Well, Sunday was definitely the best day of the conference. For several reasons.
First of all, I wasn't staying at my officemate's mom's house anymore. The house I stayed was on beacon hill, which is a super rich part of Boston (where John Kerry lives). The house I was staying in was awesome- it was this big shambly 4 story mansion/townhouse. The living room had a wall full of books that all matched, and some huge portraits of people who presumably used to live in this house. The furniture was all really old and all the seat cushions had worn out spots from decades of people sitting on them. All the doors had latches instead of doorknobs. It was freakin awesome. If I ever have four million dollars, I would totally want a place just like that...lots of character, but not ostentatious.
In the morning I met up with a prof who does research similar to mine- I had met her at a previous conference and we made plans to meet up at this one, and talk about how our research projects are going. We had a whole convo about our research, and really hit it off in the process, and ended up talking about how we both suck at housework and our houses would be a mess if it weren't for our awesome partners.
I had two job interviews this weekend for professorship jobs I will be applying to. The academic job market is set up so that you have to apply to jobs a year in advance- so I will be applying now for jobs that start in September 2009. My first interview didn't go so well..the told told me about department politics and indicated that people in his department are kind of hostile towards people who do quantitative research- which I do. This department is the dream job I was talking about in some earlier blog post. I'm still going to apply, but I'm going to try to emphasize the non-quantitative research I have published.
The second interview was on Sunday, and that one went great! I got this interview through connections- A prof had sent around an email to a few profs asking if they had any students on the job market, and one of my committee members emailed her back about me, without even asking me! The school is on the east coast, in the NY tri-state area. I don't necessarily want to live there, as I would end up being within an hour or so drive from my parents house, which might be weird. I specifically was avoiding that area in my job search. But then my best friend reminded me that it wasn't the area that I hated, it was my life in that area. And that with B coming with me, and my parents not talking to me, I would have a completely different type of life there. Which is a good point.
So during the interview I first find out that the woman interviewing me had read a recent article of mine that came out in a journal, BEFORE she knew I was a job candidate for her school! Then it turns out that my masters thesis, which I'm in the process of getting published right now, is very similar to some research she is doing. So we ended up chatting about research for a while. The position sounds like a perfect fit for me (they are hiring specifically in my subfield, and want someone who can teach a class that I have previously TAed for), it's a great school, and they seem very interested in me. At the end she told me that I seemed like a good fit, and that she will be bringing up my name at application time. So that was awesome.
Then came the best part of the trip- Driving home. By myself. It was great. I stopped at a rest stop to get some gas, and found a lobster bear (it's a teddy bear in a lobster costume!), which I bought for B, because it was so ridiculous. When I was driving through jersey, I met up with one of my best friends/frequent commenter J and his friend for dinner, and ended up ranting about my officemate the whole time, which I felt kind of bad about. But it was awesome to see him, as we haven't hung out in a while. J lives about 2 blocks from my parents....I didn't call them to tell them I was 2 blocks away from them picking up J, and avoided driving past their house altogether. Apparently J's stepdad disapproves of me because he knows I am marrying someone not Jewish..as I was picking up J, his stepdad was right there and didn't even say hi, even though I haven't seen him in years and was at his house like every other weekend as a teenager. So that was lovely.
The best part of all though was getting home after 8 or 9 hours on the road and climbing into bed with an already-sleeping B, sometime around midnight. And lobster bear! Who is now the mascot of our house! :)