Getting in Shape

What’s wrong with this picture? I am sitting at the kitchen table this morning, reading an article in Esquire magazine about “being a better man, getting in shape,” etc. The timer goes off. I get up and take the biscuits I am baking out of the oven. I take two biscuits, cut them open, and top them liberally with corned beef hash. I return to the kitchen table. I finish my breakfast before I finish the article.

Why Did I Leave OLU?

This weekend, I am going to a meeting at The Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion to help choose recipients of a book-writing fellowship. The Louisville Institute has been very supportive of my work in the past, giving me both a dissertation fellowship and a large grant to conduct research on conversion. They are my friends. And they will want to know, as do so many people, “Why did you leave OLU?”

As I was reading the fellowship applications tonight, I was thinking about how I was going to respond to that question. For some reason, the answer came to me particularly clearly tonight. No fancy lingo, no dressed up and drawn out explanations.

Quite simply, I left Our Lady’s University because:

(1) I was not rewarded for my teaching and other involvement with undergraduates.
(2) The particular type of research and publication I was doing was not appreciated.

That’s it! Pretty straightforward — although no less upsetting — when I cut to the chase.