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March 2nd, 2013 by kevin

somehow, i have gotten myself a tenure track job.

re-read that.

university of west georgia. starting in the fall. halle-fucking-lujah! geaux wolves!

i don’t think i’ve posted on this blog since the job search began months and months ago. it was, to speak in generalities, a horrible process.

just … so much anxiety and endless unknowing and rejection and this looming factoid ringing around your head that ‘only 20-25% of humanities phds get a job their first year out’ and the ‘what the hell am i going to do if i don’t get one?’ and the most toxic ‘why the hell did i do this to myself in the first place?’ you analyze and overanalyze all your life decisions in a time like this. as someone who has made a number of random, if not completely questionable, life decision, this can be a challenging process to endure.

but, thankfully, nobody told me it was going to be as crazy as it was (or, perhaps, they did and i wasn’t listing completely) or i would have never, ever, ever signed up for the last eight months. ignorance was the only thing that made me see this through, i believe. it was like, ‘shit, i got this far, i gotta finish now or else i’m a loser’s loser of the highest order.’ and i love the work and know i’ll do fine at it, but, shit, it was just like that classic stern bit from zanida: ‘please somebody in america give me a chance!!’

you gotta listen to this …

when howard starts singing ‘walk on with your dreams’ … and she’s sobbing and testifying underneath. amazing. and sal calls in as toby, a&r representative, ‘do you know how to wash dishes and make beds?’ we’re all superstars …

anyway, the relief has been … slow. gratifying, but i was so, just, completely strung out that it’s taken a few days to slowly but surely return to some kind of ‘oh, yes, this is who i am and i’m still in here somewhere.’ a reminder that we’re not ever fully who we think we are – for better or worse.

the last few days have been spent in idle puttering. i love to putter, but the loomingness of the job search has made any kind of pleasurable puttering impossible for so long. i always felt like, ‘i could really be working on that job talk,’ or ‘i should really be sending out more applications,’ or ‘i should probably just be sitting somewhere stressing out and worrying about all of this.’

but since wednesday … puttering. cleaned up all my guitars. got batteries for the stomp boxes. set up the music room again. been playing electric guitar like an only child from central illinois. learned van halen’s drop dead legs for the first time in my life yesterday (i am ten years old again) and pulled a bunch of lead licks off of son volt’s trace today. just feels … good. to fuck the fuck around. and play loud, loud, loud guitars.

i bought a cheap 28mm lens on ebay for my digital camera. that one proved to be a bit of a hasty purchase, as i decided i’m really looking for a 24mm pancake lens that will be a little wider and smaller and easier to stroll around with. the 28mm is fucking enormous with a 67mm lens. but … it was dirt cheap. and you can always turn around and sell you mistake back to someone else. that old cheap glass is getting more and more expensive … ebay puttering. it’s been years.

and todd henry is visiting next week and i’m going to see howard with chicago mel in nola at the AGT taping on tuesday and things are looking up and up. and i’m actually excited to get back to my dissertation … it’s all happening.

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