Monday, December 19, 2005

Job hunting

They called to check references on Friday. Good news, even if they didn't reach Gordon. At least it suggests that I am still in the running for at least that one job.

Reading a post about job hunting on the Chronicle, I started to feel better about this. Making it to the stage where they are checking references is probably a pretty good sign. I suspect that it may mean that their first choices didn't work out, and they have moved onto a second tranche, but that's fine with me once I get considered. That said, I find the whole idea of interviewing to be terrifying. I doubt I will interview well, especially considering that I have never really been interviewed. Ok, I have had a grand total of three job interviews in my life - one with NIHERST, one with the Ministry of the Environment, and one phone interview with Gordon.

Anyway, there's no point in talking about interviews at this stage.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mushtaq 1977-2005

I don't know what to do with a death of a friend. I don't think I have ever had to sort something like this out. I don't have anything useful to think. It's even hard to say you'll miss someone when you haven't seen them in years, when you have probably had as few actual conversations as we had. But it doesn't change the fact that he was like family. It's all the more difficult to sort out something like this because you don't actually feel entitled to mourn - you feel like you'd have to appreciate a person's company more to be entitled to mourn them.

He always seemed so bright, upbeat and lively. He always seemed a positive person.

I don't even know how to pay my respects. I can't imagine how Ishaq, Nisa, Bedah and their mother feel. His cousins as well - they seemed more like brothers than anything. I really have no ideas what he was up to, what he was doing with his life.

I'm glad Carol told me, but I wish I had heard something sooner.

Friday, December 09, 2005


A week past the nibble and no follow-up calls to my references. Did I fail the phone-interview disguised as a phone conversation? Maybe. That's rather a shame - Georgia wouldn't be a bad place.

I have no concept of time in the academic job search. I wonder if the applications I sent out for December 1 have passed their 'sell by" date already. It's so hard to tell. Oh well, I'll stay optimistic, and at the same time hope that I'll be welcome to stay here another year, if need be...and focus on churning out some seroius pubs.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Lennon. 1940-1980

Twenty-fifth anniversary of a tragic day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Job hunting

I got my first nibble in my job hunt this week. Just a follow-up call, but at least I made the first cut - they considered me worth calling my references, and they gave me a call. I failed on what may have been the most important question - "why are you interested in us"? (Ok, the most important questions were really "are you still interested in us" and "do we have your permission to call your references", because without saying yes to them I was automatically out.

As to the "why" question, I mumbled something about being interested in a small school. Gordon said that I should prepare a "stock" answer, but I have no idea what it should be. Why am I interested in . I don't think "because I am hoping for a pay-cheque" is the right answer. I don't see how I would come up with a stock answer. I am interested in a place where I have the chance to know my colleagues and my students? I don't want to teach classes with 2-400 students? Something like that. I like teaching smaller groups.

As for Georgia? I suppose proximity to Florida and South Carolina would be something to bear in mind. It seems like an environment that's closer to tropical - kinda almost subtropical. That kinda thing. And, of course, proximity to Savannah River and UGA are good things too. If you have to be at a small school you should at least be near to a bigger school with a proper library and more potential colleagues. That kinda thing.

For the moment it's just a day-dream, but it's a good sign nonetheless. It's reassuring - at least someone is interested in me, based on my (rather slim) cv. Gives you reason to hope.