Early Death Knell

It comes down to this: I need funding.

So. Very. Desperately.

I’m teaching 7 classes this semester – and I have to design all the lessons for 5 of them. This is the amount of teaching I have to do in order to pay my fees.

That’s 9 hours of contact time a week. Add in the requisite 3 hours for every 1 spent in the classroom for prep and marking (for which I am NOT paid), and it’s a full time job. At least.

I’m exhausted. After marking 40 1st-years’ short stories, I never want to see the written word again. And I have 20 more to go. I haven’t even had time to think about my PhD studies all week.

Five years – that’s how long I’ll have to keep this up if I have to self-fund the entire PhD. I should take a picture of myself now, the way they do US Presidents before they take office. They age about 50 years during their terms; I have a feeling I’ll age at least 30.

So I’m busting my ass to find funding, which is as plentiful for Americans in the UK as it is for white middle class males in the States. I’m willing to alter the source inspiration for my novel to whatever country or culture will fund “studies” on their mythology. I’m on conference committees and discussion forums, trying to bulk up my CV and references for funding applications, what few there are.

I have a sinking, depressing feeling that if I don’t get a grant from somewhere, this PhD isn’t going to happen.

On the plus side, I now have half a closet to use as an office, and they even gave me a key. Now I have somewhere to store snacks. Yes, that will make up for the fact the university cut part-time lecturer salaries by 60% in the past year, so we don’t get a dime for 75% of the work we do.

We’ve gained a tether in our department as well – our new head of school heard about our concerns about the quality of our teaching, and assigned us a teaching coordinator/mentor. It boosts the morale, if not our bank accounts.

So, if Richard Branson or any other super rich person is reading this, know that my project is insanely awesome, commercially marketable, and I am the nicest person on the planet to give money to. Sort of.


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