So, now that I’ve worked through all of the details I can share with my adoring public my big news :): I’ve accepted a tenure-track position in the African and African-American Studies Department at the University at Buffalo.
It all happened very quickly. In late October I applied for the position. About a week later, I got an email from the administrative assistant requesting a phone interview and that I forward my dossier. I had UW send it. The next day I had said interview and came away from it seriously thinking that I had crashed and burned. I went to Indiana for the HSA and while I was having lunch with some colleagues, the chair called to urge me to get the dossier in as the committee was making final cuts. I called UW and made sure that it was sent.
I had a meeting with my faculty mentor, Grace Hampton, when I returned from Indiana and while I was sitting, chatting with her, I got a call from Buffalo asking if I could come out by Sunday! I figured, why not?
So, I flew from State College on November 22nd with a joke-telling pilot and his trusty side-kick; a very good-natured flight attendant. It was the first and probably only time, that I have been met planeside by a pilot.
Here we are:
Keith and Janina met me at the airport and took me out to dinner at a very fancy Italian restaurant. After dinner I retired to my amazingly luxurious hotel room and sort of slept in an incredibly comfortable bed.
The interview process was great. It presented an opportunity for me to reflect on and articulate my thoughts, beliefs—in short, my philosophy—about research and teaching. I got to share my convictions and commitment to interdisciplinary work and the necessity of making the connections between Africa and its diaspora. By the time the hour of my job talk arrived I felt like I’d made new friends and found a supportive community.
After my talk, Jim Pappas, one of my new favorite people in the whole world, along with two other lovely faculty members, took me out to dinner at a very chic French restaurant. Once you got inside you had no idea that you were in a strip mall!
Jim then took me to the airport where I made a prompt bee-line for the bathroom to get out of my tights and skirt and into my very standard, very comfortable khakis.
Long story shortened, less than two weeks later, Keith called with the good news.
I got my formal offer letter via email while I was in Haiti.
I’ve finally broken the news to my AMAZING son—the poor kid did not ask to be born to a wanderer—and said yes to Keith and the gang two days before Christmas.
Then I came down with the flu and spent the next four days camped out on my futon shivering and moaning.