Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Number Two! I'm Number Two!

So, I took off to visit the in-laws (which is a story in and of itself, let me tell you). And on the one day that I managed to sneak off and get myself some internet access, I discovered that I was the runner-up for the unexpected job interview I had a few weeks ago. Oh mixed feelings, how I love you! It's been so long!

I didn't say much about that job, as it was both full of promise (involved lots of the kinds of work I love to do and don't get to do as much of as I'd like: brainstorming with faculty; implementing pilot programs; talking about pedagogy; using other people's money to try shit out) and, simultaneously, full of problems (an academic job of sorts, but not at a college; negotiating with the new people and my existing job to bounce between them; expectations that I'd spend a lot more time in the office and on the ground at the new place). It was weird---the details of the new position would have been hellish, and yet I was so absolutely drawn to the idea that I could do the other stuff that it almost seemed as if sorting through them would have been worth it. Finding out that I didn't get it was both a disappointment and a relief.

Disappointment=why don't you love me? and also, to be honest, a little bit of but I was hoping that you'd save me from going back to my real job and the wretched interactions with some of my colleagues!

Relief=I teach two days a week in the fall and I don't have to spend the summer prepping for another job

In addition to these two feelings (which were somewhat expected), I find myself awash in a couple of surprises. The first is an unexpected sense of "if you really wanted that, then I'm glad you didn't pick me." The chair of the committee wrote to let me know that everyone really liked me, but that they ended up going with someone who had a very different academic background than me. It was such a delightful experience to be able to think: "wow, it really has nothing to do with me. If you all wanted that, then I'm not your girl." As I mused on it later, I also found myself thinking that I think they've made a mistake---given the way that they described the position and its role, I think they've chosen someone who can propel the few far, but will leave the many behind----something that's pretty antithetical to the way that I think about my goals as a teacher and as an administrator. In comparison to my experiences on the academic job market, this is a pretty clean and heartening rejection. And it's weird--but hopefully not crazy--to think that I'm not a big loser because I didn't get the job.

The other big surprise, I have to say, is that I think the process may have led me to some thinking about a new project. I'm a bit nervous to say that out loud---I might kill it just by whispering it. But it may be the case that in the day-long, adrenaline-filled rat race of applying for a job, I began to articulate a position that has some potential in it. Maybe. Stay tuned.

While you're waiting, take a look at a golden oldie, and the one that inspired the title for this post (the scene starts around 2:35)

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Blogger Frenchie Foo said...

I'm all for #2! Being #1 is totally overrated.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:40:00 PM  
Blogger kfluff said...

Right. Just think about all of the pressure of being #1! (or, following out the fecal humor, don't we really value #2 more?)

Thursday, April 22, 2010 6:51:00 AM  
Anonymous The Bittersweet Girl said...

I just watched the movie "Whip It" last night -- do you know the one? about women's roller derby? -- in which the bad ass roller derby team chants "We're number two! We're number two!"

So, um, good company.

Congrats on the almost offer. In today's job market, that's a huge coup and you should congratulate yourself -- when you're not feeling mixed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger kfluff said...

I've been meaning to schedule a re-viewing of Whip It, which I sort of loved and sort of thought "meh" sbout. This is a great reason to check it out again! many thanks for the reminder, too, of the status of the job market. Two is better than none, right? [and in other news, go check your email, girl. I sent you one!]

Friday, April 30, 2010 3:38:00 PM  

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