“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to Get that Elusive Academic Job 17--the Interview (paranoia)

A recent comment reminded me to talk about paranoia. In my long experience as job seeker then as job placement officer, this is the NUMBER ONE scholars' interview (and application in general) killer. Why? Simple. We have fast minds that are not trained to work with others.

Here's some advice from my pop music experience: if you worry too much about your audience's idea of your idea of their idea of your idea etc of what you should play, you will sound shit.

You are in the interview. You are in a heightened state of awareness--your amygdala is in full effect. Don't run with it, don't give in to fight or flight. Despite what your amygdala is telling you,

1: you can't actually read minds, so stay inside yours and not inside that hostile looking professor's over there on the sofa

2: you can't control or even police what the other is thinking so don't try. If they don't like you because of what you're wearing or their ideas about Deleuze, tough.

3: there is no big other. Really. These guys are people. Chill. Use the frontal cortex. Use your mirror neurons. Focus on your ikebana. (See below.)

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