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This morning, I finished reading "Those Who Write, Teach” by David Gessner, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, who discusses the effect of academic teaching (Creative Writing) on writers. In addition to being an excellent read, the article speaks to and for me, especially this (the last) sentence:

After all, what would that part, my inner monomaniac, like more than to tear off his collar and sabotage the job that keeps him from running wild?"

My reaction to those words is complicated, especially in light of my decision not to pursue tenure at my current institution. My reasons for not seeking tenure are multiple and, let me be clear on this, none of them have to do with my happiness with the job. I love my job and the people with whom it brings me into contact. In this regard, the job has been (and continues to be) more than I ever hoped for.

The main reason I have decided not to seek tenure at Ohio University is that my project is not near enough to completion.

Of course, there are other professional and personal reasons that have figured into my decision, not to mention situational realities the disclosure of which would provide information about my feelings regarding the future of my academic career. This blog is not the place for such information, not yet anyway. What I can say, however, is that none of the reasons informing and circumstances shaping my decision—a 2-year process which culminated in June and whose result I communicated to my colleagues in July—is as significant as the fact that, as much progress as I have made in the last three years, I am not yet done writing.

And like Gessner, I don’t just tolerate or endure teaching. I love it. end of article

Works Cited

Dibbell, Julian. "Those Who Write, Teach." The New York Times Magazine 19 September 2008.