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
Thursday, November 10, 2005
(Don't) Call Me
I have a love-hate relationship with the telephone. When I was younger (especially when I was a teenager and living at home), I hated to talk on the phone. My friends would call and I'd beg my Mom or Dad to take a message, not wishing to be disturbed. For me, friends had their place: I saw them at school, and that was enough for me. I didn't want to talk to them again when I was at home, doing my own thing. It's not that I was anti-social -- I just didn't (and still don't) like being on the phone with someone when there's a very good chance I'll see them in person in the near future. I also don't love being "reachable" all the time, available at a moment's notice, which is why I choose not to have a cell phone or even call-waiting on my landline. The phone exists for my convenience.
After I moved out of my parents' house when I went to college, I grew to appreciate talking on a phone a bit more. I chatted with my Mom nearly every other day. Later, I even came to enjoy talking on the phone with various boyfriends, although T and I kept our phone conversations at a minimum because we saw each other all the time. Now, I don't mind talking to T, my Mom, sister, brother, or best friend, but talking to other people still makes me really uncomfortable, almost like my privacy is being invaded. I've often said that I could live without a telephone and be perfectly happy.
Being so far away, however, has changed my opinion somewhat. Yesterday, for example, was just a day where I felt completely overwhelmed. I longed to communicate effortlessly in my native language, to find my usual things in the grocery store, to handle dollars and cents, to overhear conversations that I could immediately understand. So I turned to my old nemesis, the telephone, and was able to speak with both T and my Mom to make me feel better. It was such a relief, and then geared me up for living in another language and culture again.
Later last night I had a telephone interview with Small Liberal Arts College, and that, too went very well. I felt a real connection with the interviewer (the chair), and the conversation was truly that: a conversation, not a question and answer period. She asked me questions that I could answer immediately and enthusiastically (mostly because of my experiences on Tuesday), and I felt like I was telling her exactly what she wanted to hear. The interview was supposed to last 15 minutes -- it went on for 30 minutes. I felt good about it -- I hope she did, too. She said she will get back to me about my status in three or four days.
After these good telephone experiences I was psyched up to make some phone calls today, attempts to secure appointments with people for interviews. Speaking on the phone in a foreign language is never easy and it makes me tremendously nervous, but I worked myself up to make four calls today. To my great disappointment, the bureaucracy here is immense and I wasn't able to get ahold of anyone -- no one! -- and was repeatedly told to call back tomorrow. So tonight I have to prepare myself again and then tomorrow make all of those dreadful calls again, hoping that I don't sound like an idiot. I simply must get in touch with one of these people as she is holding up the rest of my research. Wish me luck!