Of Treacherous Terrain

Sometimes I wish I’d written this blog anonymously.  It didn’t matter before—I was single, I was mainly freelancing and the “real” jobs I had were jobs I didn’t care about—but now that things have changed, it’s seems like everything I want to write about is off limits.

This forces me to write about nonsense.  Like people in the drive through line at Dunkin Donuts.  Or reality television.  Or egocentric, ethnocentric smut that somehow found itself between the covers of an actual book.


I’d like to write about my students.  I’d like to write about sex.  I’d like to write about how the thought of someday-moving-in-with-TWD both excites and terrifies me.  I’d like to write about the schools I’m considering for my PhD—both the ones I’m now dying to get into and the ones that I’m just about ready to cross off the list—but this blog is public, so I can’t very well do that, now can I?

I will say this: Operation Move Out has been derailed.  Because now that I’m applying to go back to school, there’s no sense in buying a house in Philadelphia until I find out where I’m going to be spending the next 5-8 years of my life.

I will also say this: House hunting is both invigorating and infuriating.  Especially when your significant other suffers from the delusion that suburbs are the best and you know, without even a shadow of uncertainty, that he is wrong.  I think I stress-ate an entire bag of Pirate’s Booty and mint M&Ms during our first go-round.

And finally this: When you get an email from the admission folks at your school of choice, advising you to wear “comfortable footwear” for the campus tour, do not assume that this advice only applies to overweight, non-dancers who don’t know how to walk in heels and therefore cannot handle the challenge of a “few hills.”  Also do not assume that you remember everything about said campus from having gone to one Eating Club party as an undergraduate, especially if you do not remember there being any hills.  There are.  There are lots of them.

11 Responses to “Of Treacherous Terrain”

  1. Jerseyite Lurker

    I’m not surprised that you reconsidered the idea of buying a house in Philadelphia while applying to graduate school. *Both* the search for a PhD program to be in *and* the search for a tenure-track job after you have the PhD, especially so for the latter, require some flexibility about where you’ll live. Indeed, the latter required enormous flexibility even when the job market was better than now.

    Funny thing about the suburbs. Some years ago, I knew of a couple who met in a chat room, where he was from a Latino section of New York and she lived in the suburbs of Illinois. When I told someone that they were getting married and he was moving out there to be with her, the person I was talking to suggested he was “climbing,” that he was marrying her so he could live in her house. I was astonished, because it was so obvious to me–without even giving it a second thought–that he was making a lifestyle *sacrifice* by moving in with her out there, so far away from the cultural world he knew, and that he must really love her. (Update: It’s been over ten years, and they’re still together, and still out there, whatever that means.) Anyway, though, you and TWD should be able to find a locale you can both agree on, a matter of finding a spot that has the qualities that he associates with the suburbs combined with closeness to all the things you want to be close to, though I hope you realize (and I’m sure you do realize) that you’ll have a new complication if you’re applying for tenure-track jobs in anthro in the present job market.

    • Kat Richter

      Yep, I’m well aware. Way too many complications to put down any real permanent roots anywhere right at the moment! I’m not even sure that tenure-track job is the route I’ll want to go initially… but luckily I’ve got a few more years to figure it out 🙂

  2. omtatjuan

    They can never take a degree away from you. A house.. Yes. A expensive car.. Yes. A hubby… Unfortunately yes but the degree… Never.

  3. Lily

    I know what you mean about anonymity. I write online as well, but my friends follow my work, which can often make things unnecessarily awkward. I also cannot be as honest as I’d like to be. I’ve considered starting a second account for that purpose, but it would be sad losing the other readers I already have. I’m not sure if blogging here is any different but would you be able to notify your subscribers (who don’t know you personally) of another site you may start through private messaging or something?
    Of course, that’s a lot of work too. Anyhow, it’s good to hear an explanation for your change in content. I wish you luck in figuring out a way to make things work because either way I enjoy your writing.

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, I’ve thought about going anonymous and letting folks know how to find me but that seems to defeat the purpose 😦 Thanks for the suggestion tho, and good luck sorting things out on your end as well.

  4. Amy

    Congratulations on the decision to apply for a PhD! Although you may be forced to limit your content some, as a long-time reader I still love to see a post of yours pop into my inbox!


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