Everything happened rather quickly after my defense in December 2016. Anticipating the so-called “post-graduation” state of panic, I started searching for work opportunities well before the end of my graduate program. I found that starting my job search so early in the process was worth it—about six months before my defense, I already knew I would teach two courses during the Winter 2017 term of my own design in the Department of New Media Art at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw, Poland. To make up for my other half of employment, I’ve also been working as a freelance translator.
Lesson #1: If you live like a nomad, you will most likely die like one.
Despite the fact that Polish educational institutions are not as well organized as American ones, I am really happy with the work I do with my group of international students and colleagues in Warsaw. Currently, I supervise eight individual projects on film and animation, and I’m developing an academic program in screen studies.
Lesson #2: If you apply for jobs you want, you will most likely get one.
Yet, I found myself still driven by graduate student force of habit, i.e., the addiction to “applying for stuff.” This habit influenced my decision to apply for the Polish Lecturer position at Duke University, which I was fortunate enough to receive. I will be moving to Durham, North Carolina in August to teach two Polish language courses with hope in “reviving the Polish program,” as my job description says.
But Warsaw will wait for me—I will return to Poland to teach my courses at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology once my year at Duke University is over. In short, I will continue living on two different continents doing what I like to do most.