Monday, March 30, 2015

The Interview

I have been out of the job hunt loop for a while, so don't know about video interviews and on-line applications and all the other hoops of finding work in the digital age.

This weekend, however, I jumped into the cyber pool, threw my hat into the internet ring, and met a committee on my monitor. I dressed up in my best black shirt and silver bolo tie to sit in front of a computer and tell it what I have gleaned from this long, bumpy career.

It worked in spite of my clumsy navigation of the details. I somehow deleted the link to the website that would connect me to the committee; I managed to derail my printer so I could not print out the questions after they were emailed to me; and I somehow re-mounted the web cam after I knocked it off while trying to adjust it.

I could have panicked, but I didn't and just went along as well as I could.

I think I did a pretty good job.

For thirty years, I have been teaching writing, and I got to synthesize and highlight that career, that trajectory.

It was good for me, but I can't speak for the committee.

I am "old school," and believe that teaching writing to 18 and 19 year-olds is best when it lets them reflect on who they are becoming, what they want to do with their lives, how they have gotten to where they are. In short, I believe that identity, narrative, and life questions make for good teaching and for developing better human beings. It's age appropriate instruction and makes for a good reason to work on writing, the skills of presentation.

Current views of teaching and assessment run contrary to these beliefs. The curriculum now is about academic skills, analysis, and looking at what all the smart grown-ups are saying. There is little room to get a personal word in edgewise in the new university writing class.

Oh well...

So, I don't know where I belong anymore. Maybe it's time to go out to pasture or to take some other direction in some place other than school.

Whatever the case, at least I got a taste of the on-line interview.

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