Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I'm in my fifth year as a college professor, currently on my 3rd year of a 6 year tenure clock at a liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest.

Fear runs my career. I am fearful that if I offend or challenge my students that they'll give me low evaluations, and that will make my chair look less favorably on me. I am fearful that this book I'm writing will not find a publisher, and that I will have spent 2 years on a project that will earn me nothing toward tenure.

I am fearful that if I don't laugh at the sexist and horrible jokes of my colleagues that I'll be branded an intolerant feminist. I am fearful that since I am not married, that senior colleagues and administration will not take me seriously.

I am fearful that my students think of me as too young to earn their respect. I am fearful that I have made the wrong choices about my career, and that I will wake up one day realizing that I've made unfixable mistakes.

I fear that I'm waking up right now.