is the tracking of academic opportunities. These things come and go at a ridiculous pace, like pedestrians at a busy train station.
I’m on the mailing lists. I get the piles of several hundred messages a week sporting a veritable cornucopia of riches—conferences, calls for papers, memberships, roles and jobs (unpaid, of course—what do you think this is, the marketplace?) and so on…
…and I let them all slide by without so much as opening them.
I even have a reminder in my calendaring system that pops up a little message on my PC screen (which is, by and large, 90 percent of my universe) telling me to survey the field of opportunities and take advantage of the really sizzling ones.
Twice a week I dismiss the reminder. I forget to even look at it any longer. It’s become so automatic that I don’t even notice what it says, except on nights like tonight, when I look at it and realize with some regret that though I created this set of “recurring appointments” over a year ago, I’ve read exactly zero of these circulars that could, no doubt, make or break my career, offer me the academic equivalent of endless lottery winnings for life.
If only I see the right opportunity before it scrolls out of the temporal window of the present.
If only I pay attention.
I don’t; I have work to do. Work, as it turns out, is orthogonal to opportunity.