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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Should I Be Sad?

So, I recently read somewhere in the blogosphere that the deadline for accepting a visiting position at another law school during the 2009-2010 school year has just passed, and so I'm wondering whether I should feel sad that one more year has come and gone without anyone asking me if I'd like to visit at their nice law school. I mean, I don't think I know anyone who hasn't visited somewhere. Most people I know have visited many places and are scheduled for visits already right through the 2013-2014 season--"yeah," they'll say, "I'm set up for a visit at Fordham in spring 2010 and Michigan for fall 2011 and am working on getting something together at the not-yet-quite-created Brown Law School for the January term 2013." It's not like I'm exactly itching to visit somewhere--I love where I teach and how do people see their "families" when they teach halfway across the country, anyway?--but still, I wonder--in the same way that I wonder, when I'm on the subway and there's an empty seat right next to me and the person standing right next to the empty seat won't just sit down, why why why doesn't the person sit down, what is wrong with me, what do I smell like anyway?--why no law schools want me to visit. How does this whole visiting thing even work? It's not like I don't answer my phone. Indeed I sometimes sit whole days staring at my phone waiting for it to ring with a visiting offer, occasionally picking it up and listening to the dial tone to see if it's still working, but nothing, and then it's another evening of coming home, hanging up my hat, and facing the inevitable question from my wife: "Did anyone ask you to visit today, dear?" she says, and I have to put my head down and say "no" and even though she always smiles politely and pats me on the head and says "that's OK, dear," I know what she's thinking, and not just because she turns to my five year old son and says, "sorry, honey, nobody asked daddy to visit again," and he cries.

Posted by Jay Wexler on April 2, 2009 at 09:26 AM in Jay Wexler | Permalink


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I would feel sadder for you, except that you are teaching full time. You could be me, I am an awesome teacher (seriously) but my real employer won't let me publish. So, I remain an adjunct. I get invited to the ball from time to time, but no one even sends me rejections. I just go home, alone, wondering if anyone will ever find the glass slipper I left behind. At least this year, I found Prawfsblawg and could follow the process along. Now I know I can quit waiting. The phone isn't going to ring for me. I just hope my glass slipper is still sitting there on the steps of the Wardman Park Hotel, so I can pick it up again in about 6 months. Never say quit, keep staring at that phone, one day YOUR prince will come (and so will mine).

Posted by: plugging away | Apr 3, 2009 1:55:00 PM

I love your posts - so funny, candid, and real. Many thanks from someone else who has yet to receive an offer to visit...!

Posted by: tr birckhead | Apr 2, 2009 8:28:49 PM

I'll feel sad for you, if you like, but it could be that you hang out with a crowd of very ambitious people who live in very small college towns. A plus in the visiting market, on both sides of the transaction?

Posted by: David | Apr 2, 2009 10:24:16 AM

Fantastic, particularly the last sentence.

Posted by: Jason | Apr 2, 2009 10:03:45 AM

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