Thursday, September 14, 2006

Suiting up

Today's the big interview day. Yesterday was interesting and kind of fun, despite the fact that I spent seven hours or so with my competition for The Big Job.

First event at the rendezvous site was the information that the tour would be 5-6 hours long, not the two one of the (very mistaken) people who set up the interview told me it would be. So I called up the fabulous administrative person for my department, who delivered copies of the final exams to my students, who I imagine were delighted with the news that instead of taking a two-hour bluebook exam, would be allowed to e-mail me their responses within an eight-hour timeframe. Yay for adminstrative assistants! Ours ROCKS.

Once I had put out that fire, we took a tour of a few of the facilities related to the job. First stop was the fantabulous Historic City Cemetery, which has murder, suicide, and scandal, er, planted everywhere, as well as some kickass tombstones that are much older than most in this state. (Yes, Jeff, I know we have nothing on Matherworlde.) Bonus: Alexander Hamilton's son is buried there, as well as a couple veterans of the war of 1812. Old stuff for these parts!

Second stop was lunch at a really nice restaurant I had never heard of. Yummy Mediterranean vegetable ravioli!

Third stop was a 28-acre National Register of Historic Places site that's also a major retail site. One challenge of the job is apparently keeping all the property owners and merchants in line with the historic guidelines. Sign ordinance angst, anyone?

Fourth stop was the history museum in this same place. It's in need of renovation; it feels a bit schizophrenic, but it has a lot of promise, and its outreach programs look solid.

Fifth stop, after a couple hours' break, was dinner at Trendy Asian Bistro. We met with Director of Important Department, the nominal supervisor for the position, and County Guy who's feeling angsty over the current county strike because he's at heart a union man but for now is just The Man. Dinner was pleasant.

It's clear (which I figured even before I met my competition) that I'm not the frontrunner. There's an inside candidate who has worked directly under the incumbent for a decade, as well as an outside candidate who has known, and worked on several occasions with, the incumbent for many years.

Accordingly, I'm going to go in today, write my response to the given scenario, and place myself before the TWO interview panels (a total of 11 people), but with no real expectation of success. I figure I have an inch-high stack of academic positions to apply for before I get desperate.

Still, I would LOVE to have this job. We walked into the storage facility for the city archives yesterday and they have a massive collection of stuff as well, everything from a Victorian hallstand to an entire apartment from a demolished building--from its floor tiles to its kitchen sink to its Murphy bed. I couldn't wipe the dorky, open-mouthed smile off my face. They also have a 150-year-old giant grasshopper marinating in alcohol. They said that was their most unusual object. It was, of course, my favorite. Their collection of signs was pretty impressive, too. Yes, I'm a total whore for material culture. Hello, my name is trillwing, and I want to be a public historian.

I'm donning my million-dollar suit from Nordstrom--I'll get Mr. Trillwing to take a photo and I'll post it later.

Then home again to finish grading. Back to real life!


Seeking Solace said...

Good Luck!!! Fingers crossed for you!!!

ArticulateDad said...

All excitement, and bated breath. You've got the right attitude in this all. I'm glad turning in the diss was not anti-climactic for you. Sorry your immune system wasn't cooperating.

You've done your job. Now enjoy watching the chips fall where they will lie.

Jeff Mather said...

Alta California was, as you probably know, visited by Europeans many decades before we were here in MatherWorlde (TM), but we did start dying here well before the Spaniards, Russians, et al., got themselves organized in your neighborhood.

I have been panning the Charles River on weekends. Unfortunately, while I have found bits of filthy lucre, still no gold. Maybe when I strike it rich, I can convince the House of Lords — I mean legislature — to put that long overdue statue to Cotton Mather — my witch-baiting, Indian-converting, gay, proto-feminist progenitor (once removed) — in the statehouse where he belongs. I mean, if there's room for a gilded cod . . .