The Edge Effect

Thursday, February 22, 2007

(meta) Rejection

I got another thin envelope today so I thought I'd try my hand at writing one.

Dear Search Committee Members,

I have received and thoroughly reviewed the rejection letter that you sent regarding my application for your advertised position of Associate Professor of Anthropology.

I have been impressed with the number and quality of rejection letters that I have received this year and the task of sifting through them has been quite humbling. Your letter was quite strong and I would like to accept all of the rejections that I receive. Unfortunately that is not possible and I have already filled my quota of rejection letters for this application cycle. Therefore it is with deep regret that I must accept the job of Associate Professor of Anthropology that you have advertised.

Please have your department administrator contact me as soon as possible so that we can negotiate compensation, starting date, and course load for my first term.

This should not be taken as a reflection of the quality of your rejection letter or of your department in general. All of the rejections that I received were quite strong and I wish you the best of luck in rejecting future candidates and in all of your future endeavors.

If you submitted any publications or additional materials with your rejection letter that you would like returned to you, please contact me as soon as possible and I will get those back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you sincerely,

Associate Professor
Your University Department of Anthropology

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Don't forget that today's Mardi Gras. And that means PACZKI!

For the unitiated out there, a paczki (pronounced POONCH-ki) is a wonderful bite of Polish heaven. It's like a super thick jelly donut that Polish people make to use up the last of the fat and rich foods before Lent.

I picked up a few this morning at the Copernicus Deli here in Ann Arbor. It's a new Polish grocery, bakery, and deli in the South Main Market and it's quite good. This was my third visit. Previously I've gotten pate, smoked fish, and pierogis, all of which were quite tasty. Check it out when you get a chance.

Back in Kansas the Anglo settlers have a different tradition. They make pancakes to use up all the foods they aren't supposed to eat during lent. In Liberal they even have an international pancake race. Basically the runners (local women) carry a skillet with a pancake inside. As they run they have to flip the pancake in the air and catch it in the skillet. Simultaneous with the race in Liberal, Olney England is having its own Pancake race. At the end they compare the best times and declare a winner.

It looks like Liberal is on a winning streak, although the numbers I found are only up to date as of 2003. Keep your fingers crossed for my Kansas sisters.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year! (and peni)

Don't forget that today is Chinese New Year. Welcome to 4074, the year of the pig!

By way of celebration, I present to you a pig 'specimen' from the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

I had no idea that there was such a place. The world somehow seems more wonderful now.

Dimming Light

'Tis the season for committees to make their decisions about jobs, fellowships, post-docs and various other forms of funding. The thin envelopes have started pouring in. I finally tabulated the official rejections that I've gotten and the picture is actually not that bad - you know, all things considered.

This year I applied for 13 jobs and one post-doc.
Of those, I've gotten official rejections for five of the jobs.
I know who has been interviewed at four others (and I'm not one of them) so I can assume they are all negatory.
I don't have any official rejection letter for two, but I'm pretty confident that they're no-gos.
That leaves two jobs that are still on the table and the post-doc, all three of which I think are slim-but-real chances.

The light at the end of the tunnel is a little more dim, but at least it isn't a train. The three outstanding applications are the only three that were realistic from the start, so the light really isn't that much dimmer either.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Darwin Day!

Today is Charles Darwin's 198th birthday! So go celebrate.

I might recommend using this, rather than Valentine's Day, as the pretext for buying a nice dinner or some sexy lingerie. That way you can give a big 'Up Yours' to Hallmark holidays and still get to enjoy the day. Besides, what makes you hotter than common descent?


Or if you're more of a traditionalist, you could check out Flock of Dodos at the Detroit Science Center.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

KC Explosion

Yesterday afternoon I was chatting with my friend Eric in Kansas (I was supposed to be finishing chapter 2) when he told me there was a massive explosion in Kansas City. It took a while before any news got posted on the web but his wife Jen, who works near downtown, took this picture from her office.

It was a chemical plant in the industrial area and I believe that there were few injuries, but I thought the picture was very cool so I'm sharing it with all of you. Enjoy.

Postscript - Jen tells me that the fire is still burning, but nearly out as of this morning.

Edit - Here are some better pictures of the smoke over downtown.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging

It's been a while, but dog blogging is a worthy tradition. So in the spirit of trying to get my sorry butt back on the blogging wagon I present to you the latest set of Charlie and Sadie photos (with a special guest appearance by Blue!). No Salpy photos in this mix so here's a shot of Salpy and Blue hanging out at the New Year's Eve Party.