Yes... the 5 year plan kills me. When my spouse was dying my department decided it was time to post the one tenure-track job (in all of Canada) in my area, an area which I'd been developing for years. In the midst of the interview--post becoming a widow--they asked that STUPID QUESTION... and I broke out laughing. "Really? You're asking me where I see myself in 5 years?? I have no idea!! Five years ago I had no idea I'd be HERE!"

The humour was lost on them :) They stared.

Post-secondary institutions are the most hierarchical, bullshit places ever. I'll stop here...'cus otherwise I'll go on forever.

I walked away this past spring. I told my program Chair I don't want to be a bald contract teacher. I'm delighted to report that my hair has stopped falling out, and I can take a book into the bathroom and make good use of it--I have Time now! "Retreat" can also mean back away.

Strength to you!!!

My latest book is a memoir, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. My newsletter is on Substack: THE UNSCHOOL FOR WRITERS.