Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Janice from Jacksonville on The Invisibility of the Assistant Professor.
Older colleagues assume I won't stay, but I don't know why. I've never given any indication about my desire to go anywhere. I just got here. I'm afraid for my life almost every minute. The idea of going anywhere else, trying to find a new location, going to the end of the year conference, none of that appeals to me.
My voice is a whisper in our meetings. Even if it were loud I know it would be ignored. I'm new. I don't count. It drips out of every pore of every colleague's body. If someone were to sit on my lap because they failed to notice me, it would not come as a surprise.
I hide in my office so I can avoid my students. But I don't have to worry because I'm invisible to them as well. I might be seen as an impediment to their fun and freedom. But I'm not real. I'm nothing to them.
They lie like I'm brain dead. They run off in the middle of instructions. They pass me by in the cafeteria like I'm not even there. I smile and wave sometimes and get blank looks.
I don't feel like myself, really, until I'm off campus. Then I go home. And, yes, I have two cats. They have clever names. I won't tell you.
I rest and eat and mark essays and when the morning comes and I'm on campus, I disappear again.
It's not what I want.