After following the ABCs of the university employment process (Applying, Begging, & Crying), I am proud to say that my days as a lazyass bum are now numbered. Starting next March, I will be teaching English at a university for the first time.
It was definitely a stressful process, so I’m hugely relieved that it worked out in the end. University positions are apparently extremely competitive, and with no experience at that level (widely considered a must), I feel extremely fortunate.
It was all kind of serendipitous, too. I was actually relatively certain that things had gone very nicely at my first interview, so somehow I managed to convince myself that I had it in the bag. So when I got the e-mail telling me about my third interview (my second was the debacle described a couple of posts down), I almost thought about not going, since I (very stupidly) thought it might just complicate things. But I ended up going, but I cared so little about the outcome that I didn’t feel any nervousness whatsoever. This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise, as I managed to remain calm and professional throughout without jumping up and down screeching, “Oh, pick ME, for the love of all that is sacred, hire MEEEEEE!” The interviewing panel of professors seemed to respond pretty well; they were all quite nice and spoke excellent English. One of them even recognized and complimented my alma mater, Pomona College, which probably makes him one of about five people in Korea that’s heard of the school. They also asked me about my writing (I told them my book was about “love and culture”), my favorite authors (again “Scott Spencer and Haruki Murakami”), and the year that I spent teaching blind students at a community center (actually wasn’t all that different from teaching non-blind kids, although a couple seemed to have incredible photographic memories when it came to hearing words and remembering meanings).
That very night, I got a call from the school, saying they wanted me for the position. It really caught me off guard, but it got me thinking about the school seriously for the first time, and after several days of thinking about it, I accepted. It’s a good thing I did, because I never even heard back from the first school (nor the second, though that was pretty much a given). So it all worked out well in the end, and I’ll officially be signing the contract with the university about ten days from now. I’m excited and nervous. It’s going to be a new challenge for me to teach university students, but I’m ready to do everything in my power to make it all work. Tommyland: the College Version, should be interesting.
More than anything, I’m glad the stress of a job search is finally behind me. I’d been too occupied with sending off resumes, checking out new ads, visiting schools, preparing teaching presentations, and just plain fretting to do anything else for the last month or so. Now I can finally write and read and breathe again. Feels very good, indeed.