Sunday, October 21, 2007

There are moments when I really can't bear it

Yeah, okay, that sounds a little dramatic. When really all I'm talking about is the tedium of job letters.

For yes, today has been a day of the job letter. Having conveniently forgotten just how much I hate writing these things, I came up with quite a long list of jobs to apply for. Yay, right? Yeah, yay, I guess, except when you're spending hours upon hours going through universities' websites trying to figure out the precise teaching-to-research ratio that should be communicated in the cover letters, exactly what courses they need that you can teach, whether they'll care about your subfields or just want a pure Englishy type, etc etc etc. And then realizing that the minute adjustments made to each letter probably won't make that much of a difference--but finding yourself incapable of not making them, because after all you've come so far, and what's a little more?

Gripe, gripe, grouse. I'm not actually that unhappy about it (see "long list of jobs," above)--just a little squirmy from sitting at my desk all afternoon. And I'm not exactly overprepared for tomorrow's classes, you see.

But hey. Classes have been proceeding apace. It's kind of nice, isn't it, how the days pass and the classes get done even if you aren't knocking yourself out to get ready for them? Besides, they're going pretty well. Round about 3 weeks ago, I think, I suddenly quit being so nervous. It's funny. I think that I was pretty scared of my students for the first six weeks or so of the semester, and now--well, I'm not. And I feel much better about my classes as a result, and much less terrified of running out of material (seeing as that hasn't happened, once, in the 9 weeks of teaching--that's, hm, close to a hundred class sessions!--that I've had this semester).

And on some of those perfectly acceptable days? I had not spent three hours writing up detailed lecture notes and mentally rehearsing the transitions between each of the points I wanted to cover. Virtually no difference in my performance--if anything, I think that I was more relaxed and less "performed." Apparently I'm getting the hang of things.

So, to end this post on a note opposite that with which I titled it: Hey! Sometimes I kind of like my job.

1 comment:

Sisyphus said...

Well I heartily agree. That is exactly how my day went, except with more blogging. I freaking hate tailoring letters but am too superstitious to not do it at all, so I have the same experience as you describe.

But way to go on the whole getting in the teaching groove!