Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stage One: Overwhelmedness

It starts over the long winter break, while we're waiting in the nether regions of our lives for classes to resume while still enjoying watching every HBO series currently on Netflix. Suddenly, you realize cover letters do not write themselves. Recommendations don't send themselves, either.

Things I learned in the last 2 months, a short list:

0. First, I will need to tools and on-line applications to order my life. I cannot proceed without a stable organization method. (This is my firm mantra.) Spreadsheets have served me well in the past. I just bought a heavy-duty drying rack, so droopy just-laundered clothes can no longer distract me in a heap on the floor. I will sit down and figure out that I wouldn't mind doing for 40 hours a week. But I just found out that, yes, dummy, diet soda is terrible for you. What will I drink now?

1. Higher Education Jobs provide comfort and assurance that I can obtain an administrative position of some sort, remaining close to academia, while enjoying enough mental distance from teaching for a year or so. Kelly, what are your academia-related assurances? Can I visit you in academia if I need my fix?

2. Mediabistro provides the same feeling with all the assurance that freelancing (copyediting work from home, ideally) is also an option for the MFAers among us. I purchased The Copyeditor's Handbook (U of California P, 2006) as a primer and instrument to remind me how much I still need to know about style convention. I did confirm that the choice of indefinite article when preceding an acroynm is decided by pronunciation and not spelling. This confirms that I can indeed write "She received an MFA." Trina could have also confirmed this matter, she knows this stuff. She is also available for pro-bono life coaching services on an informal basis.

3. Interfolio document management system provides a very nice service. Less upfront cost than AWP's dossier service, but does not provide any mailings in the annual cost of $15.

So, I've gathered up all of the resources and many of the sheets of paper with important information on them. I've placed them all on my desk. I've filled out job applications with human resources at Northwestern (for I am Chicago-bound this summer), but haven't hit "submit". I am weak. Where is the sunshine in Montana?

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