The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


My husband and I just received some significant news about our current situation. In short we will be released from the confines of Federal Service (in terms of military service) and he will soon be living a civilian life. This is big for both of us, but mostly for him. As long as I have known Caleb he has been active (in some way) with the military. He was recently granted an Air Force sanctioned early release. To me this brings up the idea of how one's identity is often woven into the jobs that we do.

Caleb will need to deal with changes in his personal identity, from Air Force Captain, to civilian. A big change that I am sure he will deal with well. I expect for him to experience a sense of personal loss once he finishes his last day sometime in March. However, this will likely not happen in such a dramatic fashion. He plans to join a guard unit and hopefully this will fill his desire for service to his country. In this way he will soon be what is often called a "citizen soldier." He will retain his officer rank but now not as an active duty officer, but as a guard officer. So the military will still likely be a part of his life - his identity.

However, what this does is free us up in the next year or so when making decisions about our future. After March we will not need to address difficult questions such as living in different cities dur to our different career paths. Now the difficulty is a bit more common, how do we find a location where both of us can find jobs that we both want and will hopefully enjoy.

This also allows more flexibility for me as far as finishing my schooling. I now do not feel pressured to finish my dissertation sooner than later this year. I can take more time to write and just finish with a potentially lower quality document. I can take more time to do the further analysis and thought and produce a document that will be up to my higher standards. No more pressure of December graduation deadlines and more freedom to finish early spring semester.


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