I think I'm an Outlier
Was reading this link over at Thus Spake Zuska today.
Here's the thing: I'm wondering if I'm in a minority of people who actually really love academia and just think it needs some tough love. It may be idealistic, but every once in a while I meet someone else who feels that way and think, geez if we could just get these people together, we might have something good.
Bu it's weird for me being a postdoc now. We're in an age when the movement toward mainstreaming 'alternative' careers is increasing, and people who want to stay in the system- especially women - are viewed as, at best crazy, masochists at worst.
I've found that women tend to view women like me as masochists.
So here I'm one of the ones who want to stay (I think). I don't think I'm brainwashed or just 'following the path', as some older female professors claim to have done. (My favorite was the chancellor-level MD who said she just went from med school to postdoc to professor to dean and never thought twice about any of this progress because it all came so easily to her!). If anything I've been clawing tooth & nail to get to work on what really interests me. And I'm thoroughly convinced that there's no way I could do the work I'm doing in academia anywhere in industry.
So I've run out of people to talk to where I work. The few women who have similar interests are younger than me and naively competitive (and a bit arrogant, which I try to ignore); the older ones are burned out and bitter (not that I can think of any of those- I may be one foot in that category, but we don't have a support group on campus).
The men who should be my 'peers' either view me as threatening, or want to 'collaborate' with me in ways that make it clear that they would steal my stuff if they saw even the slightest opening (needless to say I need collaborators badly enough that I'll take what I can get and just sleep with one eye open).
Anyway I guess I'm just feeling really isolated again- which was why I started this blog. It's been a while and my situation has changed a lot but never really improved. In theory I've been slowly moving in the right direction and things might start to improve soon, but for the time being I've got a lot of stuff to do that has me locked in my office alone. So I'm wishing this stuff was done so I could move on to the part where I get to know new people and continue my hunt for like minds.