Attempts at improvements
Two topics today, that have only the one thing in common: improvements.
Topic #1: my eye doctor tells me I should seriously consider getting Lasik. My parents have been after me for years to do this, since I always hated wearing glasses (when you start wearing them in 3rd grade, you have a lot of years to hate them). So I was hunting around for a surgeon and found this disturbing site, which made me think, uh, I'm either going to put it off a while longer, or make damn sure I don't see any of the doctors listed on this page.
Topic #2: After some discussion with my advisor, who is feeling down on herself due to grant stress and my lack of interviews, we've decided to work on revising her recommendation letter since it's a little out of date now, and there are still a few more ads coming out. Then I was talking to a young prof who just started here, and I realized probably my problem is that the people writing my letters, while they think I'm good, are not prone to hyperbole. The story goes that they have to be effusive to the extreme, that the letter literally has to be over the top emphasizing how great you are. And that you have to SELL SELL SELL! your system.
I'm writing this blog as much because I think the unwritten rules of how to get a faculty positions should be written down somewhere, as because I find them all so baffling.
So, here goes:
Dear Search Committee,
I am great. I am the greatest thing ever, I walk on water. You will never have the chance to hire someone else like me, because there is no one else like me, so if you miss this chance, like those people who passed over Barbara Streisand when she was just starting out, YOU WILL BE SORRY.
Not only do I have better-than-perfect vision, thanks to my successful Lasik surgery, but I use my eyes to see things no one else has seen (see Albert Szent-Györgyi quote). I then use my incredible mind to think what no one else has thought. I'm thinking it right now. But I won't tell you what it is unless you ACT NOW and HIRE ME.
I can turn your department's garbage into gold. Most importantly, all the experts in my field, all over the world, agree that I am the best at what I do. Experts outside my field know who I am, I am that good.
The reason you didn't know who I was until now is either because a) you live under a rock or b) I chose to remain in the shadows until the timing was right to reveal my great abilities to you. Now you can thank your lucky stars I chose you, and your department, to apply to. This is your big chance to have a future Nobelist in your midst.
Ready, set, HIRE ME!!