austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Bring your own chair to sleep in

Houseguests over this weekend. I wasn't expecting it, and at that my parents weren't either, exactly. They had been vague about just what day they were coming down and whether they'd stay over the night. The guests -- one of my mother's college friends and her husband -- were charming and happy to visit and were sorry to bump me out of the guest room into the study. we had some nice chats and I learned a bit of what they had been up to at college and that there did exist a course in which my mother struggled (this is very out of character for her, and apparently it was obvious back then how out of character it was for her). Apparently the language instructor insisted on phrasing everything in terms of how it related to Latin, which my mother had never learned, so the course was aggravating in two unknown languages.

And my mother's friend, who has been working as an instructor in various levels of adjunct-ness in county and state colleges for years, wanted earnestly to give me advice in coping with my own useless job hunt. (In fact, she's sent me a link for one county position seeking tenure-track folks, and knows the state university branch near her will have a position soon and the registrar there now can't pretend she hasn't heard of me.) She pointed out that yes, I will have to do a certain amount of foolish hoop-jumping, but admitted the Arizona county college that wanted more paperwork and more notarized documents for my application than Singapore wanted for my actual employment probably had someone in mind and just wanted to not obviously be rejecting all other applicants. She also recommended I write a book to keep in mental trim, which is not a bad idea. I've got about four in mind that I think I could write right now, albeit two of them would require I do actual research, and one would need modest research.

Her husband -- a bit quieter but no less friendly, although he had no advice regarding my job hunt -- wondered if he could borrow my copy of Crazy `08, which I kind of expected he'd like to do.

Trivia: On 5 November 1849 New England railroads adopted a standard time based on ``true time at Boston as given by William Bond and Son, No. 26 Congress Street.'' Source: Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps, Peter Galison.

Currently Reading: Vectors, Charles Sheffield.

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