• August 23, 2014

Academic Bait-and-Switch, Part 12

Interviewing Illustration Careers

Brian Taylor

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Brian Taylor

Maybe some literary professionals believe it's noble to go through years of graduate training, and afterward freeze to death in a garret while reciting Wordsworth, but I am not among their number. When I got on-campus interviews in my second year on the academic job market, I vowed to do whatever necessary to secure a tenure-track position.

From years of observing hiring practices in my doctoral programs (first at Elite National University and then at Lateral Move University), I determined that hiring committees look for candidates of two types. The first is cynical, sarcastic, and brashly outspoken. I label that kind the Abrasive. Academics hire the Abrasive because they fantasize about this person befuddling the administration. Only later do they realize they may have to share office space with someone who holds them in contempt.

From time to time throughout graduate school, I offended people accidentally by saying what was on my mind, but I couldn't be rude consistently enough to qualify for Abrasive status. So I opted for the second type, the Good Fit. In order to be deemed a Good Fit, you need to convince potential colleagues that you embrace their philosophy about literature, teaching, or campus politics. That may sound easy, since people who earn Ph.D.'s in English share many values, but I advise anyone with an on-campus interview not to step on any of the magical creatures in the hosts' garden.

I'm referring to a curious case involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. In 1920, Doyle saw photos of girls communing with fairies or pixies who danced in an English garden. Assuming they were genuine, he published a piece about the little creatures in The Strand Magazine. The girls had faked the photos, of course, and the pixies look laughably artificial, but Doyle believed in them because he desperately wanted them to be true. Similarly, some professors desperately hold beliefs that don't quite match the world they inhabit. Those beliefs are their pixies.

I assumed I could avoid injuring pixies and pass for a Good Fit by acting agreeable and suppressing all Abrasive responses during an on-campus interview at Wheat Blight College. That tactic worked well until an interviewer asked, "How might you set up a class in cutting-edge literary theory?"

The Abrasive response popped into my mind at once: "Your job ad didn't mention literary theory. Are you trying to pawn off a course no one at Wheat Blight wants to teach?"

Instead I took the question literally and replied, "Getting undergrads interested in theory poses an exciting challenge. First I'd draw up a calendar with the number of days that the class would meet, and then, taking into account the time of day the class is scheduled, vacations, midterms, and the way those factors influence student performance, I'd choose which theories we could reasonably cover in depth."

My answer made the questioner's jaw drop. When he asked how I would design the course, what he really meant was, "Give me your grand, lofty vision of a course that will enchant your students and be the only thing they care about all semester." In fact, the entire English department at the college discussed teaching only in terms of the fanciful, the impossible, the great—"if only students appreciated our genius." When I started talking about the nitty-gritty of engaging real human beings, I had walked into Wheat Blight's garden and stepped on the professors' favorite pixie.

I encountered an interesting variation on "if only students appreciated our genius" when I had an on-campus interview at Free Spirit College. During an otherwise lively give-and-take with several interviewers, an elderly Shakespearean scholar—I'll call him Professor Lear—said, "Our department doesn't require Shakespeare, and the number of students enrolling drops every year. How would you get more students to take Shakespeare?"

An Abrasive might have replied, "Why does a professor who's about to retire expect the new hire to round up students for him?"

I wanted to answer like a Good Fit, of course, but in the realm of literary studies, a person can get in trouble by claiming that a particular author ranks above anything else, even shoelaces. I tried to draw out Professor Lear by saying, "The question of whether a curriculum should privilege one author above others is fascinating."

He replied, "But how would you get students to take Shakespeare?"

Thinking I understood his agenda, I relaxed and said, "I have nothing against requiring classes. In fact, the most important classes I took as an undergraduate were required, and I never would've signed up for them otherwise."

Professor Lear looked as though I'd declared myself an agent of the military-industrial complex.

Trying to recover, I said, "I could increase the number of students who took the course voluntarily. I'd show students that Shakespeare can be fun."

I hoped that Professor Lear would ask me how, but he only shook his head.

To give the impression we could work together, I switched to the plural pronoun. "We could have a Shakespeare festival. We could get students to do public readings from the Bard. We could have them dress as Shakespearean characters. We could even have a contest for the best costume. We could make Shakespeare a cool cultural event."

I felt pleased to have dreamed up the Shakespeare festival, but Professor Lear felt that only a monster would compel anyone to do anything. I suspect that the pixies in his garden wore tie-dyed T-shirts and love beads.

To be fair, many English instructors (especially fans of Wordsworth) believe that human beings will do the right thing if someone explains it to them properly. I find that notion charming, but I don't see how anyone who teaches first-year composition can hold it for long.

Nonetheless, I have to thank Professor Lear for introducing me to a third type of desirable candidate. Some impoverished liberal-arts colleges admit any and every student without providing the underprepared ones with the extra help they require. That academic bait-and-switch creates a need for professors who can make students show up without effort, take courses without complaining on the evaluation forms, and pass without extensive tutorial assistance. Therefore, a search committee seeks a Rainmaker.

I wish I'd worked up a better Rainmaker routine before I interviewed at Potemkin Village College. The English department there had only four people in it, one of whom was about to retire. During my visit, I met all four at once in a conference room. Things went smoothly until the chair asked, "Would you ever fail a student?"

The Abrasive response: "Can't professors fail students at Potemkin Village? If your students get college credit automatically, your diploma is worthless."

Instead of saying that, I hoped that a Good Fit at Potemkin Village needed the courage to do something unpleasant. I shrugged and said, "I have failed students."

The chair asked, "Would you fail an English major?"

Feeling called to prove my academic machismo, I replied, "If a major didn't do the work or didn't do it very well, yes, of course I'd fail the person." I stopped just short of saying, "Only cowards don't give F's."

Complete silence. Someone's pixie needed CPR.

Finally the chair said, "In the past five years, the number of English majors has dropped dramatically." He paused to allow me to figure out the possible consequences for a new hire. "How might you increase the number?"

I shifted into Rainmaker mode. "If I had promising students in my first-year composition or intro courses, I'd convince them to major in English."

The four interviewers blinked at me.

"I'd also look for bright, bored students in other disciplines and convince them to take on English as a second major."

The chair said softly, "We don't stoop to trolling for majors."

At that point the Abrasive response was obvious: "Why do you suppose you have a shortage? Do you discuss the 900 nuances of a problem and then just expect it to go away?"

Instead, I tried to apply defibrillator paddles to the pixie. I thought I could do that by explaining my reasoning. "I'll use myself as an example," I said. "I didn't start out as an English major—"

"You didn't?"

The conversation went on for a bit, but the pixie had flatlined. A convert to English couldn't be trusted. I couldn't redeem myself, even by telling them that my mother had taught me how to read before I began kindergarten. The Potemkin Village hiring committee assumed that an English professor came into the world trailing clouds of Wordsworth.

And that person had better believe that pixies dance among the daffodils.

(Editor's Note: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of this series are online.)

Henry Adams is the pseudonym of a faculty member at a small liberal-arts college in the Midwest.

Comments

1. versatilephd - February 09, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Love the pixie metaphor! Many professors (and administrators too) hold on to cherished beliefs that are really just fantasies. In fact, humans in general have a tendency to do this. It would be nice if everybody realized that reality is our friend.

2. kathrynadams - February 10, 2011 at 08:32 am

This is so funny and well done! I think it meets criteria for truth and exaggeration in perfect balance. And these pixies are not only problematic when interviewing, but tend to be around during committee meetings and faculty hiring meetings for years to come if one should be so lucky as to land a permanent job!

3. copesan - February 10, 2011 at 09:27 am

The pixie metaphor has changed my life...or at least the rest of the week. Bravo for a wonderful article.

4. tappat - February 10, 2011 at 09:37 am

By taking a question that is meant to be an intellectual opportunity and turning it into a question about the mechanical operations of inscribing a schedule you step on no pixie but, rather, throw your feces in the face of another human being. I wouldn't undersell your abilities as The Abrasive, even as what you're throwing around may well help with the blight the wheat is suffering, but nothing to help in the intellectual enterprise. The journalistic turn, as, naturally you would take, Mr. Adams, to revealing the emptiness of poor liberal arts colleges which feel that they must appear to be something -- rich -- that they are not, I thought was going to be something wholesome, but it only appeared to be so, for a very limited time, before its essential quality, that of the rest of your post, seeped, abrasively no doubt, out.

5. oldphilprof - February 10, 2011 at 09:45 am

The SC I am chairing really, honestly, wanted applicants who were invited to campus to simply be themselves -- HONEST! We are a relatively small institution and a very congenial department. ALL the applicants (well, nearly all) were qualified for the position on offer. What we make our final decision on is that ambiguous thing called "fit" which really means, Are you someone we want to have lunch with, and work with, and sometimes even party with, for the next 30 years? Our first choice turned us down because his Visiting position was turned into a TT position when that institution was faced with the possibility of losing him. How's that for a bait-and-switch? I don't think he came to campus intending to just use us, but it does sometimes happen. Please don't try to second-guess what a committee or a committee member wants to hear. That is really insulting when you think about it.

6. sanjoaquin - February 10, 2011 at 09:48 am

Thank you. I am going to be able to smile in meetings again. Although, now I wonder what my pixies look like...

7. okiebeachgirl - February 10, 2011 at 10:19 am

I,too,loved the pixie metaphor. Also thought of Ricky Nelson's Garden Party:
If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I'd rather drive a truck
And it's all right now, learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself

8. ianative - February 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you, tappat, for making me laugh (along with Mr. Adams). How dare a job candidate answer with anything other than vague platitudes. And a double-win for number of commas in a single sentence, to boot.

Oldphilprof, I don't think we'll ever get away from the "What do they want to hear?" second-guessing done by job candidates. Interviews are such a high-pressure, artificial situations that hearing from the real person is difficult. Search committees end up second-guessing what candidates are "really saying" (just as insulting) and also unlikely to go away.

9. sagregreenbeads - February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

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10. sagregreenbeads - February 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

And why not do it that way? You already got your one black rule: one or two black folks to teach black stuff, brown folks to teach brown stuff. so then you can just hire more white folks to teach white stuff or do stuff about "racialization" w/o ever contending w/actual (instead of constructed) difference.
hey. really. be honest. it's about hiring folks who want to live exactly like yourselves.
but. you think of yourselves as SOOOOOOOO open, don't you?
don't you.

11. fiu_dor - February 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Bitter, party of one....

12. boiler - February 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

To sagregreenbeads -- Get yourself some help. I mean that seriously. Anyone who could write what you wrote in your first comment has some issues that go beyond anger management. When you're writing in a public forum that you'd like to burn people alive, you need to look in the mirror, think about what's going on in your head, and get some help before this goes any further.

13. samueljacob - February 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Wow, sagregreen,
My school is the same. I don't blame you for bitter rage, sahre it, and hope we all turn it to some good. I watch white upperclass self-absorption get re-enacted in EVERY school that lacks a bulldog bully-pulpit affirmative action officer. Sad thing. White upperclass folks hire white upperclass folks, call it "collegiality" and think about, it THIS the person I want to have lunch w/ for the next 30 years? Well, that involves cultural sensibilities, doesn't it? Differences makes this puliong bitvhes (female and male, as you said) shit themselves. They think they teach about systems of oppression and shit, but they "replicate" themselves like shitty spoiled children who feel entitled to self-absorption.
Damn.
Let's talk about the REAL nastiness of hiring. The culture wars are alive and well. In recession times, the white ruling class hunkers down and closes ranks. They want hires exactly like themselves, and though they may teach the great unwashed TO the great unwashed, they still want their privileged retirement plans for gated communities and their privleged children sent to the BEST schools.
That's the reality.
That's "collegiality" in a recession.
Bitter part of...? Thousands.

14. worldweary - February 10, 2011 at 01:56 pm

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15. minnesotan - February 10, 2011 at 03:23 pm

Judging only by the statements made above (whether they were made by one or multiple posters), I sincerely doubt race is your problem when trying to get hired. If you bring that kind of attitude into an interview -- and people can tell that you hate them, no matter how polite you think you're being -- you are going to fail. Why not try to actually like the people you want to work with for the rest of your life when you go into an interview? Noody wants to be berated about the innate evilness of their color, gender, or class. And sane people especially don't want to work with others who threaten to burn down buildings when they don't get their way.

16. 11325240 - February 10, 2011 at 03:40 pm

I appreciate the author's basic point and he uses some wonderful examples. But I would not consider it a positive to have a faculty member describe the course development process as a matter of figuring out coverage. I'd rather hear him talk about what he thinks undergrads should have learned by the end of the theory class, and then describe the kinds of things they'd do prior to that last day in order to reach that final point. (On the other hand, I know many grad students have not been exposed to the idea that there is more to teaching than "coverage," so I wouldn't reject him on that basis either. Although it could easily give an edge to someone who has a better grasp on contemporary principles of teaching and learning.)

17. henry_adams - February 10, 2011 at 04:12 pm

11325240, thank you. My answer about course development was less than ideal, and if asked today, I would give a more professional reply. At the time, however, I had just finished my Ph.D., and my graduate training in how to teach was absurdly inadequate, as I've written in earlier columns. Even so, I doubt I could've satisfied the questioner or his colleagues. They and I didn't live in the same universe.

18. sugaree - February 10, 2011 at 04:13 pm

Oh my god, the torture continues (and yet I can't look away, as if Adams is writing an actual train wreck). Can't wait for parts 13-20, where he exposes yet more bitterness about the, undoubtedly, unfair, treatment he's received after being hired, while on the tenure track, during 3rd year review, dealing with evil colleagues and ignorant administrators, going up for tenure, the trials of committee work that only HE is serious about, on becoming and/or not becoming deadwood, and enlightening his own graduate students about how it's all just so pointless.

19. 11161452 - February 10, 2011 at 04:35 pm

"Someone's pixie needed CPR."

This is my favorite sentence in the CHE this week.

20. lottie - February 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Those answers flopped not because you accidently trampled someone's personal pixie, but because they were crappy answers. God I hate this series.

21. pete_l_clark - February 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Along with other commenters, I agree that the author's answer to the "cutting-edge literary theory" question was so awful as to warp the entire narrative and overshadow the pixie-trampling conceit [which, by the way, I really enjoyed]. In fact, were I the interviewer, upon hearing this answer I would wonder whether I was being put on.

Here's a hint: the answer to the question "How would you teach course X?" should depend upon X. And I fail to see how a close analysis of the academic calendar is the key to student engagement with the material.

To "Henry Adams": if I may, I suggest that you take some ownership for this response. It seems likely that there is more to it than "absurdly inadequate" training and not living in the same universe as your interviewers.

22. pete_l_clark - February 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Also -- and this is probably pretty evident to many -- if your natural answer to each question at an interview is Abrasive, then you're not actually a very Good Fit for the job, and it's probably better for all involved if you don't get offered it.

23. henry_adams - February 11, 2011 at 09:01 am

To everyone: I certainly wouldn't have been a Good Fit at any of the three colleges in this column. I knew that when I interviewed, but I would've accepted a full-time job gladly if any of the three had offered it. I would've preferred being a Bad Fit with a full salary (and health insurance) to continuing as an adjunct.

24. darccity - February 11, 2011 at 09:47 am

Only in academia do employees decide which future co-workers get hired. This antiquated HR practice is especially in this market where the typical applicant for a faculty position has superior qualifications to many of the tenured department interviewers. Who gets hired is not difficult to guess. Those who will be the least potential threat to the faculty and greatest advantage in campus politics and as grunt co-authors in research.

25. tuxthepenguin - February 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

"Only in academia do employees decide which future co-workers get hired."

1. Faculty members are not employees in the same way that the guy flipping burgers at McDonald's is an employee. Are you saying that a law firm does not take any input at all from the lawyers at that firm when they hire someone?

2. I don't know of any universities where the faculty actually make hiring decisions. At most, they can veto the hiring of candidates. I've never heard of a case where the department's choice has to be made an offer. The dean and other higher-ups can always say no.

"Those who will be the least potential threat to the faculty and greatest advantage in campus politics and as grunt co-authors in research."

Okay, if you say so. You wouldn't by chance be bitter about the job market would you?

26. cleverclogs - February 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

To henry adams: I see your point and I do think there are idealogues everywhere and you might have to step around them, or their "pixies." But then, there's a reason that hiring is done by committee and not just one person. My concern is that I think your conclusions are a bit misleading for those who might be looking for work and are reading your column in the hopes of gleaning useful information.

These interviewers weren't looking for whether or not you knew anything about teaching, so your "absurdly inadequate" teacher-prep was not at fault. They were asking if you understood how the system functioned and what your place in it would be. Nuts-and-bolts answers that dealt with the college / university system would have been better. If someone tell you the department doesn't require Shakespeare, then that's a given. Your answer to the question can't be "I'd make it a requirement." If you're looking at an English Departmnet of four people - FOUR! - then you know it's a struggling department that needs to prove its purpose to the administration.

My point is, there were not imaginary pixies that you stepped on. There were real linguistic and institutional clues you missed.

I'd make a counter-recommendation that when people interview, they actually pay attention to the givens of the question or situation, rather than try to game the interviewers. And if the idea that you have to understand the institution is foreign to anyone who's on the market, I'd recommend boning up on that stuff. I suspect it's becoming more and more important.

27. butteredtoastcat - February 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

@cleverclogs:

Great comment!

Knowing something about the specific department that is interviewing you and thinking in advance about how you could help that department can greatly improve your chances. Before you go the interview, research the department and the school and, while you're at it, the condition of the state budget if it's a state school.

If you're interviewing with a department that is hurting for students and has had its funding cut, the hiring committee is looking for someone who can put students in the desks and bring in grant money. So, when a committee from such a department asks you how you might teach a course in Critical Theory or Shakespeare, you show in your course design how you would attract lots of new students. One answer might be a critical studies course based on comic books, video games, or the Twilight series. Another might be a Shakespeare course designed for business or political science majors, demonstrating how the fatal flaws in Shakespearean kings and dukes, for example, can be relevant to a study of management and leadership.

Whatever the needs of the academic department, it is extremely helpful to know what these needs are and then think about what you can bring to the table. This is rule #1 of job hunting in other professions. Sadly, an occupational hazard of academics is self absorption and narcissism. PhDs applying for jobs need to remember that it's not "all about me," but all about the department. Pixies notwithstanding (and I am not denying these exist, especially in more presitigious departments that can afford to have them), if you can show your intellectual and economic worth to a department and portray yourself as understanding the institutional backdrop without having to state things outright, then you have a good shot at the job.

28. fobean - February 11, 2011 at 01:04 pm

Try again--English departments hire physically attractive people. Being male, you have a much broader range into which you can fall and be physically attractive. These things go along with your categories--if you are a male and look like a cable news anchor (you have that Anderson Cooper vibe going for you), then you are expected to be Abrasive. Look in the mirror, I am betting you are misfitting your approach to your look.

If you are a fairly attractive male, or a female who looks like a cable news anchor (think Christine Amanpour), then you need to be a "Good Fit." As someone already pointed out, whatever it is that the department is already doing, you need to think that it is the most wonderful thing on the planet. Try asking what they are doing before you answer--that is, make sure you know something about the program.

If you are a male who is fairly fit or a female who is fairly attractive, then you'd better darned well be a Rainmaker. You'd better come in with a history of being able to work miracles--try volunteering with inmates in prisons, try creating new programs at a junior college which boost results.

If you are a male who isn't terribly attractive--you'd better either be a Native American or gay. Native Americans get hired for reasons I don't think I even need to mention. Gay men get hired because they don't have families (well, not usually)--they show up at 9AM and stay until 9PM and the department/college is their entire life (they work, socialize, and party at the college). Otherwise, law school might be a good idea.

If you are a female who isn't terribly attractive--unless you are otherwise super-scholar, you'd better just apply to online universities and change your first name so that it sounds more masculine.

Students prefer males because of the overwhelming number of female teachers in the public school system--males make them feel like they aren't in high school any more. Students prefer physically attractive people because they are youthful and shallow. Since there is a direct correlation between gender/physical attractiveness and student preference/behavior (they act up on people they don't find attractive--and women, even when they are fairly attractive), English departments look like Cable News Network lounges.

I wish someone had been a bit more open about this--I could have gone into nursing or information science or . . . any of a number of fields that actually prize hard work rather than appearance and lock-step political/social views.

By the way, it isn't that PhD candidates and recipients tend to have the same views politically--it is that they ruthlessly screen out anyone who doesn't. Apparently, you had the same views and either subjected others to such screening or chose not to be aware of it. There's a reason why there are, for example, so few Asian English professors. So, you might want to check your own complicity in making sure that departments remain "pure."

29. withnailandi - February 11, 2011 at 04:15 pm

These comments are an absolute joke. They mostly seem posted by a bunch of santimonious grad students (or other forms of greenery) who cop the attitude: Well, if you just Do It Right, You'll Succeed. And if you display anger or disgust, You Must Be Bitter, which means, of course, it's just sour grapes, sore LOSER.
Wow.
What a bunch of blaming, ignorant fools. Go on, fool yourselves. None of any of this could happen to YOU, because YOU are going to Get. It. RIGHT.
I've seen the hiring/promotion process from the inside all too many times. It IS in fact fraught w/ grudges, agendas, and various forms of magical thinking. And yes, the institutionally sanctioned desire for "collegiality" and a "good fit" does in fact foster incestuousness, static clique-ishness.
It is cowardly.
That in and of itself, weirdly, should be actually reassuring to applicants. If you know you were qualified, but didn't get the job, it really has nothing -- really NOTHING -- to do with your abilities. It has to do with whether your perceived (PERCEIVED)persona, appearance, marital status, politics, lifestyle, and everything else can be imagined and wished by the hiring committee as a "good fit" Whether you can be one of their tribe, or rather, an individual THEY want to see added. You can't control it.

30. withnailandi - February 11, 2011 at 04:38 pm

The funniest comments in these posts always seem authored by forms of professional greenery who cop this attitude: Well, you failed because you Didn't Get it Right! I'M GOING TO GET IT RIGHT! This bad stuff will never happen to me, because I AM GOING TO GET IT RIGHT! And if you, you failure you, show anger or disgust towards The Process, You Must Be Bitter, which not only makes you a LOSER, it makes you a SORE SOUR GRAPES LOSER, and therefore pathetic and therefore
You, know. Etc. Etc.
Look, keep your vicious snotty snobberies and bravado if it comforts you. But please refrain from spreading it about.
I've seen the inside of hiring and promotion committees way too many times, and I can attest that they are indeed fraught with purblind fantasy, tunnel-vision projection, silly magical thinking, and vicious agendas.
That's not the WHOLE picture, but still, it's there.
And despite the vague idea that we are past the culture wars, racism and sexism still abound. I've seen outspoken Jewish women faculty members turned down for tenure b/c "unior faculty members should be seen and not heard." I've heard the men in my dept. comment & giggle about the "icecaps" showing through the blouses of recently hired faculty. I've heard applicants whose foci were sexuality studies turned down besause "We already have one of THOSE" -- meaning the one gay person on a faculty, who doesn't even focus on sexuality for her research. And yes, Virginia, racial tokenism still exists. "Diversity" is completely spotty and varies vastly from school to school. "Progress" usually only happens when forced. Mostly, dept's default to a safe solipsism: the institutionally-sanctioned desire for a "good fit" also sanctions inertia.
So yes, there is hypocrisy and bias, Even Among Us.
All this, strangely, should be of comfort to applicants. The hiring process is fundamentally flawed. You can do your best, but you cannot "master" it. You do your best, you do your research on the school, but you have to be who you are. Beyond that, if you get turned down for something you KNOW you could have done a GREAT job with, it has nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to do with you.

31. drannmaria - February 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I found the pixie metaphor amusing. I also have to agree with some of the less amused commenters who point out that "a good fit" often implies a similar race, gender, sexual orientation and social class as well as going with whatever philosophy of education, culture and sacred cows, or pixies, exist in the department. I've found this true in every university where I worked and on every search committee, and I'm not in English (far from it - I'm a statistician ).

I guess I'm the abrasive type because when someone on a search committee says, "I don't think Dr. X will fit in here" I immediately ask, "Could you give me a specific reason why not?"

32. tcli5026 - February 12, 2011 at 03:52 am

Hey, all I can think is, "Wow, that Henry Adams must be quite a stud. It sounds as if he has been to dozens of interviews. In English, no less!" If so, he should just be lucky he has so many pixies to worry about.

33. teddysmom - February 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

Seems as if you killed a few more........
Yet - the truth remains.... in disciplines as yours and beyond.
Bravo!

34. t_tracking - February 12, 2011 at 01:36 pm

Wow. What happened to just being yourself? I am also seeking a teaching position, but decided long ago that the goal was to prepare to the best of my abilities and interview well. If an offer didn't follow, it just wasn't meant to be. I think I will stick to my strategy and trust the process.

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