As a rhetoric specialist from Purdue, I had cachet. As a recently minted PhD I felt I ruled the world. Now, as a fifteen-year veteran of homeschooling and an eight-year adjunct, I feel like I am roadkill.
Yes, in the last twenty-four months I have presented at eighteen conferences, including seven national ones and I have another of those next month. Yes, in that same period I have published seven articles, four reviews, and have a book coming out in October.
I’m a teacher and my scholarship is pedagogy, which I think I do very well. But I don’t have a “big name” journal. In fact, only two of my articles are in print; the rest are in e-journals. One of those is from the national organization, so that seems like it should have some significance. However, when I look at the requirements for assistant professors, I know that, proud though I am of my accomplishments, I am not even in the top 10% of folks in higher education.
It is amazing how hard that is to accept. I’ve worked hard to be a great teacher, though right now (with six writing courses) I feel like I am not as good as I could be. But I haven’t spent years getting published and it seems like I may have been wasting my time.
So I am beginning to look at other careers. I’m that “forty-something housewife” going back to work after the children leave… It’s not a good feeling.