Where did I leave things yesterday … ah yes, lacking the heart to continue.
A quite delightfully non-specific way in which to end a post. Did I lack the heart to finish the post, or the heart to finish this strange, strange, journey that I embarked on several years ago?
Well, I think I know the answer to that one. On of the side-effects of having some surety in one’s decrepitude, that is, knowing (barring being really fucking unlucky) how one will fail and falter in this great game that they call life, is that these small crossroads take on a greater significance. What benefit if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul? I suppose it depends on the value one places on the soul. There are several things at work here, but I am beginning to understand that what I promised myself last year simply has to occur – actually write.
My point is simple. I have never written to the exclusion of everything else. I have always been teaching, preparing for classes, frankly wasting what precious time I have left. Yes, it’s true to say that there are some students who I may well have affected for the better. But it’s simply not enough.
I’ve been waiting long enough, but this most recent knockback, well, frankly, that’s that. Adios. So long and thanks for all the jolly exciting student feedback forms. This boat has well and truly sailed, and the amount of time I have wasted filling in application forms (let’s say about forty for four shortlists, at least one of which I was a shoe-in for) could have been far better spent doing something useful. I’ve been told I failed to make shortlist because the other candidates had more teaching experience than I. ok. Fine. Well it would be if one of the shortlisted candidates hadn’t been someone I had employed the year before, and another two loves I could have taught as undergrads. Another excuse was that I didn’t have broad enough teaching experience. That’s me, who’s been teaching for 22 years, 7 at university. Damn, you’re right. So narrow.
So. Fuck you. Message well and truly received and well and truly understood. I’d burn my degree certificates … if I knew where the fuck they were.
Yes, yes, I’m moaning, and yes, yes, I ought to have published more. But look. Most everything I’ve read published by postgrads before finishing or in the couple of years following has been pointless and frankly shit. It takes a few years to get your brain up to the next level. The academic world will have to live without my groundbreaking book on Bacon. Oh, and again, let’s be real here. My PhD contained roughly four things no-one had done before. Which is about average. It’s better written than most, but still fundamentally pointless. Check it out, up and to your left. Great insomnia cure!
So. Once more unto etc … (I’m so-ing on purpose now, ok?).
So that you know, should you actually be interested, I am currently editing my first kids’ book. Don’t ask me, I have no idea.
And hey, you know what, I’m going to post the prologue. Oh, and if anyone steals it, I’ll track you down, like Nigel, and suck out your soul. That’ll make a nice blog, mind.
Other than all of these exciting things, I have no clue. Not one. Hope you enjoy the ride.
PS. They’re always a disappointment, right?