austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Into a dream

The recruiter wanted to show me the older parts of the university's campus, and also to take me to the ``Town Hall'' presentation, where the university president would describe the state of the school, and then we'd have lunch. The state of the school is surprisingly non-apocalyptic: they get only a tiny slice of the budget from the state, so even though that's been cut, with the bulk of their funding coming from enrollments and the students being mostly military personnel who have the time, want stuff to fall back on once they leave the military, and aren't picking up the tab themselves, enrollment has been booming. I've never heard a president talk about her school in such a sense of relieved optimism.

Lunch meanwhile was an outdoor picnic-style with tables scattered in what turned out to be very bright, very direct sunlight. I looked stylish and snappy, I think, in my new blazer and all, but I also realized midway through I was in danger of losing my remaining body weight to sweat. I hoped I didn't stagger too wildly while going back to the drinks table and filled up on several cups of ice water and lemonade, and again a few times, and took a slightly overfull cup back. Along the way I managed to meet the provost for the Asia/Pacific program and several people scattered around the university all of whom had taught there but were now stateside, and settled there, and that's that.

There was also a set of canvas boards, to which everyone was invited to inscribe some message; the boards were to be sent to military posts with all these expressions of socially appropriate approval of The Troops. I'm not sure how much anyone in any service would be cheered by the generic message of good wishes coming from a guy being interviewed for a job providing educational services, though perhaps that's just my curmudgeonly side come across.

After lunch was another round of interviewing and describing just what the school offered, mostly in pay, and what it didn't, in the many drawbacks that I've listed here. And here it turned out very well that I didn't take the train down or back since we ran well past the hour that the train leaving the area going back to New Jersey would have run. It felt like a good length for this sort of interview, but my conviction that my instinct was warning me off the job kept growing throughout it. On the amusing side of things, the recruiter kept finding she had only the one copy of things she wanted to hand to me, like the course catalogue or the map of teaching locations, and was often excusing herself to try to find fresh copies only to come back saying, it was all right, she'd just have to find or re-print them on her own later.

As I walked back to my hotel, stuffed full of annotated catalogues and pamphlets and maps and other copies of things, I noticed I'd managed to give the hotel the wrong information about my license plate number again, although I at least had most of the digits right this time. I decided not to bother correcting it, but I was glad to see there wasn't a ticket or a boot on the car.

Trivia: England's Vintner's Company received a charter in 1364, with a guarantee of a monopoly of trade with Gascony. Source: London: A History, A N Wilson.

Currently Reading: The City Machine, Louis Trimble.

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