Saturday, December 10, 2005

Exile in paradise

In the last two years I have sent out over 100 applications for positions as either a starting lecturer or post-doctoral fellow. A little less than twenty are still awaiting review. So far I have only gotten one interview. It was for a position overseas that would have paid $500 a month. They gave the job to somebody with far fewer publications. It does not look like I will get another interview anywhere. It is apparent that US universities put no value what so ever on publishing or research. There are plenty of people who are ABD with no publications that have been hired as assistant professors in the US. I have two scholarly books, a half dozen peer reviewed journal articles and a Ph.D. finished in a record two years at Europe's finest institution for the study of Oriental history. This all counts for absolutely nothing in the calculations of the search committees for US universities.

So it appears that I will probably not be starting a new job in academia next fall. Instead I will most likely be living indefinitely in Arivaca. Or at least until I can come up with an alternative career plan. I sat out on my meditation slab yesterday trying to figure out a job I could do that would at least pay the rent on a studio apartment. I did not come up with anything. The cost of rent alone in the US now exceeds minimum wage just about everywhere. So unless somebody comes forward and offers me a job that can cover basic expenses it appears I am exiled in paradise. If one has to be unemployed with no money then Arivaca is probably the best place in the world to do it. Until somebody does offer me a job I can get lots of writing done, expand my intellectual horizons and create a whole new school of cooking.


Chris Conway said...


You are lucky to have Arivaca. I'm glad you can get some measure of peace and comfort from your surroundings. Have you ever read "The Land of Little Rain"? I forget the author. It's an early 20th century classic about the beauty of the desert in the U.S. Southwest.

Have you considered government positions? Someone with your expertise could contribute to the U.S. state department or other entities. Even, the IIE, which administers the Fulbright.

Best of luck.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Camicao, I do love Arivaca. I will look for "The Land of Little Rain." I am sure it is somewhere in the Pima County library system. They have an incredible selection of books on the Southwest. I have considered government positions. But, I need to look into them more than I have.

J. Otto Pohl said...

I just checked the online library catalogue. Mary Hunter's _The Land of Little Rain_ is on the shelf at the Arivaca library. I will pick it up this afternoon when I go to their Annual Holiday Tea.

Frank said...

Chin up, JOP. Something will come up.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Thanks Frank, but I think right now I am meant to be in Arivaca.

KRISTIN said...

I'm afraid it's probably an impolite question but how can you live with no money at all?? Do your parents still support you? (You don't have to answer it if you don't want to:)