Friday, December 13, 2013

On the excitement and worries concerning two important work tasks I have today (the title is an understatement).

Today I have two tasks that plague me more than the 70-paper-long-log-of-papers-I-need-to-grade.

One is to write a speech for tonight's Christmas Party at work, where I will mull over the past two years I've spent here as an employee in the history department at the university.

The other is to refresh the website of the faculty board committee for hiring, to have first eyes on the protocol from today's meeting determining my future. You see, after having taught history for two years with only a Master's degree I finally decided it was time to apply for a phd. It's been quite the process getting here, but today the final verdict stands. Will I still have a job come January? (And if not, how will that affect my speech tonight?)


I am of course overstating the tension for dramatic effect. In reality I have written most of the speech days ago, and I also have a fairly clear idea what the result of the meeting will be.


Two days ago a department board meeting took place, where the matter of the phd position was discussed prior to sending it off to the faculty. The board, following the advice of the appointed committee that considered all the applications, recommended me for the position.


Two weeks before that, when I was asked to deliver tonight's speech, I decided against writing two speeches covering the two potential outcomes of today's meeting (an idea I briefly toyed with). No matter what the results of today's meeting, no matter whether I will still be working here in January, I've had two marvelous and challenging and exhausting and rewarding years, and my potential future here does not change that.


The excitement today, then, is not so much whether I will get the position, but my feelings concerning it. There is a substantial insecurity connected in this for me. There is a reason why it's been three years since I finished my MA and I never even applied before now.

So, in order to start with a a fresh sheet, I feel the need for some confessions. I have never read Bourdieu, or Derida or even Gadamer. Worse, I don't actually want to. I can't list every battle in every war despite being a historian. I am frequently wrong. (Though hearing me admit it is unusual.) I don't think writing history is a piece of cake. I don't even always think it's particularly fun. But I am quite good at it. Even if I don't always believe that myself.


*refresh again just to be sure*



ViolaNut said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY for you!!! :-) I'd pass you a butterbeer, but, y'know, there's an ocean in the way. :-P

Kelly said...

Interesting, interesting. (considering I have a daughter with an MA in history that chose not to pursue the PhD. for a variety of reasons)

Mark Murata said...

Congratulations. The Ph.D. will require a lot of specialized reading, and soon you'll have forgotten even more history.

CA Heaven said...

Go for the PhD. You will get 3-4 years of great fun (and hard work).

I agree that grading exams is incredibly boring

Cold As Heaven

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