Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Behind Door #1?

So there are two classes.

Neither are directly related to what I'm all about here. One class is in a hot related field that might look really nice on a resume. If I could teach a class about it, it might be a nice selling point when I go job hunting, see?

The other class is a more hard-core old-school class that might not look nearly as sexy to a hiring committee.

I've sat in once on each class, and although I would like to take both, I know I can't take both because of the work load and other things I'm doing now. (Aside: why do all the classes come up at the exact same time?) It's not that I don't like Class #1 - I do, but I really like Class #2 much better. It's delving into some of the stuff that originally got me excited about my field in the first place at a level I've never really been able to work on. Well, actually, I've pretty much decided that I'm going to attend it simply based on me liking the class (and the prof and the others in the class).

Now, I know in my brain that I should be ok with that. In fact I could celebrate the idea that I'm looking for my own happiness within my options and not slaving myself to what I think others might want of me.


I do have a little bit of nagging nagging at the back of my head. It's telling me that there are no jobs out there and if I don't want to be waiting tables at Denny's, I'd better get the academic boob job by taking all the hot classes so I can tell schools that I can teach all the cool classes.

I just don't think I want to be sexy like that.


knightjorge said...

Random comment from strange chick that reads your blog all the time:

I say go with what makes you happy. You can always take the sexy class later.

Overread said...

KJ - I'm very fond of the commenters on my blogs, especially of the strange folks with random comments - so thanks!

I think you're right. Happiness is good.

BrightStar said...

no no no no... You see, the hiring committees want to know that you can teach a foundational course. The foundational courses (that's how I'm interpreting the hard-core old-school class -- as full of foundational material) always need to be taught -- every year. The sexy classes? Well, they only get taught every couple of years, and people fight to teach those.

Also, take what you want, be who you are. Don't take a class on the premise that it would look better to a hiring committee. I only think one or two hiring committees ever looked at my grad school transcript, and I never used the courses I took as argument for why I should be a good candidate for a job. It was my research and then my teaching and research assistantship / apprenticeship experiences and references that made a difference.

But I'm not in your field, so maybe things work differently in your part of the world.

Also, check with your advisor about what he or she thinks about what you should take.

Overread said...

Thanks B*. That's good advice. You're right about what the class is and what I should do. You rock.

BrightStar said...

I try, I try...