The Absent-Minded Almost-Professor
I’ve been very pleased with myself lately. I have been offered and I have accepted a tenure track job. This sort of job market success gives one a swelled head. One floats around on cloud nine, talking to oneself in the mirror and addressing oneself as “Assistant Professor Goetz.” Despite the fact that I am now working frantically to finish my dissertation in anticipation of being a real, live, actual working adult this fall, I’ve still been having an extended zen moment of peace and contentment.
This evening I met a member of my dissertation committee for dinner. There were congratulatory glasses of champagne. Fine food. Giddy Rebecca extolling the virtues of new department and new colleagues. General excitement.
And as I came to my apartment door afterwards, still pleased with myself, I fished around in my pocket for my keys.
I frowned (for the first time in days). I pawed through my purse (again, frantically).
Re-searched pockets, purse, and other folds of cloth that might contain keys.
And, dimly, the conclusion reached into my brain: soon to be assistant professor Goetz has left her keys on her kitchen table. She has, in all her wisdom, locked herself out. Swelled head bursts with a pop and rapidly deflates as Rebecca contemplates her utter carelessness.
Half an hour and $50.00 later, I am back in my apartment. I’m really not so pleased with myself and more disgusted. And, I’m ready to do some serious dissertating.