Sunday, December 31, 2006

MLA in Review and General Festivity...

{PSA: A long post, but there's a nugget of really good news at the end!!}

My plane landed safely yesterday. Was it a rough flight, you ask?? No, but planes and I are not good friends, so it was a trauma for me. But the flight was pretty much smoothe as glass except for that ONE BIG FRICKIN' LURCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SKY! I came very close to having kittens and my colleague (who joyously was on the same flight and had bribed the dude sitting next to me to move to her seat) was trying to keep my mind off of our impending doom by reading me excerpts from the SkyMall catalog. (Do I really need a combination hot dog cooker and bun warmer?). We were just cruising along and all of a sudden, it was like we ran over an elephant in the sky - and it happened on one of those steep, banking turns....ugh. But, I'm happily on the ground now, just as Medieval Woman was intended to be.

I will give my MLA review in bullet form because that's largely how I remember it - as notes rather than a full narrative.

Day One (Wednesday):
1. Arrive in Philly and go to my nice hotel room, having already begun to touch base with friends already arrived.
2. Have dinner with 5-6 friends from grad school - lovely!
3. Go back to my room to prep for impending interviews the next day.

Day Two (Thursday):
1. Have breakfast with colleague - lovely!
2. Go to the convention center with her to get my interview room numbers, my tag doo-hicky, etc.
3. Back to the hotel and change for my interviews that afternoon.
4. One interview went spectacularly and the other was a tad lackluster. They are interviewing many candidates for many positions at this school and I think I was one of the last that day. I just got the feeling that it was very rushed and that the interviewers were cranky and a bit underwhelmed by me. Oh well - we'll see when the time comes!

Day Three (Friday):
1. Morning interviews - the first was fine, but it began with a bunch of rapid-fire, slightly aggressive questions about my research. They were quoting sentences from my rec letters and asking me to expand on them. I felt like I was facing two of those tennis ball dispensers on high speed! At one point, one of the interviewers told me that a book was not required for tenure (which is fine) but that NO ONE in almost 20 years has published a book for tenure. Okay - but why were they grilling me on my research project?? Also - and this is the killer - one of the interviewers farted very loudly in the middle of my interview. I stumbled a bit and kept right on fielding their questions, but I was barely able to restrain myself from replying "Tee hee, quod she, and clapte the window to"!! Will I be hearing from this school??? :) The rest were fantastic and made me fall in love with certain interviewers and schools, which I will not name here to protect the innocent.

2. I had a lovely lunch with Flavia - we drank beer and gossiped and had lots of fun! We also went by the book exhibit and I began what became a two-day shopping spree there.

3. I ran into so many people I hadn't seen in a long time and was cornered by the job coordinator from my grad school who chided me on not staying in touch with him during my job search this time. I threw myself on my sword, said mea culpa, and promised to do better.

4. That night, I had a later dinner than expected with some colleagues - it was great, but I wasn't able to stop by the so-looked-forward-to blogger meet up that night! I had to go back to my room and prepare for my paper early the next morning.

Day Four (Saturday):
1. Paper went very well - I made some wonderful contacts and have asked big medievalist in my field if they would be interested in reading more of my book as it progresses. B.M. declared that my project was "very important" and said that I should send them work in the future. Yay!

2. More book buying. Big books. Books on sale 50% off the cover price. Heavy books.

3. Had lunch at Chilis (for which I yearned) with dear, dear friend and then went to hang out with her at the airport before my flight.

So, that's it for bullet points: when I arrived home, the Dutchman met me with his cute self AND a piece of delightful news - the first school I interviewed with had called Saturday afternoon (while I was at the airport, self-medicating) to ask me for a campus visit!! I'm so excited, it was one of my favorite of the interviews and I was even more enthusiastic after meeting with them.

Tonight, we are staying in (it's cold and rainy) and we're making an Indonesian feast and drinking some champagne and watching season 2 of "House".


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At 6:52 PM, Blogger Pilgrim/Heretic said...

YAY for the good interviews and especially the campus visit! I think this bodes very well for your new year. Congratulations and best wishes and happy New Year!

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Tiruncula said...

Yay! Great New Year's news!

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous morgan said...

Wow, what a great way to end the new year! You must have rocked your interview. Oh, and since I'm silly like that...what *did* you wear? ;-)

PS--I feel ya about the planes my dear. K. had to read me the sky mall catalogue on the way back from the Great White North!

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous What Now? said...

Congrats on the flyback! So how close/far is this school to the Dutchman's?

At 11:51 AM, Blogger medieval woman said...

Thanks for the well wishes - I do think this is one helluva way to start the New Year!

Morgan, I ended up wearing my suit jacket (which is a subtle pinstripe) and a pair of nice black slacks - I think it looked very professional, but my kick-ass pointy toed shoes that looked extremely good hurt like hell! Suffer the little piggies...

WN, sadly the school is far away from the Dutchman. Same time zone, but halfway across the continent. Interesting talks will be had as things progress!

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Earnest English said...

Rock on, sister! I'm so glad to hear about your flyback! I hope your campus visit goes swimmingly! Do keep us posted!

Loved your descriptions of your interviews, btw.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Another Damned Medievalist said...

Yay for you! Love those interviews!


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