The letters have left the administrative building and there are 63 of us anxiously awaiting their arrival at our respective departments. It could be after lunch today. It might not be until after lunch tomorrow.
It is official...I either have tenure, or I don't. And right this minute that is seeming so huge to me, because either way my life will never be just the same. I might have the most overwhelming sense of accomplishment and relief that this journey I dragged my family on starting in 2000 was worth it. I will have job security in this crappiest of job times. I will be free to work on whatever research I deem important and I don't have to worry if everyone else thinks it is worthy. Academic freedom. I can run my classrooms the way I want to run them without fear that one pissy student will wreck my evaluation average. I will become a better researcher and teacher without the stress of trying to please everyone. I will have a voice within my department to prevent junior faculty from being bullied and railroaded at whim.
OR, I will be starting almost completely over. I will have to try to find a faculty job in a specialty area in this crappiest of job times. I will have to move away from my kids and my sister. We finally have friends that don't make me want to shoot myself in the face and we would have to try to make new ones. I will have to work at the University that rejected me for another year knowing every second that for whatever reason they did not deem me worthy. I will be devastated because this is OUR school and once we leave we can not ever come back.
I can't wait to get the letter, but once I open it, it is what it is, and there is no more dreaming about what it might be.