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gemlaskas
Gretchen Laskas

Nov 1, 2002, 9:51 AM

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So you have finally managed the degree, but what does this mean next?
Here we can discuss ideas and options -- and not only teaching
composition!


pak


Nov 1, 2002, 9:58 AM

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Good lord, Gretchen, do you have to add to our anxiety??? :>) My
second job letter goes off this morning. And there are many more in
the pipeline.


audrey
Audrey Glassman

Nov 1, 2002, 10:01 AM

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After the mfa, I got married and started having children. A nice life,
not a brilliant career track. Okay. I'll just mosey on back to the
writing mothers topic. Back to your lives, citizens.


gemlaskas
Gretchen Laskas

Nov 1, 2002, 11:03 AM

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(grin) if you should feel a need to hyperventilate, this is the
thread!


pongo
Buy this book!


Nov 1, 2002, 12:12 PM

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One of the jobs I'm applying for this year is editing, and they want
an MFA for it. (The Southern Review.) But, as I've said elsewhere,
since I haven't finished the revisions on my thesis novel, and my sf
novel doesn't impress most departments, this is my third year of
applying and I'm looking for my third interview. I haven't yet gotten
to the second round of interviews, not even at the two schools where
I've been an adjunct for five years. dmh


stephkarto
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Nov 1, 2002, 12:42 PM

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Paul--I'm in the same boat as you. Letters #2 and #3 went off today.
#4-6 are off by Tuesday. then many, many more between November 18 and
December 2. And headhunter meetings up north. Strangely, though, I'm
not at hyperventilation point. My only huge concern right now is
making sure I have enough money in a savings account so that I can
actually AFFORD to move the hell out of Gainesville when I am done
with my degree. But of course the time of too-high-neuroses *will*
come, and I suspect somewhere between December 15 and December 25 when
I will be hoping and hoping and hoping that each time the phone rings,
or each time I have voicemail, it's an invitation to interview at the
MLA. Heh. This should actually be sort of fun. I've never had a job
search in my life where I have had the chance to figure out what I
would like to do and what I could do and be somewhat content with.
It's always been a sustenance job sort of situation. And while in the
grand scheme of things what I do in the next few years will lead me
down sustenance alley, to a certain extent, this is really the first
chance I have to really consider what I want and where I want it. This
job search thing reminds me all of the same sort of roll-off-the-
back-ed-ness of sending poems out to the journals I really really like
and then letting myself exist in the world of the certainties around
me and the pleasures of the day that have nothing to do with the fact
that I've pushed a piece of myself out into the great big unknown.


libbyann
Elizabeth Sachs

Nov 1, 2002, 6:04 PM

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For all applying to cc's! Maybe I can supply a bit of wisdom. I've
served on hiring committees at a huuuuge So. Cal. school (22K
students) and a little cc in Niagara Co. away in the boonies of same
(~2.8 K students) and the outcomes have been similar: we've hired
locals! As a person who applied to cc jobs from afar and didn't hear
good news back, I have a suggestion or two: let schools know you're
really, truly, interested in the place where they are. Cc's are
"local" in all sorts of ways, (read. . . ahem. . . "parochial," a tad.
. .) and they have hard times believing that candidates will really
re-locate for them. They also seem to think that their students are
somehow different than cc students everywhere, but except for larger
or smaller populations of non-native speakers, urban or rural, the
students really are not. Let them know you "know" their students
already, because "You've worked with non- native speakers from
wherever, and the rural/urban type is as known to you as the back of
your hand." Also, working with "underprepared" students rings big
(aren't they all underprepared? Yes they are. . . but still: say it).
A warning: most cc's don't pay for travel to the first interview
stage. *Gulp* They should, but they don't. Maybe some do, and maybe
more will, some day soon. If you bite many bullets and travel to first
rounds, they will be mightily impressed, and most will pay for a
second visit to campus (there are two interview rounds, almost always,
with faculty first, administrators second). Also, some may be flexible
with interviewing telepathically (ha!--I mean via telephone); but this
may be a way of lessening guilt and a sense of responsibility for not
paying--and therefore may be less engrafting experiences. Fwiw, I
applied the "engraft them to me" theory and paid for a first- round
interview once, and was offered a job after the second interview round
was paid for. I didn't take it. Had picked up ft in my home area in
the meanwhile. But--the investment would have paid off. When you
interview. Well. This may vary, but most cc's are terribly interested
in comp. backgrounds, even if the job entails also something more
specialized. Toot that horn big time, and mention "Peter Elbow." Also,
bring teaching portfolios, as all things submitted must get sent
forward, and administrators are very impressed by portfolios, and
recommending faculty will comb them, and use them to slip in "further
recc's" that the interview itself may have been too short to supply. I
know this myself, recently, having used such a portfolio to forward a
candidate I like very well, who's local but "new," and am (so far)
able to militate a bit against the "local favorite/we're so guilty
'cause we've exploited her as an adjunct" candidate, of which there is
usually one. Any who have questions about cc's, I'd be happy to
respond to via e.mail too. Not that I'm terribly terribly
to-be-taken-seriously; but have at least amassed a lot of experience,
hard-won) Elizabeth


dsh


Nov 1, 2002, 7:44 PM

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What goes in a teaching portfolio, Elizabeth? Syllabi? Lesson plans?


pongo
Buy this book!


Nov 1, 2002, 9:46 PM

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Must remember to mention that workshop with Peter Elbow in the
application on my desk. And how I feel about scenery at Lake Tahoe. In
fact, I've printed out that post. Steph, think also about picking a
location and getting adjunct work there, just in case you don't get a
full-time job in the first go-round. dmh


pak


Nov 1, 2002, 11:07 PM

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Not applying for CCs, yet. Trying, for now, to play some of the
connections games... Enough said. And given the academic job market:
next year at this time, I'll probably be taking care of our daughter
while my wife is working. And writing.


libbyann
Elizabeth Sachs

Nov 2, 2002, 8:36 AM

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Exactly, Darcy: start with a teaching philosophy that paints you as
oh-so-humane, well-theorized ("Peter Elbow is the godfather of three
of your children. . .") culturally inclusive, possibly slightly multi-
cultural yourself, fast on your feet and able to teach children's lit
at drop of hat, as well as the full range of cannonized and
historically under-represented authors. . .) Then, syllabi and writing
assignments for all classes. I think that many don't throw in writing
assignments, and it's really a great place to shine and slip in
whatever you think may not have been said about you so far. Here's a
thought for MFA types applying to traditional comp. jobs/traditional
whatever (lit comp comm) jobs. ISN'T there a way to describe the
practitioner's/critic's combo you bring with some finesse. What can it
be called? Not "whole language" (that's something else, I think) but
maybe a "practitioner's strength with language's rhetorical
power"--that sortta thing? I mean, let's be real: isn't it often a
better thing to be taught to paint by a painter rather than an art
historian? Methinks so. My comp. teaching has turned inside-out,
frankly, since I started to write creatively myself, and my cr.
writing teaching--well, enough said. If anyone knows a shmancy way of
describing the difference between "those who can't do, teach" and
"those who can do teach better," please share it. Because it's true,
and I think MFA types haven't made near enough hay out of that
sunshine. Go Team Go!! Eliz.


revco2k
Mitch Cohen

Nov 2, 2002, 8:36 AM

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Paul: You lucky dog.


lisag


Nov 2, 2002, 2:55 PM

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Oh, David - do you play hockey? Do you even *like* hockey? (Or can you
fake it?) I swear I got my adjunct job because the dean is obsessed
with hockey, and my partner plays (said dean was building a
beer-league team for the new rink when I interviewed). More details to
follow via e-mail, once I read through 20 more papers...


pongo
Buy this book!


Nov 2, 2002, 3:51 PM

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Hmm. I don't even skate. Weak ankles. Maybe now that he's got his team
it isn't so important. dmh


lisag


Nov 3, 2002, 6:19 PM

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I was (mostly) joking. Actually, Larry's a good guy and, though not
super-complex, honest and supportive - what you see is what you get. I
wouldn't worry. (But just in case it comes up, that's a signed photo
of Bobby Orr on his wall.) :-> L.


pongo
Buy this book!


Nov 3, 2002, 7:15 PM

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Too bad my wife got the puck signed by Wayne Gretzky in the divorce.
dmh


stephkarto
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Nov 4, 2002, 4:59 PM

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Elizabeth-- Thanks for your words for all who are applying to CCs. I'm
finishing up my cover letter for one CC application, and what you
wrote really made me consider how to compose it. (for instance--really
conveying my interest in community education and making sure I talk
about my interest in the community not TOO far from where I was
raised...and bringing in some stuff from a job I had last term working
in the composition and college prep. english lab. at the CC down
here...) You really made me think about what CC folks might be looking
for in a way that I might have struggled to consider otherwise. And
even if it doesn't make a difference in whether or not I get the
actual INTERVIEW, it made a difference in how pleased I was with the
letter I am sending out this week. So thanks. :) Steph.


libbyann
Elizabeth Sachs

Nov 4, 2002, 9:59 PM

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Steph, you'd be a huge boon to any college lucky enough to get you,
so/and I'm pleased as punch to offer anything even remotely helpful.
There's a bit of an eternal hazing process that goes on in hiring for
teaching these days, I think (that may be just me, but I do think so).
Meaning, we often try and try, cultivate and comb, maybe sometimes
tend to discount strengths as "merely what everyone has," and so, I
think, don't sometimes press and feel secure as we ought, in what we
bring to the table. I well remember feeling dizzy and sad as an
"undervalued adjunct," quite frustrated, and frankly such frustration
made me braver than I'd maybe otherwise have been. Once, after being
evaulated by a very nice f-t woman, she asked me what the college
might do for me, and I blurted, "Hire me full-time. I bring X and Y
and Z and Q and P and so much else with me, and what I need is simply
a context to vivify it all." I didn't get hired there, but I heard
later that my little speech had made a difference in a good way. Even
put something like it into a radio commentary, and got two job offers
from that--even though I'd depersonalized the message by that time.
You however, and others here, strike me as much more one the beam than
I ever was. Naytheless, "feel your power," and "know that your
audience is insecure and fallible and absolutely needs what you have
to offer" is good advice for even rational, feet-on-the-ground (WHO
has more feet on the ground today than writers?--no one, I say) to
keep in mind. Even modest, self-abnegating ones. Especially those, I
sometimes think. E.


dsh


Nov 5, 2002, 8:46 AM

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I just have the requisite two. ;)


libbyann
Elizabeth Sachs

Nov 18, 2002, 10:11 PM

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Just to report, the drone faction wins out at my little cc. for the
nonce. We've hired a long-time worker-bee over a stellar-seeming
candidate, this past week. Sigh, and again sigh. If there is lemonade
to be made of this lemon, it might be a "heads- up" to chums on
Speakeasy, and elsewhere. In my neck of the woods, we live in
repressive and nose-to-the-grindstone times. So, for future applicants
to perhaps-similarly-beleagured locales: emphasize how "much in the
trenches" you've been, and are willing to be--even if that's a bit of
a "pose" whilst you prevail toward affirming "higher" aspirations.
"Yes, I can teach a myriad of under- prepared students to write a
literate sentence, because I feel that need so seriously and fully,
and yes, I am willing to burn midnight oil to produce useful-ish
spread-sheets " might not be a bad sentence to add to cc. apps. Or,
some version of above. Eliz-Bartleby-beth.


stephkarto
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Dec 4, 2002, 12:02 PM

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It's probably kind of early to really begin to sit by the phone and
wait, but I've been getting a good number of postcards saying stuff
along the lines of "We've received your application, we don't know who
we'll ask to interview yet, but we will be at the MLA, thank you for
your interest..." and dangit, i *know* that I could get phone calls
any time up until, like, christmas eve or Christmas Day or something
like that. and I'm doing a pretty darn good job of not wanting any ONE
job too much that I just sit down and think about it all the time, but
still--i would really enjoy getting a phone call for an interview or
two. That would be a really fun thing to do, i think... for those of
you with MLA experience--around when in the month did you start
getting phone calls? Mid-december (around the 12-16- ish...)/
late-december (around the 20th-the night before the MLA- ish...)? A
different time? my school is actually doing a nice thing for those
folks looking for teaching jobs--they're doing a series of
mock-interviews. Mine is next Thursday. I am sort of nervous for it, I
have no idea what sorts of questions I will be asked or anything, but
I think if i follow my gut instincts on how to answer and try to keep
calm (sometimes a bit hard for me--i come from a long line of
excitable Greeks..), that I should do OK. I just hope that the
practice has the chance to 'pay off'... but yeah, yeah, I know: if not
this year, there's always next year... anyone else here in the sort of
position I am in? Trying to figure out when to start wondering by the
telephone? :) SK


adeaton2
Anthony Deaton

Dec 4, 2002, 12:36 PM

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Stephanie, Certainly is a tough time for everyone on the job market.
Given the fact that most state budgets are being cut back drastically
due to rising deficits, it comes as no surprise that this year's job
market is particularly slim. My guess is that this will be a tougher
than usual year...and that's saying a lot, since every year's search
is a blood-sport. Phone calls will probably begin in earnest this week
and will continue up to the very last minute, though it's the rare
case when one is contacted much after the 20th. Stranger things,
however, have happened. Good luck with it all.


libbyann
Elizabeth Sachs

Dec 4, 2002, 12:38 PM

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Steph, there's just no way of knowing. Did any give notification
dates? That was one way of keeping tabs when I applied, but. . . but
but but. I got my calls each in early December. But that's only me.
I've heard about calls such as you describe--Christmas Eve; Christmas
Day. Some places advertized on the first for interviewing at MLA--one
school near here. Geez; that's fast. I can only imagine calls for
those might go out AFTER Christmas!! I don't have much advice for
interviewing except that I was surprised at how simple the questions
were--gone were the grad school type "stumping" questions, and they
seemed really to want to know "who I was." I was too tense to give
very good impressions on that, I think. Good Luck Elizabeth


pak


Dec 4, 2002, 12:39 PM

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I haven't heard much yet. I do know of one likely interview, and I
have gotten some requests for background information. BUT, this is
simply the waiting period when the committees are deciding who the
finalists will be. Word has it from my sources that finalists are
usually notifed around Dec. 10-15. So, Steph, hold tight and have a
pint of Winter Welcome.


dsh


Dec 4, 2002, 12:52 PM

Post #25 of 374 (4885 views)
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How does this work? Do you submit your c.v. to the MLA and they
distribute it or something?

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