The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Response To The Riffs

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Just like Wayne with his My I Help You riff, I got responses to my two May I Help You riffs.

Riff #1 was in response to a faculty position. The head of the department told me that she would love to have me as part of the full-time faculty. But, the department is trying to move the program from a concentration to a major. This requires a certain percentage of PhD's within the faculty, which they currently do not have. In fact, they are having a tough time finding a qualified candidate. I do not have a PhD in the field. If they had at least one PhD, then it would be a different story. At the same time, the program is hurting for instructors to pick up the slack, so she told me that she would keep me in mind for an adjunct gig for the Fall.

OK...I'm cool with that. I understand why I can't be full-time in that department for now. And, knowing that there's the possibility of additional classes is also good.

Riff #2 was in response to what I have dubbed Job That I Really Want.  Job That I Really Want is a faculty/administrative position, which entails running a program at HBCU.  I have experience and the credentials for this program. Also, it's in line with my PhD studies. It's an idea job for me and I for it. I had applied back in August for the position, but did not hear anything. I resubmitted my application when I saw that the position was still open. I emailed the HMFIC and also left the "May I Help You" phone message. 

Yesterday, the HMFIC called me to follow up on my messages. She said that the position was still open because have yet to find someone who is the right fit for the position. She also said that she did not recall receiving my application packet from HR (no surprise there). She wanted me to resent all of my documents again to her, as she has been drowning in email. She informed me that the committee is meeting next week to discuss the matter and she would present my application. The position needs to be filled sooner, rather than later. Of course, I did my very best to showcase why I would be ideal for the job. She was very receptive and we had a very nice conversation.

When I got off the phone, I let out a very loud "WOOHOO!", which no doubt scared Junior a little. Mommy doesn't often yell that loud, unless her boys in Black and Gold are playing.

I am very excited about the possibilities as a result of these phone calls. I don't want to get too excited or get my hopes too high. But it's the best news that has come out of my lobbying campaign for a full-time gig at HBCU.

So yeah..I am doing a little happy dance.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The "May I Help You" Riff

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Remember the movie Wanye's World? There's a scene in the movie in which Wayne sees Excalibur, AKA a Fender Stratocaster Guitar. Watch what happens as he tries to get the clerk's attention:

Yesterday, I used the job hunting version of the May I Help You riff. I called the person responsible for one of the positions that I am interested in at HBCU. Needless to say, I got the person's voice mail.  I left my message. There was no playing of Stairway to Heaven, though.

Today, I need to call about the other job. I noticed that the position has disappeared from the HR page. I am not surprised by this, as it has happened twice in the past. I plan to play dumb and do the May I Help You riff again. I'll hold on to that extra piece of information and use it later.

I have a feeling I may have to play this riff a few times. That appears to be the way things work at HBCU. Also, it's part of the Finding a Job hustle.

Maybe I get Husband to teach me how to play the opening bars of Stairway on his Fender

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why I Am Still Here?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I was chatting with old blog friend on FB, when the "Waiting Room" came into the conversation. "Wasn't that the name of your old blog?", she asked. "Yep," I replied. "I still blog there. Not too many of our academic blog community blogs anymore. I'm still doing it because it's the only place where I feel comfortable saying what I want to say and being my authentic self."

I've written about missing the old days of the blog community. I met some amazing folks and have learned a great deal from them. It was a community of academics sharing their lives inside and outside of academia. It was fun.

My issues with FB, as maybe it is for some folks, is that I feel I have to balance different identities. There are people that are from my hometown, people from my college and Lake Effect Snow Central days, and my academic friends. The latter two groups know me as the person that I am now. But, the hometown folk are a different story.

I would love to just be the authentic version of myself on FB, all day, everyday, Sundays included. But, I have to mute myself on certain things because I still have family in that neck of the woods, who would probably take issues with me. Not so much from my side of the family; I get my outspoken nature from my mom. But, I grew up in a small town and people love to talk. My in-laws would flip their shit over a lot of stuff that I say. And, I do not want Husband to have to bear the brunt of comments from my in-laws. For example, my super-Catholic in-laws would be none to pleased about Husband and I being agnostic-atheists. So, I keep this space and my Twitter space for where I express myself the way that I want to express myself.

It takes a lot of energy to do this. But, in weighing the alternative, it's a lot less stressful than having Husband and I deal with a lot of crap. We still get crap about moving away from our hometown. We abandoned our hometown almost 25 years ago, and we STILL get grief about it. In fact, over Thanksgiving, my father-in-law ask me if we are going to move back, now that I am doing so much better with the RA. Um, the reason WHY I am doing better is because I am living in a warmer climate. How would moving back to cold and snow maintain my remission? He was not happy about that response.'s frustrating.

That's why I am still here. I'm recommitting to this space because I need it.  I am hoping that I can continue to connect with old friends and make connections with some new ones. So, if you've been lurking, please come out of the shadows and say "Hello". Even if you are not an academic, give me a shout out. Dog stuff, RA/FMS stuff, law stuff, it's all good. And if you been around for a while, just let me know how you are.

Maybe, we can resurrect the blog community.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The End of An Era

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I got a text message from Former Boss at For-Profit College. He told me that he will be resigning in early February. I was not surprised, as he has not been happy with the way things are going. They have been steadily going downhill since the end of 2011. It really started going to hell after I left.

When I started at For-Profit College in 2009, it was a pretty nice place to work. Granted, there were still "issues" that anyone who has worked in a for-profit college has experienced. But, the climate and the people who worked at the campus were just an awesome group of folks, from the campus president, down to the admissions rep. You felt the vibe as soon as you walked in the door. People cared about their jobs and about helping the students. There was a mutual respect among faculty, staff and administration. It seemed that the right people were in the right place at the right time. They were all on the same page.

When the campus president left in 2011 (the consensus was that he was forced out), and the new Ass-Hat Campus President came in, the good vibe and respect began to slowly erode into mistrust and uber micro-management. There was definitely favoritism, especially for those of the male gender. After I left, I stayed in contact with a few folks, including former boss, who would tell me how bad things were and how that old vibe was non-existent. Now, almost everyone who worked there during my time are long gone. Only a couple of folks are still hanging on, but are actively looking. Recently, one of my besties, who also left, was a guest speaker for a class. She remarked how the place seemed dead. There was no life in the eyes of the students or the staff. It was if someone just needed to pull the plug and put people out of their misery.

All this makes me a little sad and feeling nostalgic. Sometimes, I catch myself longing for my time at For-Profit College. I miss that sense of community and the mutual respect and support. Since moving on to Tech College and now at HBCU, I have not experienced that same vibe.  I wonder if the stars will ever align like that again. I'm sure that it will in its own time.

But, it is an end of an era...and it was a good one while it lasted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Dirty Jobs

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of the advantages of my teaching part time and working on the PhD part time, is that I am able to handle some of the responsibilities or tasks that most people have to take time out of the workday to do or wait until the end of the workday to complete, that is, if they have the energy at the end of the day to do it! I remember those days when Husband and I were working full time and had to juggle tasks. Phone calls had to be done during lunch or on a break. Only the basics of doing dishes and minor cleaning up after ourselves would happen during the week. Major household chores would not be completed until the weekend. And, we would spend part of an entire Saturday doing those chores that we did not get to really enjoy the weekend.

Now that it's going 1.5 years that I've been back in the part time work/student role, I am able to handle most of the dirty jobs that used to be handled on the weekends. Don't read that as Husband does not do his share. Believe me, he does...his mama raised him right. There is a division of labor in our house. Since I cannot drive, he does take care of things like grocery shopping, which he does better than me. But there are some things that he hates, like dealing with contacting the bank because they fucked up our escrow account. I love stuff like that because I can put my lawyer hat on and ask the right questions to get to the bottom of things. We have divided the dirty jobs that play to our strengths or abilities, which make for a happier life.

Last year, I implemented a cleaning protocol that gets rid of the Saturday cleaning-fest. I saw a meme on FB about dividing the household chores into 20 minutes activities that can be done during the week, in addition to the daily stuff. After doing this for a year, it has reduced the stress at the weekend. It allows Husband and I a chance to enjoy our weekends doing fun stuff. Also, if and when I go back to work or school in a full time capacity, the routine is in place.

Here's my schedule. In some ways, it sounds like Sheldon Cooper's dinner schedule. However, unlike Sheldon, we do make adjustments when necessary.

Mondays: Clean bathrooms
Wednesdays: Vacuum and dust second floor rooms
Fridays: Vacuum and dust first floor rooms
Sunday: Laundry and Groceries (Obviously, these take more than 20 minutes, but is one of those jobs that you can do other stuff while you are doing it. )
Daily: Make bed, do dishes, clean kitchen and pick up after yourself.
(Note: Husband does the yard-work on the weekends, which not a dirty job for him. He loves it!)

Getting a handle on the dirty jobs is Just another way to get rid of the noise and nuisance of life. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Does 47 Look Like?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday was my 47th birthday.

My first thought did I get to be 47 years old? I mean, where did all that time go? Time seems to go by very slowly when we were kids, teens, even early 20-somethings. Now, it just sems to fly by so quickly. I just want things to slow down, just a little.

My second though about being 47 hit me as I was getting dressed yesterday, I paused to look in the mirror. I wasn't sure what 47 is supposed to look like, but I certainly didn't look 47 years old. I am grateful for having smooth, flawless skin, thanks to taking good care of my skin and hitting the jackpot in the gene pool. My body doesn't really feel 47, especially after losing all the excess weight and being pretty fit. Even with my ups and downs with the RA, I am still here and in remission.

Later, Husband and I were talking at dinner about all that I have accomplished in 47 years. It's a lot. Three academic degrees, with a fourth to be finished soon, two amazing careers in law and academics that allowed me to help so many people, running my own business, being sworn in to practice before the US Supreme Court, and being married for 23 years to an amazing guy who has stood by me in good times and bad. I paused and thought how truly amazing all of this is. You don't really notice it while your doing it.  But, when you pause to think about it, it's pretty awesome.

So, I am not sure what 47 is supposed to look like. But, so far, it looks pretty damn good.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Hustle's the Name of the Game

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Back in the day, when I was adjuncting n Lake Effect Snow Central, I became quite good at hustling additional adjunct gigs. I started with only one class at For-Profit College. By my third semester, I had four. I showed those in power that I was not only qualified to teach certain classes, but I was ready, willing and able to go. When I moved on to SLAC, I was only scheduled for two classes in two separate departments. I walked into the English Department and chatted up with the chair, and Booyah*, I got two additional teaching gigs. Back then, if you wanted to get additional gigs and get noticed by those in power, hustle was the name of the game.

Fast forward to now, where I find myself in a similar position. The only exception is that I am not on campus, like I was at SLAC. Since I teach online for HBCU, I do not venture to campus much. There really isn't much reason to do so. This makes working the hustle a little difficult.

But, it's not impossible.

There are two full-time positions that I've applied for at HBCU, where I am qualified, to do the job. but in true HBCU fashion, I've heard jack-squat. So, in an effort to work the hustle, I've drafted a short introduction email to the respective departments. The emails just state that although my contacting them in this manner may appear unorthodox, I want the decision making people to know that I want to be a part of the wave of change at HBCU.  I see this as going one of two ways...

Either it will be embraced or it will drop like a lead zeppelin.

For whatever reason, I lost, or maybe misplaced, my ability to work a good hustle. I've allowed the situation to dictate what will happen, rather than my dictating what will happen in a given situation. I forgot that one should not accept a No or No Response from someone who does not have the power to say Yes.

It's time to get my game on.

*RIP Stuart Scott (ESPN sportscaster)