Alanis Morissette (remember her?) had a song, Ironic, that drove (still drives?) Tim crazy. “Having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife is not ironic” he’d complain. “Neither is rain on your wedding day!” He’d usually follow up with what he thought was a good example of irony, and I’d nod my head. I think I finally have one of my own.
One of the most exciting, and promising, aspects of the job offer from Tech was their “active spousal hire program.” This was actively promoted by various people Tim met on campus, and when we were trying to decide which offer to accept we were encouraged by its existence. Tim’s department was in support of bringing me on board, as was the provosts office. All that was needed was to find a home department for me. And that seemed like a no brainer. The department of Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise (HNFE) has an active obesity research program and no one else who examines diet and obesity in exactly the same way I do. Things were looking up.
Nearly five months after the initial interview (his formal and my informal), it’s pretty clear that – for various reasons – there is no academic position for me at HNFE. It’s not going to happen. Not in the foreseeable future.
So, where’s the irony?
Had I been offered a position, I would have likely spent my days in one of two places. Wallace hall, just off Drill Field (Tech’s main quad), is home to the bulk of HNFE faculty. The Behavioral and Community Health research folks (a division within the department) have a nice suit of offices at the Corporate Research Center (called CRC), just a mile or so from main campus.
Each morning, after breakfast, wrangling kids (and myself) into clothes, gathering of milk supplied and bottles and blankets, I get my family in the car and drive to the back side of Wallace Hall, where Eleanor attends the Child Development Center for Learning and Research (her new school). After waving good-bye to her (and Tim, who then walks to his own office just across campus), I get back in the car and drive to the Corporate Research Center, to bring Oliver to his classroom at Rainbow Riders.
Each and every day. Wallace Hall. CRC. CRC. Wallace Hall.
I’m often left with Jerry Seinfeld’s words echoing in my head, “If only you’d worked a little harder…”
(On the off chance that you haven’t seen JS’s entire bit about airports, it’s pretty good. Check it out it if you have 7 free minutes.)