austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Just to see what you want and to want you to see is my goal

My cute little job hunt is still staggering on, by the way, although I admit it's hard to tell. It's hard for me to tell too; the responses to my applications have pretty much run the gamut from ``receiving an e-mail notifying me that my application has been received'' to ``not receiving an e-mail notifying me that my application has been received'', with the very occasional follow-up notice that while I'm a highly qualified person and they're certain I will find a satisfying and meaningful position it will not be with them. My mother feels that I need to be more aggressive in seeking out positions, although I don't see where it really makes much difference. Cold-calling on mathematics departments in person mostly resulted in promises to look at my credentials and then not offer me a job; merely sending in letters gets the same results, and involves fewer department personnel looking warily at me.

I have been trying to network, or at least keep connections going, particularly to people I had worked with. That hasn't turned up anything more than the occasional monthly e-mail verifying that everything is well and they're mighty overworked over there, and the determination that one of the people I used to go on school outreach projects with doesn't know my name with 100 percent accuracy. That's probably balanced, though. Since his name is Finnish it's not possible for me to know his name with 100 percent accuracy either.

The bizarrest result of my most recent round of gentle contacts was with one guy -- who was always high-energy and prone to leaping on subjects -- sending me a fair-sized and oddly formatted essay (it looks like he hard-coded returns in somewhere at a peculiar screen width) which started out on the lack of representation of Asia-Pacific economists in the Economics Prize That's Not Actually A Nobel Prize But Is Easier To Remember If You Pretend It Is, and then leaps into the question of whether the United States has any possible future and then leaps on to ... I'm not sure where. I also have no idea how to respond to it; usually in Singapore when he got like this I could mutter vaguely and then apologize because I had to go off somewhere. I suppose I could write some vague paragraphs and then say I'll have a fuller response later, but what happens if he's just waiting for a show of interest on my part?

Trivia: By October 1781 Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown had a force of about 3,250 men fit for duty, against allied forces of about sixteen thousand. Source: Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, Christopher Hibbert.

Currently Reading: Thurber Country: A Collection of Pieces About Males and Females, Mainly of Our Own Species, James Thurber.


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