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3 years with @CIDE_mx already!

Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega at CIESAS workshopLast July 1st I celebrated my first 3 years with CIDE (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics). I joined CIDE on July 1st, 2012, after spending 2006-2012 teaching in the Department of Political Science at The University of British Columbia. I have extremely fond memories from UBC Political Science, and I will always be grateful to them.

CIDE is the most prestigious social science research institution in Latin America, and we have some of the best scholars in their respective fields. I do miss Canada terribly, particularly my hometown (Vancouver), but I have grown enormously both as a person and as a scholar. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but I feel very fortunate to have a tenure-track position that really has given me everything I need to undertake an ambitious and aggressive research agenda. The teaching load is very low (2 courses per year), and I usually front-load it on to the Fall term, so that I can use Spring terms (and summer) for research trips, fieldwork, conferences and keynotes. There are publication incentives, the salary is very competitive, and I have a stellar group of colleagues and friends.

Resources and new printer at CIDE Region Centro

Like with everything, I have had challenges, none of them insurmountable, but they did have a negative impact on my productivity and my balance overall, particularly during 2014 and the beginning of 2015. My parents’ health (as well as my own) took a turn for the worse in 2014, and I basically lost 2 months of my life in December 2014 and January 2015 because I was ill and suffering of chronic pain. Nonetheless, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now, and I’m looking forward to a very productive fall 2015.

My new and revamped office at CIDE Region CentroI’m grateful to my colleagues and students for always providing a nurturing and intellectually stimulating environment. I’m also very thankful that I have my best friend from childhood living in Aguascalientes, as that makes me a lot less stressed about trying to have a personal life as well as a professional one. Of course, during the Spring semester, I travel a lot for fieldwork and conferences, but at least I have people who are about me who will be back home when I return and with whom I will get to spend time.

The search for that elusive objective of achieving a balance between my academic life and my personal one continues to be a struggle. I’m disciplined with my writing and with my self-care routines, but I’m still not in a position to be “a guiding light” for anyone on how to have a balanced academic and personal life. Still, I think I’m doing much better than I was in June 2012. I miss UBC, I miss Vancouver, and I miss Canada, but I’m grateful to Mexico and CIDE for the opportunities I’m afforded here.

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Posted in academia.

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