Friday, November 30, 2007

And Yet, I'll Miss Them

Things have been better since Weirdly Hellacious Wednesday. Yesterday, in fact, I was able to have a long nap in the afternoon--I can't remember when I last did that on a weekday. I felt like I was playing hooky or something, and kept getting a weird panicked feeling that I'd forgotten to go teach a class. But no, I actually just had some time to relax.

Teaching has been good lately, too. Dante is kind of dragging down my upper-level course (myself included), but the end of the semester could also be blamed for the lethargy. On the whole, however, looking back over this semester, I feel good. And as it turns out, I actually enjoy teaching.

It might seem strange that this comes as a surprise, but the fact is that I'd had very little teaching experience before this year. Attentive readers may have detected a certain level of stress and anxiety at the start of the semester. "At the start?" you scoff. "And what was Wednesday, then, if not stress and anxiety writ large?" Fair enough, I reply--but the act of teaching itself is no longer terrifying and stressful. I have off days, of course, but most of my days are "on," and what with four courses this semester the memory of each off day rapidly gets absorbed into the general morass of what-the-hell-did-I-do-yesterday and loses its sting pretty quickly.

Right around the sixth week was when I quit being so nervous. And I've discovered a certain pleasure in performance; in my largest class, in particular, where I have a good group of funny and engaged students who can be counted on to find me entertaining, I really get into my role. (I also have a bigger audience; maybe I enjoy that? I wouldn't have guessed that I'd like my biggest class the best.) But beyond this ego-driven pleasure, I love it when I see a student's eyes light up with that sudden "getting it" look; it thrills me when one of them asks a good question that shows that she's really thinking about the text, especially when it's a question I hadn't thought of; and the individual conferences I've been having with them over the last couple of weeks have been truly pleasurable. Even the quiet and/or struggling students have something to say, for the most part, and I enjoy getting to know a little bit more about them as people.

That said, I do have some weird encounters with my students, and I'm quite sure that today's odd exchanges stem entirely from the fact that I am a youngish (and youngish-looking) female professor.

Both happened after one of my comp sections and involved the same students who inquired about my tattoo a few weeks ago. This time, the guy who had asked about my tattoo approached me after class to ask how many piercings I have. Luckily, all my piercings are in my ears, so I didn't have to navigate any problematic terrain (of course, I would have lied if things had been otherwise, but I don't like to lie, so whatever).

Not sure what he was hoping for, but there you go.

He and another (male) student then asked what sections of comp 2 I was teaching. I told them, and they asked if it was too late to switch into my class. This warmed my heart, of course, although a) I'm a little surprised that they liked comp 1 so much, since it has certainly not showcased my finest teaching, and 2) I already have 54 comp students lined up for next semester and am not exactly gunning for any more. Nonetheless I was pleased, and I told them that I still had a few openings and they should talk to their advisors.

So then the other student--not the piercing-question student, but the one who himself has a number of visible tattoos--said, "Actually, I shouldn't sign up for your class, 'cause then we could hang out next semester."

"Ah ha ha," I said. "Have a nice weekend."

I assume that he was kidding. To an 18-year-old, I am as ancient as the hills. But I'm still not sure how to read his comment, and grateful for the power dynamic that allows me to ignore it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In No Mood

After a long but perfectly fine day of teaching and a faculty meeting, I came home to greet my computer-fixer. Short version: He can't fix my computer. I have a call in to another Fixer, one who sounds about 14 on his voice mail (and, since I've left messages with his mom and someone whom I assume to be his little brother, might BE 14), but I'm not confident. We might be taking a long, long drive to a Sony Factory this weekend. Sigh.

So then I open my email, and have the following messages.

1) Another email from a very hard-working but somewhat high-maintenance student asking for (yet) more help with citation formatting.
2) An email from a student who missed his scheduled meeting yesterday, asking me when he's supposed to meet with me. Um. Yesterday.
3) A pair of interconnected emails: the first from a student asking me to email another one of his professors to tell her that he's missing class tomorrow to work on a project for my class (I need to "confirm" it), and the second from the other professor to the student (I was CC'd), telling him to come in early to get the make-up work. I scrolled down and saw the message he'd written her; he told her that he'd have me write and explain why he isn't going to be in class. Here's the thing: This is a homework assignment that he's doing, essentially. I have no control over when it's done; I have nothing to do with it. So I wrote back to the professor, apologizing and telling her that she was under no obligation to excuse this absence, and then I explained the latter to the student, as well. SIGH. (The professor is, by the way, on the search committee for my job. Not that that changes my behavior, but seriously, impressions matter!)

None of this is exactly traumatic, but I'm aggravated about the computer situation, and here's the other thing: I am totally unprepared--as in, haven't read--for my classes for the rest of the week, and in half an hour I'm supposed to go to an informational session for students who are interested in grad school. And tomorrow morning, my usual prep time, will be totally consumed by student meetings. I could skip out on this session, but it's something that I'm really interested in doing and that I think there's a need for here, so I'd rather not.

The upshot of it all, I suppose, is that I NEED THE SEMESTER TO END. GAH.

On the other hand, my students were delightful in class today--more so than usual, in some cases. So I'll end this message--if not my day--on a positive note.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

State of Affairs

So what, you ask, has been going on at the Age of Perfection? Let's see.
  • The computer is still unfixed. I can't get a hold of this computer fixing guy, who evidently still lives with his family (I've left messages with his mom and a young-sounding fellow whom I took to be his little brother). He's the only computer fixer in Field Town, but I do have a tip about someone a town or two over who charges a delightful $70 an hour, so I might need to give him a call if I don't succeed in lassoing Field Town Computer Fixer. I am almost over berating myself for the stupidity of my computer damage (it was an accident, I know!), but not quite.
  • I kind of wish that it were two weeks from now so that my anxious hoping for the phone to ring would at least be legitimate. I must constantly remind myself that search committees did not meet over Thanksgiving. Here's the thing: the week and a half before Thanksgiving were replete with good news, as I received numerous requests for additional materials (averaging like one a day! or almost!) and scheduled a phone interview for a tt job. And now...silence. Okay, so yeah, it's only Tuesday. Morning. Before 9. I must chill.
  • Job apps are in, at least, other than a couple of recent postings that aren't due for a while.
  • My semester is nearly over! Only six more teaching days! Why is it that my semester seems to have begun before almost anyone else's and is nonetheless ending after so many of y'all's? I have lost all teaching motivation. I can't even prep for today's class. Really. Why is it that I hate prepping so much? The teaching, I don't mind. But the prep? Not so good. Especially for this class, which is 75 minutes long instead of the usual 50, and that extra 25 really throws me. I just can't deal with it.
  • Anyway, if I do the math, I only have 15 more classes to teach this semester. Hoo! And, of those, 6 require literally no prep, as they are given over to 1) an activity in which the students are entirely responsible for leading discussion (2 sections), 2) in-class preparation for a group project (2 sections), and 3) presentations (2 sections). Ha ha!
  • On the other hand, I have required about 20 students to meet with me regarding final papers, and recommended that another 15 do so. While I have been available to meet with them for the last two weeks, almost every last one of them scheduled appointments for today, tomorrow, and Thursday. Therefore, I will be enthusiastically discussing paper topics for hours and hours and hours this week. I do like meeting with students to talk about their papers; it gives me a chance to interact with them a little more personally, which in pretty much every case just makes me like them even more, and most of them have interesting ideas. But that's a lot of meetings.
  • I went swimming last night for the first time in more than a month. So that's something.
  • In further exercise news, my new indoor soccer team is playing this Thursday night (a colleague convinced me to join--it's mostly made up of very young members of his church). I still kind of need to make a decision about this. I like soccer, and the exercise is great, but my knees are not what they once were. It is, however, possible that the exercise will strengthen the muscles around the knees and therefore decrease my total knee pain. I don't know. This is quite a boring topic.
  • Why on earth did I make a response paper due in one of my classes this Friday? What on earth was I thinking? Do I not have enough grading stealing upon me with ever-less-stealthy tread?
  • It snowed this weekend. I liked it.
And that is all. Exciting times, my friends.

ETA (10 minutes later): Moments after posting this, I got an MLA interview! Hooray! My hotel room is not in vain!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Review

That last post was hardly in the proper spirit of Thanksgiving, so here's a shot at being--belatedly--a little more cheery.

First off, I am deeply grateful that my computer catastrophe didn't result in graver damage, and I seem to have full functionality (other than the CD/DVD player, obviously). If I can ever get ahold of the local repair guy, I hope to have this thing fixed within a couple of days.

I had a good holiday weekend. Loads of traveling, including a four-hour delay on Wednesday (because it was raining, and evidently rain is very, very dangerous), but it was good to see everyone. Also, the delay actually let me get through my reading for tomorrow and Wednesday, which I probably wouldn't have finished otherwise. I didn't spend any two nights in the same place--Wednesday at Dad's, Thursday at Mom's, Friday at the Boyfriend's, Saturday at the home of some friends of ours who were having a party and happen to live near the airport; it was a bit of a proverbial whirlwind. My flight this morning was really early and I hardly got any sleep at all (we're talking an hour, maybe? I spent most of the night doing that thing where thinking about how early you have to get up keeps you awake), but that meant that I was back home before noon. I had lunch and a 2.5-hour nap and have been mostly enjoying my evening ever since, the only damper being the fact that I've been intermittently prepping for tomorrow. From the look of the blogs, I'm not the only one who's feeling decidedly sick of the semester. Only 8 more teaching days until the break....

As long as I'm rambling on about nothing in particular, I should mention that it snowed today. That made me happy.

The weekend was too short and I miss everyone but there's something nice about being settled into the hand-me-down La-Z-Boy in my old fleece sweatshirt, thinking about going to bed in a little while.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stupid #&$*(@

The title to this post is a self-description: at the moment I am filled with self-recrimination, for I am a clumsy and careless person. As I was picking up my laptop last night to return it from its movie-playing location to my desk, the cord caught on something; I was holding it in only one hand, like a genius, and it slipped out of said hand and onto the floor. Not a disaster, as the floor was only about 12 inches away and heavily carpeted, but in breaking its fall I somehow grabbed the (open) DVD player drawer and tore that right out of the machine. Tears and wailing and an ill-advised attempt to fix it myself ensued. Then I got online (for the computer still works, evidently) and found a local repair place.

Yes, the computer still works, but I am very nervous about it. And since I leave town in less than two hours, I won't be able to get it repaired until next week. Poor computer. And stupid self: I'd had many near-disasters when lifting the laptop in that way, and always warned myself never to do it again, because Something Bad could happen. Lo and behold! It did.

On that note: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! No blogging until next week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Stress than We Need

I need to get some work done tonight, so I can have a grading-free Thanksgiving, but I'd like to take a moment to register my protest of this new job-market wiki.

I mean really, what purpose does it serve? Is it helpful to know that someone else already has an MLA interview scheduled when you yourself might not? To calculate the application-to-interview ratio of a total stranger?

The job market is competitive and unpleasant enough without our encouraging one another to undergo this kind of comparison.

I had a brief--brief--moment in which I considered posting my current stats, because my current stats are actually making me really happy (I've been getting some responses). But then I looked at that impulse, and rejected it. I could post my stats, but why? So that someone else can feel sad at not having had as good a response at this point (which is totally meaningless, of course)? So that someone else can feel smug for having had a better response?

The purpose of this new wiki page eludes me. It's just another way for this process to be hateful and emotionally destructive.

My intention is to ignore it, but I'm pretty sure that I'll give in to curiosity now and again. Still, I protest this site, and will not post anything on it.

Or is there something I'm missing? Have others among you looked at this page and found it useful/interesting/not generative of self-loathing?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Two Brief Instances of Gender Prescriptivism

1. Scene: The dentist's office.

Receptionist. Where are the toothbrushes?

Hygienist. In the closet over there. The women's toothbrushes are on the bottom shelf; the men's are on the top.

Receptionist. Women's and men's?

Hygienist. I segregate 'em: the purple and pink on the bottom, the blue and green on top. Otherwise, everyone takes the blue and green--even the women--and the men are left with pink and purple. So I just separate them to make it easier.

(I, meanwhile, am being prodded and scraped by said hygienist, which makes it impossible for me to either laugh or twist my face in incredulity.)

2. Scene: The local cafe.

Woman: They have a great playground with lots of equipment, and a costume area--the boys can dress up like superheroes, and there's a princess area for the girls.

(I actually had to stifle the urge to join in the conversation at this point. How I hate, hate, hate the "princess culture" that little girls are forced into these days! And I can say with some certainty that I would have hated it as a little girl, too--I wanted to be Luke, not Leia. Or, better yet, Darth Vader. Or even a storm trooper. I was a militaristic child.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Am I Doing?

I've been meaning to throw in a few words about the conference from which I returned on Sunday, but it's been a crazy scene around here, what with all the work and all. So I will just say that I had a pretty good time in general--saw some interesting panels, one not-so interesting panel (still, it was an impressive interesting-to-not ratio)--and my hotel room was fairly fabulous. Hello, first experience with room service! I made a short film about my hotel room, in fact. (By "short film," I mean that I set my digital camera to "video" and panned around the room so that I can impress TB when next I see him.) Even more splendid was the now-famous Blogger Meet-Up: I spent a good bit of time with Medieval Woman and a grad school friend, and then had a terrific dinner with the two of them and TE, What Now?, and Flavia. All good people. Flavia and I also had a drink at the hotel bar afterwards--very "Lost in Translation," indeed--and it was a pleasure to get to know her in person.

Right now, though, I'm sort of trying to write a cover letter for the tenure-track version of the job that I currently have--if writing half a sentence and then clicking over to the internet could be said to constitute "trying." I honestly don't know how to write this thing. Even addressing it to "Professor Chair" seems awkward, since I certainly don't call the chair "Professor" in real life. I have plenty of positive things to say about the job, I just don't...want to. And yes, therein lies the problem: writing this letter will involve work, whereas writing other job letters involves somewhat less work. And I don't want to work. Or, if I am going to work, I could:
  • grade 23 papers
  • read my advisee's prospectus
  • prep for one of tomorrow's classes
  • prep for the other of tomorrow's classes
  • read for Thursday (lots of Dante! Yeagh!) (Pronounce that interjection as you will: glee or disgust, it's all valid)
  • write some other cover letters
  • read and check off the final paper proposals for comp (oh yeah I have to do this tonight; can't forget)
  • finish reading the thing I'm supposed to have read for this meeting on Thursday morning
  • wash a dish
  • go to bed, for Pete's sake.
Perhaps blogging isn't the best use of my time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I suppose that I am rather brief

William Shakespeare

Out, out, brief Heu Mihi!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Happy Returns

A pleasant thing to come home to = a request for Additional Materials from an institution where you would be very happy to work.

A pleasant thing to check email to = two more dossier requests.

* * * * * * * * * *

Less pleasant ways to start the week = breaking your coffee pot at 6:30 am. And a ladybug infestation that necessitates the use of Raid, which is currently really stinking up the joint.

We can't have everything.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where Is My Luggage?

Yes, where is my luggage?

It was not in the airport.

It was supposed to be delivered to me at my house 22 minutes ago.

Perhaps I am holding the luggage delivery person to too high a standard of punctuality, but nonetheless I ask:

Where is my luggage?

*Fuller report on the conference that I attended with said luggage to appear shortly.

Update: Luggage has arrived! Two hours late, but still well before bed time. All is well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Weird Cat is Out of the Bag




Yeppers....

After my middle class today, a couple of students were sort of lingering in the room. Finally one of them sidled up to me (I was erasing the blackboard) and asked, "Do you have a tattoo?"

"Um, why?" I asked.

"Just wondering," he said.

I glanced around and noticed that one of the students conspicuously eavesdropping was a guy who's a lifeguard at the campus pool. Sigh. "Yeah," I said, "I do."

There was a predictable outpouring of excitement at this news, One of the students has a bunch of tattoos already, and another one is about to get some; I suppose that that's how the subject came up. The lifeguard-student, who was obviously the one who had got this whole thing started, asked me what my tattoo was of (it's on my back, in case you were wondering)--I was evasive on that score. (It's a symbol of my own youthful design; nothing embarrassing, but some boundaries must be maintained! And besides, it would've taken more explaining than I was up for.)

Anyway, it confirms my fear that the lifeguard-student has told other students (I don't think these are even his particular friends, honestly) about seeing me in the pool, in my bathing suit, and my tattoo, and so who knows what other...evaluations/opinions are circulating. The freshman class already knows all about my yoga prowess (the local teacher is the mother of one of my students), so I guess they're well on their way to knowing ALL about me.

This post should be read with wry humor, not irritation; I'm really just amused. But I'm also a little worried--so far, I think, the revelations have reflected well on me (tattoos might give me some cred with some of the kids; I'm not sure about the yoga), but the mind recoils from what more humiliating things might eventually come out!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Teaching through the Sweetness

Last night the English honor society was to meet at my house for an informal book club. Only two students showed up (not a huge surprise), but I think that it was kind of a success nonetheless.

I'm low on furniture here, so we sat on cushions on the floor eating grapes and drinking apple cider and talking about the book--and other books, and movies, and whatever else came up. These two students are so bright and idiosyncratic; the conversation ranged from Bergman to horror movies to Ivanhoe. What with the floor-sitting and the snacks the whole thing felt very collegiate, and I confess to being a little startled when, towards the end of the evening, one of the students addressed me as Dr. Mihi.

I'm having good feelings about teaching--and students--in general lately. Yesterday I bumped into one of my survey students as he was smoking a cigarette; I asked him how he was enjoying the reading. He told me that he'd been having a hard time with it but that the lecture had clarified things and he loved Satan's shape-shifting in the excerpt we'd read for that day; we talked a little bit about some of the more (and less) exciting things that he'd come across in the text. And last week I conferenced with all my comp students, which at least gave me a stronger sense of who most of them are as people (even if some of the conferences were more successful than others). One of the great things about Field students is that they tend to be pretty comfortable talking to professors. Of course, sometimes this isn't such a great thing, but in general it's nice.

The thing is, I really like most of my students--in some cases without good reason, since I know almost nothing about them and they seldom speak in class. But I look out and see them, day after day, all full of their own lives and their strivings and whatever else is going on, and when I'm in a good mood I feel a peculiar kind of tenderness for them. I want them to do well and I want my classes to push them along in their intellectual growth.

That's sappy as hell, I know. Oh well. I don't sleep much lately. Grant me my emotional outpourings, please!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A challenging meme

This is incredibly hard. Not the logistics--because I'm just following what Squadratomagico, my tagger, did--but the questions. Lord. What is "classic fiction," anyway? Okay, here's my best shot (preceded by the rules):
----------------------------------------------
There is a set of questions below, all of which are in this format:

"The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is . . . ."


Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

*You can leave them exactly as is.

*You can delete any one question.

*You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change"The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is . . . " to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is . . ." or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is . . ." or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is . . . ."

In addition, you can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...."

*You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.


Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions. Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.


Here's my genealogy:

My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Primate Diaries.
My great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Thus Spake Zuska.
My great-great-great-great-great grandparent is k8, a cat, a mission.
My great-great-great-great grandparent is Monkeygirl.
My great-great-great-grandparent is DancingFish.
My great-great-grandparent is Brazen Hussy.
My great-grandparent is Bad Ass Turtle.
My grandparent is Belle.
My parent is Squadratomagico.

Here are my mutated statements.

The best TV in SF/Fantasy is: Firefly, followed closely by Buffy. (Joss is, apparently, the man.)

The best classic hardboiled detective movie in film noir is: The Thin Man.

The best cult religion in classic fiction is: I delete this question! It is too hard.

The best high-fat food in Mexican cooking my house is: a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The best publication writing-related words I ever received from a scholar are: "Your dissertation was a pleasure to read."

The best everyday lie in academic life is: Good question--I'll cover that in our next class.

------------------------------------------
(I think you're only actually supposed to change up to 2 questions--the rule has become a little hazy. But since I can't answer any of the three questions I've changed without changing them, I'm just not going to follow that rule too closely. Oh, I guess I could leave the Mexican cooking question intact, but it's kind of boring.)
------------------------------------------
And I tag...if you're interested and haven't been tagged...Sisyphus! Dance! Belle! And Flavia!

Keep the line alive.... No pressure, though!

In which I contribute my own outraged vitriol to an ongoing debate

So I came late to the whole "debate" re. the purported "selfishness" of junior faculty who apply to other jobs, and I've made a decision not to blog about it at length--in part because so many other people have already made such strong arguments on their blogs (see Dance for links to the relevant posts), but also because I find the whole argument so shocking that I'm not sure I can respond rationally. The amount of vitriol spewed against people who feel that it's acceptable to change jobs at some point in their careers is appalling. I'm also just flabbergasted that anyone could sincerely believe that there's a moral requirement for Ph.D.s to stay, forever, in the first jobs that they get. It's so nonsensical that I don't even know how to respond to it. I mean, obviously we'd all prefer to get jobs near family/partners/friends, in places where we don't feel culturally marginalized and alone, with ideal teaching-to-research ratios and decent salaries/benefits, our first time out on the market. We'd love it. Of course. But I know exactly zero people (of my academic generation) to whom that's happened, and I know a lot of young Ph.D.s.

Everyone I know has moved. Most did the wandering VAP/adjunct thing for a while before settling down. Several went from a one-year to a tenure-track job that they didn't like to a tenure-track job that they like and plan to stay in. Oh wait--no, I can think of one person who has come out of my (pretty highly ranked) graduate program who got a tenure-track job her first time out and hasn't moved yet. But it was the only job she applied for (!!), she had personal connections in the department, and she didn't even have to move apartments. This is not typical.

I'd like to highlight the wandering VAP phenomenon. This profession, at least in my field, expects and demands that we move frequently before even getting a tenure-track job. This is financially and emotionally draining and unstable; from personal experience, I can say that moving to a strange town far from everyone you love for a one-year position with mediocre pay and no job security, where the culture is rather different from what you're used to and you can't get the foods you like in the grocery store, kind of sucks. So yes, I'm looking forward to settling in someplace and committing to my job. I want to commit to a job. But given the sacrifices that we are already expected to make just to secure a tenure-track job to begin with, it is the height of unreasonableness to then demand that we accept wholeheartedly, like, forever, whatever position the Job Market Gods finally deign to hand down to us. As much as I know that this is the career that I want, as committed as I am to the profession, I am not, ultimately, identical to my job. Our selves do not end where our jobs end. We are, in fact, full human beings, and those who would call our commitments to living full human lives "selfish" can bite me.

See? I said that I couldn't approach the subject rationally. So I'll just leave it at that.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Already?

Late this morning I emailed a cover letter and a CV to a school that was accepting electronic applications.

Early this afternoon I received a rejection letter.

I can't help but admire the efficiency of a search committee that gathers on Saturdays at lunchtime to breathlessly await the arrival of each new electronic applications--nearly a week before the application deadline, no less! Clearly, this is a marvel of dedication.



But seriously.

My application must have very obviously not fit with something that they were looking for, despite the fact that there was nothing in the job ad to indicate that. Well, fair enough; they're looking for something and I'm not it. But still, I can't help but be a little taken aback. And marginally worried that my CV is somehow tainted with an appalling, un-hire-able trait.

My only real regret is that this was one of only two schools in my optimal location that's hiring this year. Oh well. The other one looks like a better fit anyway.