Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Collecting the moments one by one

A waiter at lunch asked Ed & I if we were recently married. Wow, I thought- were we giving off a particularly intense newlywed vibe? Ed did just get back from a three-day conference in Springfield. And, yeah, I missed the guy and he missed me, but newlyweds? Turns out the waiter was only recently married himself and he saw the thank you cards I was writing and was reminded of all the thank you cards his new bride was currently writing without his help.

I was writing thank-you cards to the hiring committee at Mass Bay Community College. I had my first job interview for a full-time writing instructor position today. For the last four nights I’ve been up (too late) preparing for it by researching the college, its writing courses, each of the individuals on the hiring committee. I was fairly nervous this morning, a kind of anxiety brought on by four years of applying for full time positions mixed with the sheer odds against actually getting an interview, let alone a full-time gig. I don’t know how many people applied for this job, but I do know that over 250 people applied for the full-time position at Bunker Hill (haven’t heard about that one… yet). So, I’m sure that everyone who applied is significantly qualified. I did as good as I could have, which is all I could have done. I told Ed that I got a good, comfortable vibe from everyone, but that I also sensed by the end of the interview that they had already made up their minds. Not necessarily about me, but it was almost as if all the questions and the teaching presentation was a mere formality; that they pretty much knew who they wanted. My gut tells me it’s someone else, of course, but in the far reaches of my mind I like to imagine it’s me. The odds are against that and I am very aware of that.

After a dirty (gin) martini with lunch coupled with about a solid hour of obsessing about how much better my answers to their questions could have been, I clapped my hands together, mimicking James Earl Jones’ character Thomas Mann in “Field of Dreams” after he gets out of Ray’s VW bug after the baseball game they attended and decided, the interview is over. Enough thinking. Chalk it up to good experience and a sign that I’ve inched that much further to what used to be one of my “wildly improbable dreams” (teaching full time at a community college).

We picked up Jack and went to feed the ducks at Jamaica Pond. The weather was perfect; the kind that I always imagine you get if there’s a heaven and you’re lucky enough to make it there: near 80 but a cool breeze. The air was clear, the sky was blue, the clouds were white cotton, and the ducks and geese were walking around Jack who was laughing while eating the crackers the birds were waiting patiently for: all as if to suggest that this was one of those memories that would flash in my mind moments before death.

All in all, one of the better days.

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