I was very sad when I was rejected by Pomona College (because a single faculty member from a country that starts with Co and ends with ombia took a profound and undeserved dislike to me.) I hated the idea of moving to California but this was the only place that offered a sabbatical before tenure, and who wouldn’t like that?
But now I’m happy that they didn’t want me because I have something even better than their sabbatical: a semi-sabbatical. A semi-sabbatical is a term that I invented to refer to a situation where you have to teach so little that it doesn’t even count as teaching. Until next September, I will only have to show up on campus once a week at most. This is better than a sabbatical (for a non-tenured academic, at least) because you can’t get too relaxed. There is still teaching, and the semester still goes on. So you stay organized and have the best of both worlds, the world of a sabbatical and the world of a teaching semester.
I am overwhelmed by my exceeding good fortune. I remember being heart-broken every time I would get rejected on the job market (and that was the total of 176 times, by the way). I wish I had only known then that these were great rejections because they let me stay free to get the best job ever. There is a profound lesson somewhere in here but I’m still sick and feverish, so I’ll let you formulate it on your own.