from the desk of...candidate #3

The Final Countdown (Europe)

How am I feeling? Really? The time is now to perform! I’m really excited for TPE to begin, and after arriving in Seattle on Wednesday night and exploring the city today, I’m putting on my game-face for meeting potential employers. Everything made it through the screening process, and their fine re-packing skills meant that I spent a while ironing shirts and pants again (thanks, TSA!), but otherwise I’m ready to go. Truth be told, I don’t have many interviews scheduled – it’s not that I’m a bad candidate, but my availability has changed and I won’t really be available until January 2010. So, that’s a bummer – but I’m here to “work the room” as they say. I’ll be talking to a variety of institutions and colleagues to let them know about my experiences and qualifications. At the very least, I want to leave a positive impression so that I can pick up on conversations come Fall 2009. My good friend often remarks that a stranger is simply someone he hasn’t met and gotten to know yet, and I’ll be employing that strategy this weekend.

Did I know where I would end up before my first professional position? I shook the Magic 8 Ball and all signs pointed to only a handful of schools. Now, I don’t think the ball, a séance, or Miss Cleo could show me a definitive path. The Final Countdown sounds appropriate for the ticking clock signaling the beginning of TPE. I’m foregoing the candidate intro sessions and going to trust myself to figure out how the messaging system works and how to schedule interviews on the fly. Plus, this song has a pinkie-spasm-inducing Guitar Hero riff about two-thirds of the way through, and if you can’t get jazzed up for interviews by listening to it you’re either not a fan of 80s music or really all that excited for interviews. Interviewing is fun – really! – and the TPE conference experience is meant to be a meeting of minds, experiences, and hearts.

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