austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Close up your books, get out of your seat

I didn't have a good reason to go with my Mom to a dissertation defense she was on the committee for; it wasn't open to the public and it was way outside my field of competence. Mostly I went because it would be a good excuse to be out of the house for the better (morning) part of the day. Dad's been home a lot, watching all his home repair shows through Tivo, so there are now individual episodes of This Old House that I've seen more than I've seen some of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Plus she was going to a college; they have to have a mathematics department, so I printed out a copy of my CV and accoutrements and figured that applying for a job that as far as I can tell doesn't exist couldn't be less heartening than applying for jobs that do exist but don't want me. Plus I wanted to see any campus again.

The first challenge was finding the mathematics department. Preliminary to that would be finding a campus map. They need more campus maps. But I could find the student union, and surely they'd have a campus map (they didn't), or have an information desk (they did) with someone I could ask for directions (I did). She didn't know where the mathematics department was, but knew where the classes were. She looked it up on the web site and was still not sure, so she went to the management office. It turned out to be in the Arts and Sciences building.

I found the department chair's office at about the same moment the chair arrived, and after shaking nervously a bit introduced myself to her and explained my qualifications, such as they are, and name-dropped coming from Singapore. She looked at my CV and was interested -- we share a school and some research interests -- but as I guessed, they don't have steady work and aren't too sure about adjunct work, but if I'd leave my information on file she'd certainly think of me come the fall budget and schedule. And -- you know, with my mix of mathematics and physics background, the physics department which is hiring might be interested. And I would be too, and I only thought to print out one copy of my CV. She kindly returned it on the promise I'd e-mail her a fresh copy. The one thing is she wasn't sure where the physics department was -- they've been renovating, you see. But she thought she had some good leads to where it was last seen.

Trivia: New Jersey's Ceramics Act of 1902 gave Rutgers $12,000 to build a laboratory and $2,500 for annual operating expenses to create a department of ceramics at the school. Source: Rutgers: A Bicentennial History, Richard P McCormick.

Currently Reading: The Best Science Fiction of the Year #3, Edited by Terry Carr. Carr mentions in the introduction that the year (1973) brought a bumper crop of science fiction short stories, with ``for the first time'' (since science fiction became its own distinct genre) as many science fiction short stories and novelettes published outside the specialty magazines as inside. I'm curious to how many that was in each source (Carr seems to be talking about original publication in books), and how they would be compared to present figures.


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