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.
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Quote of the Day
Monday, September 05, 2005
Professors and Doctors
I seem to have completely forgotten how to write a cover letter. The application deadline for Small Dream College is September 20, and based on my interview with the department chair last Friday, I feel like I know precisely what they're looking for in their next Assistant Professor. I just cannot seem to capture it tonight.

The cover letter will continue tomorrow. I also have to finish the revisions of my teaching and research statements (which Small Dream College puts a lot of emphasis on), and then figure out who my third letter of recommendation will come from. My problem there is this: I've worked with Prof. G. since the second week of my graduate school career, literally. I've written with him, researched for him, taught for him four semesters. I've also spent a large chunk of time with Prof. C. (co-chair of dissertation), but taught only two semesters under his guidance. Most of my graduate education was under the tutelage of these two men, and so their letters were automatic. But the third letter? I've had a lot of other professors during my time here, but most of them know me only as 1.) a student in one of their graduate seminars; or 2.) a TA. Who should I choose? Prof. G. says that I should go with the professor who is most well-known in the field, thus making the choice obvious. This well-known figure, Prof. M., knows me reasonably well, having taught two seminars I took in my first two years of graduate school. Prof. M. is on my dissertation committee; I'm just not sure he knows me well enough. The other possibility is Prof. T., who I know quite well and for whom I was a TA... but he doesn't know my work at all. Such difficult, important decisions!

Anyway, goals for tomorrow:

  • Email Prof. G. about recommendation conundrum (DONE)
  • Inform Prof. G. and Prof. C. about upcoming deadlines (DONE)
  • Finish cover letter for Small Dream College (1/2 Done)
  • Rewrite teaching and research statements and send to Helpful Writing Critic (HWC) (Teaching Statement: DONE; Research Statement: 1/2 Done)
  • Go to local market and buy celery and green onions, which I stupidly forgot to pick up today when shopping with ST (will do on Friday)
  • Finish the ironing while watching mindless TV before bed (DONE)
  • Find out if ST's daycare will be closed the week of Thanksgiving; if so, find arrangements for that week since I'll be out of the country (DONE)

That's a lot to accomplish. I am, however, motivated by a deadline, as usual. Prof. G. likes to call me "Last Minute Lucy" because I always work frantically up to a deadline, finishing a project at the last possible moment. Needless to say, Express Mail is my friend. It's not that I don't begin the projects on time, it's just that I am never satisfied with them until I've tinkered, tinkered, tinkered...

*****

As a final note for tonight, some cute moments with ST, age 2.5:

I bought ST a little doctor's set last week at Target ($5.00 for a medical "kit"-- so cheap and very fun), and so he's been attending to patients all weekend long. This afternoon, T and I were laying on the couch because we both had headaches, and ST announced that he was "the big doctor" and was going to "fix" us. He took one look at me, pulled out his fake bottle of medicine and his fake scissors, and said, "Mom, you need medicine AND a haircut." He then proceeded to instruct me to "drink the medicine -- don't chew it!" and began hacking at my ponytail with his plastic scissors.

Later, while I was finishing the dishes after supper, he came up to me and was holding his stomach. He was trying not to smile when he said, "Oh, Mom, I hurt my SPLEEN!" He then laughed hysterically, and when I asked him where his spleen was he said, "I don't know. Ask Dad" and walked down the stairs.

What would I do without that delicious boy?
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 9/05/2005 11:00:00 PM  
3 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger New Kid on the Hallway said…

    You could always get a letter from each of your two options - I don't think four letters is excessive, and if they can both speak to different aspects of your candidacy, that seems reasonable. (I'm not in your discipline so this may not work for you; in my field I've seen applications with more than three letters before. Actually, I saw once once with 15! and that was pretty ridiculous, but four's not excessive.) Anyway, just a thought...

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Prof. Me said…

    That's a good idea, New Kid. I've just emailed my advisor about it -- it might be the solution here. Thanks!

     
  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Demetri said…

    (First "go ask dad" is priceless!)

    I had some thoughts on the CL.

    After years of not writing them and then having to, I was agonizing as well.

    So, I had my wife do it. More to the point, she just sort of took it over.

    Don't get me wrong, I had junked up a rough draft and edited the final version, but who is there in the world better to talk about what a wonderful and skilled person you are than your partner (at least I hope that's how it works). They are also not tripped up by pangs of false modesty that hurt the cover letter writing process.

     
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