Survival Job Survival 101
Last night, I slept better than I have in almost one year. Even The Dump Truck cooperated by refraining from dropping bowling balls on his bedroom floor (my bedroom ceiling). This morning, I awoke in a warm apartment to the sounds of my birds quietly discussing politics in the darkness. It was so pleasant.
After donning my favorite blouse and my newly patched pair of jeans, I arrived at the Community College (CC) a few minutes early and felt an odd momentary sizzle of excitement as I walked into the building. Professor Owl.
My building is nice. Even though the labs were dark when I peeked into their windows, I could see that they are large and modern.
I met the people who run the Science Department where I will teach (profess?). I was given the course textbook (still in plastic wrap), and the course materials and I filled out mountains of paperwork (I wonder how many forests were sacrificed to the gods of bad handwriting on my behalf?). I was told about the odd CC class schedule and how to decipher their grid system so I am teaching the right topics at the right times and places. "The grid" seemed to make sense when they explained it to me, but looking at it now, it is utterly incomprehensible to my exhausted brain.
I listened and asked questions and answered questions and walked around the building and looked out onto beautiful Manhattan from the departmental windows and eavesdropped on desperate students trying to add my class.
After three hours of this excitement, my brain was crammed to the explosion point with wordswordswords, names, books, diagrams, syllabi and peoplepeoplepeople. They finally let me go in the early afternoon. Exhausted. Drained. Hungry. This experience will help me empathize with my students tomorrow.
I fell asleep on the subway under a mountain of books and papers and almost missed my stop.
I hope I do well tomorrow. I am so tired now that all I want to do is go home, eat a non-chocolate meal and snuggle under my blankets while I dream of Resplendent Quetzals.
This reminds me, I have one piece of advice for everyone who is or will be in a similar place as I was today (after hiring, before the paperwork); if you are too broke to properly celebrate your new job with numerous rounds of competitive drinking with your friends, resist the urge to eat a big bag of Peanut M & Ms for your celebratory breakfast. Especially avoid doing this on the morning when you meet your colleagues and supervisors for the first time, even if a Peanut M & M breakfast normally makes you feel really good.
That is all.
Non-academic applications: 2 (editor for a science journal, science writer)
Academic Interviews: 1 (preliminary telephone interview for tenure-track position at a smallish midwest university)
[I admit I've been quite depressed this past week, which has greatly reduced the number of applications I've sent out recently. I hope that getting this CC job will help me deal with the prospect of hundreds more rejection letters from my professional/academic applications jamming into my post office mail box and email boxes. I once jokingly referred to these as "fan mail" but my amusement with this little "alternative reality" game died approximately ten days ago.]
© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist