Thursday, May 5, 2016


Administering exams is concluded for me now; all I have left to do is to grade the exams, return them to the students, submit grades, pick up one bag from my desk, and return my key, and all is done for one job. (I turned in my key for another job yesterday.) Although the paperwork will not go through for a couple of days, I will be effectively unemployed at that point--so, tomorrow, more or less. And at this point, despite having dozens of job applications out, I have few if any prospects. One job interview awaits, and only the one--and I cannot trust that I will be awarded the job, despite being qualified to do it and willing to do the work. (I do intend to take in more freelance work once I relocate, but I more or less have to wait until the relocation; uprooting in the middle of jobs does not suggest itself as a good idea, either for contractor/client relations or for the actual quality of work to be done.) I am a diligent worker and skilled in many areas--including learning new information and skills. I would be a good employee. Just make it so I can support my family.

It is also Cinco de Mayo, something my family and I mark. We do not do so extravagantly, to be sure; I tend to push against being overly celebratory in any event, and my personal connection to the holiday is somewhat tenuous. But my wife and daughter have it in their heritage, and if they decide to celebrate it (albeit in only small ways, given circumstances), I can hardly refuse them. And I have to wonder if there is not something emblematic in my getting more or less done with the work I have been doing these past years on this day, one that commemorates an unlikely victory. Part of me wants to hope so--but another part of me worries that if it is so, I am more the French than the Mexican in the event. Such worries usually pop up when I consider the applicability of metaphor and adage to my life; I may be given lemons, but what sugar is provided that I may make lemonade? And perhaps things have purpose, but the purpose may well be to serve as an admonitory example to others.

The view is not the most optimistic, I know. And I know I should be more grateful for the many good things that are in my life and the many good people who are in it. I know things could be far, far worse than they are. But I feel sometimes as if I am asked to fawn over them and act as though things are good enough. They are not. They need to be better, and I am trying to make them better through work, and no work presents itself. Nor am I in a position to be able to strike out and try to make things work outside of regular work; I flatly cannot afford the price of failure, for I am not the one who would have to pay the bulk of it. My daughter would (and the Mrs. and I were in reasonably good shape when we started getting out of the way of having her, thank you very much; we were pulling in six figures or damned close to it, with five figures in the bank). If I am not entirely happy with things, I think I have some reason for it.


  1. Ugh. I wish I still believed in a meritocracy and could write something hopeful that I actually believed. Thinking of you all.

  2. You're not the only one...