Cruel Indeed!

Growing up in Vancouver, I never understood the whole thing about April being the cruelest month. Now, on the other hand, I get it. You see, in Halifax, where I live, we won’t see tulips and daffodils until May, or leaves on the trees until June. In Vancouver, however, where I would like to live….The constraints on your location and the near-impossibility of ‘lateral movement’ are among the great cruelties of an academic career. After over a decade of resistance, I have faced the fact that in order to move ‘home’ I would need to change professions (or, somehow, belatedly, become a different kind of academic–a more ‘successful’ one, by some measures). It’s frustrating, of course, to be less employable in my chosen field after 12 years of experience than I was when still ABD, but that’s the way this game is played. I’ve gone through most of the stages of grief over this and moved a long way towards acceptance–but spring sure makes me homesick. Is the job worth it? Sometimes. But the likelihood of being separated from your family and your history is one of the aspects of this career that I emphasize most strongly when advising prospective graduate students, not least because I never really thought much about it until, in many ways, it was too late.

(Photo credits: RDS)

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Summer Reading 2014

1. Julie James, It Happened One Wedding
2. Dorothy Dunnett, King Hereafter
3. Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows
4. Elizabeth George, Just One Evil Act
5. Dorothy Dunnett, Niccolo Rising
6. Elena Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
7. Zoe Ferraris, Finding Nouf
8. Georgette Heyer, Friday's Child
9. Ellis Peters, A Morbid Taste for Bones
10. Charlotte Bronte, Villette
11. Sue Grafton, W is for Wasted
12. Rose Tremain, Music and Silence
In progress: Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tey, The Man in the Queue

1. Judy Blume, Forever
2. Rob Thomas, Veronica Mars, an original mystery
3. John Green, Paper Towns
4. Judy Blume, Then Again Maybe I Won't
5. Sarah Dessen, Dreamland
6. Jacqueline Wilson, Diamond
In progress: Wilson, Lily Alone

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