Monday, January 15, 2007

What's the Deal???

Okay, the last few days I've been trying to cultivate what a North Dakotan friend of mine calls the North Dakota farmer ethos: the deep inner sense that the great idea/possibility/harvest is just not going to pan out. This is not a depressive viewpoint. Not morose. Simply, this good thing is not likely to happen so I'm going to assume the worst, and then if it does happen, I'll be ecstatic. But I'm not planning my days around it.

I am a big fan of these ideas. When deluded optimists and idealists (inevitably unhappy or unsatisfied because the world does not meet their expectations) tell me I'm pessimistic, I simply retort that I'm a realist. So I'm a prime candidate for becoming a real North Dakotan, or so says my friend. But I am having a very hard time trying to give up this dream that I will get a job for 2007-8. I know I did the smallest search known to Englishkind. I know if I were smart I would've applied to those 4/4 jobs who'd probably love me for my teaching experience. (3/3 was my limit.) I know I should be applying to those jobs that are just now coming open. (I totally forgot to check ADE last week. Bad, bad, very bad.) But hey, yoo hoo, yes you know who hoo. WHAT IS THE DEAL?

Originally, I went on the market because I heard grapevinewise that a job would open this year at a place that can only be described as Perfect-on-Paper-for-Me University. (You know, the one I used to call the job-I-think-I-want.) Though POP Me U were reopening a search from last year, their ad got posted late and though I hoped for the sky to break open and the angels to sing for them when they looked at my materials, calling me immediately to say that they MUST meet me ASAP, they did not interview at MLA. They had said they would start reviewing at the beginning of December, but keep the search open until it was filled. But it's been a month now of dedicated Wiki watching and Wiki waiting, I want to whine. It's so quiet over here, I check Wiki pages that are not my own just to see that there IS movement in the process for others. Medieval Woman and my MLA roommate have both gotten flybacks and phone interviews. (My MLA roommate already went and came back already, but that's a story for another time.) And I'm delighted for them and for everyone for whom the process is working. But about this one job, I just can't take it anymore. Did POP Me U even get my application? Can't they just send me an email saying that my writing sample was pure shite and that they don't ever want to hear from me again? Or send the whole lot of us (Wiki wisdom lists them as one of those that no one has heard from) an email telling us what is up in their hiring process? I know a month of quiet is not totally unreasonable, but I must know what's going on so I can put the dream of this job behind me.

Here are some scenarios I'm imagining -- and y'all can tell me whether I'm seriously warped. (Well, I am. But you can tell me whether these sound plausible.)
  1. They didn't get the kind of applicant pool they wanted and though I am a top contender, they don't want to proceed in the process until they feel they've got 3-5 good possibilities. Now that they've held the process open for another month, they've gotten some more good applicants and they'll be calling us all in the next week.
  2. They didn't get the kind of applicant pool they wanted and though I am a top contender, they don't want to proceed in the process until they feel they've got 3-5 good possibilities. They still don't have them and this process is going to take for frigging ever.
  3. They didn't get the kind of applicant pool they wanted and though I am NOT a top contender, they aren't proceeding to tell the un-contenders to give it up until they feel they've got 3-5 candidates.
  4. They have the kind of applicant pool they want, but they are waiting until the first flush of the semester is over to conduct phone interviews and invite people to campus.
  5. They've already sent me an email saying "nice try, dorkus," but I couldn't find it as I was deleting fifty emails from the Library of Social Science Newsletter spam snafu.
  6. They will call me tomorrow, but since my SO mistakenly took my cell phone charger with him when he left today, I won't be there to get the call.
  7. The search committee can't decide what they want. One person says I'm the kind of person who is perfect (or POP, Perfect on Paper) for the program as it is now, but there are others who want to significantly change the program and worry that I'm not edgy enough.
  8. They really need a minority/edgy/more radical/less radical teacher than I am.
  9. I was a top contender until they read my TSWS (totally shite writing sample).
  10. POP Me U is actually very disorganized or going through the kind of Scary Transition that I wouldn't want to deal with anyway.
  11. The program is in the middle of some kind of pitched battle where this job search had become am important site of contention.
  12. The dean or provost or whatever higher-up is holding up the process because s/he has a friend/lover/family member who s/he feels should have the job.
  13. This wasn't a real search, but merely a ploy to hire an inside candidate.
  14. My frantic Wiki Watching and this blog are somehow actually slowing the process down in that butterfly over the Pacific kind of way.
I want to give up thinking about POP Me U. I think it's a bad sign when you check their website to see if they are in session. And then you wonder -- well, if it's the first week of school, how likely is it that the chair will have time to call you? What about the second week?

Enough whining already. It's just not very North Dakotan.


medieval woman said...

Hee, hee: POP Me U :)

S'okay - the school was going to start looking at apps in early December, yes? No MLA interviews - you've also got to knock at least 10 days of from the holidays. So it's only been around 3 weeks in "real time" - do their classes start this week (post MLK day?) - in that case, I think you should give them another week or even two to see if you get a confirmation and then e-mail discreetly the dept. secretary or the chair of the search committee.

But a friend of mine who got her dream job last year didn't hear about her 2 flybacks until the end of Jan or early Feb! And she'd interviewed with them at MLA. She thought she was out of the game completely.

This is the shittiest part of the process almost! I have my fingers crossed for you!

Hilaire said...

Possibly, Sceneraio #15 is that they didn't actually get funding for the position. The uni where I am being hired posted dozens of openings, for example, but a budget shortfall meant that in the end, they are hiring only a fraction of the numbers that they were supposed to!

You never know, as MW says.

Fingers crossed!

Earnest English said...

Med Wo,

(At my school we talk about Med-Ren, so I was trying it out up there. I'm not sure about Med Wo, but the alternative seems to be Med Wom, which suggests a Medieval Womb -- that can't be right. Anyway.)

This is a very sensible plan, the exact kind of calculating out that I've been trying to do, but have been totally unable to do because I panic and go nuts with all the variables. So if we get to Feb and no news, then I can call and ask what's up. I can make it to Feb. Yes, I can!

Thanks so much for your support! It IS shitty! But you have an interview this week, right? YAAAAAAYYYYYYY! Knock em dead!

Earnest English said...

Doh! I mean campus visit, MW.

Too true, Hilaire. I kinda figured that because they had the position last year that they'd be likelier to still have it this year, but it's true that they could not get funding. GRRRRR.

Fingers crossed for happy and lucrative days for ALL of us.