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Late Spring To-Do List

  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
  • Administer evaluations
  • Grade seminar research papers
  • Write two final exams
  • Grade final exams
  • Compute final grades
  • Order books for fall
  • Find apartment in New City
  • Attend INRU Commencement!

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

MLA report

Well. It's All Over Now.

And on the whole it went well, although I didn't really have the opportunity to enjoy the true pleasures of the conference (and I'll buck the let's-complain-about-the-MLA trend by saying that I actually mostly enjoy the conference and the way that it brings together a huge segment of the profession each year): I didn't attend a single panel, I didn't catch up with everyone I wanted to, and I certainly didn't do NEARLY enough people-watching.

But all my interviews were fine. There was one dud, where I didn't take to the committee and they didn't seem to take to me--but I'd already more than half ruled out that school anyway. A couple went extremely well (by which I mean both that I think I performed well and that I went out of the room more excited by the institution than I was when I went in; it's funny how often those things are mutual!), and the others went reasonably well, but for various reasons were too close to call.

Going into the conference I'd had a provisional first-choice institution--not a school that I was totally sold on, but one that seemed an interesting and challenging place and potentially a good match. However, my interview there was uneven, and I'm not really sure how excited I am about the school itself any longer.
Uneven: I very obviously didn't answer some of their more pointed questions (in one case demonstrating that I had no idea what the theoretical term a committee member used actually meant), and I noted some raised eyebrows on this score. However, they did seem generally interested in my work and my future projects, and I think I did quite well on the teaching questions. Other items on the positive side of the scales are that they were interviewing an unusually short list of candidates to begin with and that I have a potentially important connection to at least one committee member.

Unexcited: More germane than whether or not I make the next cut is the fact that I didn't feel entirely positive about the committee itself or the way that it presented the school. I got the impression that I'd definitely like one committee member and might very well like another, but the rest were stiff or cold and I got subtle signs that the institution was a little overly impressed with itself. . . and that's as big a turn-off in job-hunting as it is in dating.

So, that's the update on the interviewing front. I've also got a phone interview with another school in a little over a week.

Otherwise I had a good time. GWB was along for the ride (read: the free hotel room) and we had fun catching up with old friends at the open-bar INRU reception. One good acquantaince still at INRU mentioned that one of the readers for my dissertation had described my project to her in extremely glowing terms, which both touched and reassured me because I've had a hard time reading this professor. Although very sweet to people's faces, said professor is sometimes quite catty behind their backs, and he/she also made some odd criticisms in the official reader's report that I really didn't know how to interpret.

And now~~a day and a half to catch up on my sleep, and it's off to the Chateau Fergusberg for their second annual New Year's bash! If someone else has a digital camera and takes non-identifying photographs, all y'all out there in blogland may get a treat. But if not, not.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 9:25 PM |


Blogger Margo, darling commented at 12:41 AM~  

Congratulations on getting through all that. It sounds like things went well, and your perspective on it all is sound, sound, sound. Now you get to focus on resting up for the coming semester and seeing what news January brings.

Totally unrelated: can you remind me what the acronym INRU stands for? I think it used to be on your description, but I can't find it/don't remember and it makes my brain knot when I see it. Thx and kisses. Margo

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 1:41 AM~  

Thanks, Margo. I'm already well into my cups and the whole thing's not over by even 12 hours.

INRU is my very very clever acronym for Instant Name Recognition U.--itself, of course, a pseudonym for a place the likes of which I'm unlikely ever to teach at again, and which I'm increasingly glad to be free of. Or from. As I said: in my cups.

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