Well, I have news… I’ve been invited to Pennsylvania for a full day on campus, at a prestigious university, as one of two finalists for a great professor job teaching Management and Human Resources.
But I woke up today, ready for final prep, and all I can think about is how ashamed of this country I am this morning, the day after the election. I honestly struggle with whether I want to stay in the U.S. at all, and that’s coming from someone who rolled his eyes when celebrities used to say similar things about either candidate.
It’s so unfair — I should be ecstatic about today. Especially given last week’s sudden opportunity to leave the bank, my employer of 11.5 years, this bright star on the horizon should be a beacon of hope. Instead, I find myself wondering whether I should even bother.
This isn’t a case of political sour grapes. I didn’t much like John McCain or Mitt Romney, but I wouldn’t have worried that our economy, country, and indeed our world, were on the verge of collapse as a result. I didn’t like George W Bush, but I at least thought that his love of country was real, and that he wanted to do what he thought was best for the United States (even if I didn’t always agree with him on what that was). But this guy?
This is a man who either dismisses or even abhors many of the things that I hold dear — diversity, inclusion, respect, truthfulness, decency, looking out for one another, etc. — or he lies and inflames ignorant masses in order to whip up a frenzied mob that will get him what he wants. Either way, I have zero faith that he’s going to use the power of his presidency to make this a more perfect union.
And here I am, potentially tasked with the opportunity to educate college students about how to go out and live a fruitful life in the United States, one that Donald Trump and, god help us, his Supreme Court nominations have the opportunity to reshape in disastrous ways over the next few years.
I’m supposed to teach these kids about core values that I hold dear, knowing that their President doesn’t share them. I’m supposed to tell them how to make the workplace a more inclusive and supporting place, knowing that laws to protect diverse or disenfranchised workers are likely to be gutted. I’m supposed to teach them what it means to be a leader, when the biggest example of leadership they’ll ever see is currently a case study in everything I want them not to be… but which more than half of our country views as a role model.
How? How do I go on campus today and interview with almost a dozen professors, telling them I’ll be the right person to join their faculty next August, when I don’t feel like my expertise and my message are relevant in the country these kids will be graduating into?
Friends have joked about moving to Canada. My husband has made it clear he wants to move to Italy. I’ve even joked about finding a beach somewhere in a country with low cost of living but cheap internet, so I can teach online full-time. None of these things feel like jokes anymore, though; I’m actually open to the idea. All of it.
For now, though, I’ve got to go focus on planting a fake smile on my face, and projecting a false sense of confidence and optimism that I just don’t feel today.
Wish me luck, I guess.