I am returning to complete my PhD after about 5 year away. During that hiatus I have been working as a high school teacher which is a steady, well-paid job with permanent prospects. In the last few years my kids have both left home and the unfinished PhD has become a monkey on my back. I also miss research, miss academia and if I am completely honest with myself, I have never stopped identifying myself as an academic rather than a teacher and that is an important distinction (I think).
So I am quitting my FT job to go back to adjunct/sessional teaching, full time research and a very uncertain time money-wise. I’m actually not very good with money and I am hoping that scaling down will help me with that also. Quitting my job means leaving the lovely coastal country town I have been living in and moving back to the big, expensive city. It means long commutes and full buses. It means a lot of things, many of which I am not looking forward to. But the very thought of going back into the classroom this year to teach I subject I dislike to a bunch of teens who hate it even more than I do was just too much to contemplate.
It’s a huge risk and one without a net – I don’t have a partner or parents or anyone who can catch me if I fall. The only thing standing between me and destitution is a few weeks salary and a guarantee of at least 3 months work.
The dissertation itself has taken a bit of a back seat while I get organised but I am invested in finishing with my sanity intact, ready to take the next step, whatever that may be and finding the motivation, desire and tools to do that as effectively as possible motivates this blog as much as anything.