Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I have a job interview!

I got my first job interview for a professorship job! It's next week Thursday, and I just found out so I'm running around trying to put together a job talk...

It's for my absolute last choice in schools...it's a third tier school that is about 20 minutes from my parents house. Yet it's the only school that wants to interview me so far, so I'm going to go in with an open mind. But man..living near my parents, that doesn't sound so awesome. But maybe the school will rock, and just cause I live near my parents doesn't mean I have to hang out with them...in fact, maybe by living close to them they will feel more pressure to accept B?


  1. Wow! Congratulations and good luck!

    I see what you mean about living close to your parents. It could go either way, I think, but only you know your parents and what they're likely to do.

  2. All interviews are good experience.

  3. Be positive about the school, many universities and colleges are re-evaluating their hiring needs and goals so it may be a tough (tougher than usual) job market.

    Good luck.

  4. Just because the school is 20 minutes from your parents, that doesn't mean you have to live 20 minutes from them. You can live 30 minutes in the opposite direction and be close to an hour away.

    Was the school your last choice just because of the parental proximity, or were there other reasons too?

  5. There were other reasons too...its the lowest ranked school I applied to, the department is very very small (it only has 9 full time faculty members and 4 of them are in a related, but different, field) which may or may not lead to small-department politics, nobody in the department is doing anything close or related to my field of research, it has no graduate program in my field so I wouldn't be able to work with grad students, I'm not sure what the teaching load is, but it's not the lowest possible, etc.

    But I had reasons for applying to it too...it's a very diverse school and after teaching at an ivy league for the past few years I am sick of teaching overprivileged rich kids. The small thing might be an advantage, if the department people gets along with each other (and with me). As a lower ranked department the requirements for tenure arn't as high as higher ranked departments, so I probably won't have to be in the office every night till 11pm or something till I get tenure, which means a better work-life balance. The fact that no one else is doing my research also means that I won't be competing with anyone really closely, which might be nice. Also, given that it's a lower ranked department, I can probably negotiate for really good pay, since I'm a bit out of their league. And if I stay in the area I will be able to stay close to friends in the area as well..

    It's kinda a choice between being a big fish in a small pond, or staying in grad school an extra year (at which point I'll probably be able to land a job at a much higher ranked school), but then being a small fish in a big pond and having to work my ass off for the next 6 years after that, probably delay having children until after I get tenure, etc.

    I'm really not sure which would be better for me; I certainly was a lot more relaxed and happy as a 'big fish in a small pond' when I was one of the top students in my undergraduate college. It's pretty much a choice between a better quality of life and higher prestige/possibly higher pay.

    Then again, if I hate it there, it's not like I'm stuck there forever...I can always get a job somewhere else after a few years. But that means starting the tenure clock over as well.

  6. AE, being a big fish in a small pond as you know could be a good thing. You may have a larger teaching load in the school at which you are going to interview but without grad students you will have more time to do your own research. BTW, if you were to land in a "top" school you may have a crappy teaching load because you will be at the bottom of the food chain.

    Also, waiting around at your current school for another year may not make you that much more employable. The job market is going to tighten up. All colleges and universities are looking at their budgets and are anticipating shrinking budgets.

    BTW, you are correct that you don't have to stick around at any particular school forever and with a good track record you may not slip back on the tenure clock. It will just be a negotiation.

  7. They may see it as a desire to be near them, and that may help them warm up. Or knowing them, they'll spend years being wretched and stubborn, you will hate it but you will still overcome it. But maybe it's fate. You never know what life's trying to teach you sometimes.
    Congrats on the job interview tho! You know that the academic job market is always tough, but with the economy being at a historical low, I don't think it is a compromise in ANY way to take a third tier school job. You'll get to teach a different type of student and one who deserves some bad ass mentoring! Who knows, you may end up spending hour upon blissful hour teaching little orthodox girls how to grow up and find their place in the world. Just like you, tons of little yous needing a mentor like you and I got. You can recruit out of your old high school! Start young ;)
    Seriously, you are already making people make new connections about their lives and the world, and I think that means you have found your place in the world. It is exactly what you wanted to do. And you are already doing it even with stuffy and rich and overly-entitled UPENN undergrads. Seriously, now have a day on Class and structural inequality for me while you're at it!
    You are living the dream. I am so proud of you, and I hope someday your parents are too. They must know deep down, which is why they are so intimidated because it means turning against their way of life. You are not living like your mother or your father and that has to totally make them scared and hurt, given their own cultural provincialism! For instance, your mom never has, and never will, read about Jong's "zippless fuck" in fear of flying. Tho it's funny to think of it!
    Time may yet change many things. Don't be too stressed out. Your life is headed somewhere good! Just keep doing right and taking care of yourself. Really, I am so totally proud of and happy for you!!!


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