Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fredo from Fredonia (We Can't Believe Nobody's Used It Before) On Mid Career Job Seeking.

Dear God,

It's me, Fredo. Yes, I know I just wrote last week about my root canal. But since that went so well, I thought I'd write again. (I'm sending this from my new iPhone...neato. Blessed are the technophiles, for they shall have gadgets.)

Anyway, I got a call for an MLA interview. It's my first this year, but as you know, it's hardly my first kick at the cat. Yes, I've had my share of decent gigs, even tenure one time, but sue me, I like to move around. But now I'm part-time and hating life, and I'd just about do anything for a full time gig again at a decent school.

So, Better-N-Average Univ called me up the other day - on the iPhone, I might add (crystal clear reception) - and they said, "You wanna?" And I said, "Oh yeah, Philly...can't freaking wait."

Yeah, the MLA's in Philly again. What gives. Wasn't it like 4 years ago it was there? What kind of a boner does the MLA have for cheesesteaks? Am I right, God? Up high!

Anyway, I'm kinda nervous. You know, I'm no spring chicken. Last time I interviewed I found myself in a bright hotel in San Diego surrounded by fucking babies. It was murderous. I felt like someone's dad. I felt like I should be handing the little dears tissue and juice boxes.

And that was a couple of years ago. I'm balder than ever, more wrinkled. Do these fuckers who called me for an interview know that I've been teaching longer than anyone on the search committee?

And at mid-career, this whole venture just seems so fraught with falsity. I know enough about the profession not to be like those newbies who still have stars in their eyes. I lie about how much I love my job, and the committee members lie about what a great school they are and how they all get along, and we're all just Pinnochio-ing it up like we're Tiger Woods or something. (Too soon?)

I don't know why it's so hard. I don't know why it's so dreary. Maybe the concrete clouds in Philadelphia in December will act as a sort of corollary for the whole enterprise. I just wish a green deadly fog would overtake the convention center so I could lie down in the nearest bar and just let death overtake me.

No, wait, then I'd miss all the presentations. (Ba dum bump!)

God, seriously, I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress. And thanks for listening.

Yer pal,