Friday, October 05, 2007

"This Is What I Do," Rhett Miller

I am finding myself in a very bad place. I sent off my job materials to the committee (late, I know) and immediately received a message from Cheerleader Advisor, in which she noted that my letter was riddled with typos and grammatical problems. And that my c.v. used the wrong format for degree titles. And that all versions of my abstract suck.

Now, my abstract probably does need work, which is why I'm sending it to you, damn it. And the vita thing, whatever, it's what my reference book said, but easy to change. But for the life of me, I cannot find the typos in the letter. And it's not like I'm bad at proofreading; I used to do it for a living. And when you tell me you need a "clean copy" of the long abstract, the copy editor in my rises up to cut a bitch for suggesting that I'm responsible for dirty copy.

So, ok, I fixed some things up and tried to clarify what she specified she was having problems with. And then I looked up some recent Chaos dissertations, purportedly to check citation style (MLA or Chicago?) but really to see what's been coming out. And, the abstracts for these completed dissertations? On par with my abstract for a still-partly-imaginary project. Or, excuse my snobbishness, worse. Obfuscatory language? Yep. Jargon for its own sake? Yep. A distinct sense of so what? Yep.

Possible explanations:
  • [all redacted now, because I'm indulging a spot of paranoia]
Luckily, I have versions of all this stuff off to the rest of the committee, the job-search chairs, and our department secretary (a former academic editor). Unluckily, I have not heard back from any of them yet. I do hope some of their feedback balances this out.

N.B., This post may or may not disappear, in whole or in part, at some point in the future. Not that anyone's reading, but whatever. Safe>sorry, and all that.

Eta: You know what? I'm line-editing my first chapter, and it's freaking awesome. It's been at least a month since I've messed with it, and I forgot half the stuff I said, so it's like reading a brand-new piece. Repent and die, bastards. I'm good at some of this.

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