Sunday, December 31, 2006

On the Eve of the New Year

Hello! It's been so long!

Well, I sit here on New Year's Eve, having returned from the MLA, having returned home from my parents' house, with my sweet little Man-Kitty having an evening snack behind me as I type, and I thought since I've barely written since the end of the semester that it's only appropriate that I write here now.

Since returning to the Lair of Crazy, I have...

1) Celebrated the new year with a delicious dinner of Chinese food. (I actually got not one but two fortune cookies - which must be a sign of something - and they read, "When one door closes, another will open," and "You will be successful through innovation and determination," which I think are auspicious fortunes for looking ahead into the new year.)

2) Watched The DaVinci Code (which is not nearly as horrible as I'd imagined it would be, though I will say that I still think that the protagonist should have been played by someone hotter than Tom Hanks).

3) Composed five resolutions for the new year (some of which are extensions of last year's resolutions, but at least one of which is brand new - perhaps more on this at another time).

4) Had some excellent quality alone-time with the Man-Kitty (who was not at ALL happy to leave his grandparents' house on this gloomy and rainy day).

5) Considered whether it's lame that I'm home alone on New Year's Eve (which I've decided it is not).

MLA was exhilerating and exhausting. The interviewing went as well as I could have hoped for - or at least I thought that I did my best - so now it's just a matter of whether they were totally wowed by candidates other than myself or whether they found me charming and enchanting and smart and all of those things. The funny thing is, I do feel this process of "going on the market" has now reached a satisfactory conclusion. I do realize that it may not be entirely over (should the gods smile on me in the form of an invitation for a campus visit), but for me, this is really where the "going on the market" ends - because I've done all that I can do now, if that makes any sense. I feel really good that I was invited to interview, and I feel like I performed as well as I possibly could have performed, and really, what more can I ask for than that? And so, whatever the verdict is, I feel like I've had a positive experience, which is, in the end, the best possible feeling that one can have in relation to an academic job search. This isn't to say that I won't be disappointed should nothing more come of my attempt, but I won't be devastated, as I fear I may have been had I not made it to the MLA stage at any of the institutions to which I applied. I've learned so much from doing this at this particular point in my career. I feel like I've had the chance really to think about who I've become as a scholar, and I feel really proud of myself in a way that I'm not sure I would have done were I not to have made this attempt. So, shall Dr. Crazy remain at her current institution? Have a chance to move on to another one? At this point, there's no way to know, but even if I do end up exactly where I am right now at the end of all of this, I do feel like I've gotten something positive out of the whole shebang. I think that I see myself more clearly as an academic, and that's not always such an easy thing to do. But at any rate, this is all a long way of saying that I'm not sure how much more I'll write about the process in detail from this point forward. Of course I'll let you all know if I move or not, should it come to that, but I don't feel like it's appropriate to reveal everything from this point forward, should there be an "everything" to reveal. That said, you've all been so supportive throughout this ordeal, and I want to say thanks. It really has meant a great deal to me.

So anyway, back to MLA. As per usual, the bulk of my time was spent socializing. However, there were some key differences to my socializing during this particular MLA. To sum up:

1) My dissertation director actually asked me to send him something that I've been working on because he thinks it might help with his own work. This has never happened before. I think he might actually think I'm not a loser. I hope that this doesn't have a negative effect on my ability to be an academic, as I've always held him up as the Monster Whom I Can Never Please. What shall I do if he actually thinks I'm not an idiot? I hope I can count on him not to respond in any way when I send the stuff along, thus I can go back to thinking that he does think I'm an idiot and do my work in masochistic peace, trying to please the Unpleasable Monster (who really is a wonderful person, but you know, I've got a thing where I need for him not to be wonderful to me, even though he often is).

2) The Scariest Professor I Ever Had in Grad School (not my adviser, actually) and I had a conversation and he was very complimentary, and I enjoyed talking to him and felt comfortable and not like a crazy imposter. Maybe he doesn't think I'm a loser either?

3) I actually introduced myself as "Dr. Crazy" to some people. That was certainly strange. Not bad, but not normal. I certainly hope nobody overheard.

4) Following on #3, I met a bunch of bloggy people! Mel and Horace and Scott Kauffman, and John Holbo, and Bitch Ph.D. and Flavia and Nels and Michael Berube and I hope I'm not leaving anybody out (and I'd link, but I'm lazy, so just head on over to the sidebar and you can find them all if you don't already read them) - just yay! Why was I always so freaked out by the prospect of blogger meet-ups before? They are such a great thing! Although I do wish I'd taken some pictures. I so suck at remembering to do such things unless the pictures I'm taking are of the illustrious Man-Kitty (whom I think has more fans than Dr. Crazy does).

5) For the first time ever I asked a question in the Q and A at an MLA panel. (So what if it was during the "Meet the Bloggers" panel and so I felt like it was a question I was asking of My People - still!)

Other than that, I also met some Fancy Esteemed People whom I'd never met before, reconnected with old and not-so-old friends, agreed to organize a panel for next year's MLA (so yes, I'll be there - start making your plans to be there now and there can be another meet-up - hurrah!), and got a blister on my left foot which really sucked.

But so now it's the eve of 2007 and I'm having some quality me-time in my own damned house without having to talk to anybody. Though I am feeling like I should call some people or something, as this whole New Year's plan is pretty anti-social. (If I'd stayed in Hometown, I could have hung with friends, but I just couldn't face not having any time to myself just to veg out before having to get my syllabi together, and so I totally blew off all my friends. I kind of suck.)

So anyway, I believe that is everything I've got for now. I'm sure I'll be writing much, much more in the coming days (if not hours) - I've been itching to blog and am so happy to be back in the land of the non-dial-up internet connection. Happy New Year, one and all! (Now it's time to go look at my bloglines. I've not looked at blogs since the 19th, so I suspect I've got a LOT of catching up to do.

ETA: I also met A White Bear!
(I link to her because she's not yet in the sidebar - must update that damned blogroll this week!)


helenesch said...

Happy new year, Dr. C! Glad to hear the MLA went so smoothly. It sounds like you have a great attitude about the whole job market thing, and that making the move to give it a try was the right thing to do, regadless of what happens next.

Anonymous said...

It was great to meet you, Crazy--and good luck with the new year!