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
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Preparations
I'm feeling a bit anxious tonight, waiting for my phone interview tomorrow. I asked our Placement Director for some tips, and he said, "No worries. Be yourself. You'll do fantastic." I feel like I should be preparing something, but I suppose I've done all I can do. I've thought about the courses I'd like to teach, about how I'd talk about my dissertation if they ask about it, about some books that I'd like to use in class, about what sorts of things are important to me as far as higher education goes, about my hobbies (I'm sure they'll be fascinated by my superior baking skills, and that a well-placed plate of my Pecan Pie Brownies would secure me that job quick-smart), about why I'd like to work there. I've printed off faculty bios and toured the college website in detail to find out what the place is like. I've perused the library online. I think I'm ready for the expected questions.

I find that sometimes I overprepare and then I perform even worse than I would have with a normal amount of preparation. For example, I used to write out my lectures word-for-word, needing them down on paper as a sort of security blanket. I always feared that awful moment when your mind just goes blank, where you forget what you were going to say, and I thought that a transcript of my lecture would ease that fear. Not so -- indeed, I got so worried about sticking to the script that my lecturing sounded too formal, and when I did lose my place, I looked like an idiot fumbling around for my next words in the text. Now, I lecture with a detailed outline that gives the main points, reminders about facts I might forget, important things to remind students about, etc. My lectures are so much better because of it, because I get to be "me" instead of just a talking head without personality. (That's one thing I hated about attending university lectures in Europe. Each professor published a thick book of all his/her lectures, and the students could buy the book at the bookstore. The professor then gave the same lecture in class as he/she had published in the book. So boring. No wonder a lot of European students don't go to class.)

Anyway, I think I'm just going to try to relax about it. They'll call. We'll chat. It will be over. If they decide to invite me to campus, that will be awesome. If not, I'll be disappointed -- but there are other jobs. And this interview will prepare me for those interviews, should there be any.

In other preparation news, I am finally feeling a bit more organized about my impending trip to Europe, although I'm also getting a bit nervous and sad about it. Today I bought a new, lightweight sweater to wear when I'm doing my elite interviews or archival work, new lipstick (this lipstick is seriously the best stuff EVER, and I've tried a lot of lipsticks, expensive and not), and new covered baking dishes. I spent the late afternoon preparing a few meals to freeze for T and ST to eat while I'm away. T hates to cook, and so I thought I'd help him out on busy weeknights by having meals ready for him to bake -- all he has to do is thaw them overnight and pop them in the oven after work. By 6:00pm, he and ST will have a Mom-cooked meal.

It's amazing all of the planning that has to go into leaving for four weeks. I know T will handle it all brilliantly, because he's just that kind of guy: when there are a lot of demands on him, he steps up to the plate and gets the job done. While I'm gone, he'll be responsible for everything: getting ST ready for daycare, working a full day at the firm, picking ST up, making dinner, doing laundry, paying bills, buying groceries, etc. When I asked him if he was worried about taking on so much, he said, "No, not really. It will be tough, but it's what I have to do. It's what I want to do, because I want you to make the most of your time in Europe and not worry about us." What a guy. He said that he's more worried about me, since I'll be alone in an unfamiliar place.

I'm a little worried about me, too. Mostly, I'm worried about November 1, the day I leave. I will be a basketcase. My flight doesn't leave until around 3:00pm that day, and I'll be traveling for 14 hours. What will I do that morning? Should I take ST to daycare, or have him here with me? Should T take the day off, or will that make it more difficult? Honestly, I cannot even comprehend what it will feel like to say goodbye to my adorable little family, the center of my universe. I can't imagine not hearing ST's voice every day, or feeling his soft cheek against mine when he hugs me. I can't imagine sleeping alone. I can't imagine T and ST sitting at the dining room table without me, traveling without me, spending weekends without me. It makes me really sad. I console myself by remembering that four weeks is NOT a long time in the grand scheme of things, that ST is too young for this to have a real lasting impression on him, and that I will be able to get a ton of work done while I'm away (thus freeing up more time for me to spend with T and ST in December). But still... ugh.

This week I'm going to start writing little notes for ST. I'm going to make 30 notes, one for T to read to ST each day that I'm gone, as a way for me to connect with ST and as a way for ST to count down the days until I return. T thought that was a good idea.

So much to do in these next few months. I long for December.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 10/09/2005 09:05:00 PM  
1 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    What a sweet idea about leaving notes for ST. And T sounds like a treasure, supporting you without adding any worries about your absence.

    Personally, I'd hire you for a plate of pecan pie brownies. :) Good luck with the interview tomorrow. I can't imagine that it wouldn't go well - you seem quite pulled together and you're more than prepared. Can't wait for the update!

     
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