August 7, 2012

Chapter X

Well, it's August! And a lot of people I know are gearing up to return to school - either to elementary/high school, to attend college/grad school, or as profs to teach classes.

I am not one of them.

This is the first time in a million years that I'm not affiliated with an academic institution. See, after high school, I went right to Dartmouth, and after graduating from there, I took a short 6-month break before I began teaching at my tribe's college and applying for grad school. As you all know, grad school takes forever, and it did. But after it finally ended, I got a post-doc position, then a Visiting Professor position. I've been on the hard-core academic track, until this moment.

There are many reasons why I'm not returning to academia to teach this fall.

The first reason is because, generally speaking (or at least how I view myself), I'm young and there are a lot of things that I want to do. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of energy, and now is the time to pursue these projects.

Besides that, there are also a lot of things that I NEED to do. There's things that I need to do for myself, for my family, for my community, for the broader Native community, and for the international community (hello fashion industry).

There are things that I need to do in my academic field in order for me to become the kind of professor that I truly want to be. And so that is what I am going to be attempting to put into motion in this coming academic year. We'll see how this loose plan changes and adapts over the next 10 months. It's going to be an interesting ride - chasing this list of goals. So stay tuned, I guess.

In closing, I'd like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has support me and Beyond Buckskin, and all of the big dreams that I have.