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.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


We move in just under three weeks and we (well, mostly me) are starting the whole process of packing. I've never really had to pack up my own stuff because Caleb was in the military (they hire movers for you). I have to admit that I don't really mind packing. I am one of those people that enjoys organizing stuff and packing up the house is pretty much one of the ultimate forms of organization. Because we will be temporarily in an apartment there will be come stuff that we won't unpack and so I am busy organizing stuff into categories of will need to unpack and will not need to unpack.

However, packing does make you realize how much stuff you accumulate in just a few years. There will be times when I will need to seriously toss our things that I just don't use anymore, but in general neither of us are pack rats and so I actually don't think that there will be that much that we toss.

It is a bitter sweet feeling packing up this house. This was the first home that we owned and it was a great place....we got really lucky. But now both of us just want the darn thing to sell (yes we are victims of that housing slump)! Also, I am excited to move, but I will also miss this city and the people I have gotten to know here. I am just glad that I will be starting in a job and a college that I think that I will enjoy. I did not have to just 'settle' on a job for the sake of having a job. And with that I am one of the lucky ones I believe.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Joys of Summer

Ever since I started college I have usually taken time during my summers to engage in activities that get pushed to the back burner during the school year. Typically the school year involves an extensive amount of reading (required reading in college, required and research reading in grad school) along with the other work that is involved with higher education.

As a child I was always a voracious reader. As a youngster my mom read to me and my sister every night before bed (usually a Nancy Drew, the Hobbit, or the LOTR trilogy). As I got older I started reading for myself (many of the same stuff but included book series such as Black Beauty, The Babysitter's Club, and other such young readers). In high school this continued to more advanced and adult literature. However, when college started and I was overwhelmed by the amount of textbook reading, I just didn't have the time or energy to devote to leisure reading.

So it has now become my habit during the summer slumps to read books for fun and I usually do so in great amounts. This summer has basically been devoted to reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King( I have read the first 4 books (a series of 7) over the past 3-4 years. This is King's attempt at his version of a LOTR type series, but has that unique King flair. It is not only a fantasy baby. This book is an integration of many different genres. Old western, futuristic, time travel, horror, and apocalyptic all in one. A good series if you can get into it. Like many King books you really don't get into the good stuff until the last quarter of the pages. I have read books 5 and 6 and have just started the finale book 7 (an 850 page monster!).

Whenever I start reading for fun I always wonder why I let it slip during the majority of the year. I love books where I just escape and envision a world created by the author (so much better than the movie). Hopefully I will be able to continue, but if the past is any indicator, once school starts up for me again, reading (for fun) will dwindle once again. At least that gives me sometime to look forward to every summer, though. Perhaps I should just try less complicated stories during the summer (one where I don't have to remember what happened 1500 pages ago!).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Setting up Life

Last Friday my husband and I went down to where we will be moving to to look for apartments. We have not had any luck yet in selling our house and so we must look for something temporary while we wait for it to sell. Because we have a mortgage and will be taking a little bit of a loss in pay with my new job we needed to find something that we could afford to pay and also keep up with our mortgage. This lead to a pretty low price range.

As we were looking we needed to have a garage because of our vehicles and enough stroage space to hold a majority of our stuff. We didn't want to rent a self-storage place if we could avoid it. Well, it was an interesting day and you certainly get what you pay for. One of the places we looked at probably should have been either condemned or burned to the ground. I've already been a bit on the frustrated side with this whole process because we have pets (nobody wants pets on their properties).

So after a few hours we are going to rental property managers and asking if they have anything that meets our specifications. The first place didn't have any, neither did the second, but the lady from the second place did give us a referral to an apt complex with underground parking.

Long story short we ended up at this apt building and were very impressed. We set aside a 3 bedroom that must be at least 1000 sq ft. Plenty of room to store our stuff, and are pet friendly, in a good neighborhood, and a decent building.

So we finally have a place to live. I've never been this close to moving cities without having housing set up or available and it was really starting to stress me out! Now just comes the packing which I've started, and getting ready for my first day.