Motivational kitteh from I Can Has Cheezburger?
Maybe I don't have it quite as good as this LOLcat, but I do have a job I love. For the past several months, though, it hung in the balance as the university awaited Obama's stimulus plan and then the contours of the Ohio state budget. At one point, rumor had it that every last "visiting" and "part-time" regular faculty person would be laid off. That would've included me, too.
Today I heard that my job is safe for next year. I'm overjoyed, albeit in a rather sober key. There's not much to crow about when my county is at 7 percent unemployment and most of the surrounding ones are over 10 percent. I also haven't heard if anyone in my orbit has gotten bad news. The university is making deep cuts, and I'll be amazed if they don't hit any of my friends and colleagues.
While I think I'm pretty good at what I do, I can't claim my brilliance saved my position. I'm not deluded enough to believe academia is a pure meritocracy. My chair is smart and savvy. Our dean has been supportive of our program. Women's and Gender Studies teaches a lot of students on the cheap. All of those factors probably far outweighed my actual sterling qualities as a teacher.
However it happened, I'm so, so grateful not to be joining the ranks of the unemployed. I'd love to celebrate, but the Tiger has a high fever, so I'm not going anywhere tonight. Festivities will consist of a glass of wine and the second season of Weeds on DVD.
Wherever you are, please raise a glass with me.