Sunday, December 24, 2006

Neurosis Controls

When I think about going on the market again next year or talking to any friends about it, I want to remind them/me that this kind of job-related panic flips on the survival mode switch. In survival mode, animals become fiercely protective of their space. Bodies hang on to every spare calorie, converting it into fat for the lean times. People want comfort food and comfort people. I, for one, wasn't able to sleep, tossing and turning while doing half-conscious interviews all night (that is, until I got my counter-irritant: a guest from out of town who sweetly wads up wet towels and puts them on chairs, giving me something to focus my rage and anxiety on). Being on the job market has affected me on a cellular level: my face and chest have broken out into micro-zits; my digestion's all screwed up; I get a surge of energy around 10PM; I'm drinking too much; and I'm just about the biggest pain ever, having to tell myself repeatedly as kindly as possible to stop being a raving lunatic. Too bad it doesn't work. Next year I may just put myself into quarantine.

Exercising makes me feel better -- gives me a sense of control over my life. I'm probably just high from the surplus oxygen.

This Job Search Wiki has helped me stop compulsively checking my cell phone battery and my internet connection in the last couple weeks. There are discussions of Job Search Wiki sabotage on Chronicle Forums and Reassigned Time. Though I admit that sabotage is always a possibility, I haven't seen evidence of it and have just been grateful to see that some schools had already scheduled MLA interviews so I could stop thinking about them. Certainly "sabotage" could also just be that multiple people are editing the page at the same time so the info doesn't stay put. (Do as I do, stay up half the night and post then!)

Also, I recommend 9 Interviews. No matter how unprepared I feel, I know a bad answer when I see it. Like "uh, maybe I should be at the Duke interview." I'm thinking -- not such a good thing to say.


medieval woman said...

Hi AP, I just ran across your blog - I, too, am out on the market this year (for the 3rd time - groan) and I just wanted to say good luck at MLA! The good thing is that it flies by quickly...

Perinteger said...

Hello Earnest!

I see MLA starts tomorrow (the 27th) and I wanted to second Medieval Woman's good luck wishes. I look forward to hearing about the absurdity in the ridiculous and thoughtful voice that's already inspiring my fondness.

Much Luck!