Day: October 26, 2018


I am feeling very grumpy about work.

Several of my group members graduated or finished their postdocs and left for jobs — some of them the best people I’ve ever worked with — and the remainder are virtually untrained folks who, I fear, won’t be nearly as good (definitely true now, and perhaps true forever). The situation really bums me out. I have money, but if the people I have aren’t able to pull off what I need them to, the money will be wasted with nothing to show for and I won’t be able to get more. The situation is really stressing me out.

I teach a graduate-level course and my students are typically at the top of the class. This year, not so much. I’m used to my students being among the best in the department. This crop is…not.

I could hire one or two more, but I am being conservative with money, because I am going on sabbatical, and need to cover some academic-year salary, as well as the summer. I have spent years throwing all my summer salary into students; I want to, for once, not have to stress over personal finances.

The department wants to nominate me for another award. I got a professorship (with discretionary money) last year and another university-level award (with discretionary money) three years ago. I feel it’s early for this new one, which is crazy competitive and for which I have another decade of eligibility… And for which I don’t think I am good enough to nominate right now.

I am battling again the questions of why I do the work, who cares, that this is all bullshit, that nobody really respects or values my contributions. I feel like I am running on fumes of deceit and any minute now someone is really, truly going to look at my record and realize all I have done is worthless crap; that I am worthless crap.

So I am temporarily burying my head in the town of BlueBalls BlueBell, Alabama, as I binge (for the second time in a row) on the supercute show “Hart of Dixie” on Netflix.

What’s up with you, academic blogosphere? How’s October treating you?