They requested additional materials from me in November, and I dutifully sent along a writing sample, recommendations, and my teaching philosophy. But then I didn't hear anything. I assumed they had moved on and had just not gotten around to sending out the rejection letters. By January, I had totally given up on the academic search -- my third and last, as you know.
Friday I came home from work, poured myself a drink, and checked voicemail ... and ... Holy shit! There's this message. It's from Regional State U only an hour away from Crapital City. They were impressed with my application when they received the additional materials back in November, but they'd had to put their search on hold because funding was uncertain. They didn't do MLA interviews and hadn't contacted anyone since the request for additional materials. But ... their funding came through and they would like to know if I am still available. They need to move their search along quickly, and I am on a short list of candidates. They would like to do a phone interview, which will possibly lead to a campus interview ... and then, possibly, a return to academe on terms I can accept!!!
Aarrrgggghhhh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Nothing is certain except the phone interview, which is this coming Thursday.
There's a lot to think about here. Given that I am a type 2 leaver, as JC puts it ("people who still love academia, but who know that their ability to get a job that pays them a fair wage in an area they'd like to live is severely hampered by the academic job market or some other factor"), I've never really been happy about leaving. I left because it was unsustainable to stay. But, the prospect to return in a position that pays a reasonable wage and allows me to live where I want? ... and, most importantly, do what I love and am good at?? I don't think I could refuse (are you kidding?!?), even given my ambivalence -- which has only grown in the time I've been away -- over academe's many, many flaws.
I spent all day yesterday ruminating over my old syllabi, pondering "ideal" courses I'd like to teach, book lists, my research plans (sort of on hold since the conference I blew off but still in my head), and other things they're likely to ask about. It felt, in a way, like I was returning home after a long, wearying absence. I really do miss all this shit, you know?
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Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck.