This is the sort of week I haven't had in a while: I got two rejections in it. Well, one and a half rejections. In the effort to make myself more visible I e-mailed one of the schools to which I'd applied and asked if they were thinking of me. They haven't filled the position yet, but they have sent out notices to everyone they mean to interview in the first round, and I'm not among them. This is technically not a rejection, I suppose, since perhaps the first round won't find anyone suitable and I might be in the second round, but I think we all know where this is going. And then there's another school to which I'd sent an application just two weeks ago. At least they're sending notices, suggesting that the shift to exclusively paper applications and sending follow-up nagging e-mails will get me less overlooked. I can be more clearly and immediately rejected.
As if in taunting, the Singapore Zoo sent an e-mail -- a mass e-mail, albeit for a mailing list I'd chosen -- offering the chance to ``Embark on `wild' career with us!'', a pun I imagine zoo employment offices have a hard time not using. None of the jobs are ones I'm even remotely qualified for, for example, ``Senior Operations Manager'' or ``Product Designer cum Visual Merchandiser''. Maybe the least horrible fit would be ``A&P Designer'', involving making advertisements for various activities, but my credentials there amount to layout and design on a student newspaper nobody read fifteen years ago.
Still, it's not as if applying to jobs I'm qualified for is getting me anywhere, so I suppose the thing to do is e-mail them anyway and trust that they'll be so dazzled by the prospect of a mathematician they won't notice that they probably have very little need for mathematicians. And I have done rather successfully occasionally at Zoo Tycoon, creating layouts in which the red kangaroos become such popular attractions that they grow neurotic at their own crowds. Surely that will count for something.
Trivia: National Security Council Ad Hoc Committee for Outer Space member Richard Hirsch proposed the name ``Explorer'' for the satellite. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory had used ``Project Deal''; the Army Ballistic Missile Agency proposed ``Top Kick'' on 31 January 1958. Source: Origin of NASA Names, Helen T Wells, Susan H Whiteley, Carrie E Karegeannes, NASA SP-4402.
Currently Reading: Maxwell's Demon: Why Warmth Disperses and Time Passes, Hans Christian von Baeyer.