So, the plan this year was always on the ambitious side — defend my dissertation by the end of the year, and hope that I would be able to make a strong enough case for that happening in my cover letter for jobs and postdocs — but it seemed possible, at least.
Well, without belaboring the point or going into unnecessary detail, the reality has turned out to be a bit different. At this stage of the game, the immediate objective is to keep a roof over the collective of Barrett heads following the end of this academic year, and then to make sufficient progress by the end of the summer so that, by the time the next round of academic job applications is due, I can at least say that I’ve got a defense date.
On the “keeping a roof over our heads” part — I’m barking up every tree I can. There are a number of irons I’ve put in the fire that have to do with different competencies I have, but my gut is that the main concrete things I’ve got to sell to the non-academic world are my writing ability, a certain technical ability, and the possession of a Masters degree. To that end I’ve been applying for editing jobs, nonprofit jobs, journalism jobs, other media jobs, and the like. Our default position is to remain in Boston, since we’re here; I’ve thrown my name into the hat for positions in other locations too, where there are concentrations of people we know. We’ll do what we have to do where that’s concerned, I suppose.
In any event, since I’m not leaving any stone unturned, I may as well put this here: if anybody happening upon this has a desperate need for a PhD candidate who studies and teaches Byzantine history (as well as medieval history more generally), has formal undergraduate education in music, 10+ years experience in church music, close to 20 years working with arts organizations on- and off-stage, 5 years as a software tester, 3 years in various higher ed administration offices, a natural gift for networking, a knack for creative public engagement on obscure topics and who founded a nonprofit arts organization four years ago as a vehicle for that knack, who puns relentlessly, doesn’t take himself too seriously if he doesn’t have to, loves public speaking, and in general goes after things without giving up (sometimes to his own detriment), I’d love to hear what you think I could do for you. E-mail me at rrbarret AT indiana DOT edu.
Talk more soon.