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pantyhosei went to godforsaken edmonton recently to interview for a teaching position. i want to pause here to apologize to everyone i know who lives in godforsaken edmonton, anyone who enjoys it there, and anyone who knows or loves someone who lives there. the prairies are…interesting. that aside, i survived my very first interview and i want to chronicle what went wrong, what went right, and what i learned. here goes.

first of all, my beautiful and wonderful friend L. came with, and that made everything lovely and delicious. she was even trying to be like “edmonton is nice,” “edmonton seems safe and friendly,” and my personal favourite, “i’m sure if you lived here long enough you would find food that was good…really.” needless to say, we both kissed the ground when we returned to vancity. and may the gods of karma strike me down, i can’t see myself as an edmontonian. but i grew up in a small town in ontario. i have perspective. i am not saying i’m better than all that. i am saying sometimes you can see yourself in a place. sometimes you can’t. such is life. that was what my eighth-grade teacher used to say. such is life.

whatever the f*ck that means.

as someone who exists mainly in sweats and the occasional fabulous (yes, i am going to grant myself some fabulousness, so there) outfit when i actually leave the house, i managed to begin the day by shoving my finger through my tights (which were more like pantyhose but i don’t want to admit that i was actually thinking about wearing pantyhose because they are seriously scarring as a fabric, a concept, and a crotch-dropping reality), thereby creating a massive run that could not be hidden. luckily, i had some knee sock thingys that did the trick but showed my knobby knee-caps when i sat. first point goes to murphy’s law. i managed to spend a total of ten seconds with the head of the department before blurting this fact out. i think i managed to hold out well.

second point goes to me because i kicked ass in my interview and i am going to go so far as to say that i kicked ass during the entire TEN HOUR interview day. yeah, that’s right kids. i had all the answers. i was my spastic self. and it all seemed to come together in this glorious performance that by the end of the day i was convinced i couldn’t replicate. but, after my 9 ounce glass of wine (everything is big in alberta), i was sure i could withstand another full day of attention with ease. since seriously it is how i try to negotiate my whole life – that is, trying to attract copious amounts of jacks-attention – it really should (and apparently does) come naturally. points to jacks. for reals.

third point goes to thai food. i don’t think i have to remind anyone that i have a baby stomach, but needless to say, nerves, baby stomach, and thai food is a toxic nauseating mix that almost killed me. yeah, that’s right. i almost died a spicy death. sounds hot. but not.

the last billion points go to me. just cause i am proud of my kickass self. and job hunting is fun, albeit ridiculously stressful.

tell me great interview tales – i would love to hear the chronicles of your pantyhose ripping and such.

okay. go.

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despite the fact that i will one day revel in being referred to as “dr. jacks” (without the “almost”), i shy away from the label of expert. we could chat about why this may be (not knowing of what i speak, making things up, blatant lies;), but suffice to say that i try follow in the footsteps of the most unpretentious woman i know, my supervisor. plus, pretentious people, in general, give me the shits so there is no reason to be one of them. and, most of the time, when i tell people i am a graduate student, and a phd student at that, they invariably (no joke, invariably) say “good for you!” like a am a potty-training toddler that just waved bye-byes to mr. poopy. so proclaiming expert status, whether i wanted to or not, would prolly result in something equally horrifyingly humiliating like someone trying to change my diaper and/or burp me. like you don’t wear a diaper. anyhoo. my point is that you don’t always get the response you are looking for which is why i am less and less inclined to discuss my dissertation topic at parties.

for those of you who know me, and those of you who don’t cause i keep telling you, i am an attention-whore. this results in interesting choices such as dramatically changing my hair and then disdaining of anyone who draws undue attention to it or choosing ridiculous things to study and then reacting with horrified anger when they say things like “you got a master’s degree after spending a couple of months on a nude beach,” “sociology is a nice hobby but you can’t feed yourself with it,” and my personal favourite, “well what is your phd actually in? online datingology” (followed by guffaw, guffaw, guffaw). most people’s reactions, are by and far, very positive. so positive, in fact, that i often get advice on how to do my doctorate. the standard party conversation goes like this:

stranger: “so what do you do?”

me: “i am student, which basically means not gainfully employed in any meaningful way.”

stranger: “oh yeah? that’s cool.”

me: “actually, i am a graduate student. i study sociology. but it is basically equivalent to unemployment and poverty-like conditions.”

stranger: “you’re doing your m.a.?”

me: “nopers. i’m a phd student.”

stranger: “GOOD FOR YOU!!!”

me: “gee. thanks.”

stranger: “what is your thesis on?”

me: “i study online dating.”

stranger: “no you don’t!”

me: “yeah. really. i do.”

stranger: “well that’s interesting!”

me: “not what you were expecting, huh?”

stranger: “NO! i didn’t even think you could study that!”

me: “yup.”

stranger: “so how successful is online dating? i mean how many people that you talked to get together?”

me: “i don’t really study that.”

stranger: “cause i mean, if you algorithmically calculated all the components of a good match, well then, you could -“

me: “i could sell my work to an online dating company?”

stranger: “YES!!! all it would take would be crunching the numbers and then putting together a detailed proposal -“

me: “are you an engineer?”

stranger: “yeah! how’d you know!?!?!”

this exact situation has happened to me twice. the exact same thing. and i wasn’t at an engineering convention about how to sell your work in the marketplace. swears.

so since chatting about my dissertation isn’t getting me the popularity i feel i want and deserve (read: need), perhaps i will start talking about it more on here. cause all ya’ll can’t talk back.

and all of you certainly can’t be engineers. (not that there is anything wrong with that).