Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Yay. Honestly.

mr. delagar heard this morning at dawn (thanks to the wonders of the internet) that he has passed his language qualifiers.

This is good news, of course, even if it did set off the tiniest little panic attack in me.

See, we have a deal, mr. delagar and I.

He's working on his doctorate. Once he gets it, he gets to look for a "real" job, as the kid keeps putting it. (Right now, I guess, he's doing unreal jobs -- teaching adjunct, teaching online, being a TA.) And, when he gets this real job, I'm going to surrender my real job and be the trailing spouse for awhile, doing, I guess, unreal jobs myself.

That's the deal we have had. I swore to it, three years ago, when he started work on the Ph.D.

It seemed like a really fine idea when the doctorate was four or five years away from ever being finished.

Now that it's, what, maybe a year or a year and a half away from being finished, I find myself just the smallest bit nervous.

See, I sort of like being a university professor. I like teaching Chaucer and History of the English language and Vic Lit and even Bible as Lit, so long as I don't have to do it more than once every third or fourth semester. I like advising students. I like having an office with my name on the door. I like it when students come to me saying what should I do, and I like being able to figure out how to fix their problems and I even like serving on committees because I like that moment when I can lean forward over the table and say, damn it, all right, let's do this, and feel the committee's momentum shift because I said it.

And yes, I like earning the giant paycheck in the family.

I grew up in a family where the woman was powerless. I watched her wheedle and cry and get knocked around -- verbally, just verbally, but Christ, that was enough -- because she had no economic power, no power of any kind. I know mr. delagar would not do that. It's why I married him, a big part of why I married him, that he's not that guy. But on the other hand, ai, do I not want to be that woman.

So even though I told mr. delagar I would be extremely happy to take my turn at being the one to work part-time for a while, while he got the full-time academic job, as the actual prospect of the chance of this actually happening approaches?

I'm wishing I had a lot more Xanax.

That's all.


Ma Tiny said...

my boyfriend's mother was a professor from the time he was, i think, a year old, and his father worked full time. my boyfriend's off to law school, and his sister is an astrophysicist. so the kids fared well.

if you can find a very good day care or your kids are old enough to fend for themselves, you can make it work.

Diane said...

Does it absolutely have to be that way? I assume you will have to move to wherever your husband gets a job, but is there anything to stop you from getting a "real" job, too?

delagar said...

Well, in a perfect world, whatever university that hired him would also hire me -- or there would be a university nearby that would hire me -- but he's been following me around the country for ten years now, and we've never had that work out. He's always worked adjunct wherever I've been hired. True, he didn't have a doctorate, (but he did have an MFA), and I will, but still, finding two real positions in close geographical proximity is not likely to happen. I can teach adjunct, of course. It'll be like having a job. (Where's my Xanax?)

delagar said...

And I guess I could leave the Academy...I can't tell you the size of the panic attack THAT sets off.