davidjdunn

This Post Has Nothing to Do With Anything

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

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.

Comments

comments

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

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *