As a writer, there are some impossible assignments. Where the degree of difficulty is just too great to put pen to paper.
You can’t write anything sympathetic to Republicanism in The New York Times, just as you can’t write anything sympathetic to the Left in The Washington Times.
If you identify as male, you can’t write about the “female experience”. If you are rich, you can’t write about the poor. If you’ve never had kids, you can’t write about parenting.
I mean, you can, there’s a First Amendment after all, but good luck to you.
And if you’re on “the tenure track”, or a tenured professor, you can’t complain about anything higher education-related without understandably unleashing the growing army of adjuncts who struggle to feed themselves and make rent. They. Aren’t. Having. It.
Unless you were an adjunct before you landed your tenure-track position? And you acknowledge your good fortune. More than once. Then, just maybe, you can pull off the rarest of feats.*
Cue Sarah Emanuel’s essay, “The Deflating Reality Of Life On The Tenure Track” with the provocative subtitle—”Walking dogs helps me make rent.”
Props to Emanuel for her hustle and her risk taking as a writer. And her good humor.
Historical footnote. The Good Wife and I started our journey in a one-bedroom Venice apartment.
*I haven’t read the comments yet. Kinda afraid to.