Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chickens counted, hatched

On Friday, I received a tenure-track offer from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. I was a little surprised to get a flyback offer, since they asked me some tough questions in my APA interview. But flyback I did, and I thought my teaching demo and interviews went well. I also was really impressed with what I saw of the college, so by the time I got home, I was hoping they’d make me an offer. It was hard waiting on word from the Dean, but since I was the last candidate to visit campus, I only had to wait a week.

St. Joe’s—I’m just assuming that’s what people call it for short—is a small Catholic school run by the Sisters of Mercy. They have just over 1000 undergraduates, but there is a plan on the table to increase enrollment to 1400 and add a couple buildings. There are only about 80 faculty members, so it’s a small community. I got the distinct impression that its exceptionally collegial, though, which is certainly attractive for a new prof.

The campus is on the shore of Sebago Lake, in view of the White Mountains. On clear days, you can see New Hampshire and Mount Washington, where the world record for surface wind speed was recorded: 231 mph. (Fun fact: the mountain experiences hurricane force winds an average of 110 days a year, according to the ever-infallible Wikipedia). The city of Portland, Maine is about 18 miles away, and many faculty live there. It’s supposed to be a great city. I saw just a bit of the Old Port section, which is just swarming with restaurants. I also noticed a handful of independent bookstores on my one drive into town. Living directly in the city can be expensive, but it’s very affordable to live on the outskirts, so we’re hoping to be able to buy a house soon after moving out there.

So at some point over the summer, we’ll be making the 3175 mile drive across the country. That’s going to be a pain in the butt, of course, but I think once we get there we’ll really like it. When I told some of my students that I might be moving to Maine, one of them, who rarely says anything at all in class, asked, “You’re leaving Santa Barbara for Maine?” The tone of voice she used would have been equally suited to the question, “You’re going to hammer that four-inch spike into your skull?” It sounds crazy to lots of people, but (apart from the fact that I just need a job), Watoosa and I are really looking forward to living out there. It was all we could do to keep ourselves from thinking about it before Friday. We like cold weather, we’ll be close to Boston (2 hrs., or so), we’ll be able to avoid impoverishing ourselves, we’ll have lobster for every meal of the day, and we’ll have four distinct seasons (with a cool summer, no less). We’ve loved Santa Barbara, and would have been happy to stay, but since that’s not possible, Maine is a fine alternative. If you’re ever up in that part of the country, you’ll have to drop by.

Go Monks!


Tim said...


Great job! You rule!

When you make the move, you'll probably drive through Missouri, right? If so, We call dibs on you for a night (or at least a part of a night -- we'll take what we can get). And, if we are in Valpo by then, I'm sure you will drive through IN on the way to Maine, right? If so, I call dibs on that night. Plus, I seriously doubt you have many other friends in the area there. And, while I'm dreaming, i might as well say you should make it a Wednesday, so we can see Freek Johnson play.

Really, great job. I'm proud of you, I'm impressed by you, and I'm happy for you.

All the best,

kt said...

Fantastic news, Ickie.

Ickenham said...

I'm not sure what our route will be, but I doubt it will take us along the south shore of Lake Michigan. If I never drive that stretch of road again, it'll be too soon! But we'd love to see you guys if we can work it out.

Allison said...

Kt and I are super happy for you and Beth. What a great place to be. I want to live in Maine. We hope to come visit you before you head over 3000 miles east. Congrats!

md baldee said...

great news. do let us know the next time you're near Franklin so we can see y'all. T's going down to Angela's this weekend to take Molly to Angela's oldest daughter's b-day party.

I don't think my parents ever drove me more than 20 minutes to a friend's party, but we like to add to all those greenhouse gases......


hambone said...

Congratulaaaaations. And, hey, R. and I also want you to drive along the south shore of Lake M. Come see us on your way to Maine!