Monday, February 11, 2008

Interview Experiences

Well as I mentioned I had two interviews for faculty jobs this past month. I thought I would spend a little time describing how they went in terms of the logistics. FYI little one is now 11 months old, and I had not spent a single night away from her until the second of these trips.

Interview 1: big state school. My husband and little one came along for the ride.
Interview 2: small liberal arts college. I went alone - leaving little one at home with her dad for 48 hours.

Overall I would say (and I'm surprised about this) but leaving little one at home was the better idea. I nearly threw in the towel the day before leaving for the first interview. Packing for little one and myself while also wanting to work on my talk was almost too much for me. The travel was of course a lot more stressful, and while at the interview I had no time to relax or work at all in the evening as I was just having to deal with baby stuff (or in a dark hotel room, since little one was sleeping). I pretty much fell asleep as soon as she did every night. Going by myself I obviously missed little one, and I had to pump much more, and deal with traveling with breast milk (see my previous post), but I actually could work on my talk in the
evening and decompress from the interviews a little. The only real downside of this was the extra work before the trip to make sure there was enough stocked up breast milk to last 48 hours. I pumped an extra once or twice a day for a couple of weeks which really got old quick. Of course now we have a ton of extra milk in the freezer, so I will be able to wind down pumping a little earlier than I planned before.

So surprisingly my advice is to go alone even if it feels impossible to leave your baby. I really didn't feel ready to leave my little one - getting on the plane was a pretty hard, and I was very happy to come back. In the end it worked out for the best though, and I'm happy as I do not have to travel away from her again for a couple of months.

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