I just got out of an Area Meeting at school. Area Meetings, to give you some context, are a monthly meetings my department holds where we talk about/approve student proposals for comps and dissertations and what not as well as talk about area-wide administrative issues. The later bit is usually really boring. The former can be fun. It’s fun to hear about what other folks are doing even if I have no idea what they’re talking about because they’re doing ecumenical church theology in India, something I don’t know anything about. But the later, the admin stuff, is terribly boring. It’s the worst. It’s a stark reminder that faculty members are not only scholars but they’re in charge of other more mundane tasks. And I don’t know if I can get behind that.
Let put that another way. I don’t know if I want to do that. When I grow up. All I really want to do is teach. Maybe do some writing. I like writing. I could write the occasional book. Or article. But hard-core research of the variety expected if you get a fancy job at a big name university like Stanford doesn’t really appeal to me. Being on the faculty and having to attend meeting and discuss protocol and all that crap doesn’t really appeal to me. Networking to get that cushy job doesn’t really appeal to me.
All I really want to do is teach. Hm. Maybe I shoulda thought this one through before I started all this.
Oh no. Wait. There’s some good in what I’m doing. Don’t despair. There’s an intrinsic value to what I’m doing and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a brain full of knowledge and wisdom. But it’s a little disconcerting for the next year and half or so as I get through the whole exams-dissertaion-graduation process. A little bit of The Graduate is seeping in here. A little bit of what next?
Which is answered easily. The Buddha.
Today ought to be a good motivator for to get up off my ass and recommit to my practice and see where that takes me. I’m still toying with the idea of being a minister (which would solve all these silly issues in one foul swoop!). But I still need to figure out how to do that. I still need to show up and get involved. And I’m never going to do that if I’m just sitting around bitching about academia.