I quit my job.
(Wild applause, cheering)
This means I’m getting off the tenure track by default, because I don’t have another t-t job, and I’m not willing to live in terrible places (like this one) and teach high loads anymore. I would consider maybe coming back to the t-t for the right position, but that’s not how the market works. If my dream job appears I might apply, but the probability is low. The dream job involves no teaching but not being on soft money. Uh… and a pony? I tried to bloom where I was planted, but it turns out you can’t bloom in poisoned soil.
Quitting my job is absolutely the right move. There has been a lot of unbloggable toxicity that’s been damaging my sanity and health. I very nearly quit in week 2 of the semester, and all the tenured colleagues I talked to said that I probably should, based on what had happened. My partner said he would support me if I did. Senior colleagues at other universities have told me, privately, to run-not-walk on outta here.
However, for a long time I was ambivalent about the end of my tenure-track career. SO AMBIVALENT! Because now I have tenure, and I’ve been working towards that since I was in high school. I love so many aspects of academia (intellectual freedom, flexible hours, my own office, a variety of tasks, getting paid to do research, library access…) and I will really miss the job security. The security of tenure let me sleep at night. I have applied for numerous other t-t jobs while I’ve been here and gotten no hits, and finally had to jump. I don’t know what I’m going to do without tenure. I’ll figure something out.
But I will NOT miss teaching. The more I thought about it, the less I even *want* another t-t job, because I am soooo burned out on teaching. I just can’t, with the teaching, anymore. Not even a leave of absence or sabbatical would fix it, because I would still have the residue of this university on me like slime that won’t wash off. No more. Not even grad students, not even small classes, not even my favorite topics. Not online, not in a seminar. I can’t handle students sucking my life force anymore. Every semester for years on end: too many students, too little money, and twice a year two hundred 19-year-olds get to write inappropriate comments about my personal appearance on course evals, and then my boss reads them. Who needs it?
I don’t know what I’m going to do about my next job and/or career. Something research-based, perhaps. You may see some self-absorbed bloggy rambling (e.g., my ideal work day). We are very lucky that my partner makes fat bank and is willing to support me while I figure things out. First-world problems.
Let’s tally the blog peeps right now: I technically have tenure this summer but after that I will be formerly tenured and (temporarily?) out of academia entirely… and unemployed for a while. My partner has never been an academic, thank FSM. #2 is currently tenured. Her husband is a former academic who is much happier in industry. (#2 is also much happier with her DH’s non-academic salary!)
I guess it’s true that people who have just quit their jobs are the happiest people in the world.
We are moving out of state and back to civilization as soon as we can (Current plan is end of August). It was going to be sooner but this state is trying to kill us, and we haven’t been physically able to plan and implement those plans. First my partner got the flu real bad for 2 weeks (which never happens), then we had 1 week of being ok, then I got pneumonia, which I’ve had for 3 and a half weeks(!) now and am still not well. Also my partner needs frequent physical therapy for his genetically-misaligned knee and might need knee surgery. The cat is not well and is now on a specialized diet which may or may not be working; I’ve been too sick to get back with the vet and I had to cancel my massage and dentist appointments due to pneumonia. HALP.
I will miss the horse I ride, and a few of the people here, but that’s not enough to make me stay in such a toxic place. (#2 notes: she also got paid next to nothing, even with the tenure bump.) We are working on downsizing from our ridiculous-large house out here in the boonies to an amount of stuff we can maybe afford the housing for in a city. We have plans about when and where we’re going apartment-hunting, when we’re moving, summer travel plans that were previously in place, work, insurance, legal stuff, we have a plan.
Wish us luck.