You all may remember Mr. Zero from his time as one of the more prolific commenters at the old venture. He was a dynasty unto himself there, so Second Suitor and I decided to invite him on board here at the Smoker. Here he is with his optimistic first post: an attempt to remind us that, despite everything, we have a pretty nice job. --STBJD
It's my second time on the market and I'm not doing any better than last year. I'm grumpy, stressed out all the time, and I'm sleeping like complete shit. I check my phone for messages even though I haven't been away from it in hours. Every day feels at least a little like a swift kick in the nuts. It sucks--if you're reading this, I don't have to tell you how much it sucks. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
I keep doing this to myself because I love my job. Over the summer I snagged a VAP. It's a lot of teaching (only 2 preps, though!), a lot of students, not much money (twice what I made last year, though), and located in a part of the country I would not otherwise have opted for. Nevertheless, I get up in the morning and go to work and it doesn't feel like work. I like being in the classroom. I like introducing people to philosophy and teaching them how to do it. (I do not like grading their initial efforts.) I like thinking about philosophical problems, doing philosophical research, and writing philosophy papers.
So, one thing I've learned being in this job is that I really like this kind of job. I like being a professor, and I like it when I read a good paper from a student and I can think, I taught this person how to do this. I like the feeling I get when I clearly identify a philosophical problem, work my way through it, and develop a plausible solution.
All I want is to be able to keep doing this. And since this appears to be an especially bad year for all of us, I thought that maybe now would be a good time to accentuate the positive. So I'll throw it out to you: why are doing this to yourself? What makes you want to do this?