I got some good news…

I got some good news this morning which has helped (slightly) in alleviating my academic job search anxiety. Now, the way that letters of recommendation work at this stage is that you get a kazillion people to write them for you, and then you choose the ones that are most appropriate for any given job to send along. I.e., my letters come from:
  • Coles - my thesis advisor, creative writing, on my committee
  • Camoin - creative writing professor (took novel workshop), on committee
  • Cheng - post-colonial lit, on committee
  • Stockton - lit theory, queer/feminist theory, on committee
  • Lau - Asian lit, creative nonfiction, on committee
  • Yang - Asian history (used to be on committee, but moved to another school)
  • Sanchez - composition
  • Huckin - business writing
So, I was fretting about which letters to include for various jobs, and wishing that I could see them all to decide. The professors have the option of making them confidential -- most of mine chose to, which I gather is the default at this stage. Which is fine, but I was fretting about how to decide. I knew which people would be likely to write the strongest, most articulate letters -- but I wasn't sure if they were excited about me and my work. Some of them were at one point, but a) I've hardly seen any of them in the last year, and b) some of them I haven't had a class with in a few years.

So I was stressing about this in e-mail with Patti Henriksen, who is the nice person at Career Services who manages these files for us and sends them out. And she was kind enough to, totally unprompted, read over my letters and send me an e-mail back saying I shouldn't worry, that they're all glowing, and that the one from the professor I was most worried about (because we'd interacted so long ago) was glowing, personal, and extremely articulate. Which is no more than I'd expect from this prof if she were still pleased with me, but gosh, it's hard to tell that a few years down the line when everyone's so busy, juggling a thousand things.

So the point being, I'm going to relax a little. One more element that was out of my control that I don't need to worry about anymore. Yay! I still might not get any interviews, but not for lack of love from my department. That's rather nice to know, no matter what happens next.

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