Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about being on the other side of the job search for the first time. Now I’m on a departmental hiring committee for a second time, and I am also one of the non-departmental members for the Econ department’s hiring committee. I thought I would share what it’s like the second time around.
There are few things that bruise your professional ego more than no one showing up to an event you painstakingly and excitedly planned. In my case, it all came crashing down in early October. I had been planning to start a local Math Circle since February, and even got a generous grant from the Harward Center here at Bates to do it. I had connected with local teachers, advertised in a couple of school events, and sent out numerous email announcements in the weeks leading up to the event. On the day of our first meeting, our invited speaker, four student helpers, myself, and ONE student from the Lewiston High School showed up. I canceled the event (fortunately, the student’s parents were still nearby), and went home to mope and despair about how terrible I am at everything. After an appropriate mourning period and lots of comfort food (basically the rest of that weekend), I decided to pick myself up and figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. I know you are all worried now, but don’t be, this story has a happy ending.
Mike Starbird (standing) teaches Bates faculty an important lesson.
Last week, the Bates Math Department hosted our annual Sampson lecture. I have written about this event previously, when my collaborator Leila Schneps visited this past Winter. I was fortunate to also get to invite this academic year’s lecturer: good friend, colleague, role model, and all-around great guy Michael Starbird.