Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are Alpacas Morose? Even Middle-Aged Ones?

Well, Al From Alpaca Falls got the job. How do I know, because Al is me, or I am Al, or I am Spartacus, it gets confusing.  For those entering the theater late, last fall Al (me) asked for advice as the internal candidate interviewing for his own job which was being converted from a term slot into a TT position.  I wanted a little extra anonymity so the Mods agreed to post my thirsty under a different name. 

So anyway, I interviewed, did well, made the finalists, taught a demo class, did extra interviews, etc. Some of it was a bit odd.  I’ve been at my school longer than my dean, but she interviewed me as if I were a stranger.  Another member of the department let me teach a demonstration lesson in one of their classes and it had a bunch of my past and current students in it.  I even enjoyed being taken out for dinner that evening to “get to know the department,” although I got to pick the restaurant as I’ve lived in the area longer than most of the rest of the committee.  They skipped the campus tour and the meeting with HR to review possible benefits. 

Late yesterday Dean Smith called and she offered me the job. I took it.  This is the culmination of a long, long road.  When I started grad school I hoped to one day end up teaching at a small four-year school somewhere. That day I walked into my first graduate class was, well, it was quite a while ago. The USSR still existed, Johnny Bench was still the Cincinnati Reds’ catcher, Princess Leia was Luke’s crush and not his sister, and most of my students’ parents were still children themselves. An interesting career outside of academia lay before me and I had no idea that the journey would take this long, but here I am.  I may not be a patient man, but I am a persistent one. 

So thanks for the advice to “Al.”  It helped and I appreciate it. Now I get to see what it’s like starting my dream career in my mid-50s when my friends are all retiring.

24 comments:

  1. Congratulations middle aged Al. It sounds like your school followed SOP and didn't cut you any corners during the interview process. At least you got a dinner out of it.

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    1. Yes, they were very careful. I don't even know how many other candidates visited campus. A couple of times I saw my colleagues whispering then sneaking off somewhere as a group. And one of my students told me that they sat in on of my competitor's demo classes and confessed that they gave him "a negative review."

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  2. That's great news!!! Congratulations!!! At least this time they did the right thing!

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  3. Congratulations! Great news indeed!!! :)

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  4. Congratulations.

    I wonder, though, how many people are on the site using multiple names. I confess that I don't like the idea at all, and really thought it was against the rules of the page.

    Suddenly, when I see fervent support or agreement, I'm going to think, Oh, that's that person backing his other user name up. Am I crazy for thinking that?

    I mean, it's not likely there's only ONE person using multiple names. It should be zero, or we all should get free reign. Could a moderator please let me know about this?

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    1. I received some email about it and will post something tomorrow.

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    2. I don't even get the need for the second identity, which I also don't think is right, when he/she is going to post something that reveals both identities anyway.

      Very bad form, I think.

      But, congratulations to be sure. My problem is more with the mods on this.

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    3. Congratulations! I frankly don't see a problem with dual identity in this case; but in all events, it's up to the moderator. If ya don't like the policy, I'm sure they'd be happy to let you have their job.

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    4. I'm with introvert.prof on this. I trust the mods to determine when an exception can--and NEEDS--to be made to the rule.

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  5. Hey, that's a happy, happy story. I'm so glad for you.

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  6. Thanks for sharing and giving us an update. I am so happy for you.

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  7. thanks for letting us know how it turned out. I'm so happy for you!!

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  8. Congratulations, what a great outcome!!

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  9. Congratulations! It may not be the norm, but it's nice to know it happens sometimes.

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  10. Congratulations! I'm very happy for you.

    Do you have a sense of which CM advice (if any) helped you?

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    1. Yes, your advice was helpful, thank you. And Prof Poopiehead's reminder to act as if I were a stranger with no advantage was a good reminder. The SC chair told me they were impressed how seriously I was taking the entire process.

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