• College Ready Writing

    A blog about education, higher ed, teaching, and trying to re-imagine how we provide education.


Seven Years

Being thankful for the opportunity to change. 

December 1, 2014

I’m using this app called TimeHop, which goes back in time and reminds me of the things I said and pictures I took and posted to social media. While I wasn’t on Twitter until 2010 (I know, seems longer), I was on Facebook (early 2006). We had just moved to another country, and it seemed like a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. Those were the days…

(Also fun: you can now request your entire Facebook archive/history.)

The other day I was struck by a couple of pictures from seven years ago. I was back in Edmonton, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. And then it hit me:

I was there to graduate, to cross the stage and collect my PhD.

It got me to thinking about seven years ago…Seven years ago:

  • I had just completed my PhD
  • I had only been married two years
  • I had a six-month old
  • I was on the job market, about to go to the MLA for interviews
  • I was an adjunct
  • I wasn’t blogging, having given up on online writing in order to be taken “seriously” as a scholar
  • I had Everything Figured Out

And really, in a way, I had. I walked across that stage to collect my PhD, secure in the knowledge that I would get a tenure-track job. My adjunct position at the time had some money for me to go to conferences, afforded me some flexibility in the classroom, and actually paid decently (RIP pre-2008 Recession Cal State System). And I was proven right! Six months later, I was about to start a tenure-track job and pregnant with my second. I was feeling REALLY great about having Everything Figured Out.

Six months after that, things had started to fall apart. If you’ve read my blog for any period of time, you know the rest of the story. A lot has changed in seven years, and the me of seven years ago didn’t want any of that change; for the me seven years ago, nothing should have changed other than having tenure. I was going to have it all. I was on my way to having it all.

Until I wasn’t.

I am thankful that things didn’t turn out the way I thought they should, how I thought they ought to. I am thankful that things worked out, better in fact. That clearly isn’t always the case.

I am thankful for all the people who helped things working out.

I hope everyone had a safe and loving Thanksgiving. It’s now December already.  I hope that the rest of the semester passes swiftly and productively, and that you are able to take a restful holiday break.

I hope we all can remain hopeful. 


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