So it is awesome news all around these days (sorry for neglecting you, my peeps!). First Jake and I went to Illinois to visit his grandparents for Thanksgiving and then I have been catching up because it is the busiest time of year for me at work. I hate that my busiest time is around the holidays, which are supposed to be about relaxation and fun, but what can you do? Anyway, that’s not the good news – here’s a recap of recent events:
Illinois was good. As I’ve mentioned previously, Jake and I avoid his parents and brother, but we got some QT with the grandparents, aunt, and cousin. The biggest surprise (at least for Jake, I suspected this would happen and tried to tell him but he didn’t believe me) was that the family decided to give us our Christmas gifts while we were actually there, to watch us opening them.
His grandmother gave me a queen-sized, handmade (no machines!) quilt in the postage-stamp style (as in, the squares are roughly the size of postage stamps). Now imagine if you will, an 88 year old woman hand-sewing a queen-sized quilt using tiny, tiny pieces of fabric. Apparently she got so worked up trying to finish it (she has heart problems) that her doctor told her that after that was finished, she couldn’t quilt anymore. She told me,
“Thank goodness, Honey, that everyone in the family got one before I had to stop making them!”
On a square on the underside, she embroidered, “To Honey from Grandmother, 2009.” Everyone in the whole family, including me, was touched. Apparently she’d started working on it almost immediately after meeting me 2 years ago and at one point over this past summer, she ran out of fabric and sent Jake’s cousin to every JoAnn’s Fabric in the tri-state area to get more fabric that was an exact match for what she’d originally bought. Amazing. We told her that we’d set the wedding date and it made her year - she was totally teared up, which is exactly why we told her (even if she is still alive when we get married, there’s no way she’ll be able to travel to wherever the wedding is).
Beyond that excitement, I read Stephen King’s new book (thoroughly enjoyed) and…well, that’s about it since we didn’t have cable, internet, or cell reception in their tiny, tiny town :-) But I must say it was very relaxing – and thanks to the fact that they’re practically carnivores and Jake and I are veggie, I didn’t gain any weight over the holiday at all!
The Big News
That’s not the big news, though – remember that my university is hiring a tenure-track position in my area? Well the search closed last Friday, and today I got a callback and I have a phone interview with them next week! Whether or not I get the position, there were almost certainly over 200 applicants for this position and probably over 300, so it is totally amazing that I would get a callback at all. This totally confirms my prior suspicion that my cover letter absolutely kicked ass.
I did get several phone interviews when I did a nationwide job search, so I have a bit of practice and also plan to e-mail my dissertation committee (all of whom wrote me letters of rec) and let them know who’s on the search committee – they all know each other so some hints and tips will be invaluable. Keep your fingers crossed for me! The goal now is to get a “campus interview,” which is totally redundant because I will be doing the phone interview in the next building over from where they will be calling me from next week, but I understand that they don’t want to meet me in person right now because it would give me an unfair advantage against those who are calling from out of state.
In academia, though, it is generally a mark against you if you apply for a tenure-track job in the same state where you got your degree, and I thought they’d shitcan my application completely since I’m currently a staff member. Maybe I’m just their fallback plan since if they invited me for a campus interview they wouldn’t have to pay to fly me in, but hey I’ll take it!
Beyond that, I’m going to Howl at the Moon with some friends tonight, and this weekend is the street fair (my favorite event ever…) so I’m totally stoked for the weekend. I’m also going to send out mine and Jake’s Christmas cards (I got a photo card from Walgreen’s and it’s super cute). What’s up with you?
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