Incidentally my job search for a real, proper academic post continues, or at least it hasn't sputtered out into complete irrelevance. It does seem a bit like optimism to think that anybody's trying to hire people in this economy, and it happens that this is behind one of my disappointments of the past week. One of the schools I'd applied to --- and one in New Jersey, which would offer the conveniences of not demanding I relocate to a wholly unfamiliar place --- wrote to say that because of the absolutely horrible economic conditions they were cancelling their job searches for the coming year but might reopen them later.
I appreciate their writing to me, since the dreary reality is most schools don't bother to acknowledge rejecting applications and instead just trust that if they stop saying things eventually job-seekers will give up and go away. And they even bothered to send a letter with my actual name on it, suggesting they were interested enough to do at least a mail merge on their list. Naturally I'm curious now whether they were sending this to everyone who applied or just those they were giving at least moderate consideration. I'm thinking of sending them a thanks-for-the-news letter; I don't suppose it could hurt things much.
While I'm still finding listings for academic posts for the fall, they're tending more to be Fill Out This Online Form sort of thing, which is really tedious. Customizing a cover letter and sending copies of the CV and where necessary supporting documents (like graduate transcripts or declarations of a teaching philosophy) is easy. Going through a school's web site and creating an account and filling out eight pages worth of forms to contain the same information as the CV, well, that's a nuisance. Much of academia is a matter of endurance, but must this part be quite so tedious?
Trivia: The Boulder City Company, to build the Hoover Dam employee housing town of Boulder City, was incorporated 6 April 1931. Source: Hoover Dam, Joseph E Stevens.
Currently Reading: The Anti-Theatrical Prejdice, Jonas Barish.