Fifth Anniversary Update: Sonya Huber

January 8th, 2014

When I wrote the piece that appeared in Mama, PhD, I was a pregnant grad student in an MFA program. That was about ten and a half years ago, and thankfully, so much has changed. I finished the MFA and had the baby. Here’s where the update gets tiring; I’m tired even typing the next paragraph:

I started adjuncting as a writing teacher in an engineering program, then switched after a year to my first full-time but non-tenure-track position in a journalism school. My son went from scooting to walking with the fantastic support of the campus daycare workers. Then, another year later, we moved to Georgia where I started my first tenure-track job. Meanwhile I also started teaching in an online MFA program. A few years later, I got divorced. The money from my first job was barely enough and the second job kept us afloat and funded babysitters when I needed them. In the midst of my single-mother-on-the-tenure-track adventure, I met the man who would become my second husband, and a few more years led to another tenure-track job in Connecticut. I just put in my tenure application this fall, and we bought a home. And I guess I should mention that I published 3 books in that chunk of time.

Ten years sounds like a long time since I got my degree, but all I think about is how grateful I am that I’ve stayed afloat in academia while being the primary parent of my son. I’m grateful I get to teach creative writing and that my job is stimulating. I’m grateful for all the help I have had with the juggling. I’m grateful my job is flexible, but as anyone in academia knows, it’s also taxing and demanding. While I can shuffle around appointments, everything must get done on a relatively unforgiving schedule. The need to stay organized has been intense and mentally taxing–I think I’ve done it at the expense of some brain cells that got old and croaked before their time. When I think back to the past ten years, I am honestly exhausted. Even though the money would be nice, I don’t teach in the summers because I need the time to write and physically recover. But I know I’m lucky to have those summers!

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