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.