Sunday, May 13, 2007


Well, I have been offered, and accepted, the one-year job at VerySLAC. I'm happy but alarmed. Here are some of my reasons for each feeling.

  • Next year is settled, at last! No more job applications! I actually have a couple in envelopes, all ready to go, which I will not need to send. Words cannot express the delight that this brings me.
  • The faculty at VSLAC all seemed very nice, very welcoming, and very collegial. I will be the fourth member of the 4-member English department (one member of whom just teaches comp--I told you this was a VSLAC). So I should get to know these people pretty well, and it's a good thing that I liked them.
  • While I'm less than thrilled about the composition classes I'll be teaching next year, the other classes I'll be teaching should be interesting. I don't get to come up with the actual topics, which are already set, but they're pretty general courses and they'll be good for me. So this whole deal will be an excellent learning experience.
  • The college is in a pretty rural area. While that isn't such a positive trait in the long run, I'm looking forward to spending a little bit of time in a quiet place with, possibly, a yard???
  • I will be teaching 4-4 (preps are only 3-2, though).
  • I have to move. And it's going to be a weird move: most of my stuff will be put into storage, and then I need to somehow get the Absolute Minimum out to the remote little mid-America town where I'll be living for a while. I also need to find a place to live--ideally a furnished place, as my furniture will all be in storage. The thought of doing all of this makes me tired. And I can't really afford/don't really want to go out there to look for a place, so finding an apartment will have to be accomplished remotely.
  • I will be teaching 4-4. I think that that's worth two alarms.
  • The semi-long-distance relationship will be truly long-distance for nine months or so. Which kind of sucks, a lot.
In sum: I'm not on the job market for a few months, and I have a tremendous amount to do. Hooray! Oh no! Hooray!


Tiruncula said...

Congrats on the job! And sympathy on the alarming bits.

Sisyphus said...

Congratulations! Is this the place you went for a campus visit?

Just keep thinking to yourself "this is only for a year" whenever things get tough, and/or alarming.

Hilaire said...

Great!! Congratulations! And I think sisyphus' advice is good - to just remember that it's not forever.

medieval woman said...

First off, congrats on the job! I saw advisor at K'zoo and we chatted about the good news.

Secondly, I think S is right about remembering that it's only for a year - and you'll be applying for jobs next year, which will begin early - you'll be looking ahead.

How big are the classes? A 4-4 with smallish classes can be no harder than a 3-2 or 2-2 with huge classes (a lesson I learned this last year). I think it's the preps that kill!

Congrats again!

squadratomagico said...

Congratulations! It sounds like the kind of place where you will get to know your colleagues and students well -- that should be very gratifying. And getting a job always is a big boost for getting the next one, so this should help you out for next year. Sorry that you'll be far from you SO, but it should be a fun, short-term adventure anyway.

heu mihi said...

Thanks, everybody!

To answer the questions: Yes, this is the job for which I had the campus visit. They may be hiring tenure-track next year, which (I believe) may be a part of why they flew people out to interview. And the maximum enrollment shouldn't be more than about 80 per semester, if I'm doing my math correctly. Of course, in the fall, 40 of those will be in comp courses, and in the spring, I'll have 60 in comp. So the grading will be heavy.

But yes, it's only one year. And I'm thinking of it as a sort of trial by fire. After 4-4--as a more or less brand new teacher (I've only taught one course on my own, and never actually used my own syllabus), nothing else will ever be difficult AGAIN. Right?

Dr. Virago said...

Hooray on the employment! And sympathy for the load and all those composition courses. You might want to start working on a grading rubric/form now that will help with the grading load. (I've created one modified from one ADM uses, with some influence by Flavia, as well. Yay for the blogosphere! I can send you a copy if you like.)

And as everyone else says, having a job will help with the job market. And you're right, too, that nothing will seem harder than this year -- not even another 4-4 year!

heu mihi said...

Yes please, Dr. Virago! I'm collecting as many aids as I can....

Bardiac said...

Congrats, JB. Four four is tough, but do-able, especially in a small town where there's nothing ELSE to do!

And having a job of some sort makes the job market a ton easier, especially when it comes to talking about your teaching!

I taught at a vslac for a couple years; one piece of advice: get to know people in different departments. I enjoyed my colleagues in art and communications a lot, and benefited from their mentoring.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Definitely bug folks! And I want to see the modified version, 'cos I'm always looking for improvement (well, and I'm totally flattered that Dr. V likes it!). Congratulations, too! Remember, it's always better to look for a job when you have one, and only a year is still a year in the good ways ;-)