Post Academic

The Post Academic Holiday Gift Guide

Posted in Absurdities by Arnold Pan on December 14, 2010
Tags: , ,

I started to do some holiday shopping over the weekend, only to realize that I have no idea what to get people I’m supposed to get gifts for (except my daughter, who wants everything that’s on an ad on Nick) and that I actually really don’t want anything myself.  It’s not that I’m against conspicuous consumption or anything, it’s just that there’s so much stuff on display that nothing stands out or seems that appealing.  Me, I think I’m gonna go to Amoeba and trade in a bunch of old records, then take what I get back to treat myself to CDs and DVDs.

This got me thinking about what I might want — besides a tenure-track job in a place I want to live — if I was going to MLA and was spending all my holiday time and mental energy thinking about interviews.  So we’re throwing together a little Post Academic holiday wish list, whether you’re the interviewee who doesn’t know what you want or you have a prickly, finicky academic to shop for…

"Chicago Santa Claus 1902" by Chicago Daily News (Public Domain)

Portfolio: I’m of a mind that less is more when it comes to interviewing.  So why carry a big bookbag full of stuff to your MLA interview and risk something falling out of your bag that may or may not embarrass you?  Really, all you need is to bring a pad of paper, a pen, and maybe sample syllabi — oh, that’s another blog topic for another day — which fit nicely into a portfolio.  It’s more streamlined and you look neat carrying a presentable one with your fancy clothes.  The thing is, a nice AND affordable one is actually a lot harder to find than you’d think; the ones at frou-frou stationary stores can get pricey and cheapy plastic ones are more befitting an undergrad.  I got a pretty good leather-looking Swiss Army one at Office Depot for around $30 — then I lost it at MLA, though it was at least after my interviews.  Can’t seem to find it online, but something like this would do the trick…

More stuff to ask Santa for, after the jump…