Thank you, thank you, thank you, Brightstar(B*) for the really encouraging comment.
I know I'm not a failure, in fact, with the exception of that P.S., my previous post was an attempt to demonstrate that now I know my value because I have been externally validated (more on that in the next post) very significantly in the past six months. That validation is giving me the courage to become more "activistic" about my situation, I just have to figure out how to do that smartly without burning bridges, without being too pushy. I don't want to accept being meek and humble like most adjuncts are forced to be given our circumstances of utter dependency on the whims of the universities. (and last night, my husband was actually defending the university and saying that there's no money, that that's the way it has to operate... blah blah. Really, REALLY? OK, maybe, but still... something SHOULD change -- is it really impossible?).
I'll be blogging about that a whole lot from now on. I guess this is about to become a space for adjunct activism. ... Blah...
Anyway, why is this (being an adjunct as compared to my bloggy peers) so hard for me on a personal levels as a very active blogger?
Because when I started blogging eight years ago I found several other ABD moms (and one dad!) out there just like me -- trying to finish their dissertations and juggling caring for young children/babies. Most of them have gone on to tenure track positions (some in roundabout ways like M) or moved on to other pursuits like Articulate Dad (I actually MET HIM & his family years ago, what a thrill!), Geeky Mom and Anastasia. Right now only one of my blogging friends is an adjunct like me (AcadeMama). OK, there are others I am no longer in touch with, so there could be others, in fact.
So... it is hard. And it's not their fault or my fault, it's just the way it is. Like you said, B*, some fields have much more need of people with PhDs than others, but humanities PhDs are just almost a waste of time, seriously! If you've been reading for a long time you know that I have NO REGRETS about getting the PhD. I have TONS of angst and qualms about academia, etc, but I love what I did, I'm passionate about it and I wish I could pursue it.
Do you know what's the most heartbreaking thing for me? I feel like crying very often because of this, especially now that I am teaching literature (I don't know if I can blog about that, I'll be a blubbering mess).
I will never ever be able to pursue the research and scholarship that I want to do.
Because you can only do so in a Tenure Track position. Which I won't ever get because I didn't prepare fully for it, because my area has too many degree recipients and nearly non-existent demand, etc, etc.
I won't do it also because I have trouble with my ADHD and lack of motivation.
And then... Why would I do it? (engage in complex scholarship) for NOTHING? Not being paid for it? Trying to carve out time out of grading tons of tests and exams (part and parcel of teaching language)? And driving 76 miles each way to go teach? (OK, not valid, circumstantial problem, I admit). Why do it if I don't have anyone to pay for me to go to conferences?
But I do think about it often, walking to and from my building at the university... and sometimes there are a few tears as well. I have many ideas for research, but research in literature is basically really really lonely hard work on one's own that doesn't payoff in any way if you're not in a TT position.
OK, that's it for now. I'm not a failure as a person (maybe as a scholar yes, partly my fault), but my ALL TOO COMMON circumstance is really hard and there isn't a solution in sight for us. There really isn't.
Google Street View as time travel
52 minutes ago