Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My last nerve

If I had slept worth a darn last night, I could say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Cortisol and norepinephrine started coursing through my veins yesterday afternoon when I went to a meeting in the department about the job application process. The room wasn’t packed or anything, but at one point, SL did hold up a copy of my CV as an example of what not to do and say, “See, Melissa’s CV just isn’t very pretty.” It needs to be eye-catching, but not to the Legally Blonde level of being printed on pink, scented paper. At any rate, that wasn’t the worst part of the meeting. Various faculty members were there, sharing their experiences (most of them unfortunate) on the job market. I think SL said he applied for over 70 jobs before he got one. He once got rejected from a job he didn’t even apply for. All of this is terrifying to me. SL is a big name in the field. At the same stage that I’m in now, he’d done a million more things than me. Given his level of difficulty in finding a job, I don’t have a prayer. When there are 120 applicants for 1 job, you need a hell of a lot more than a pretty CV to make yourself stand out. If I had taken my blood pressure when I got home from the meeting, it might have actually been at the “normal” level rather than the 85 over 60 that it usually is.

I dealt with this stress by running over to Meadowbrook Park, as I always do on Tuesday nights, to join the other members of our running club for a weekly fun run. On my way home, I almost died. Seriously. Its not going to be long before somebody dies at the four-way stop at Race and Windsor—I just hope its not me. Rob doesn’t believe me when I tell him of the difficulty I have at that intersection, but I promise I am not embellishing this. Its ridiculous to have a 4-way stop on a road where the speed limit is 45mph (actually I think it drops to 35mph by the park, but drivers rarely observe that). I don’t know if there is just more traffic on this road than previously or not, but it has been growing increasingly hazardous to cross there. If the West-bound guy comes to a stop (as is legally required) and seems to be letting you cross (as it is your turn), the East-bound guy will undoubtedly barrel through, causing your life to flash before your eyes in the middle of the intersection. I love running at Meadowbrook Park, but it is becoming more and more unpleasant to get there and back. Last night as I was running home, I carefully timed my crossing, waited my turn, etc, but just as I set out across the intersection, an east-bound car of 2 college aged boys decided not to even stop at the stop sign. I think that seeing me in the intersection actually made them realize they were supposed to stop, and all of a sudden I heard screeching brakes and felt the heat of a car stopping about a foot and half from my legs. To which I replied “JESUS, THERE IS A #$%^&* STOP SIGN HERE,” but they didn’t even look at me.

I was shaking for the remaining 1.3 miles home. When I got here, there was a pile of tomatoes on the front step: a gift from SL’s garden. A small act of kindness that momentarily stopped my blood from boiling after the near-death experience.

Today I still feel like my last nerve is just about frayed. I found out that SpanishPod, the Spanish podcast I listen to while running, is no longer going to be offered for free on iTunes. I am really bummed about that, because after 8 months of listening to it, I got totally hooked. I’m not sure I actually learn enough from it to pay for a subscription though. Plus they’ve got somebody new doing some of the podcasts who has a voice I can’t stand, so whenever he/she (?) is doing the lesson, I can’t listen to it.

My bad mood has prevented me from getting any real work done today, which is unfortunate since I’m leaving for a conference later in the week and won’t get anything done for several days after that. There is some kind of construction/home repair project going on down the street and there’s a big truck out there that keeps backing up and going “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.” It is about to drive me insane. It will be quiet for about 30 seconds, then “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP,” until I almost hurl myself from the window. Needless to say, I decided to blog my frustrations for a minute here until I can clear my head and get back to my latest dissertation chapter: “Population dynamics and seasonality of mantled howler monkeys on La Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.”

Ugh. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Charlotte's babies are still out there in the web. They're a little bit bigger.


Anonymous said...

OH DEAR!!!!!! Hope by now your B/P has returned to it's usual 50/30 ( or whatever tiny number it usually is??) and THAT " BOB THE BUILDER" has QUIT BEEPING and you haven't HURLED yourself out your window!!! AND until the CITY of URBANA?/ CHAMBANA?? PUTS a STOP LIGHT at the HARROWING INTERSECTION,,,,,, I would CERTAINLY RUN an ALTERNATE ROUTE< even if it's out of your way!!!!!!! CUZ, by now you realize there are ALWAYS GOING TO BE MORONS who BARREL right through--- ARGHHHHHH.-- and about the SL remarks,,,,,,,,, don't beat yourself up...... ( he's ALREADY DONE THAT)!!! I would suggest you go SHOPPING but since that is NOT theraputic for you, JUST chill in your hammock and enjoy this GORGEOUS day. Maybe a few days away from the WRITING, will help clear the FOG in your head,and when you return ,you'll feel ReADY to tackle it head on>( isnt' that a COMMERCIAL>>) HEAD ON??? hang in there, you're gonna MAKE IT AFTER ALL!!!!!!!! luv you, foxymama

amypfan said...

Sorry to hear about your many frustrations. I would like to point out, though, that as you are not TAing this semester, you are currently being spared the pain of grading essays with faux intellectual language, carefully developed by the use of an online thesaurus entirely for the purpose of hiding shoddy thinking. If you can't tell, that's what I was doing before taking a break to catch up on blogs. :)

Anonymous said...

At least your students attempt "faux intellectual language"... ;) - Ashley