Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

People & Places
T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
Julie: Stylish Sister
Rob: Awesome Brother
Belle: Our Cat
Bill: Grumbling BIL
Rita: Uncomplicated SIL
SMU: Smallish Midwestern University
Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
Technical
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academeblog AT gmail.com
Quote of the Day
Monday, September 26, 2005
If Only He Had A Job to Offer...
Once our job files are complete, our Placement Director reads through everything to make sure it all sounds good: teaching and research statements, sample cover letters, teaching evaluation summaries, letters of recommendation, and CV. He is a harsh critic, and has been known to make candidates and recommenders rewrite letters and statements. He read through my file today and said, "I wouldn't change a thing." Hurray! At least someone thinks I look good on paper -- if only he could offer me a job, I'd be set.

Our Placement Director is seriously one of the coolest academics I've ever met (and not just because he approved my job file!). He's a great scholar who doesn't take himself too seriously, who laughs a lot, and who is dedicated to his family. He's published a few times in our big journals and has written a few books but now prefers to publish quirky articles in quirky little outlets, and he loves to co-author with both graduate students and undergraduate students alike. I was his TA for a semester, and it was incredible: his energy in the classroom was palpable, his jokes were actually funny, and the students adored him*. Basically, I think he's the kind of academic a lot of people hope they will someday be, myself included.

I always thought that I'd want to be like Prof. G, who is an amazing scholar and mentor in every sense of the word, but I realize now that I will never be like him: Prof. G. does work in the discipline for fun. He reads biographies of famous people relevant to the discipline for fun. He writes articles and analyzes data for fun. He attends conferences and chairs panels because -- you guessed it -- he thinks it's fun. I don't do any of these things for fun. I do them to make a living so that I can do other things for fun. Don't get me wrong -- I like what I do. But it's not fun in the same way that baking cupcakes or reading Curious George books to ST is.

Compiling job applications is certainly not fun. I have four that are going out tomorrow, including one to my new favorite job at Expensive Private College. They are looking for someone just like me (I think that about every job... according to me, I'm in demand!) and, after reading their website in some detail, I'm looking for a place just like them. Seriously, I read a lot of information about Expensive Private College and I was amazed at how all of my top priorities were theirs as well. It made the cover letter very easy to write, that's for sure. Two of the other letters are going to research institutions, and the last is going to Small Urban College. Fingers crossed, prayers directed upward.

* I neglected to mention that our Placement Director is incredibly handsome. Really. Movie star handsome, even, according to some undergrads.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 9/26/2005 10:00:00 PM  
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