Nothing like I expected

Despite a few thesis edits and a round of revisions, Kim is done.  248 pages of done.  6 years of done.  Done. So while I am thrilled that she is done, none of this has worked out like I thought it would.

First the defense:

I had only been to one defense before Kim’s.  And it didn’t feel “defensive.”  I arrived, excitedly expecting to see scholars rave over Kim’s work.  I thought she’d get 248 pats on the back – one for every page.   Kim’s presentation was lovely and engaging.  At least to me.  And then afterward her committee got to ask her questions.  I guess they were questions.  I didn’t understand much of what was being asked.  It was PHD speak at its finest.  I do remember remarks about how one of her chapters gave a committee member “bees in her bonnet.”  And a committee member simply didn’t believe that experience could be a mentor. It isn’t new.  It isn’t helpful.  It certainly isn’t queer.  Experiences are experiences not mentors.  Are experiences mentors when the participants say they are?  I mean, Kim didn’t just make this shit up.

The “i don’t believe in” comment reminds me of people who don’t “believe” in homosexuality.  Homosexuality isn’t something to believe in or not.  It just is.  Homosexuality is not the Easter Bunny.  I’m standing right here.  I’m a lesbian.  Do you believe in it now?

Whatever.  The point is that it felt to me like a defense. So there Kim was “defending” her research.  Of course, this is just my perspective.  Kim didn’t feel defensive.  She liked talking so academically about her work.  She said she had 3 philosophers on her committee, what did I expect? But the point is, it never once felt like a pat on the back for such an amazing accomplishment.  I guess academia doesn’t believe in that.

And now the job search:

I guess I’ve been so silent on this blog because I keep thinking that something will work out and I haven’t wanted to keep writing – still no job – still no job.  And stuff has/is working out.  Again, just not the way I expected.  Kim’s managed to get an adjunct job teaching one class at Westminster.  She’s going to be doing some training on a very part time basis with a couple of organization.  And today she was offered a post-doctoral fellowship in gender studies at the U.  Which is amazing.  Wonderful.  Will really help her out down the road.  But the bottom line is that even with the three jobs cobbled together, she’s still be making significantly. less. money. that I made last year.  Less money than she made her first year out of undergrad 15 years ago.  Contract work.  No benefits.  No insurance. She’s already been 6 tears without insurance.  How many more years before she gets her teeth cleaned?

HAVE PHD. WILL WORK FOR FOOD.

I know that we have living simply down to a science.  But I’m tired of it. I want to take the boys to Disneyland and fly to Texas and New England to visit friends. I want a vacation.  I want to spend money (with abandon) and not have to account for it on a monthly budget.  What’s it matter really? We can defer these things for another year?  Or three? The economy has to recover eventually right?  Which leads me to my current quandary.

Law School:

Is it right for me to go back to school right now when things are so financially tight.  I can help take the edge off by deferring for a year and getting a job.  It would be easier on us.  On the boys.  We could keep our house.  I’d do it in a heart beat if I knew that I would go next year.  But a persistent nagging voice keeps telling me that delaying a year is delaying a lifetime and that if I don’t go now, I won’t ever go.  Then I let this other voice tell me that law school is exactly what I need to do.  And I need to forget about non-profit work and social justice.  I need to work my ass off and join a firm and have money for my boys to go to college if they choose.  If that is selling my soul, well, then, maybe my soul is for sale.

My head is spinning.  Nothing is as I expected.

And now, because I obviously need a little joy, I’ll say this.  The boys are at Nana’s for the week and Kim and I are going to Saturday’s Voyeur tonight.  If Voyeur can’t knock me out of my bad mood, I don’t think anything can.  And until then, because I obviously need a little joy, here are pics of the boys.  Oh, and I’m always surprised that my blog hits still exist even when I go weeks and weeks without posting.  Thank you for reading.

Riley’s 2nd black eye.  It was totally Kim’s fault.

After all, Kim signed him up for theatre camp where he learned “stage combat” and had this little incident.  Gotta love “stage make up.”  I came home from work this day and Riley was sitting on the porch “crying.”  I muttered an expletive and “What the hell happened to you?”  Riley brought himself to tears while he recounted how he was playing backstage at camp when a metal hook got him in the eye.  I was totally buying the story until I notice Kim was grinning.  No more theatre camp, he was too convincing.

About 10 minutes after this picture was taken, Casey’s frantic voice filled the car, “Mommy, I can’t find my lammy!”

The boys had a blast painting their birdhouse with the “easy wash with soap and water” paints you see in the background.  After the birdhouse we decided to put our hand prints on a stepping stone for our garden.  Casey did a red hand print and then washed his off.  Riley did a blue hand print and then washed his off.  Kim did a red hand print and then washed hers off.  I did a yellow hand print while Casey drizzled yellow in his palm too in order to put a yellow handprint on top of his already made red hand print (“that makes orange don’t you know?”) and then we went to wash ours off.  I made my way to the kitchen sink and Casey to the bathroom one.  Only, the yellow didn’t wash off.  It smeared.  And rubbed in.  And got on the sink.  And on the counter.  And on my shirt.  Kim checked the can of paint and then I heard the expletives.  “Umm, honey, one of these paints is not like the other.”  Yep.  Oil Based Lacquer somehow placed right alongside the children’s “easy wash” paint.  In a VERY similar container.  We were duped.  I got yellow paint on the phone while I called my dad to figure out what we should do.  I thought Riley was going to have an anxiety attack when we poured gasoline all over Casey and my hands.  “Don’t touch anything!” Riley demanded, “Even static electricity could cause you to BLOW UP!”  Let’s just say we made it without blowing up!  Though we did smell a little bit foul for awhile.  And those poor eczema hands of Casey’s had certainly seen better days.

I’m sorry it doesn’t feel as joyous as we planned.  But it will someday.  I know it.  Congratulations Dr. Kim!

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6 Responses to “Nothing like I expected”

  1. Ben Says:

    Congratulations! What a great accomplishment for your entire family–because I’m sure she couldn’t have done this without your support.

  2. M Says:

    Many congrats to Dr. Kim on the successful defense and completion! Also many congrats to her supportive family!

    I carry a sign that says JD, WILL WORK FOR FOOD. Even willing to sell one’s soul and work for a firm, but souls are a dime a dozen apparently. There are a glut of JDs these days. Nothing is as it once was.

    Convincing stage makeup! Adventures in paint and gasoline!

    All my best wishes at this transitional point in your lives, and here’s to hoping some day we can all be insured and have our teeth cleaned.

  3. Kaye Says:

    Well, here are SEVERAL virtual pats on the back. She earned them and deserves them. Oh, and here are a few more for her lovely support crew!

  4. Gramma-Jo Says:

    Congratulation, And Cheer up. Everything will come out in the wash.

  5. Doug Hackford Says:

    a pat on the back is nice but dont pay the bills are you shore win you finish law you will find a good job or just a pat on the back wish you all the best Doug

  6. Doug Hackford Says:

    i am a pour reader i only read your blog hope i dont for get how befour you post another one

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