Monday, April 14, 2008

Big Ass Promotion

One of the frustrating things, I discovered, about being an assistant professor is abbreviating one's profession. I don't really want to write down that I am an ass professor (I'm not that self-deprecating!). And asst professor doesn't adequately distinguish between being an assistant and an associate professor. So for the last 6 1/2 years, I've not been able to abbreviate my job.

However, as of about 45 minutes ago, I can now write assoc professor (with tenure). Yes, I've finally received the official notice that I have been promoted to associate professor with tenure as of July 1. I'm a Big Ass now.

This has been a hellish process. I have not been able to blog about it as I would have liked for fear of being dooced. But the nice thing about tenure is that they can't fire me now unless I skip my office hours or sleep with a student. Unless, I'm a man. But that's a whole other story.

I fully realize that the tenure process is rough on everyone. But no one who knows my situation would deny me when I say I've had it rougher than most. Let me let you in on a few secrets. My miscarriages have run about lockstep with most of the really bad things that have happened at work here. A false correlation? Maybe. But I have yet to have the pleasure of saying, well, my job has problems, but at least my family is growing. (Or vice verse, but truly the former is more important).

I will hopefully reveal a bit of my anger over this tenure process with a story: Over the Christmas holidays when we went to Omaha for a wedding, we had to fly through Chicago. As we landed in Chicago, we hit some turbulence, and my morbid mind immediately thought "We're all going to die." And then I followed up with a scenario in which the Charlotte Observer profiled all the local residents who died in the crash. In this scene, they are interviewing my chair who says "Yes, she was in the middle of the tenure process. It's very sad. We've decided to award her tenure posthumously." A millisecond later, I imagined my bony, charred arms rising from the grave to give a two bird salute to this man.

To say that none of my good friends or family would be surprised to see a whirligig of birds being flipped from my raised and rotating arms would be an understatement. Indeed, my favorite response when people ask me about my future plans at work is to say "I really want to apply environmental psychology to virtual communities. I see myself really making new inroads into the theory of online behavior. Actually, I envision a lot of bird flipping."

But enough of the negative. I can only bitch about this so long. I have tenure. I am an associate professor. I'm going to go home and drink champagne. Finally.


nancy said...

WOOO HOOO!!!! I am soooo happy for you! Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations!!!

Jenn said...

OMG! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! *Finally* some good news for you! Also: I'm sure no one who knows you or your work had *any* doubts whatsoever about your success in getting tenure, I mean, puh-LEASE. :D I really hope having this stress lifted from your shoulders helps make it easier to visualize well-deserved success in the family-building area of your life as well!

Piratewench said...

Yay for you and your big Ass position!!! I feel a positive correlation coming on!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeee Haw! Huge news, Anita, and *so* well-deserved. We don't need to know one iota of the back-story to know that you have worked your proverbial tail off for this. And finally, a tiny good thing about actually not being pregnant -- you can drink champagne!!!

I hope you are already resting on your laurels and basking in the glory of it all :-)


Anita said...

THank you all, so much, for the kind words, especially Jenn, who makes me think she might have read some of it!

I'm glad to be here!!!

Evelin said...

Congratulations!!! Fantastic news!!

Jennifer said...

Congratulations, Anita. How relieved you must be to finally be able to put that whole process behind you!

I trust this will reduce the day-to-day stress on you; hopefully that will have an immediate and positive effect on your physical health as well :)