Missed the Mark

It’s been a few days since I last wrote, well, nearly a week.  As you might recall from previous posts on the job interview and the waiting, I was very excited and nervous all last week.  Until Friday when I got the email saying nicely that they offered the job to someone else and it was accepted.  So, I was heartbroken on Friday.  I thought I had done everything right.  I thought it was the right school.  But apparently not.  It’s taken me a few days to lick my wounds.

I’ve got one more shot at teaching for the fall semester- I got a phone call from one of the schools where I applied for a lectureship. I have a phone interview on Monday. I don’t have high hopes, I didn’t have high hopes for it when I sent the applications in, but it’s a shot at least.  Take what you can get, right?  I have to go back and find out what research they do at the school because apparently that’s a high component these days.  Really?  I wanted to give up on research (for the most part) for teaching.  Maybe I need to be looking at high school.  I don’t know anymore.  Still in career crisis here.

I’m really running out of options.  I don’t even know how to find appropriate jobs at this point.  It’s too late for the school year, and the thought of working for another company turns my stomach, even if the pay would be good.  I don’t want to leave my friends here but I know that as a professional scientist, I will probably have to move again.  It’s the bane of the highly educated.  You can’t find a job in your field just anywhere.  If I lived in a larger city, then there might be more opportunities for me, but I’ve found in the past that isn’t necessarily true.  You just have to go where you have to go.

That’s where things stand at the moment.  I’m still indecisive about my occupation, and I’m still indecisive about future, and I’m still unemployed.  One more shot left on the horizon before the sunset of university options.  (Not entirely, there’s a couple possibilities for spring semester.) At least I’ve got something to look forward to next week.

PS: I will reply to your comments soon.  Thanks for reading. 🙂

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Waiting Game

We’ve all been there. There is something that you are expecting news on and you just have to wait and chew on your fingernails until you hear it: good or bad. I am currently playing the waiting game with two colleges.  One I am losing hope on, the other had told me 48 hours from the Skype interview.  Well, the 48 hours came up and they sent me an email saying that I had nice letters of recommendation and they were in the process of making their decision.  You just want to scream: Pick me! Pick me!  Or a Jedi-mind trick: this is the person for the job.  You don’t need any other applicants.  Everyone I met on that interview was so nice, I want to go there really badly now.  I hope they pick me, but if they don’t, I hope it doesn’t devastate me.

In the meantime, I still have to search for jobs in order to qualify for unemployment.  It’s so difficult.  There’s just nothing I qualify for.  And what I do qualify for, I don’t want.  (Picky, aren’t I?)  Beggars can’t be choosy. I’m not quite to the begging stage yet.  I just feel tired and stressed out over this job situation.  I don’t like being unemployed.  I didn’t like being out on disability either. I want to work.  I want to teach.  I want that job I Skyped for.  My skills fit so well with their research and but the job would be primarily teaching.  (Teaching labs mostly, but you can’t have everything.) The real downside is that it is a yearly contractual thing and not tenure track.  Well, maybe I would do better if I don’t have to worry about tenure.  It’s still a year to year thing, so it does lack a little sense of permanence.  Can’t I just have a forever home and a forever job?  Is that asking so much?  In this economy, probably yes.

I think a lot of colleges are going away from the tenure track positions and more towards the lecturer (yearly) positions.  It’s probably a cost-saving measure as I’m sure they don’t pay lecturers quite as much as they do tenure track.  And of course, there’s no tenure to contend with, so if management changes and they don’t want you anymore, out you go.  It sucks, but it’s true.  And since it’s contract, they don’t pay for unemployment.  You simply are not renewed.  Buh-bye.

I am still crossing my fingers, and hoping and wishing for this job.  I think it’s a great fit.  I hope they do too.


Skype Interview in Review

I had my first Skype interview yesterday.  It was kind of odd – very strange medium for an interview.  But I dressed the part even though my office is one of the hottest rooms in the house, despite air conditioning. (By the end of it, my cami was soaked!) We cleaned up and decorated the office so it would look nice for the interview.  I didn’t want them to see how messy I am!  I had to take my glasses off too because otherwise there would be too much glare for them to see my face.

I think the interview went well.  I hope so.  I am really interested in this position, maybe even more so than the phone interview I did for another college.  This place has more interesting research programs.  I still don’t know what the pay is but it’s poor practice to ask in an interview.  The position is on a yearly contract basis, so there is a bit of uncertainty there, but at least I don’t have to contend with the stress of tenure.  I also don’t get the security of tenure. 😦

Overall, I think it went well.  You can get a better sense of people in a Skype interview than via a phone interview.  They said I would know something within 48 hours.  I am so nervous!  I have a good feeling about this school, but I can’t rely on any Jedi-like senses for determining success or failure.  I think this school was more interested in me than the other one, so I hope that they invite me for a in-person interview or even just hire me outright!  (Wouldn’t that be cool?)  I think I am going to need some Klonopin to get me through the next day and a half.  Especially if it takes longer than 48 hours.  Universities move slow.

If anyone can spare some luck, I could use it!  🙂

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


High school may be out of the question

Well, I was reading up on the requirements to teach high school, once I found them buried in the state board of education website, (don’t you love broken links?) and discovered there is another whole application process that I have to do before I can take the tests. This process can take up to 6 weeks, so if that happens then there is a very slim chance I can take the tests (with results) in time to teach this year. Since the schools aren’t even willing to entertain the notion of hiring me before certification, this leaves me in quite a bind.

So where do I go from here?

Even if I get through all that process, they do a FBI and criminal record background check. Would I even pass that with bipolar disorder?

There are so many fees involved too… each test has a fee. There are enrollment fees, application fees… it would be about a $400 job application to teach high school, and I’m not sure I have the self-confidence to do it in the long run. I’m not sure I have the self-confidence for anything.

I dreamed about the university position last night. I dreamed that I was doing the interview all over again, only not screwing it up. I really want that job, I just wish I had answered that one question right: which upper division classes would you be comfortable teaching? Well, hell, I can teach all of them (if I have the self-confidence). That’s what it all comes down to in the end: self-confidence. If only I had been hypo-manic instead of stable for this interview, I would have nailed it.

This waiting is killing me. If I had done that right, I might have an offer by now. I really hope I get the university job. My self-confidence tells me I can’t do it, but another part of me says I can. It’s all pointless now until I hear back from them.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

University Love

I love learning. I love sitting in a classroom, mathematics scrawled across the board, my eyes drinking in formulas and my mind questing for more. Seeing connections between A, B, & C. Reading, understanding, interacting. Learning.

And now I’ve stopped learning. I’ve gone corporate and there is no time for learning. I get short courses in technical writing or Excel, and I sit at the front of the class and ask a million questions – yes, I’m that student you always hated in school because she wouldn’t shut up and let the class go on at its rapid fire pace. I stay after class and ask the teacher questions. I am an A-student sponge. That is, if I’m interested in what I’m there for. If not, forget it – I’m daydreaming.

Today I am sitting here in hallowed halls of learning, waiting while DH sits in on a class. He is visiting local graduate schools looking for a PhD program. (He doesn’t want us to be known as Dr. & Mr. anymore.) I can understand to some degree, although to be honest, for about the first 5 years after I had my PhD, I would have told you it was a waste of time and effort. But as I sit here waiting for him, I long for those days.

I tried going to the library but eventually got tired of their squirrely organization system. Why would one floor contain books in the 300s up to 495, then stop and start again with 650? Meanwhile, books in the 500-649 range are on another floor (3 floors away, actually). I’m sure there is some method to this madness, most likely subject grouping, but to the untrained eye, it seems like nonsense.

So I ended up at a coffee shop. It wasn’t a very good one, but it was warm and quiet. But I was just in a coffee shop. I wasn’t transported to that magical land of learning like I am in a university. Even at home, trying to read Stahl’s book on psychopharmacology doesn’t do it for me. Sifting through pub med articles are not enough. School is in my heart. Learning is in soul.

When I was working on my graduate degree, I took nearly every class I could. I took more than was required. My advisor asked me, “why do you keep taking classes? You can just take research credits.” I responded, “because I enjoy it. You’re going to pay for 6 credits regardless and I’m going to do the research anyway, so what’s the harm?” I finally reached some pretty high level theoretical stuff that was my undoing. (A severe bipolar cycle was going on at the same time and I nearly failed the class.) But I climbed pretty high on the intellectual totem pole, and for that I should be proud.

Part of me would love to go back to school. I would study mathematics. Math is solid. There are no judgement calls. It either is or is not. It is cool and structured, powerful and necessary. It is not influenced by my moods or state of mind. It is a silent giant but it requires focus. A focus that I need but have lost over time.

But what I really wonder is do I want to go back to school for the right reasons? I feel like my career has been a series of accidents – some good and some bad – but all of them left wreakage behind. I feel like I should be somewhere in my career by now instead of flip-flopping career paths, leaving a trail of employers in my wake. Has my bipolar been an issue? Of course it has. It cost me one job and is on the verge of costing me another. It was only the one in between that (mostly) wasn’t caused by my illness.

And that was probably the job that meant the most: in academia.