i have by now done a full cycle of mlas, since i have heard that mla returns to chicago next year. this is the first year since that year (when i hadn't yet published anything or received my degree) that i have had no interviews (significant decline from last year's high of six). i was disappointed -- naturally -- and at this point there is also a great deal of humiliation involved -- but i also see it for what it is -- last year i had too many because (i suspect) i was associated with CI -- this year none at all, which i attribute to the unspoken and sanctioned xenophobia of search committees -- it has nothing to do with my achievements or experiences, since i have more of both this year than last (since, unlike real life, the CV never loses the shine of old acts). so i have been forced into the inconvenience of having to enjoy myself -- and i have -- going to panels, seeing friends, meeting idols, drinking champagne from plastic cups at the book fair.
good things include seeing sbyrne
-- we calculated that it had been seven years!! -- and probably fifteen since i'd seen the friend who's generously letting me stay in her apartment. finally met HFT, who spoke at a panel that also included another major academic crush, which was very confusing. hung out on the stairs of the sheraton with the director of the humanities division of the u of c stairs -- which was just totally lovely and wonderful, and he asked me at some point what he could do for me -- and, confused, i said, nothing (which is and isn't true -- i wanted to be friends with him because i liked his face and because he's a photographer -- that he is who he is is already what he "does" for me). had intended to go to the department party, but the way i burst into tears upon being asked (completely innocently) by one of the faculty how my year had been, i decided i couldn't face a room full of people and admit i had had a terrible year and walked away from a practically tenured position.
that was 4am ramblings in boston jan 6-ish. i'm now in chicago, which is unreasonably beautiful and also unreasonably warm for january. the light is incredible -- it's giving me one of the things i love best, the shadows of branches against hard surfaces.
things are different. i can see how if i'd stayed, they would have been the same. i have learned things -- i feel it after all.
i met an old friend, and it was lovely, and she also might have a lead on a job for me to do short term -- and we agreed that it was ok if it didn't work out, and it was also ok if it did and i wanted to leave again after awhile. which i might, unless it is really the kind of job that gives me freedom or satisfaction or both.
i had a longer discussion with same faculty member i had cried in front of -- oddly, he can understand -- he's been to taipei, he's watched a lot of dance. he accused me of writing a "monster" of a dissertation -- i later countered by declaring it was myself that was the monster. he said i was doing things wrong by trying to adhere to the terms of each discipline -- to lean on the authority of the professions instead of using all of the things i know. he asked the old question, why don't you write about dance? but to me that is not an interesting question. i'd rather dance about writing. why do i have to keep explaining that dancing is something you do, and writing is something you do not do, but both are ways of understanding? he also asked me why i wasn't dancing or starting my own company -- to that, well... anyway, i offered him a print of one of my photos, and he asked for two, and he even asked me to sign the one i had on hand, which was funny.
then i went to ballet class -- a teacher who's known me for many years -- and i felt different about her class (which, understandably, was dialled down for post-holiday easing and the people who came) -- and i also felt that maybe i hadn't lost as much as i feared in terms of strength, etc. let's face it, meditation is boring. standing in one place is boring. stretching is boring. i would never do any of it if someone or something didn't make me. it's changed my approach, and that's a good thing.
i haven't integrated the things i know or experience because i haven't figured out how, mostly. and because the authority of professions seems to be absolute, when of course i'm able to see the weaknesses and flaws, and these frustrate me. and because i partly enjoy my multiple personalities, though it can be exhausting. i don't know.