i realized recently that i may have to start letting go of my dream of teaching higher ed art.
this realization crystalized a bit more in the last few weeks. i had a big interview, and i basically botched it. i was absolutely not on my A game, i was rusty at interviewing and talking about the subjects i needed to talk about, i didn’t prep enough and for the right things. it was one of the few times where i was asked a question, and i drew a blank. those of you who know me know i can talk a blue streak about my work, about making in general, about teaching philosophies and pedagogy. i strangely lost the ability to do those things for a very crucial hour a few weeks ago.
then there’s the fact that i’m almost three years out of my MFA and i cannot find even an adjunct job at a community college. when one looks at my CV, that fact stands out and disqualifies me before i even open my mouth and screw up an interview. of course, one of my mentors tells me to not worry about the teaching, that my work will get me jobs. so i just keep plugging away at that.
the job market is crap. higher ed is undergoing seismic shifts. more than once i’ve heard from people, tenured and on the tenure track, that so much of these jobs are filled with terrible bureaucracy, endless meetings and meaningless paperwork. so much of your fate and happiness is determined by the obscure machinations of those in positions above you. when another one of your mentors sits across from you at a cafe and says, “i don’t know how i will be able to do this for another twenty years.” it gives you pause. is this really what i ultimately want to be doing?
so where to go from here? how do i deal with giving up a dream? and (sadly the hardest, worst part) how do i deal with giving up the prestige of being a tenure track professor? i could care less what others think – it’s trying to make it okay in my own head. this is hard. this is very hard.