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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 08, 2005

Wait: is the semester really over?

Yesterday I taught three classes and held FOURTEEN student conferences before, between, and after those classes. I got home at 10 p.m.

Today all I wanted to do was sleep in and spend the day puttering around my apartment. But no rest for the wicked: I got up early, put on a suit, and took the train to INRU for a mock interview.

I've been grumbling about this all week and the stupid time investment involved, but I have to admit that it was useful and even enjoyable. I did a mock interview last year, too, which went okay, but I certainly wouldn't have gotten a campus visit out of that interview if it had been the real thing. This year I felt much stronger. There was one big question that I completely wasn't prepared for, and that I'm really glad I got (since it's a head-slappingly how-could-I-not-have-anticipated-THAT kind of question), but I felt that I handled everything else creditably, even the couple of questions that I did an end-run around so as to avoid the parts I wasn't prepared for and to discuss the related issues that I was prepared for. (As a wise classmate counseled before my orals: "If you can't answer the question they ask you, don't worry! Just answer a question like the one they're asking you.")

My faux committee was also much better this year, really working with me afterwards to think about some of the ways that I might address those questions I'd evaded, and giving small but useful pointers on other subjects. Even more fortuitously: on that committee was a first-year assistant professor who had actually interviewed with Flagship State U at the MLA last year. Thank God for connections.

It was cold but not unbearable out today, and lovely to be back in Grad School City, which I'm missing rather. I've been enrolled as a student at INRU for 10.5 years now, nine of them spent either actually living in town or commuting to campus regularly, and it's crazy to think how well I know that place. (I can tell you where all the bathrooms are! the names of every single building! the wacky traditions of various undergraduate organizations!) It's not that I wish I were still there--it hasn't always been the happiest or healthiest place for me, and I'm glad to be away from the neuroses of its overachieving undergraduates--but I do wonder whether I'll ever know another campus and its student body that well again.

After chit-chatting with various people around the department, I returned my 11 remaining library books and then met up with Marielle and her mother for coffee and a little bit of shopping. A couple of hours later I had dinner with Babe at a recently-opened and amazing family-run Italian restaurant. That's another reason I'm missing Grad School City, I suppose: all the friends who have settled nearby, and who I still see--but just a bit less often.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 11:13 PM |


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