Sunday, June 1, 2008

You Can Call Me Professor Sungold

Okay, I'm enough of a stickler for titles after my sojourn in Germany that I'd better qualify that. You can call me Visiting Assistant Professor Sungold.

Technically, I didn't quite get the job I interviewed for, but I'm still very, very happy with the outcome. I was offered a job I didn't know existed: a visiting gig that's renewable for up to three years. It's full time, but honestly it won't be that much more work than my current purportedly half-time deal. It carries benefits, which means I won't have to depend on my spouse anymore for health insurance. (He's now healthy, but his medical history is complicated enough that it's been nerve-wracking for him to be our sole safety net.) And here's the fun part: I expect I'll get to teach some new classes. Yay!

Oh, and I'll be making more money than I've ever earned in my life. This doesn't mean much, since the last time I had a full-time job (not a grad student stipend, not freelance contracts, not adjuncting work) was twenty years ago, and I was working as a pseudo-engineer at the time. So if you adjust for inflation, I was still "better off" before I quit my job for grad school in 1988. But let's pretend we're ignorant of basic economics and just celebrate my good fortune, okay? The dean was far more generous than I expected, and I'm tickled pink.

Another internal candidate who's already done a three-year visiting stint got the original job, and I'm pleased about that, too. She's smart, a fine teacher, and dedicated to the program. For a number of reasons that I won't go into here (because they belong to her story, not mine), hiring her represents exactly the commitment to fairness that I think Women's Studies ought to stand for. I'm not at all surprised to see this coming from my chair and colleagues. They're wonderful people in every way. I don't just respect them intellectually and politically, I like them very much for human reasons, too. Hovering in the background is a nice measure support from our dean, which portends well for the future of our program.

I don't know what'll happen for me after the next three years, but it opens some doors without slamming any shut. This could be a step toward a permanent position, especially if I do a good job. And from there, who knows? An endowed chair in feminist blogging? Empress of the universe? Wherever it ends, I'm feeling giddily, awesomely happy.

Chives/hardy geraniums, yellow rose whose name I forget, and Will Goodwin clematis from my garden. Actually the roses are my husband's babies, which is why I'm usually clueless about their names.


Sugarmag said...

Sungold, Congratulations! I am so happy for you, how wonderful!

Sungold said...

Thanks, Sugar Mag! It's great to have people celebrating with me. :-)

Rence said...

Congrats! I'm glad that the university hired in fairness and that you got a position that, while not what you applied for, still a step up. I'm about to get some health insurance myself! (At least from now until Nov. 4th :)

Sungold said...

Rence, it's wonderful to hear from you. I'm so happy for you, too - it sounds like you've now got a secure position until the election.

We're both coming up in this old world! Yay!

Drop me an email with details - do you know where you'll be sent next?

SunflowerP said...

Woohoo! Excellent that this seems to be a good stepping-stone for further advancement.


J.B. Kochanie said...

Gaudeamus igitur, Magistra!

Sungold said...

Thanks for the support, Sunflower and Kochanie! While I'm happy about the improvement in my future prospects, right now I'm basking in the present - that lovely moment between getting a new job and having to actually do the work for it. :-) Gaudeaumus igitur, indeed. (I had to google its meaning, Kochanie. So much for my credentials as an intellectual ...)

J.B. Kochanie said...

Dear Visiting Assistant Professor Sungold:

I had three years of Latin but had to Google the phrase to check the spelling.

Enjoy that lovely moment between getting a new job and having to actually do the work for it.

Kochana Magistra

Sungold said...

Never mind the spelling, Kochanie - anyone who's learned Latin has my neverending respect! My dissertation adviser picked it up when she was fortysomething; I can't imagine embarking on that.