I can now say with relative certainty how many tweets it takes to get a job through Twitter: 99k. Certainly, it's a small sample size (n=1) but it's a number, albeit a large one.
I announced on Twitter that I was moving. And then, I was offered a possible job. The timing was perfect. The circumstances couldn't be better. A position in faculty development focused on digital pedagogy and digital humanities. For me. Close to our new home (that we didn't have yet). It was surreal. And it was through Twitter.
But it wasn't just through Twitter. It was through the larger social networking I had done through my blogging, my public writing and research, and face-to-face interactions and conferences and elsewhere. It was because two years ago I publicly expressed an interest in moving into a job in a teaching and learning center and there were those who actively mentored me and encouraged me in that role. I not only had mentors, but sponsors. Through Twitter and my public academic engagement.
I couldn't believe it, and in some ways, I still can't. May was a whirlwind of meetings and apartment hunting and registrations for the kids for the summer and fall and...hope.
May also was filled with reminders that if I got a great job within academia, officially starting my alt-ac path, many of my peers and colleagues weren't so fortunate. Budget cuts. Failed searches. Contingent faculty not being "renewed", others being turned into pawns in larger power struggles. If I eked out a degree of agency over my career, I see others whose agency is eroding, being actively repressed, or just evaporated on an administrator's whim. People being punished for speaking up and speaking out.
I will gladly take how this part of my story has ended well. I can't wait to start the next phase. But I also remain acutely aware that not everyone's story is on an arc to that happy ending. There are fewer and fewer happily every afters any more in higher education. This particular, personal story is over, and another equally particular, personal story is beginning. But the larger narrative that it is a part of continues on.
I will keep writing it, keep witnessing it, keep amplifying the voices whose tragedies we'd rather not hear.
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