These past few weeks I have been contemplating about my professional life and even my personal life to some extent. On the professional front, I wondered if I should complete my doctorate and if I did, what I could do with it if I am not able to obtain a tenure track position. After much thought, consideration, and discussion with my wonderful husband Andy, I was able to take a decision. We decided that I have come this far and that I should complete what I had set out to do in 2002 when I began my graduate studies at the University of Toledo.
We made this decision because I have put a lot of time and effort into this endeavor already. Andy pointed out that if I do not get a tenure track position right away there are things that I can do with my degree while on the job market. There may be opportunities available in the future that I may not be aware of at this moment. I can also teach at private secondary schools, community colleges and as VAP (visiting assistant professor) at local colleges and universities in Southeast Michigan, Northeast Indiana, and Northwest Ohio. If I can continue to get publications and teaching experience this will help my CV tremendously and increase my chances on the job market of obtaining a position. If I get the Fulbright Fellowship, that will also boost my chances as well as that is coveted fellowship in academia. I just need to stay motivated and believe in myself that I can do this and that I was born to be both a teacher and historian.
I would discuss the personal front, which is about when to have children, but I feel that is a private conversation that should remain between Andy and me. However, it is a difficult decision to make because you will never be in the greatest financial or professional position to have them because by the time that you wait for those moments in your life to be just right, you may be too old to have the family that you have always wanted. I know that I can have both, I just need to remind myself to just worry about today and what may or may not happen in the future.