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.

No keys.

I frowned (for the first time in days). I pawed through my purse (again, frantically).

No keys.

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.


17 thoughts on “

  1. So glad to hear someone has actually managed to finish a diss. and get a job! I’m in the fifth year of the phd and am applying for jobs left and “write,” and still haven’t defended. you are an inspiration!

  2. Hurrah! Congrats!!Both on the job, and on discovering the key to good dissertating: disgust.Now just keep telling yourself: “Mr. Book just has to be done.”

  3. Mazel Tov! (on the job, not the keys: I once had to remove a screen with a pocketknife and climb through an above-sink kitchen window to retrieve the keys I’d left on the counter because I was in a hurry….)

  4. I’m embarassed I didn’t see this before Ralph linked to it. (You are not the only absent minded assistant professor around here…)But congratulations! That is terrific. I’m very pleased, though not at all surprised.

  5. First, congratulations! I’m sure you’ll be a great professor.Second, consider yourself lucky to get back into your apartment after only 30 minutes and 50 bucks. A few weekends ago my girlfriend and I locked ourselves out of apartment at 10 PM. We waited over two hours for an all-night locksmith who 1) couldn’t open the door and 2) still charged us $60. Good thing we have a friend who lives on our street.

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