Monday, February 16, 2009

Chauncey DeVega says: Sometimes You Can Play a Perfect Game and Still Lose

I have to admit the fact that my spirits are a little low today. I called upon the tribe for some of that Shaka Zulu energy and I still failed despite your assistance. This failing was mine and mine alone, and I was brought closer to my goal because of your help and not despite it. I am indebted to you because of the assistance you have rendered to me.

But, you know what? The creator is a bit of a trickster with a master plan and I know there is something good in store for a brother in the near future. Things may be hard today, but I hope things will be easier tomorrow.

When I am disappointed, I consult my mental Rolodex for life lessons and inspiration.

Frankly, I sold ice to an Eskimo last week and it still wasn't good enough. I know that I am my own worst critic. Yet, I also know that I brought it the way that Ric Flair did during his glory years and I still came up short:

Why? As my dad would say, "there was someone better." Sometimes you just have to own that fact.

Alternatively stated, you can play a perfect game and still lose. I think that is how I will frame last week's happenings. It has to be said--damn the academic job market this year! Okay, I feel a little better now.

By example, for my wrestling fans and others, a life lesson from Wrestlemania 23: Sean Michaels wrestled a perfect match against John Cena. The Heartbreak Kid still lost the bout. It happens. The lesson Sean was sharing in that match was how one should graciously accept such a loss. We can all benefit from his example:

Part 1--

Part 2--

Part 3--

Part 4--


Anonymous said...

I hear you. It's not pretty. But, unless you're STUCK in a low-reputation school in a less-than-desirable location, with tenure? Don't complain too much. The job cycle in academia is one in which you are STUCK, i.e., you cannot just get a job whenever you want. You can't just roll OUT. You have to wait and declare and be hemmed UP more often than not. Wish I'd known that before leaving the real world. And guess what else? I want a job with the Obama administration. But? Not only did I not graduate from Harvard, i didn't graduate from Harvard with high honors, law review membership, a federal clerkship, or connections to Chicago. Guess what? I'm SCREWED.

Werner Herzog's Bear said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have also recently been bitten by the wretched beast that is the academic job market. I'm convinced success in this arena has as much to do with blind luck and chance than with our abilities.