Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A little of this, A little of that...

As I'm sure everyone has guessed by now, I've decided to take it easy for the month of September in terms of the blog posts. I am also relaxing a bit more overall, which is a bit sad because I felt I relaxed plenty even while writing. I guess I'm just using the time to recharge mentally on a scale more than just getting by for the next day.

I received an email from my adviser yesterday encouraging me to call. I plan to do that this morning. Hopefully, he'll still give me a recommendation for my teaching, though he's never actually seen me teach. Such are the idiosyncrasies of references.

The people who have actually seen me teach are students and unworthy of giving me a recommendation. At SUNY Albany the grad students pulled together and helped each other with our teaching duties, so a number of my peers are familiar with my style and efforts and know that I was every bit as good at teaching as I was my research, but they are pretty new in the field and their recommendations would hold less weight than my advisers. References are indeed a strange game.

Maybe I should learn Turkish and look for a job overseas. I have become increasingly more disgusted with the actions of my government, maybe it's time to check out other alternatives. Too bad I'm not very good at learning foreign languages. It doesn't seem to be my forte. For a while, I looked into learning Russian at the prospect of going to Moscow and maybe getting a teaching job there for a year. My adviser talked me out of it. He said things were so bad for their professors, most of them had part time jobs to supplement their income because schools paid their teachers so little. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in teaching in a foreign country where I would have to pick up a job at McDonald's so that I could eak out a living. What's even more sad, is that a job at McDonald's in this country isn't enough to even eak out a living.

I guess I am heading down that road of discussing the economy. I've been saying for just over 18 months now that our economy is even more dire than most people even realize. I guess after last week's down turn in the markets, I can finally say, I told you so. I'll discuss more in my next post.

I have been meaning to work more on my teaching portfolio but have been unmotivated up until now. Today, I feel much more enthusiastic about the process so I guess I just needed a good week off. Too bad, I'll be getting another week off next week. Well, I guess that's not bad. I'm looking forward to being around people again, but I will need to make up the time in some way or another.

After partaking in an act of seclusion for the last six months, I can understand why people eventually get skittish about going outside. I honestly feel I have lost a bit of confidence in dealing with people. It's hard to explain, but if someone was even slightly agoraphobic and spent six months closed up as much as I have, I can see why they would become nearly housebound permanently.

I'm not sure I can explain it properly without more thought. Maybe not even then. It is an interesting phenomenon. I look forward to next week's road trip if only to see if I have become agoraphobic myself. I've never had a panic attack. Actually, with my ability to insulate different aspects of my life, I've never been overly susceptible to anxiety at all. The last time I had serious feelings of anxiety were when the restaurant was failing 13 years ago. I guess that was a point of extreme economic crunch not unlike what is impending for myself now. Maybe that's what I'm feeling.

I guess I'll find out soon enough!


deniz said...

good news!! You don't have to know Turkish to teach here. The niversity that I have graduated from was completely in English. It is Middle East Technical University. And there is the Bosphorus university in Istanbul, which is I think quite good in your field.

How about that!!

Doc Brown said...

Sadly, I have looked into many jobs oversees and all the ones I looked into seem to require research as a part of the job. Since I have given up on that part of academia, I won't stand much of a chance.

I have tied my hands for many jobs here in the States as well. It's just the way it goes.