Home > what we are thinking > Gratitude


I was running this afternoon in the 26 minutes I had between getting home from work and walking over to pick up the girls from childcare. While running in the glorious weather we’re having, I spent some time reflecting.

I’ve had a few reasons this week to look into my work and personal emails for various items. In one instance I was searching for a friend’s recent email to me with the dates she will be in town. In the same process I found an email exchange describing the job search process I went through last year. I was the internal candidate who knew fairly well one of the other candidates (he is a friend from graduate school) and less well the third candidate (who I knew *of*, but didn’t know personally). Here’s a snippet of what I wrote to W. We had all interviewed on campus and I had just had a chat with my officemate, a tenured member of the faculty. I’m recounting what happened to W.

I say then, “I didn’t get the job.”  and she tells me that all she can say is that they have eliminated one candidate and that she and the woman who was in there (chair of the department) were arguing over the future of the department……….

Best case scenario: the search committee had a tie vote and sent my name + my friends’ name over and the provost will pick me.

Should my friend have gotten the job, I would have been out of work and would have been unemployed. And had a friend in town who got the job and I didn’t.

The title of this post is gratitude. Gratitude because the provost did pick me. I moved to this Great White North, to Ice Station Zebra for graduate school, with the intention of staying one year, then moving to the bigger city in the Great White North where the lab I was measuring samples is. Once we were here, it turns out we love it. We had two babies here in graduate school and live a very full life.  I love the city, love the climate, love the trees, love being a member of this excellent community. I am immensely full of gratitude not only that I found work as a professor at the end of my phd journey, but that it worked out in the great city I was struggling to leave.

But the title of the post is gratitude because the provost picked my friend too. Life with two geologists instead of one is not always perfect: I had a higher teaching load last fall, he has my favorite class to teach; I have a new prep that is kicking my butt four times a week. But gratitude because I have a colleague in my department. Someone who realized the icky application situation we were in last spring and was willing to call me to acknowledge it (before the interview process began in full). Someone I like; someone I can be annoyed with and then move on; someone who offers coffee. Fortunately for us, the provost picked us both.

And because this blog is supposed to be my postdoctoral ramblings as a mother and scientist, gratitude because I made it back home from the run with some time to spare. 30 seconds or so.

(Canoe outing the day I found out I got the job….)


Categories: what we are thinking
  1. chrissoup
    April 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    …And I love reading about your cute family and your adventures in The Great Frozen North. I’m grateful you have this blog!

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