Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Saturday, December 31, 2005


From Washington, where my hosts were kindness and graciousness personified, the weather was surprisingly mild, I actually had a chance to take in live theater (the Shakespeare DC's production of Comedy of Errors--very funny, uneven cast, but they wavered between the brilliant and the competent, so a fine show overall), and my interviews went, with one exception, quite well. I think. One never knows. Coming from the world of theater, I always offer an analogy about these interviews (one I've shared with many people over the past few days, so bear with me if you've heard this one): Academic interviews are like auditions: you only know "how it went" if you completely and utterly tanked, went down in flames, crashed and burned, and fill in your vehicular point of comparison here. (Although even then, you can't always tell--Dustin Hofffman famously blew his audition for The Graduate, and we all know how that turned out.) But beyond jsut flat-out agonizing failure to do anything right, one can simply never tell what will follow. Totally and utterly brilliant you may be, but if the director decides that he wants someone three inches taller, you will not get a call-back. So I may well have been brilliant--and hey, I flatter myself that I was, once or twice--but if they decide they want someone who's more attuned to Gender Studies, or Poetry-versus-drama, or if I rubbed even one of the three-member committee the wrong way, I'm out. So we do not know, and we shall not know for at about a month for most of these places. I am once again in the realm of thumb-twiddling. Which is a rich and fertile breeding ground for neurosis, self-loathing, and unfocused anxiety. Gonna be a great New Year. (Actually, my mood is good, and with the start of classes, I'll be busy and therefore distractedly productive. All good, it will be, as Yoda might say...)

Happy New Year.


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