Returning to Chicago in early May, I had 0% of the move organized. I hadn't even told a lot of people about it! By the middle of July I was entirely packed down (well, kinda...), my deconstructed apartment was on a truck somewhere in the Midwest, hurtling its way to the Pacific in the form of a boat docked off the coast of L.A. I was saying a lot of farewells.
Right now, I'm juggling a new role and the inevitable, mundane logistics of repatriation with the process of finishing my dissertation write-up. It's quite a balancing act, but it's also the kind of spatial and life transition that — varying the specifics — young researchers have to do almost routinely. Shaun (who very kindly helped me out six weeks ago, mid-move) has had his own intense post-PhD experience, and James will be finishing soon.
Realistically, I won't be able to be a ubiquitous presence on the blog in the months to come. But I'm fundamentally committed to the idea that it represents, so that rather than bowing out for a period I'd rather attempt to maintain a lighter presence here by posting snippets that might illuminate the transition from graduate school to professional life — which is a fundamental, even foundational aspect of academic life. Over the last months lots of people have empathized by telling me about their own post-PhD transition, whether it was undertaken 3 years or 3 decades ago. So I thought I'd use my own experience as a point of departure for a conversation and some fact-sharing about the joys and sorrows of academic and extra-academic nomadism.
In actual fact, I suspect that the juggling act of the coming months will be good for my work and writing in calling for a whole new level of discipline, and so intellectual and argumentative succinctness. But we'll see. Use the comments tool to ask me questions and I'll attempt to respond. And please, share the details about your own crazy move.
|Chicago, Illinois. June 2012.|
|Wellington, New Zealand. August 2012.|