Saturday, January 4, 2014

Where I Have Been

Greetings, friends and readers.

I haven't posted in quite some time, and now seemed like a good time to announce that I have secured a full-time position at Des Moines Area Community College. I have given up on the research track, as I refuse to be one of those academics who soldiers on in adjunct and visiting positions. I put my life on hiatus for love of wisdom--I know it sounds trite but I mean every word--and I refuse to do so any longer.

That also means that I have delayed most of my research, as it was fundamental and groundbreaking research in an area lacking much scholarly activity. That means high opportunity costs, and reviewers who haven't read the relevant literature pile onto the problems I already have as a passable writer but mediocre communicator at best.

 I will still be around and invite questions and commentary, but I do not envision posting much in this blog, but who knows?

Oh, and I am writing this notice for one person in particular just to prove a point. Sorry Leon, but it's not you, though I owe you an email!

11 comments:

  1. Congratuations Jason,I am happy for the improvement in your life situation. It is true that I have missed your distinctive voice and was wondering what you were up to. I hope you can reconcile your new full-time job and your research. Good luck and best wishes.

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  2. Jason,
    I am glad for your appearance. I hope that this won't be the only one. Your contributions have always been insightful and inspiring. So don't be a stranger!

    And, of course, congratulations on that new job. I can't think of someone more deserving. If it allows you time for all things fun online blogging, I am here and ready to go.

    Leon / after nature

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  3. sounds like you have made a good choice for yourself given the wider trends in higher-ed, see ya round the intertubes.
    -dmf

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  4. Thanks, Terence.

    DMF, I just do not understand why more academics do not also make that choice. I know so many who refuse to work at a CC because the stigma is too much for them. I would rather face the stigma, both the deserved and undeserved parts of it, and teaching low-level courses for the rest of my life, then the soul-destroying rat race that is the job market for years on end.

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  5. No shame in the community college, Jason. To me it seems more immune from the sorts of rentrenchments going on at the state level. Besides, the students are great in that they actually *want* to be there. Plus, if you love teaching (which I do and believe you do as well) it's a great gig. No *forced* research requirements that'd make you pull your hair out yet if you want to do research in your free time (breaks, summers, etc.) you can. You succeeded and won the game...you have something alot of other people would die for, so, you have a great accomplishment.

    I say that you can use online blogging as a way of relaxation - whether in the mornings while having coffee or a form of "structured procrastination" while gearing up to do research or prep. The online world, true, is widely divorced these days from "the real world" but it's a good way to keep the philosophical chops in shape, as well as network with friends, hear about new ideas, and of course witness general hilarity of folks who take themselves waaaaay too seriously (you know who I am talking about).

    On the other hand with the new job, I say don't forget to give yourself time for relaxation. Structure it into your schedule. A 5/5 load can easily overwhelm. If "the internet" (ha!) is a place where you can relax then blog away, as I do. Although sometimes I toy with the idea that if I happen to land a full-time gig like you've got that I'd disappear altogether from things online, given the ridiculousness that sometimes goes on there. I'm a different story though, as you know.

    See, chatting online is fun, right?

    Leon / after nature

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  6. Leon,

    The plight of CCs depends upon where you are. In Texas, it was hideous. I almost want to refer to the Houston-area CCs as "slave plantations" of adjuncts. However, here in Iowa they are really, really sheltered. Things are great, if a bit lagged behind the other states. Student evaluations? Wait ... I've heard of those!

    I got into philosophy to practice it as a discipline of transformation, and from the beginning my orientation to it has been fundamentally different than most of my colleagues. I also think this might be why I am so persistent on some points.

    I am such a structured person and thinker that I can handle the 5/5. I've had lots of practice by now. Also, I was writing thousands of pages of course material a year, which I am now editing. Once you have that much material available, in addition to thousands of pages of detailed reference notes, it is easy to handle the class material prep. I spend most of my time on assessment, and that's where the load gets tricky.

    I like online chatting, but blogging has not proved worthwhile over the long term.

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  7. Jason.
    First, it's great to hear that your experience with CCs in Iowa is better than in Texas. As you know, I lived in Iowa for abit and for various reasons I can imagine why education might be better than in Texas.

    Yes, philosophy should be a discipline (or experience) of transformation. Blogging is a means of transformation for me. I like to think out loud through posts (some iconic in nature) and set trajectories, follow through, and use it as a "medium" of sorts just to express things - whether through themes, music, snippets, links, whatever - and see where things go. I have a "creative" side to me (I used to create lots of music as a teenager), and enjoy blogging as a quasi-artistic-philosophical activity. Long term I think you're right: you'd have to question whether it was "worth" it or not. I generally feel that way however about *all* things online. Was it worth it to have a presence online for so long? Hindsight is 20/20 on that one.

    I am glad your writing will soon come to fruition. Editing can be a challenge, but I am more interested to see what you shall be doing in the future. I'd like to get you up and blogging again just to see where your ideas are taking you. You, Terry, myself - we all had some good times. If blogging isn't worth it hopefully we'll all be able to dialogue some other way (I am considering google hangout in place of blogging as a medium of exchange.)

    Anyway, I won't take up too much of your time. Jason, again, CONGRATULATIONS on the job. I am so proud of you.

    Leon / after nature

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  8. blogging certainly has its limits but I have really appreciated yer pragmatism notices for those of us in the diaspora.
    http://www.newappsblog.com/2014/01/was-the-aufbau-meant-by-carnap-to-be-a-refutation-of-hegels-phenomenology-of-spirit.html
    -dmf

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  9. Hi Jason, its been a while and I know you and I tend to get mixed communication but I just wanted to say I have always found what you have to say thought provoking. Maybe you will keep blogging simply as a means of communicating with all us non-academic philosophizingers who want to talk small about large things? And congrats and good luck with the job. I would LOVE to teach at a community college!!

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  10. Hi Jason,

    I am pleased to hear you have secured the position! I hope to see you post from time to time; but it looks like I will have plenty of interesting things to catch up with.
    I found my experience as a student at a community college to be the best; a second chance at learning.
    Now that I am in a major university setting, I find that I miss the personal touch that a smaller classroom offers.Ask a question in a room of 500 people, and you get looks like you just killed puppies.

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  11. Hi Ashley!

    I am unsure about the posting. I have taken on a lot of additional duties similar to and exceeding those that I handled down south precisely because I gave up on the research.

    Thank you for the kind words. I am saddened to hear that the university is impersonal; usually the upper-division courses are smaller.

    Do stay in touch. Feel free to friend me on Facebook!

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