Joe Fruscione has been trying for years to land a tenure-track faculty job, without success. Now he’s on the verge of giving up. “Enough is gonna be enough when I realize that my chances are sort of dried up to get a full-time position, and that’s when I know I’m done,” explains Mr. Fruscione, an adjunct professor who teaches English literature at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. He adds, “My feelings, if and when I leave, I can already tell they’re going to be bittersweet.” The promise and challenges of a new career outside academe are exciting, he says. But he’ll always wonder if all the years he has spent chasing a dream have been wasted.
Video and editing by Greg Kahn; produced by Rose Engelland