Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sing it, Janis; or, New Kid Hits The Perfect Note

Take a look at this post from New Kid on the Hallway. I check her pretty regularly anyway, but I went over this morning because I noticed I had gotten several hundred more hits yesterday than I usually do because she had linked a post of mine about how to become visible as a visiting member of a faculty. I knew that New Kid wrote a quality blog, but I didn't know how influential it was, or how many readers she had. Wow.

It is really a very moving post, particularly if you have been following New Kid's career lately, but more generally too, because it speaks to a condition shared by many of us -- a persistent sense, no matter what we have achieved, that happiness is just out of our grasp. Everyone on the job market should read it, and everyone who is either on a tenure-track or is tenured should read it too, because I think we all have a tendency to believe that our fate is in other people's hands when actually it is not. It is only the details that are in other people's hands.

I am reminded by this post of one of the wisest lines in The Wizard of Oz (other than "Some people do go both ways"): Glinda the Good says to Dorothy at the very end, after the dear girl has nearly been killed three or four times, "You could have gone back to Kansas whenever you wanted. All you had to do is say so." Or something to that effect.

And New Kid -- girlfriend, if this many people are reading your blog, commit yourself to being a writer who writes and publishes for a big audience, whatever else you decide to do. You've clearly Got It.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I really appreciate it. (If I could figure out a way to parlay blogging into some other writing career that would pay enough for me to live on, believe me, I would, but I'm way too lazy to do that. ;-D)

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