Monday, September 22, 2008

The Job List: Check One

MLA registration and hotel reservations? Check. Flight to San Francisco purchased? Check. (And I got a great price at $370 for a R/T ticket!)

The two versions - one research, one teaching - of the job letter are officially and completely revised. They have, indeed, been reviewed by everyone except my family members and other graduate students.

The statement of teaching philosophy is done. I got lucky and didn't have too much revision to do there.

The director of the Writing Programs Office is coming to observe my class next week. I've asked her to write my "teaching" recommendation letter, as she's familiar with my syllabus, methods, assignments, etc. I think she'll be able to speak most directly to my reputation as a teacher, though my advisor will probably say good things as well since she and I are team-teaching a class next semester.

The CV is updated and all in pretty font and such.

The list of schools to which I'm applying is decent: a total of 16 so far. My committee members have been given this list, along with the mailing address for the career services liason for our department and a deadline by which they should forward letters of recommendation.

This is all to say that, with the exception of two schools who want a writing sample in the dossier, I'm ready to apply for jobs!

EXCEPT....I was just informed that there's some strange belief that the really early applicants tend to be a little nutso. The idea was that they're the eccentric, desperate type, who've been waiting on the edge of their seats for the job ads to come out so they can forward everything on Day 1.

Isn't that what most people do though? Aren't we all--especially those just starting out--just waiting for the JIL to come out?

Anywho, whatever...I don't want to get tossed in with the crazies. So, I'm holding off just a bit, until mid-October (unless a deadline is earlier). This will give me time to polish the writing sample and return to that last dissertation chapter. My hope is that, should I land an MLA interview, my ability to say I have a finished draft of the dissertation manuscript will do significant work in alleviating any possible concerns about my ABD status. If all goes very well, I should be able to walk into an interview with a scheduled defense date, which, again, I hope will count for something. The surprising thing is that I'm not feeling even a tiny bit crazy about the whole job market thing, and I'm not sure why. I expected to feel stressed, or at least anxious, but nope. At most, I have a hopeful lingering for the job possibilities that exist, but no strong feeling of investment in the time I've put in thus far or expectation for what will result from all this. I guess this is a healthy place to be at this point; we'll see how long it lasts :)


M said...

Where do you get this advice, my friend? I swear you must seek out individuals who are more neurotic than you (and that was typed with love).

Given my experience from being on a search committee, I know that the individual committee members rarely open the job packets themselves. They are typically processed by an admin person, labeled, and filed. At least in our department's case, it is impossible to determine which letters were received a day after the JIL came out and which were received the day before the deadline. If sending the letters out now makes you feel better, do it. No one is going to know that you are, in fact, just a little bit crazy. :)

M said...

I forgot to add that most committee members don't read the letters as the come in either. They read them in groups, generally 10 or so at a time, almost always after the deadline.

Anonymous said...

Never heard that about the early crazies, but in most departments the only one who would know that the applicants are early are the secretaries. The pile just builds until the due date (yes, they are usually date stamped, but we don't pay that much attention), and then the whole mess of applications is dumped on the faculty committee members.

I remember sending a lot of mine by overnight mail, so I must have been late, at least that first year. I was pregnant, too, and seem to recall a few near-overnighters getting it all together in time for MLA. The following year was much easier; in fact, so much easier that I have no memories at all of the process. I had a newborn then, so... very different circumstances. I showed up nearly 7 months pregnant in a maternity suit to my first MLA interview. Not surprisingly, I did not get the job (which was a rotten job in any case). You'll stand a better chance, since you'll be a lot less visibly pregnant by then.

Good luck with all this! It is a tough system, but at least you get to be in San Fran this year. My one paper submission was rejected, so no MLA for me this year. I'm half glad, half sad, but mostly because I've never been to San Fran. If I were going, we could meet up for a cranberry juice in the lobby. Ah, well. Have a great time!

AcadeMama said...

M: The advice came from our own department's placement coordinator. Go figure...

lisawv: I'm hoping I can get away with a pair of slacks in just a size bigger rather than having to break out the maternity wear. I'm super tall, so I'm counting on that to help me "pass" as well :)

Jennie said...

Wow, are you the most organized person in the world? That is amazing you have everything so under control. I agree with M and lisawv. I've been on search committees too and had no idea who sent what when--including if anybody was late--because our meetings were always awhile after the deadlines and the admin. asst. of the department handled the rest. Good luck!