My psychological and academic suffering has much more to do with my specific department than I had realized. Usually I think the issues are what I bring with me and do not allow myself to see how much is structural.
Also, the capitalistic idea that money does not buy happiness is false. Every time I am able to get out of town, I am much happier. When I present in a high quality academic venue, the pain disappears entirely and my mind comes into focus.
(That was a secondary, but still important reason for me to go to law school at a good place. The objective, as I knew then, was most fundamentally healing, a healing still need although I catch glimpses of it at times.)
I know it is easy to say I am elitist and arrogant to prefer interesting discussion over, say, oppression and bickering. I disagree and I think that criticism comes from some hierarchical and competitive mentality that I am not in, and wilfully misreads what I am saying
Someone told me lately, and interestingly, that my preference for “being a small fish in a very good pond over a large fish in a small one” — my interest in pond quality, as it were, over interest in my own size — was unusual, and was a minority attitude.
A professor at this conference was talking about assistant professorships as interrogation rooms where one is being taught to see like the state.
I think the teaching crisis I brought on and then had this semester has been a “correction” … in this sense.