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the good news …

10 June, 2005

the good news …

Is at least knowing I didn’t make the cut so I can maybe get an apartment sooner and visit friends at the end of the summer. Makes the cool conference less likely, though. Rural State U will not be inviting me for a campus interview, although I’m not out of the running, but “should definitely pursue other positions.” Place with the flight from hell is in the process of contacting what the HR person called “the Winner” and will be letting the non-winners (oh, just say it — the LOSERS) by mail next week. I kind of liked the winner, thing, because sometimes it really does sound like a crap shoot. Weird, though — people tell me I interview well, but I guess I don’t fit in? And yet, thost’s one of the qualities most praised in my peer evals. At the moment, I’m going through that, “I could actually do something else with my life” moments. Except that I don’t think I can. Outside of bad student evals, is there anything that can make me feel even more like a failure at this point? Bugger. Bugger, bugger, bugger.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 June, 2005 5:08 pm

    Bugger indeed. Terribly sorry to hear it.

  2. 10 June, 2005 5:59 pm

    Very sorry to hear the news. It is pretty much a crap shoot – and don’t assume that any of this reflects on you, personally. You never know exactly what an institution is looking for or what a committee will end up using to make a decision. Don’t let this experience make you feel like you don’t fit in, because there’s no one model to fit – you’re talking about entirely different schools who may well be looking for entirely different things. Just because in the end these particular committees decided that someone else may have fit better for these specific positions, doesn’t mean that you won’t fit in somewhere else. You got the interviews – that means you’re qualified and they were ready to hire you. Unfortunately this market is such that way too often schools are stuck rejecting people that they know would be equally good at the job as the person they pick. Now, how long you want to pursue this whole line of work is another issue, of course, and is up to you. But don’t let this convince you that you don’t fit in. (Sorry to lecture…sending virtual chocolate…)

  3. 10 June, 2005 6:18 pm

    Thanks! I think it’s just the initial, “I’m a loser and should just give up” phase. Thansk for the chocolate, though, NK! Rejections and PMT always come at the same time. Anyway, just spoke with a Senior Colleague who was reasonably encouraging, although I also got a nice bit of nagging to publish …

  4. 10 June, 2005 6:55 pm

    I second everything NK said. I would definitely not give up. It sounds like you’re still pretty young in the process yet, although I know everyone feels like an octogenarian by this time of year. It’s just that I know so many medievalists, and particularly Carolingianists, who struggled and struggled but then did land wonderful jobs after sticking it out for a few lousy seasons of sessionals and job-search hell. Two in particular are excellent, excellent scholars, but it took a long time for them to land the jobs they have now. I also have incredibly bright friends who had awful luck their first couple of years out when they had very little published, and then things changed completely when they had managed to get out an article or two. Things do seem to be tougher on the History side, this decade, but hang in there.

  5. 10 June, 2005 7:03 pm

    Sorry to hear, ADM.

  6. 10 June, 2005 8:59 pm

    Like NK, I want to reassure that strange and incalculable are the ways of academic hiring. They might have suddenly discovered a burning need for someone to teach American constitutional history or something. Bah!Here’s hoping next week brings better news!

  7. 11 June, 2005 1:09 am

    Hang in there. Lots of things can changes over the summer. You might find yourself with 2 or 3 options by the August.

  8. 11 June, 2005 1:07 pm

    This stuff can happen at any time, under impossibly weird circumstances. You’re doing all the right things, and we all are pulling for you.Hang in there!

  9. 14 June, 2005 6:15 pm

    But if you decide you don’t want to hang in any more, well, I’ll support you in that, too (and email me, if you want, seeing as how I made the decision 12 years ago). I always thought of it as the bad tuna problem: the person you need to be there to support you had some bad tuna for lunch that day and wasn’t able to sway the person who needed to be swayed one way or t’other, or the person who needed to be swayed was grumpy and not in the mood, or whatthe#$%^ever. that is, it’s NOT you. That’s the hardest thing to remember, though, even after one decides to do something else. Good luck to you; I’ve been thinking about you (even though I don’t even know you).

  10. 14 June, 2005 8:14 pm

    Thanks, all! And you know, I’m nowhere near ready to give up yet. It would be pretty stupid, since I actually have managed to put myself in a position of having to write things. But if any of you wonderful people feel it necessary to follow anonymous’ lead and kick my paralyzed ass now and agian, you have permission! I was going to say lazy, but I’m reading The Academic Self with a reading group and he talks about the paralysis some of us get into. That’s me — it’s been so long that it’s hard to get anything on paper because it’s too scary. It’s the one really good thing about blogging, besides the networking part. I’m now at a point where I’m more used to people reading what i’ve written. Although it’s not academic writing (although a colleague suggested I flesh out the WH post below for a pedagogy journal, which I will probably do), it’s up there for the world to see. But anyway, thanks again for the support. I’ll blog properly again in a couple of days — grades are due today and I have a review that I’m finally starting to see come together, I think.

  11. 15 June, 2005 5:18 pm

    If you don’t already have it, go find Howard Becker’s “Writing for Social Scientists.” It’s a wonderful book, and full of ideas for dealing with paralysis (and it’s not all that geared to the social sciences, despite the title). Go! Get it!

  12. 16 June, 2005 1:07 am

    So sorry to hear the sad news; hang in there, ADM.

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