Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The Values of Northern Podunk

Everybody is criticizing my post on interviews, but, folks, imagine this conversation:

“Why are you interested in leaving New York to teach 4 sections of Spanish 101 per semester at the State University of Northern Podunk in Barberville for the salary of $32,000 per year with no health insurance on a 1-year contract with no guarantee of anything?”

“Because I read the mission statement of Northern Podunk and I share the values of integrity, citizenship and caring that are central to the mission of Northern Podunk.”

Is that not a completely deranged conversation to have?

Well, we’ve been having these conversations for the past 3 weeks and we are going nuts here. Nobody loves mission statements that much. Or if they do, they need to undergo a psych evaluation. After 3 weeks of this, hearing somebody say “Because I’m desperate for a job and nobody else is hiring” is very refreshing.


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3 thoughts on “The Values of Northern Podunk

  1. “for the past 3 weeks”

    Why is it taking so long to fill the position? Are there a lot of boxes you have to tick? Past the question of basic competence and teaching ability how different can teachers of Spanish 101 be?

    In other news, job interviews apparently have become a kind of weird kabuki theater not a million miles away from party meetings in days of communism where demonstrating loyalty to the conventional wisdom is far more important than competence or truth.


    • Spiderbaby on said:

      Oh, I hate the little shows that job seekers do in order to impress the recruiters, but that’s what everybody tells you have to do nowadays! The trick is to find a middle ground between “You are the bestest company ever and I woud slit throats just to have the chance to mop your floors!1!11!” and walk in with the sign “Will work for money” around yourn neck. The best performer wins.
      I understand that a company might prefer someone who’s genuinely interest in them , but this concept of “selling yourself” is disgusting.
      On a lighter note:


    • Oh, this has been going on much longer. The in-person interviews have been going on for 3 weeks and will go on for 2 weeks more. But the whole process started back in October. I don’t know why we can’t just make a decision and move on. But people seem to think that there is always an even better candidate aside from the many great people we have already seen. My position is: if you see a great candidate. make an offer and don’t waste anybody’s time. But people seem to believe that there is always somebody even more perfect and we need to keep looking. Problem is, qualified, great candidates have started accepting offers from other places while we dither.


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