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7 December 2012

In case anyone didn’t know (ha!), I’m waiting to hear about a job. It’s excruciating, waiting for these things. After my interview and talk at PECMC, I was told it would be two to three weeks. It’s now been just more than a week. Which means, unless addition has suddenly stopped working (in which case we all have much, much bigger things to worry about), that I have another week or two before I’m even allowed to have any anxiety about why they haven’t gotten back to me yet. But my brain is not really subject to calendars, so it’s gone ahead and started producing stress hormones ahead of schedule. I’m sure the neuroscientists in my readership could explain that in some detail.

And of course, even if my hopes for PECMC don’t fruit, I now have another interview with a University, and I have a phone call scheduled with a professor at a third place where I’ve applied for a tenure-track post. This professor does systems research, at a place which does a decent bit of systems research. His work is not directly related to mine, nor is anything they’re doing there, from a computer-science perspective. But from a social-systems and healthcare-systems design perspective, there’s a lot of overlap. So I’m excited to talk to him, and then there will be a professor in the department I’m applying to who will have spoken to me personally. Hopefully that will help me get an interview/job talk there. It’s a fabulous school of public health; world-renowned. They’ll definitely have many candidates more accomplished than me. I can only hope they’re looking to develop their systems portfolio.

And I’m continuing to wait to hear from well more than a dozen other universities and institutes I’ve applied to. Some I know I’ll simply never hear from. Most of the ones I do hear from will be rejections, not interview requests. That’s the nature of most job markets, I think. And it’s especially true of professorships. There are so many more applicants than positions. I’ve been told that on average, only about 50% of the applicants for a professorship are remotely qualified. In my case, where I’m applying, a search committee will have to be willing to explore beyond the traditional “professors of public health should have PhDs and post-doctoral work in public health” mindset. I know that I have a lot to contribute to the field of public health. But I also have an enormous amount to learn before I’d be ready to teach even introductory courses.

So it may be idiotic to be pursuing professorships in public health. It’s hard for me to tell. Maybe I shouldn’t be looking at tenure-track positions at all, so that teaching wouldn’t even come into it. But I don’t know. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens all the way around. But I need to remember where I am and what I’m doing. Only two days ago I wept with gratitude about being asked to interview for a non-tenure track professorship. It’s astonishing to me, how far I’ve come, through essentially no doing of my own. I have only walked the paths of persons ahead of me. I have only followed instruction. I’ve worked hard at a program I didn’t invent. One that I couldn’t conceive of prior to hearing about it. But one which has utterly redeemed my life from oblivion.

I hate waiting. But it’s probably meaningful that in Spanish, the word “Wait” also means “Hope”. Because if I’m waiting, it’s because I’m waiting for something. Something good.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Penelope permalink
    8 December 2012 00:26

    And you have a niece named hope! And one named selah, which also means wait, sort of, it’s a musical interlude, a pregnant pause, a moment of reflection.

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