Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where I Belong?

Ever since Irene posted on my blog about her missed calling (or in another life followed her calling) as a literature prof. "writing treatises on the foundations of modern fantasy literature" I've been contemplating alternative fantasy careers (What were you meant to do?).
Then a job posting came across ecolog to teach writing here. And I so wanted to apply. I'm not sure why-- sure, the job pays as much as my current job, but, instead of teaching 3 different lectures and three different labs each semester, I'd be teaching 5 sections (with twelve or fewer students each) of what would likely be the same or similar classes each year. But it wasn't that. Somehow I want to teach science through writing and writing through science. I feel I was meant to be someone who excites students about links between nutrition, ecology, plants, cooking, community and social wellness and writing through food.
And I was going to post about it and ask you if I should apply and what alternative careers you are missing.
Then the replacement ecology prof. brought his labs to my garden for a ecological garden lab and about half of the students loved it. Then I guest lectured on stats to the "Techniques of Science" class and am still thinking of better ways to introduce biostats. Then I started (gulp!) finding papers on harvest and matrix models that were published since my dissertation so that I can (gulp!) actually submit pieces of the darned thing and I found I was fascinated by the process (gulp! gulp!).
Crazy as it seems, maybe this is the job I was meant to be doing.
What fits you about your current position?


Irene said...

Oooh, great topic (of course I think so, since I helped inspire it!).

There's plenty of alternative fantasy careers I like to contemplate. One of the few that I seriously wonder if I should have pursued - that I WAS planning to pursue until I got involved in research - is science journalism.

But there are actually many things about my current job that suit me. I have enough structure that I don't flop aimlessly around as I'm prone to do if left to my own devices, but I still have flexibility. I get to do hands-on work at the lab bench, and work with living cells. But I also, at least sometimes, am encouraged to read papers and contribute to the intellectual work as well as the physical work of the lab. I don't have to deal with very many people, or spend a very large percentage of my time dealing with people - which suits my introvert nature just fine. And I like the people that I DO interact with on a daily basis.

Erin said...

Every time I see a movie like All the President's Men, I think I would like being an investigative journalist. It uses the same deductive reasoning skills as science but is much sexier. But then I remember it would involve being "that person" who ruthlessly bothers people to get information. I would really hate that. Plants are much easier to manipulate, even if it takes longer to get the information out of them.

Molly said...

Just took Lucy for a walk, and the twilight glow on the mountains made me wish I was a landscape painter. I am so often blown away by how beautiful this place is!

salsis said...

Let's see - driving a boat on the Mississippi River & being smacked by silver carp, having enough vacation to take a month off to teach ecotourism in Haiti - oh wait, I do that! My dream job is what I do minus the database work which really wrecks my body. And maybe at a place that sends me oversees. I'm keeping my eye on Heifer International!

Beth said...

I really like my job and teaching. I think about what if I was somewhere that I could do more research and then I watch others that have to and remember why I prefer my job. I often wish I was better at motivating myself to sray on top of things better but I love the flexibility to work when I want to and not need to keep as set hours. I'm working on a poster from home today which is great. I get to hang out with Gavin and wear sweatpants. :-) I like my colleagues and my students and that I get to teach fun classes.

Most of my fantasy jobs involve being outside more but I have to admit that I like this one and that it seems to suit me.