Friday, March 14, 2008

When I Am Grown Up

When I am grown up I will keep a cake in my kitchen, frosted and everything, on a domed cake plate, and then, when I want to make a friend, I can say, "Would you like to come over for a slice of cake?" When I am grown up, my kitchen will also feature a windowbox garden of herbs and a cheese plate (three or four excellent specimens, replenished weekly). (And I will always wash out my French press, so that the grounds don't sit around.)

I find it weird that I can be so specific and so sure about wanting this--a cake in a cake plate, herbs, cheese--but not about what job I want, what city I want, the broad strokes of how one spends one's life.

Translating the kitchen fantasy, what I want is this: not to be too hurried, to have time to spend contentedly alone, to have an ever-expanding circle of friends, to have a home of my own of which I am proud and to which I am attached.

And lately, I've been exercising my brain a wee bit more, and I want these things, too: interesting things to think about, interesting people with whom to think and talk, no fluorescent lights anywhere.

Frankly, I am growing more and more sure that what I want to be when I am grown up is an English professor.


mOOm said...

Most professors work very hard at least for nine months of the year. But a lot of the jobs are in smaller towns in the US so maybe that fits your picture?

mcb said...

When I'm a grown-up, I want to have a cute victorian style house with a vegetable garden and a yard. I really like your grown-up ideal though. I may have to add parts of it to mine. :)

English Major said...

moom, I know professors work hard! I should have been clearer--what attracts me is the work itself, but I also appreciate the flexible scheduling & whatnot.

Mal said...

I love this post - I think these dreams and wants are going to be yours before you even know it. I may even add the idea about cake to MY dreams - there is always room for cake.

Anonymous said...

When I was in college and had time to bake and cook, I usually had a cake sitting around. It was great for a snack and to offer my roommate and any people who happened to stop by.

I think picturing what you want to do in your leisure time is a great way to start figuring out what kind of job you want that will allow you to do that. In your example, your wants don't cost a lot of money but do require some free time, so a job with a flexible schedule makes sense. Someone else might dream of learning to sail, which could require a job that pays really well.

asgreen said...

I work at a university and sadly a professor's life is very hurried, even over the summer. What a great kitchen fantasy.

Sarah @ 20saver said...

My grown up fantasy involves a backyard, not a kitchen, but the sentiment remains the same.
Not very long ago, I also thought I wanted to be an English professor. The longer I'm out of school; however, the less I think I want that as a career. The fact that you want it more the longer you're out of school is a good sign, I'd say. What do you think you'd specialize in?
Right now I'm leaning more towards library science. We'll see how long that sticks.

Anonymous said...


My fantasy could never involve having the constant presence of cake and cheese in the house. There are days when it would prove too much of a temptation.

I do like the idea of having people over often. And also having a husband and children.

Anonymous said...

My present job is working towards being an English professor -- I'm a doctoral candidate. However, the dream is starting to die as I see more and more of my friends find work only in areas of the country they never wanted to be or as adjuncts, with little or no job security. I don't want to burst your bubble, but there are totally NOT romantic aspects of this profession, for sure!

mOOm said...

The biggest downside of academia is that if you want a good job (not being an adjunct) and are not a superstar you have little or no choice of location. A lot of the good jobs in the US are in small towns where the liberal arts colleges or even major state universities are. But there are cases where that is not an important consideration -e.g. partner/spouse is willing to move anywhere you go. For a single person it can be a big problem. Or for a married person whose spouse isn't mobile.

michelle said...

I'm actually on the academic job market right now and it will stress you out and make you crazier than you could ever imagine. That being said, nearly every job I've applied for in my humanities field (not English) has been in a major city - not by choice, it just turned out that way. Re: adjuncting, the academic job market is becoming saturated to the point that in some fields, it's difficult to land a tenure-track job when you're ABD (all but dissertation, even if planning to graduate in June), so a one-year temporary position or post-doc is increasingly becoming a requisite first step.

MindBoggled said...

This is not really related to your post, but I read this and remembered that you feature a Prosper add and in general believe in the idea.

MindBoggled said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QL said...

Lol...I love that. I've always wanted one of those domes too, except cake would be a BAD idea for me. (It wouldn't last long enough for my guests to see it!)

I love some of the ideas you present in this post....I may even borrow some inspiration (if you don't mind, of course!?)

Anonymous said...

This isn't at all my dream. :) It sounds nice, but definitely not me.

Kim said...

I've been meaning to respond to this for days now. I am the same way.

I like to always have some sort of good food in the house, and one of my New Year's resolutions was to keep my apartment in such a state of cleanliness that I would always be prepared for company.

I have a large collection of tablecloths/placemats/cloth napkins that I rarely use, and I've been planning a window-herb garden in my head ever since I moved in last summer.

Sometimes I think I'm reverting to thinking like a 50's housewife or something...but with a career too?

Sistah Ant said...

i love english!

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