Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Active Voice

Listening to Jimmy McGriff play "'Round Midnight" and getting some prep done for class tomorrow, grading some papers and drinking a beer. But let me take a break from that to tell you how a PFO letter ought to be written.

A few schools have sent me letters that thanked me for applying. The precise terminology is important here. It's not enough to say, "Thank you for your interest in our department." Because you know what? I'm not really interested in your department. I'm interested in getting a job with any fucking department. You have to say, "Thank you for applying." It's even better if you say "Thank you for taking the time to apply," because it really did take a lot of fucking time for me to put those applications together.

But it can get better than that. One school I interviewed with at the APA sent me a letter that thanked me for the interview, and actually went so far as to say they enjoyed our discussion. That might be total bullshit, but fuck it, I enjoyed the discussion too. They were a decent bunch of guys. And it was nice of the chair of the department to write such a kind rejection, even if it was a form letter.

There really isn't a lot about this process that makes you feel like an actual human being, so you appreciate those moments when they come by.

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