Friday, January 06, 2006

Turning a corner

More than one person told me the third year of the tenure-track assistant professor gig was when things started to feel okay. Year one, you are just trying to survive, year 2, you are stressed all the time that you will not be able to be successful, and then some time in year 3, you realize the ball is rolling, people know who you are, you're less bewildered than you used to be, and that maybe you CAN do the job.

I was pretty sure, at the beginning of last semester, that this would not apply to me. That people who felt this third-year unclenching were people who were just altogether more successful than I, and all that.

But . . . then, over the last couple of months, I am feeling myself unclench. What's different? Nothing. Have I gotten more grants? Not really. Published more papers? Nothing I hadn't expected 6 months ago. More accolades coming my way? People knocking on my door to ping my expertise? What? Meh. I don't know. But I welcome the difference. One's quality of life goes way up.

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