Today is a good day. I got paid. I have taken down two thirds of my Christmas decorations. Tonight is the night of the Iowa Caucus in the most exciting (and appalling) US Presidential election ever. Tonight is also the night that the cast of Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is announced. All good things.
And I got an email today. It was an email that got me so giddy with excitement that I accidentally deleted it and had to panickedly retrieve it from my trash folder.
I have been shortlisted for a senior lectureship in Manchester. I have an interview and a demo lecture next week.
I had applied for this job in the week before Christmas. I kind of applied out of guilt to cheer my mother up. But it does suit my profile. They want someone who has both a PhD and my professional experience. There are only about 6 people in the world who are experienced CELTA trainers and have PhDs.
I don’t want the job for a lot of reasons.
- I still have my fantasy that Longford will turn out to be amazing. That my life in the little village here will be like Lorelai’s life in Stars Hollow in the “Gilmore Girls”, surrounded by kooky townsfolk to whom I would be an emotional pillar. Or that I will be like Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes in “To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar”, bringing colour and vibrancy and female liberation to small-town America. I have utterly failed at being Wesley Snipes so far, but that doesn’t mean my dream is dead.
- I keep coming back to Ireland. Why would I leave again? People here “get” me. Or at least they tend to “get” me better than people abroad do. I always feel that I have a better chance of actually having a successful romantic relationship with someone Irish. And I feel like this is a place where I could get involved in politics and campaigns and actually do something for other people more easily than I can abroad. (Not that I ever really do any of these things!)
- Will I get my novel written? Will I get to walk the Camino? What will happen to my various Goalz?
- I’m not sure I want to be a lecturer. I’m really not. I find academic life appealing in the abstract, but I found the day-to-day reality of my department when I was doing my PhD depressing. And UK academic life seems more stressful and competitive than that.
- Deep inside, I want to leave “serious” behind. I’m sick of getting up every morning and dressing up as a heterosexual. A job like this would only make suits and ties more likely in my life, and public pronouncements about unglamorous sex less likely.
- It’s a permanent post. Is there anything more fatal-sounding than a permanent job?
- The job is in the area of TESOL. Which isn’t the area in which I did my PhD. While I found the topics of identity, selfhood, sociology, identity, gender, masculinities etc fascinating during my PhD, I was always intimidated by them, and never committed myself to becoming expert in them. I find TESOL a lot less interesting.
ON THE OTHER HAND:
- I may not find TESOL as interesting as identity, but at least it’s something I feel confident discussing and can claim some degree of expertise in.
- This job is very well-paid. Very. And I need to not be poor. I love the idea of having a salary. And of knowing how much I will earn in any given month. And of being able to lend money to people instead of borrowing it from them. And never worrying about paying for electricity or petrol or heating or groceries ever again. And being able to buy things that are extravagant, pink and fluffy.
- I do love new things. And this seems to be a job where they’re looking for someone to start new projects and do new things. And I love the idea of teaching Masters students. I really do. And if I’m staying in the world of English teaching, it suits me much, much better to be training teachers than to be teaching English.
- I like the idea of being somewhere that has the life and the energy of a university. Part of what I disliked about the department where I did my PhD was the fact that there were no undergraduate students, and so it felt a bit dead. This is a proper university department with plenty of undergrads.
- I pine for city life. I pine for it. And this job would make that affordable.
- I love England. I can’t say that too many times. I adore England and have always fantasised about living there. It is the land of my imagination, of Apprentice tasks and of Narnia, of Hogwarts and of Katie Price, of mysterious Heathcliff types wandering around moors and of Thomas the Tank Engine chugging along, a land of vicars and princesses and crumpets and jollity and cornish pasties. And England always felt like a very free place to me. You look around and you’re so much more likely to see someone with a huge purple mohican. Or with a nose with seven piercings. Or with a flower crown. Or a hoop skirt. Or a leather kilt. Or a unicycle. (I’m not saying I want these things, but Ireland sometimes feels so same-y and it would feel much easier to be as preposterous as I wanted.)
- I remember the first time I watched Queer as Folk. Although we had had plenty of TV shows with individual gay characters, I had never seen a show about being gay before. A show where all the characters were gay. As we didn’t have the UK TV channels at home, I waited and bought the DVDs. I waited up until everyone in my family had gone to bed and then I put the DVDs on. I watched every episode with the sound turned off and the subtitles on, so as not to wake anyone. And it was a fairy tale. These were real gay people, living very gay lives, in a city with a whole gay district. Where there was a choice of gay clubs and bars and saunas. A WHOLE GAY STREET. Canal Street in Manchester. It always seemed to promise so much. I don’t care if people tell me that Canal Street is disappointing in real life. It’s still a bigger gay scene than any city I’ve ever lived in. And it would please teenage secret gay me very much.
- I was much more excited than I expected to be by getting called for interview.
So, I’m going into interview mode. I’m studying for it. I’m going to buy trousers. I’m changing the privacy settings on all my social media.
I don’t know how good a chance I have. They’re not calling many people for interview. But I worry about my credentials. And I worry about the depth of my knowledge. And the depth of my experience. But I’m going for it. If I get the offer. If. If. If I get the offer, then I can decide.