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Sep. 20th, 2017 09:52 am
atolnon: (Default)
[personal profile] atolnon
I've been falling behind a bit on my textual work - writing, reading and notating, and that kind of stuff - because I've been either engaged with having the occasional bout of a social life or doing the season's last of the yard work. I've said it before - my yard's unruly. It takes an incredible amount of my time to deal with. Since it's drifted into September, though, even while the weather is still often pretty warm, it's a lot easier. There was a whole month where the weather was 100+ and that shit was totally unbearable. When I got work done out there (else suffer dire consequences), it was whatever I could do before 7 or 8 and the temperature started pushing 90.

In the last month, I spoke with my old thesis committee and all three agreed not just to serve as a reference for future academic postings, but also to write letters of recommendation should those be needed. It was genuinely a relief to see in writing that all of them were willing to attach their name to mine, and additionally so to see their enthusiasm for it. I know it's possible to fake that, but they're all pretty genuine people who've had few (if any) hesitations in letting their opinions known about work I've done - even though they've always been polite, they've been straightforward, so I believe them when they say they're behind me.

Very lately, though, there's been an unexpected and positive turn of events, where a position is extremely likely to open up and the person in the position now was asked (more or less) to put forth a recommendation on who they'd like to see interviewed and take up the job. Although I only know them through a mutual acquaintance, I was volunteered and I'm a very strong candidate for the position. I'm not putting any weight on it, but without getting into specifics, it seems very likely I could end up with the job - especially if there aren't any stronger candidates. The current holder of the job doesn't have an advanced degree and I do, as well as pertinent practical experience. It's not academic at all, which feels more disappointing than I thought it would, but it pays 3-4 times what I'd make as an adjunct and more than twice as much as the most I've ever made at my most lucrative former positions.

Although it felt unbelievable to consider at first, I'm forced to remember that I'm in my early 30's now, and I'm fast approaching my mid-30s. (See you in November, mid-30s.) I have a Master's degree and years of relevant job experience in a few different fields. It's not actually unreasonable to believe that a job I would find at this point in time would pay a comparable wage or salary.

I have to admit feeling some actual guilt about the possibility of accepting a non-academic job, if only because I've been in communication with professors I've really respected, lately, and it seems a little like a bait and switch, where I said I'd be teaching and that I'd be on site, probably, and then I'd take the first private sector job I found - but the state of academic jobs in the region is precarious AT BEST, and they pay poorly. The jobs I was able to find posted pay per contact hour (of which there simply aren't many direct contact hours per class) as opposed to being a staff position - that is, guest lecturer or adjunct. And like, the adjunct life is not a particularly easy one.

kitty update

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:16 pm
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
My older cat, of indeterminate age but estimated to be about 15 years old, has started puking up her dry food. My guess as to why is that it's probably related to my attempt to stop my younger cat from porking up and gorging herself on any and all food she can find lying around, namely not allowing the food bowl to have food it in it all day long anymore. Instead, I have set the automated dry cat food timer [1] to feed them less, and less often. The specific amount was tuned so there wouldn't be food left in the bowl. Because the younger cat will hoover everything up, I think my older one speed-eats to ensure she gets enough food...then promptly pukes it up when it's too much, too fast. She's lost some weight (that she needed to lose anyway!) over the course of the month since I adjusted the feeder, but she probably shouldn't lose any more. I waited this long because I thought it was hairballs at first, but judging from the puke itself (which is usually clear liquid + undigested kibble) I think that's the wrong explanation.

So today I got some wet food (which she's not eaten in about 10 years) and am re-acclimating her to eating a little bit every day, fed in the middle of the day. She sniffed it for a minute, walked away, then came back a minute later and finally ate it. At a cost of about CAD$1 a day, I hope it helps.

She's a darling kitty, so sweet and so loyal. I'm keen to see her live as long as she can. Picture below.

My cat, an all black cat, asleep and face-planted into a pillow, in front of a second pillow, on a larger leather chair with high sides.

[1]: Made from an automatic aquarium feeder, a bunch of MDF from Home Depot, a bifurcated spout with two bowls underneath and a digital timer, plans available upon request

poetry for today

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:54 pm
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wild Geese
Mary Oliver
(Hear her read it out loud here.)

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