It's been 10 days since Simpson College told me I would not be returning next year due to budget cuts. Aside from finding myself incredibly unmotivated to support the college at this point, I haven't given up on my students. And they haven't given up on me. I want to first publicly thank the students who have vocally and otherwise protested my layoff. I want you to know I'm still in your corner, and I remain completely devoted to you and the classroom and my responsibilities to you.
I've spent the past 10 days reflecting on what it is, exactly, I want to do next. I honestly still don't know. I thoroughly enjoy teaching, and I can honestly say the students at Simpson have been among the best I've ever taught. I love our interactions and relationships. The faculty here have been overwhelmingly supportive as well, and I will miss them terribly when I leave.
In the meantime, my search is underway. I have to say that today's high temperature of 14 degrees has me looking South as much as possible (sorry, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, I won't be applying for your vacancy), but I remain open. My wife is also being incredibly supportive, telling me that I should be looking for my dream job. Frankly, I thought I had it here, which is what makes things so difficult. Hopefully, the next place that hires me will appreciate me and see me as a valuable asset. I still don't know if that will be in higher education. Since I'm over 40, though, I'm not sure how to reinvent myself at this point. I have to say I find myself extremely frustrated. I've applied for three jobs in the past week. I was very selective and applied only for places I felt I would be valued and for which I would value working. I imagine if I'm still unemployed come May, that selective application process will fall by the wayside. We'll just have to wait and see.
I could always plant a chile pepper farm and enter the salsa business....