Sunday, April 22, 2007

Interviews too easy? Here's a suggestion:

--conduct them at midight from a youth hostel pay phone!

Yep: as soon as I left for my conference, I got asked to interview for a one-year position in the Midwest, and the only times that the committee has available translate to midnight and later in this particular time zone. So here I am in the hostel lobby, going over my interview-related notes (which I printed out in conference city; luckily, I brought everything I could potentially need along on a flash drive--vive technology!), and waiting for the interviewers to email me the phone number that I'll need to call.

The situation is actually kind of funny, and, as long as I'm not interrupted by drunken twenty-year-olds staggering back to their rooms (at midnight they should still be at the bars, right?), I really don't mind it. I'm just glad that I got the earliest interview spot--I wouldn't want to be doing this at 3 am! And I'm certainly not going to complain about any interview, no matter how strangely conducted (bearing in mind, of course, that the strangness is all my own doing. This was hardly the best time of year for a vacation).

In other news (while I'm waiting for my email), the conference was great. Really a very good, great conference. It was just the right size and duration: two days, about 20+ papers, and a nice mix of super-celebrity-scholars and totally-junior-scholars like myself. (Actually, there were only 3 grad students, including me, presenting at the thing, which had me pretty intimidated for a few minutes....) The smallness lent the whole production an intimacy which meant that I could actually talk to, and even have a drink with, the plenary speakers and whomever else I found interesting. As someone who's not normally terribly outgoing, especially when intimidated, this intimacy made the conference in many ways more productive and socially enjoyable than such things usually are. Plus, the papers were by and large really good. I'm happy to have gone. I think that, even if I hadn't worked in my possibly-ill-advised vacation, it would have been worth the trip.

I kind of want to talk about where I actually am--it isn't conference city, but the second city on my trajectory--but I'm worried about sacrificing my anonymity. At what point is this mere paranoia? I mean, will my readers see what city I'm in, google medieval-type conferences at nearby cities, and actually be able to piece together who I am? It seems absurd. And yet, if I do end up saying anything particular about this trip, I'm going to wait until there's a little more distance between Me and Conference. I know it's silly know.


Sisyphus said...

Wow. Good Luck!!!

It sounds like a great conference ... the ones I go to lately have all been very big and I _only_ meet grad students ... I keep saying all this networking will pay off in about 10 years time ... if I can stick around long enough for them to get jobs and publishing opportunities!

squadratomagico said...

Good luck with the interview! And enjoy your time away.

medieval woman said...

Congrats on the interview! That's fantastic! And I'm happy that the conference went well - keep us posted and have a good vacation - you completely deserve it!