austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

`Cause that zero is too cold for me

News of the insulting: late in 2006 I was aware there was a posting in mathematics open in another Singapore university. I tried applying, but in the rush of things -- I've got a story of the Post Office to deploy someday -- didn't have time to put in a real application. Early in 2007 the spot was still open, so I downloaded their ornate form and filled it in, all the way to finding my passport photographs so they could see who they were looking at, sent the application in, and never heard anything again.

Saturday evening while spinning my wheels I saw the position was still open. The good side: there's an opening for a tenure-track academic position in exactly the country where I'd like to work and live. The insulting side: they implicitly decided three semesters of a complete void was better than me. So I took, for me, dramatic action: near the start of business Monday, Singapore Time, I called the department head. I got his secretary, and couldn't think how to get past her and ask am I really worse than nothing?

The secretary wanted to know my name and when I applied (I dunno, March? April?) last year and how I applied (e-mail, I guess?), then told me the search had re-opened and if I e-mailed she would print it out for the search committee. So in a stroke of rare speed I spent today completely rewriting my Letter of Application, my CV, my Teaching Philosophy, and my Research Interests with an eye toward establishing that I've been paying attention and know something about them and for a tenure-track position I could be on an airplane eighteen hours ago. And to try not sulking out loud that it's really not possible that I'm worse than going another year without anything at all.

Trivia: The earliest American underwater tunnel was dug for two miles, thirty feet under the bed of Lake Michigan, from 1864 to 1867 to supply Chicago with water. Source: Engineering in History, Richard Shelton Kirby, Sidney Withington, Arthur Burr Darling, Frederick Gridley Kilgour.

Currently Reading: Autumn Angels, Arthur Byron Cover. This may deserve its own entry.

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