Wow. It's been over a year since I've given an update, and it sure doesn't feel like it.
This past year brought me many challenges alongside many professional, personal, and social successes.
The way university faculty describe the first year as an Assistant Professor was eerily accurate to my first year experience here at Winona State University. Over the entire first semester I spent every weekday on campus from 8am to 7, 8, oftentimes 9pm. With 3 new preps, committee work, programming, and feeble attempts at staying up-to-date with my research, it took a while to learn how to balance all the professional expectations that come with the job.
While I found that balance sometime in my second semester, I did not find the work/life balance along with it. So, as you might imagine, when we decided to become first-time homebuyers *just before* interest rates sky-rocketed, my stress levels were through the roof. I was convinced that every decision I had made since accepting the job offer was the wrong decision and that I likely blew up my life for the job.
Fortunately, summer brought an expansion of myself, personally, and the break from work gave me the reset I needed to start evaluating just how much I was giving of myself to the job and exactly what I was getting in return. I spent the summer enjoying Minnesota's incredible proximity to sunlight, riding my bike, playing outside, tending to my plants, and completing way too many house projects.
I'm already 5 weeks into fall semester and I'm discovering how much I *thought* I needed to do to meet the requirements of my job. In light of these discoveries I've spent the past two weeks experimenting with doing less. I love experimenting. It feeds my curiosity, and, in this case, it helped me keep more of myself for me and my family all the while meeting my professional goals--including research!
I'm finally starting to feel like I can sustain this academic life...I only hope that the academy can learn to sustain itself.
Assistant Professor of English/Film Studies
Transnational Cinema, Decolonial Methodologies, Feminisms, Neoliberalism
Winona State University
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