Monday, December 5, 2011

Five interviews and a Sri Lankan-Jewish-Korean wedding

That was my conference weekend.  Followed by a Skype interview today, which means I had exactly six hours (3.5 of which were spent teaching dancing) in which I was excited to be done interviewing, followed by the stress of knowing that in the next two weeks I will know whether or not I make it to various other stages of this process.

The wedding (my husband's cousin, although he is only two of those traditions) was excellent.  Especially as it was held in a library that looked like the Beast's in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.  If only I hadn't been too exhausted for socialization.

Finally, here is an amusing and appalling story from the plane ride to this conference (since I am blonde, I can get away with reading Arabic on planes):

Woman sitting behind me: Are you originally a native speaker of English?
Me: Yes [Originally?]
Woman: But you're reading a book in a language that's not English
Me: It's a book of short stories by Ibrahim Aslan, an excellent Egyptian author [Haven't you heard of multilingualism, you idiot?]
Woman: Oh, I've always wanted to see the pyramids.
Me: Yes, they're amazing [Don't be mean to ignorant people, don't be mean to ignorant people . . . ]
Man from two rows down: Oh, you must be going to Area Studies Conference!
Me: Yes, I am [Thank you for saving me from this conversation!]

As it happens, here is a similar story from the last time I flew to this conference, and was grading homework on the plane:

Man passing down the aisle: What kind of funny language is that?
Me: Arabic [which has a much less funny orthographic system than English]
Man: Well, it sure isn't English!
Me: No, it's not [you moron]
Woman sitting behind me, as they man moves on: The ignorance of some people knows no bounds.  Are you going to Area Studies Conference?

Sometimes, I have the patience for these types of people, and will calmly explain that no, I do not speak hieroglyphics as a result of living in Egypt.  However, when I am stressed, short on sleep, and on my third plane ride in a two week period, it is all I can do to keep it short and civil.


  1. Dialogue at the Miami airport, where planes had been delayed due to bad weather:

    Woman: "So, where are you going?"
    Me: "Buenos Aires, Argentina"
    Woman: "So how long is a flight to Africa from Miami?"

    Or, same version, and the person reply is "Oh, I love Maradona/Messi". Once, somebody randomly asked me if I liked Borges after saying I was from Buenos Aires, and I almost kiss that person.

    Congrats on the interviews!!!

  2. Mabrouk on the boatload of interviews, SK! It was great to see you again and looking all professional and bad-ass. Keep us posted!

  3. yay interviews, boo not very well informed travel companions

    funniest fucking flight ever. I'm sitting in plane already reading biography of famous feminist. Dude sits one seat over and drops Derrida in the middle seat. I'm so fucking happy I can barely stand it as I wil be spared litany of stupid questions/remarks about how i do not look like a professor. Of course we were both en route to/from conferences