21 February 2007

On professionalism, blogging, and anonymity

I decided to write an "about me and my life" post, since it may help explain a lot of where I'm coming from. If you've read previous posts, you know I'm opinionated, so here goes.

I'm an almost 31, divorced, unattached, liberal academic type. In fact, I'm an academic librarian, specifically science. I'm a born teacher, so librarianship has been ideal for me in that I can dabble in lots of different subjects but still teach and work with college students. I suppose I loved college so much that I never wanted to leave!

I work at a small, but quite prestigious, university in rural Virginia. I've been here for about a year. My job is mostly great, but I'm not happy with my location, seeing as there is no city for about 60 miles and I'm certainly a city girl. I've also been wondering of late whether I'm growing out of my chosen profession, and should move on to something new. I love librarianship, especially the scholarship of it, but it doesn't fulfill me like it used to. The academic world is frustrating, and if you aren't one of the primadonna ivory tower professors, it's doubly frustrating.

So I started this blog because I wanted to chronicle my life, opinions, and other events and see if any pattern would form. None yet. The title, Nothing Permanent, speaks to the fact that I think I'll be making a drastic life change in the next few years, and am reluctant to put down roots, for better or worse. I will probably go back to school and move out of the area. If I had to choose now, I'd get a second master's degree in Women's Studies at the University of South Florida.

A friend of mine asked me what I am most passionate about, and I answered "feminism." (This is followed closely by horticulture and photography.) He followed up by asking me why I didn't pursue "feminism" as a life path? I didn't have an answer for him, and it's really stuck with me. Maybe Women's Studies isn't the most prudent path for me, considering my career choices would be quite limited, but I now realize that I need to do something in my life where I'm fighting for something I rabidly believe in.

Because I'm having these thoughts about my career, I'm choosing to stay completely anonymous and not divulge my place of employment. Like many bloggers, I don't want my colleagues to discover my doubts about living in a podunk college town and working at a very conservative school. I also think it's important for some people to keep the work life and private life separate, which is why I don't really bring up personal issues at work except for people I'm friends with. And then, I only do it when we're "off the clock," so to speak.

A bit of history:
Some may wonder why I chose to work at a conservative university in a rural town. Well, it wasn't really a choice as much as a career builder. It's an excellent opportunity for me to do the research I've always wanted to, and the pay is pretty good. I was forced to look for work after my ex-husband abandoned me, which was only months after we married and I quit my previous job to move with him out of state. (Typical woman sacrificing her professional life for her man's, I know, barf.) I had just had an offer from a university within long commuting distance when he left me, and I didn't see the need to stay in an area I didn't particularly like when there were probably much better opportunities out there. I moved in with my parents as I embarked on my epic job search. Oy.

I'm glad I did it that way. And I'm not all bitterness and hate toward the ex, either. If it weren't for his spectacularly bad timing, it may have been much harder for us to divorce (although, it was a pretty messy divorce) and I wouldn't have had this experience to explore my scholarly interests. So, in the past two years, I've really grown as a person, thanks to a broken heart, some health problems, and a lonely transplantation.

Now, I blog for meditation, for record keeping, for sentimentality, for mental regurgitation, for psychological cleansing.

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