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Friday Afternoon Confessional: The Fear

I confess that after trying to put the best possible spin on the job application process, I was overcome by anxiety this week — anxiety stemming from the number of petty things that could disqualify my applications (a mix-up with transcripts, the failure of a recommendation notification to get to my professors, simple human error on my part), even before the schools apply a necessarily arbitrary method to get the number of active applications down to a humanly-conceivable level.

Perhaps I’ve been in denial, thinking that this time around I could make it a purely utilitarian process of checking off boxes, because it is after all a process that could determine the course of my career (or lack thereof) for years down the road.

I confess that whenever I sleep in later than The Girlfriend and don’t get to hang out with her before she goes to work, I feel a little sad for the rest of the day, even though it’s effectively only a few minutes of face time between her getting ready and walking the dog, etc. The transition back to spending the week in Kalamazoo may prove more difficult this time.

I confess that the shitty internet service in our apartment here in Chicago is slowly driving me insane.

I confess that multiple-day stretches of bad allergies make me feel as though the world as such is somehow rejecting me.

I confess that I really thought I wanted to read the new Franzen novel, but as time passes, I find I care less and less.


September 10, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess I have the same experience with my girlfriend – if we both get up together and don’t speak before she goes to work it is a downer.

    Comment by Alex | September 10, 2010

  2. I confess I feel relief for not having to drive today b/c have to go to ny after work by path
    it feels like having a day off and nice to not feel a strange feeling in the stomach belbegnekh I always have before driving, that must be fear
    but I got pretty used to the road to and from the school, though at first it took almost the same time like by bus in the morning b/c too many schools in the area, feels like almost one for for every block
    hopefully in two months I’ll be able to use the highway

    Comment by read | September 10, 2010

  3. I confess that I enjoy pronouncing “cofnessional” in my head.

    I don’t have much experience with what Adam is talking about – I get up to iron our clothes and take of the dogs every morning – but I can attest to the other side of the equation. My days always start off much better when he have more hanging out time than usual, like when we go to the donut joint or coffee shop together. Those extra few minutes make a world of difference.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | September 10, 2010

  4. I confess I got kicked in the right ankle twice, and really hard, by someone wearing cleats, while playing soccer last night. I confess the kicker was someone into whose testicles I had just before accidentally kicked the ball really hard. I confess that the nexus and order of those events make it somewhat hard to credit that my injury was inflicted entirely by accident. I confess I need to invest in shin guards, and also that this game might be too hard for me.

    I confess that when I woke up this morning my right ankle was, not unexpectedly, swollen, but for some reason my other knee really, really hurts. This sucks.

    I confess I have to be downtown for work in 31 minutes, and I’m in my pajamas drinking tea, which is not a good sign.

    Comment by jms | September 10, 2010

  5. I wonder if this is something I believe they call “cascading injuries”. It happens all the time with baseball players (and probably other sports; I just read more about baseball) where the change in mechanics made to avoid one injury causes stress elsewhere that leads to another seemingly unrelated body part.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | September 10, 2010

  6. I confess that I enjoy pronouncing “cofnessional” in my head.

    I confess that I just enjoyed pronouncing it out loud!

    I confess that reading someone else’s dissertation (someone with a prestigious job, no less) is alternately encouraging and discouraging. I confess that my courage levels are fluctuating for other reasons as well and that I am likely to die for job market–related reasons.

    Comment by ben | September 10, 2010

  7. I confess that pronouncing cofnessional makes me think of Daffy Duck.

    Comment by grackle | September 10, 2010

  8. I confess that I have no refereeing to do, for the first time in years.

    Comment by Hugh | September 10, 2010

  9. I confess that my new exercise regimen seems to be a net loss in terms of my health, not only because I’ve been getting injured a lot, but also because exercise makes me want to smoke more and eat less.

    I recently learned that cyclists competing in the Tour de France used to smoke cigarettes on long uphill climbs, on the theory that the smoke helped open up your lungs. I confess I find this comforting. I mean, it might be true, you know.

    Comment by jms | September 10, 2010

  10. I confess that a meeting with my advisor reduced me to such despair that I wondered if it would be easier just to leave my program without a degree, or merely without having gone on the market.

    Comment by ben | September 10, 2010

  11. I confess I’m very disappointed Bloglines is shutting down, it’s been my homepage for probably 5 years.

    I confess one blog I read, has a theory about depression and morning faces, and you guys have unwittingly added another datapoint.

    I confess when I read about all this job market anxiety my immediate thought is “how can I discourage my children from academia as a career?”. I confess professors encouraging students in this direction seems a bit like those sub-prime mortgage sellers.

    Comment by Gabe | September 10, 2010

  12. I confess that I was assigned an undergraduate marker today. I Googlepaged her and saw her Facespace profile. I then told the department that I would not be needing a marker this year. Although, to be honest, I never requested a marker in the first place.

    Comment by Craig | September 10, 2010

  13. I confess I sometimes express my pissed-offness by avoiding a talk with my wife in the morning, even if I know I am the one that will feel worst about it during the day.

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | September 11, 2010

  14. i confess i’m sure that BW and AK will succeed in their respective endeavours and best wishes to all
    such a beautiful autumn day today cz

    Comment by read | September 11, 2010

  15. I confess that Jonathan Franzen bores me.

    Comment by stras | September 11, 2010

  16. i confess, hi, stras, i’m glad to see you again and it would be great if BMcM would show up here too or better on FB

    Comment by read | September 11, 2010

  17. I confess I thought Franzen’s interview on Fresh Air oscillated between boring and obnoxious.

    Comment by ebolden | September 13, 2010

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