December 5, 2011, 5:44 pm
Roller derby! It seems to be everywhere these days, and I couldn’t be happier. Derby 101 has begun at my local league, and I am learning to skate (in between all the times I fall down). I’ve started noticing some important ways in which academia and roller derby are similar — and ways in which they are really, really, different.
1. You’ll fall on your ass. A lot. And you just have to keep getting up over and over again. In academia, it’s metaphorical, but it still hurts.
2. Perseverance is much more important than innate talent. In academia, it’s been noted by many people that finishing your Ph.D. is more a reflection of your ability to keep at something until you finish it, and less a reflection of your intelligence. In roller derby,…
September 9, 2011, 8:53 am
In grad school and later, I often heard people say that it was important to have a well-rounded life and interests outside of academe. My response to such statements, which I usually kept to myself, was that I could have a well-rounded life after I got a job. And really, what did I need a well-rounded life for anyway? I was already doing what I loved, right?
Well. At some point during my postdoc, my career really did stop being “enough” for me. I had stopped wanting to do (or being mentally capable of doing) work at all hours of the day and all days of the week, which sometimes left me with empty evening hours, unsure of what to do with myself before bedtime. But I was still stressed out about and focused on getting a tenure track job, so I guess I tended to fill those hours with worrying and obsessively searching the job listings.
Anyway, I’ve been in my happy new job for over a year …