.

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1 Comment »

  1. Powerful entry. Sad truth.

    Comment by Emily — November 28, 2012 @ 10:42 pm |Reply


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