Responses to Comments
Is being content ever more than merely fleeting?
I think these are probably THE places to be in the next few years. Especially if you have teaching experience and really want to teach (see below).
It's a little more complicated than 'I just want a job at an R1'.
See, I fall into this bizarre category of being underqualified in the teaching category and overqualified in the research category for anything other than R1. Most non-R1s couldn't afford the equipment I'd need.
Of course this is a moot point, since as you know, I'm also still underqualified for any serious R1s.
When I applied to 2nd and 3rd tier places in the past, they thought they were my safety school so they didn't take me seriously. But when I applied to 1st tier places, I didn't make the cut.
I am a B+. Nobody wants a B+.
Perhaps if I were to do this again I would have to really go out of my way to show how extra-enthusiastic/serious I would be about the 2nd and 3rd tier places.
As it was, when I did it I was totally equal-opportunity about the way I did my applications, which is to say I applied without doing nearly enough networking for any of them.
Again, if I were to apply to faculty positions, I know now what I would do differently.
But lately I am thinking I would not apply again. I just want to get these papers out. And then we'll see.
I was laughing at an article I re-read today (I'm sorry, I don't remember which site) about how it's important to take vacations and avoid burnout. But they specifically mentioned students and junior faculty. I don't think it was intentional, but the message jives with my experience: everyone gets to take vacations, except for postdocs.
I don't know you. I'm glad you like your job and it sounds like your job likes you.
But I did 'know' this guy, or at least what he said he wanted and where other people assumed he was going, years ago when we were in school together.
To me, the interesting thing about seeing where people end up is seeing how this measures against their qualifications and people's (past) expectations for them.
Case in point, he's at a place that 'values' teaching, but I know for a fact that this guy NEVER TAUGHT ANYTHING before getting hired.
I'm also, as you might know from reading this blog, very interested in the extreme disconnect between What The Establishment Says They Want in a new professor, vs. Who They Actually Hire.
Getting that paper in requires getting those experiments done, at least to my own satisfaction that I at least tried.
I am infinitely frustrated right now because I would almost rather quit than keep fighting my way over all the everyday speedbumps, because I just don't have the patience for them anymore.
In other words, somebody else should be doing these experiments. My imaginary students or technician.
I know eventually I would come to regret it if I quit now.
But it is taking. so. damn. long. Too long!!!
You know it's bad when you find yourself fantasizing about how, if you got scooped, then at least you could justify quitting. Assuming the other guy gets it right and you get the satisfaction of at least knowing the answer (but he never does).