I had a much more intelligent post planned for today, but that got derailed by the Senate healthcare vote. And then I got an email from the placement director in my department:
It’s time to schedule a practice job talk!
Noooooo. My stomach immediately knotted up. I could feel the anger rising up inside me. I feel like I just finished with last year’s job market. Is it really starting again?
No, I won’t do it. I didn’t do it last year. [Yeah, and how did that go for you? You don’t have a job.] They can’t make me. I have classes to teach. I can use that as an excuse. I don’t have time for this bullshit.
They want me to give a job talk that I will never give. They want a job talk for a big, research school. The kind of job talk they want to see. I am never going to get a job at a big R1. I never want to. I don’t want to do that job talk. I went on two fly outs last year, and no one asked me to do the traditional job talk. I’m not doing it this year.
And then, a crazy thought, one that hasn’t been in my head for a long, long time, came up:
Self-harm. I could self-harm to make this anxiety and frustration go away.
And having that thought is scary. Because what am I doing if the thought of preparing for an interview makes me want to self-harm? How can I go into academia if it makes me want to hurt myself?
I didn’t hurt myself, by the way. I texted the appropriate friends to receive support, and then I wrote this post. But having such a strong visceral reaction to something that is a pain in the ass but really not that difficult? That’s kinda scary.