Friday, April 8, 2011


I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s not necessarily because I’ve had nothing to post about. Maybe I’ve had too much to post about and have been too stressed out to write anything.

At any rate, it’s been an eventful few months for us. For quite a while now I’d been planning on applying to PhD programs in linguistics (and would hopefully be accepted to at least one). As I was applying, though, something changed. I’m not quite sure what happened, but suddenly I was losing my enthusiasm for more schooling and was growing increasingly doubtful that I actually wanted to be a professor.

I mean, I love the subject and love learning about and talking about it, but teaching is something else altogether. It means lesson plans and grading and standing in front of a class of students who may or may not like me or the subject. It means doing research and lots of writing and trying to get tenure—and this is assuming I could get a decent teaching job in the first place instead of just bouncing around from one adjunct position to another.

And more school? I don’t know. Suddenly I was feeling very burned out with school and just wanted to be done. I don’t want to drag my whole family through a few more years of this, moving across the country and living in cramped apartments, racking up who knows how much debt. Lego’s going to start kindergarten this fall. I remember how hard it was for me to move out of state and then move again and change schools and then move again, all between the ages of 7 and 9. It’s hard to make friends and adjust to new places. I don’t want to put my kids through that if I can avoid it.

So I finished applying to schools, and I was only accepted to one—Northern Arizona University. It sounded like a solid program and a really great fit for my interests, but I just couldn’t see myself going anymore. And while I was deliberating what to tell them and leaning towards telling them no, I came across a job listing here in Utah that would be perfect for me. I’m very well qualified, and from all I’ve heard it’s a great place to work. I realized that even if I don’t get this particular job, it’s what I really want. I sent back the form to NAU telling them I wouldn’t be attending.

I’ve applied and have gone through the first two rounds of testing but haven’t interviewed yet. My current boss wished me luck and says they’d be crazy not to hire me, which means a lot because I know he’d love to keep me here if he could. I’m hoping and praying it works out, even though it would probably mean moving very quickly, and we’d have to figure out whether or not to buy a house or keep renting for the time being.

Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll decide to go back for that PhD and will end up teaching after all. But right now I feel like I want to put down roots somewhere and actually begin a real career in earnest while enjoying my time with my family. Which reminds me, if you haven’t heard, we’re expecting boy #3 mid-July.

One way or another, this summer is going to bring a lot of changes. I’m not sure yet where everything will end up, but I feel like it’ll end up where it should.

Blog, Graduate School, Work 2 Replies to “Decisions”
Jonathon Owen


2 thoughts on “Decisions

    Author’s gravatar

    :) I wrote a long, long post about stuff like this but ultimately didn’t post it. I guess we’re both thinking about big decisions.

    Author’s gravatar

    Desire to start a family is a large part of why I didn’t go to grad school myself.

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