austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep I open my eyes to take a peep

So, now, the job interview which took up most of Friday: I met with a recruiting person, as well as with the assistant director for my subjects although not for the division of the university I'd be working in. Both seemed very positive and eager, but asked roughly the same set of interview questions. The assistant director smiled a lot and nodded a lot and I had the sense he thought I'd already been hired and he wasn't sure why he was asking me anything, an impression based in large part on how he used the same question template the other person used and didn't bother with follow-up questions.

On the bright side, if I take this it'd be a teaching position. And I'd have the title of either Assistant or Associate Professor; my past credentials put me on the borderline by their guidelines. I'd be teaching primarily United States military personnel, or their dependents, so that while the students would be ``nontraditional'' and might have hugely variable backgrounds, they'd also be disciplined and self-motivated, which makes a big difference in how a class goes. It would, though, be a 4/4/1 (summer class) community college-style position, by workload, subject matter, and variety of students. (They require only two courses at one time, as minimum, but taught at double time to end in eight rather than 16 weeks. They also allow for the possibility of overloads, and insist on at least one course per mini-term.)

But my gut keeps raising objections. I'd like to know that they're real objections rather than just my reluctance to do anything the first time, but I feel like some of them are substantial: the job would potentially allow for being moved to a new region as much as every two months when one mini-term ends; they mean to minimize that, although they can't promise the chance won't turn up. Although the military connection means I'd be provided transportation from one posting to the next, I wouldn't have privileges like on-base housing or space-available air transport (or surface transport, a problem when there may be classes at different bases tens or hundreds of miles apart). There'd be no office on-base; I'd be expected to come in, find my classroom, teach, and leave. I wouldn't even have faculty housing, or official support in finding a place to stay --- the recruiter's advice was that I go to the base housing office and refuse to leave until they help, and eventually their compassion or desire to get a guy out of the office would win out over the letter of the rules.

And, most important, it would take me far away from bunny_hugger, and with only one-week breaks between mini-terms would cut off all possibility of visits except around Christmas, the start of summer, and the end of summer. That's an enormous thing to demand I give up. We've done generally all right with a long-distance relationship, but it's been augmented by regular visits back and forth, and the ability to make spontaneous visits, and giving that up would require the job be something so compelling as to be worth the havoc that would wreak on us. It might be forgiven that distance if it were clearly temporary and promised the chance to get to a better job swiftly, but that's a difficult case to make: the recruiters have talked a great deal about how people fall in love with the lifestyle; I have to wonder if it's not also that being in the position makes it hard to pursue jobs outside it. I can't be working in Marshall Islands so obscure I've never seen them mentioned in a World War II history four years from now; that's right out.

Trivia: In 1265 Simon de Montfort, running the government of England, proclaimed that the Magna Carta would be proclaimed twice a year, ensuring that no one in future could claim to be ignorant of it. (This would be the text of 1225, modified from the original of 1215.) Source: 1215: the Year Of Magna Carta,Danny Danziger, John Gillingham.

Currently Reading: Relativity: The Special And General Theory, Albert Einstein. Ah, so this is the source all the basic pop science explanations of relativity are swiped from. Seriously, almost word-for-word. I wonder if anybody's thought up any new metaphors for it.

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