Here we are now, in a strange & beautiful galaxy for the first time. After negotiating my job offer for a long & grueling week (where I constantly doubted myself & worried about tenure track horror stories of rescinded offers by small religious liberal arts colleges) & then waiting a long & torturous month for my contract to finally arrive via express mail, I can now finally say that I’ve accepted an offer to be the new assistant professor of English & creative writing at Bowling Green State University, starting in August.Read More
After applying to a gazillion tenure track jobs, visiting assistant professor jobs, writer in residence positions + creative writing fellowships in the East Coast, the Midwest and the North, eventually reality kicked in and I realized I needed more teaching experience (and a published book or two) before I started getting serious attention from hiring committees. At least in the cities that I want to live in. I'm close, mind you, but not there yet. So, then I started applying to lecturer positions and (to quote Morrissey) I was shocked and ashamed to discover that it was as hard, if not harder scoring a lecturer position because 97% of the recent PhD's, MA's and MFA's that weren't hired this year for tenure track jobs still had to pay their rent, so now they were all applying to lecturer positions instead. So, committees for lecturer positions are getting ten, twenty, even thirty times as many applications as they did for tenure track jobs. And while in some cases, universities definitely prefer candidates with a PhD, others (like UIC where I applied and was basically told that I was still not going to get a teaching position for unspecified reasons even though I was clearly qualified for the job) don't want the credential inflation because it means they have to pay you more.
Anyway, I won't belabor this point anymore except to point out that the academic market right now is fucking horrendous. There's just too many smart, published and qualified people with degrees and simply not enough academic positions for all of them. That's the statistical reality, grim as it sounds. Ultimately, for the past month or so it's come down to academic positions in California. A week ago, I finally got "the call," and I almost started crying. Crying! Anyway, I'll now be a full-time lecturer at UC Irvine, which has a dope English department and an equally dope MFA program, so it'll be an honor to teach composition/rhetoric there and be part of UCI's English department. On top of everything else, I get bennies, one of the best salaries I've seen for any lecturer position in the states, and some degree of job security (all thanks to a unionized adjunct labor force). And I get to move back to LA too! I totally lucked out, man.
I'm thrilled about this opportunity. Thrilled to be teaching again. Thrilled to be back in the West Coast. And thrilled to teach writing while I make it in LA as a fiction writer.