Poor Princess hails from a big city in Canada. After living where she was born for 19 years, she had enough. She went off to live in Israel, where she met The Scientist. Then she came back and then went off to New York for graduate school. While she wrote her dissertation, she lived in the South, where The Scientist was doing his doctorate. But once he finished, they moved back to the northeast, where they had their first child: LL. But by the time LL was one, they were on the move again: this time to Western Canada. Four and a half years–and two more kids (Cool J and Baby MoFo)–later, they returned to the northeastern United States. In all this wandering, Poor Princess and The Scientist worked in interesting positions, but each failed to procure the much-coveted tenure-track job, the holy grail in academia. Which left them a little poor and a little transient. But then one of them did find a job that was the “real deal” and he’s now a professor in the UK. The only problem is . . . The Poor Princess is not.

What inspired this blog was the move from Western Canada to the Northeast: Poor Princess wanted a way to let her close friends in Western Canada (whom she was loathe to leave) know what she was up to (aka she wanted a chance to whine). One friend had asked a question that made Poor Princess realize that perhaps a whole blog was in order to explain her new life. Upon hearing The Scientist’s salary in his new position in the Northeast, the friend asked if she (Poor Princess) would be making up the difference in the family’s needed income. The question was the original tagline of this blog:

“WHAT?” asked my friend who has 7 or so 50″ flat screen TVs including one over the tub. “He’s only going to earn FIFTY?? Are you going to earn the other THREE HUNDRED?” We both laughed. A little. I would not. So here’s how it goes: How a spoiled family of 5 attempts to survive on 50 grand in a princely town near NYC.

Later, the tagline was removed, because some months after arriving in a princely town in the northeastern United States, Poor Princess landed an amazing job, and while she was not earning $300K (or all that close to it), she delighted in being, as her grandmother called her, a באָרוועסר פּראָפעסאָר. She adored her students, her colleagues, and her beautiful work and living environments. But now that she faces unemployment again, in one of the most expensive countries in the world, perhaps it’s time to restore it.

If you have comments or advice for PP, please feel free to contact her at poorprincessdiaries [at] gmail.com .


7 responses »

  1. No dear, you are not a princess; you are a queen! A spectacular, glamorous, lovely and loving queen!

    PS: I noticed not a single thing on your list makes an appearance in my life, well, except for the sushi, and that’s only cause sushi over here is the equivalent of the slice from the corner store over there; got me thinking again about cultural differences, what we think of as matter of fact or as _basic_, how different living standards and cultural practices shape our criteria for determining what is essential, decent, privileged and/or deprived, and ordinary, not to mention normative. I look forward to reading your analyses of these as you embark on your new adventures in “prince town,” delivered in your very own bubbly, passionate, tongue-in-cheek prose! Have fun with this, Queen !

  2. Dear Poor Princess,

    I came across your blog via The Sisterhood on the Forward website and was immediately struck by our similarities. I, too, graduated from a Jewish day school in Canada (Eastern, non-French speaking province) and came to New York for graduate school. I stopped with an MA, but every so often threaten to do a PhD and struggled to find work before my student visa ran out. I met an American boy and after we were married, I finally got a green card so now I’m no longer a “non-resident alien.” I live near New York City and have two small children. And just a few weeks ago I saw someone wearing a Peekaru and almost got one! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    • Thanks so much for writing, Susan. Are you sure it wasn’t me, in Central Park, this past Saturday, with the peekaru?! I was the only mom there sans Bugaboo, so I was quite noticeable!

      Be grateful to your younger self for having stopped where you stopped in your education. It’s not that I didn’t love the learning, it’s just that academia is not a viable career track for most graduates of doctoral programs. I am trying to think of ways to reinvent myself now, which is not such an easy thing to do after so many years of envisioning myself in front of a classroom of eager 20-year olds just dying to discuss The Sun Also Rises.

      Thanks for reading–maybe we’ll meet one of these days! Maybe we’ve already met! Maybe we went to school together! It wouldn’t be THAT shocking . . .

      PP

  3. Hi,

    My name is KC Owens, I’m a college student and I love to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. I have been to countries all over Europe with just my backpack and a camera. Since I am a college student and I have significant bills, it can be difficult to find ways to travel the world. However, I have done this several times, with less than ten pounds of luggage and while on a college dime!

    I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my tips and tricks with your readers. I put a lot of time into my traveling, it is my biggest passion and I would love to inspire others by sharing my stories, mistakes and triumphs. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best,

    KC Owens

    • Hi KC, Sounds like you have lots of great things to write about! Would you like to send me a sample of your writing? Pls. send to poorprincessdiaries [at] gmail [dot] com. I would be more than happy to read it to see if it fits with this blog. Best, PP

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