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December 1, 2010

This is turning out to be an interesting week, packed with a variety of things. But of course all will be overshadowed by the fact that I turned in my first academic job application. If truth be told, it’s not my very first. I tried this a few years ago. But this is the first one where my heart is really in it, for which I feel like I’ve actually presented myself well, where I’m confident that I’m going to be finished in time. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say I have a shot at this. I do feel like I’d be a good fit for this job; and if I could afford to be picky, it’s exactly the kind of job I’d pick. But the market is fierce this year and this is a really good job at a really good school and, well, with this sort of thing, you just never know. Academic hires are not like other hires. Or rather, the ephemeral things that affect regular hires are multiplied by the way in which academic departments work. In many places — schools like this one especially — people work very closely together for a very long time. They are not just trying to pick the best scholar or the best teacher but they are trying to choose a colleague that they think they could work with for the next couple of decades. The wild card factor is large. And I’m competing with people who are already finished or who may even have a job already. But I’m trying to feel good just about having pulled together an application package I’m proud of. And amazingly, I’m not having too hard a time with that. Besides, even if this goes nowhere, as is likely, the work I’ve put in will be useful later.

This was a large application. It’s a little unusual for a school to ask for so much writing up front. Usually they want a cover letter, your c.v. and some recommendations. Then if you get through that stage, they’ll ask for more. This school also wanted a statement of teaching philosophy, a research statement, a writing sample and transcripts. All in all, I sent in 60 pages of stuff (the writing sample was half of it). I think, though, this probably works in my favor, as my writing is one of my strongest assets. But there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually read it.

But it is no longer my problem. I can look forward to the rest of the week. I’m going to kick it off with a yoga class this morning in celebration of having crossed this very large thing off my list (and to try to ignore the fact that I have to do this all over again next week). This afternoon I’ll be finishing up some arrangements of music for my students for Studio 2’s Christmas recital and then teaching 4 lessons. Tomorrow I’ll finish up the next chapter slated for revision by day. In the evening, I’m heading to the city to meet my good friend H and our former choirmate B, whom I haven’t seen in years. She had left town and is now back teaching here. We’re meeting in Greek Town. Will there be cheese on fire? You’ll have to stay tuned.

Friday morning I’m meeting on behalf of our school district with the director of the program for gifted kids that our local community college runs to talk about bringing programs into our schools, which is supposed to start in January. Should be interesting. Saturday, AJ has his first basketball practice of the season (coached by Mr. Spy) and Sunday he’ll be marching with the Cub Scouts in our town’s annual Christmas Parade.

Meanwhile just in time for December, there is snow falling, mostly in lazy flurries, but it’s sticking on the deck, the roof, and the rocks along the stream. The temperature’s in the teens and AJ is complaining about walking to school. “All the kids will laugh at me,” he says. That, AJ is the wrong reason to be complaining about a short walk on a cold wintry day. Next time, play the potential pneumonia card.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 9:30 am

    Waiting anxiously to hear if there was cheese on fire.
    I’ll say that writing is certainly one of your strongest assets!

  2. December 1, 2010 9:38 am

    Jeanne, if you are a fan of cheese on fire, this is somewhere we could meet in December — it’s just west of the Loop.

  3. freshhell permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:01 am

    60 pages? Jeez. Well, best of luck!

  4. readersguide permalink
    December 1, 2010 11:38 am

    You have every reason to feel proud of yourself — sounds like it is really really all coming together now.

  5. crankygirl permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:15 pm

    Good luck. Is it an app for a theater near me…I hope?

  6. December 1, 2010 1:16 pm

    Congratulations. And now you have the statement of teaching philosophy and the writing sample all ready, so that when you apply for other jobs and they ask you for additional material, you can send it out immediately.

    Good luck. The academic market (like all the other job markets) is fierce.

  7. December 1, 2010 1:28 pm

    I am a fan of any food set on fire, although that doesn’t mean I’ll eat much of a dairy product. As the person who knows the most about the area, I think you should choose a meeting place and let the rest of us know where it is!

  8. December 1, 2010 2:37 pm

    You had me at cheese. Lost me at 60 pages. Found me again at gifted programming. Lost me further at snow. Can we go back to the cheese?

  9. December 5, 2010 11:03 am

    Good luck with your application.

  10. December 5, 2010 11:45 am

    Good luck with the application! Would this mean a move, or is it local?

  11. December 5, 2010 1:20 pm

    It would mean a move. But as I said, a very long shot.

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