Interviewer Techniques

Marco told me that he tells the same joke to every person his department interviews for professorships:

A man is about to die, and the angel of death says to him, ‘You can see Heaven and Hell first and then decide where you want to spend eternity.’ So the man goes to Heaven. Clouds, harps, people sitting around chatting. It’s pretty boring. Then, he visits Hell. There is a hot tub and music and a bar. People are laughing and having a great time. He says, ‘Okay, I choose Hell.’

When the man dies, he goes to Hell. As soon as he enters, a demon slaps irons on his wrists. Another prods him with red hot pokers. He is crying and through his tears he says, ‘I don’t understand. What happened? When I visited, it was nothing like this.’

The demon looks at him, smiles, and says, ‘You were recruited.’


Summer is time off, or so everyone who doesn’t teach believes. As a math professor and an author, that is absolutely not the case. Even though I am not teaching summer school, I am doing research. I am reorganizing material for fall classes. I am building and improving what and how I teach. I am also polishing manuscripts, sending query letters to agents, and trying to work out how I want to end the Camellia series.

I think, perhaps if I write this all down here, I will remember it when I get lazy. Maybe I’ll remember this when I just want to sit down and play Sims, Diablo III, or DDO all day.

Yeah, maybe…or maybe I’ll play today and work tomorrow. There is plenty of time to prepare for fall.

and then she starved and had to depend on the ants to save her, figuratively of courseĀ