This Post Has Nothing to Do With Anything

My blog mostly deals with political theology. Sometimes I venture into education issues. I’ll try to post updates about my book or occasionally a summary of something I just read.

Today I’m just tired. So I am going to talk about how tired I am, because it feels good just to talk “out there” right now.

Did I say I am tired?

I have a PhD in theology from Vanderbilt. I work at Vanderbilt, but I don’t really teach there. I am an educational consultant for a program for gifted kids. Basically, I help put together courses for “Nerd Camp.” I recruit instructors, I hire TAs, and during the summers I make sure people aren’t crying too much. (Gifted kids, who tend to have hypersensitivities, sometimes freak out when they get to a class with other gifted kids, and they suddenly aren’t able to learn without trying.) It takes me over a year to plan for six weeks in the summer. Seriously. I started planning for 2015 back in September of 2013.

On top of 60 hour weeks, I have been plugging away at projects – mostly that overdue book chapter I was asked to write and a blog post here and there.

That ends tomorrow. Sort of. I mean, the six weeks of troubleshooting, consulting, and intense social media production ends around 3:00pm. But toonight, I sleep at Vanderbilt. I will drive to campus in a few minutes, with my 4yo son asking me lots of questions in the back of the car, and spend the rest of the day running all over the place – or sitting at my computer getting things prepped for launching fall and spring programs in just over a week – put a stuffed bird on my shoulder, go to a dance, then spend the rest of the night sleeping in the halls, trying to keep smart kids from getting into too much mischief.

So why do I do this? Well, independent scholarship does not pay too well. I see my friends who are trying to scrape incomes together out of adjunct positions or temporary professorships, hoping that maybe it will turn into something full time. All told, I have as much time as they do to work on my own stuff, plus greater job security. I also get to be around the university, talk to lots of smart people from lots of other departments, and use some of the skills I was never taught in the classroom but had to learn in order just to survive a PhD program (i.e. university politics).

Plus, I work at a place that… Well, it’s hard to explain. I think the best way I can sum up my work culture is this: I recently ordered some dance lights to replace our old spinning-globe-thing, and my colleagues immediately named them the “disco cannons.” How cool is that?

We have also named the point-and-shoot cameras “Thelma” and “Louise.”

Jealous yet?

So, I’m going to keep doing what I love, which is theology, and the amazing job I have to support it.

Anyways, thanks for listening. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a stuffed bird and a safety pin.

3 Comments

  1. Jim Cox July 24, 2014 1:32 pm  Reply

    "Well, independent scholarship does not pay too well" Yeah but there's no peer pressure either.

  2. Joan Dark July 24, 2014 1:31 pm  Reply

    This is awesome. You should do more random blog posts.

  3. Joan Dark July 24, 2014 1:31 pm  Reply

    This is awesome. You should do more random blog posts.

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