Leaving one job to take another
that pays less but places one
back on the learning curve.
—Douglas Coupland, Generation X
The Scientist, who is something of a Scientist-of-all-Trades Renaissance Man, and loves a steep learning curve, moves fluidly from discipline to discipline developing expertise in—you name it!—Brain Surgery. Computer Programming. Rocket Science. Real Job was thrown away when the university decided to cancel the job search, toss it into the wastebasket like those high school retainers we all once wore and carelessly chucked amidst the half-eaten sandwiches and thick wads of bubble gum, never to be found again. But fear not. The Scientist gracefully relinquished his grasp on the tenure-track track to glide through the old gray Gothic revival stone and iron gates, and under the vaulted archways of an institution more storied and stylish than the Canadian campus dotted with buildings of every color, material, and decade.
Here, he can cavort with playful tigers with perfect SAT scores in a sublime landscape where ivy creeps over class memorial stones, Gilded Lilies and Frosted Flakes are heralded, Nobel laureates choose to be noble or not, and rich white kids in beer jackets retreat to the sancta of selective eating clubs—and they all flourish under God.
So there is a happy turn of events for the Scientist: he is now in a new job that will teach him new skills! Add to his CV! And pay a lot less than his last job, which paid less than the job before that. Also, it will keep him out of the house and sometimes out of the state. And by March, out of the country. Do you think there will still be Snow Days in March?
So that’s life for the Scientist. And me? Let’s see. I have 3 kids. They’re all boys. And the oldest is 5. That about covers it. My life.
LL / Cool J
You see, despite visions of myself as a respected professor engaging in intellectual discourse with some of the best minds of multiple generations, I am merely an overeducated housewife (who is quite poor at housewifery). I am accompanied by one or two, and as often as not three, of my children at all times. Like at 4 in the morning. Or when I get a Brazilian.
In my “free time,” I try to write. I have a number of book projects of the academic variety in the works, a few scholarly articles that need revising, and I am also working on a story that I want to capture my father’s experience as a Jew escaping Egypt in 1948—as I imagine it.
But mostly the only writing I do is updating my status on Facebook.