Prologue, Part II

So here I am approaching the fifth year of my post doc, which means technically I will no longer be a post-doc. Instead I will graduate to some sort of research faculty position; not really faculty but not really post doc. It is a point I never thought I'd reach.

I've had several discussions with my boss about my future career goals. My research of late hasn't been that inspiring; grant writing is a tedious and nonrewarding process; I'm searching for a path that will be more fufilling. I mentioned to him that I want to teach; I mentioned that maybe I want to write. He thinks I would be good at both those things, but how to pursue them as a bona fide career choice?

In the meantime I start attending some workshops here at work about Teaching Science, working at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions, and writing Science. But the problem is.... I havn't actually taught anything. I havn't actually written anything.... outside of my blog and my research publications. It is a bit depressing, actually; it is the age old conundrum: how does one get experience when one needs to have experience first?

Anyway, because of all these miscellaneous panels and workshops I've attended, I somehow get put onto an internal email list. One Thursday afternoon in late November I am sitting at my computer when I get a new message. One of the people who is coming to campus in December to host a discussion on teaching at a PUI forwarded a flyer from the Chair of her department. They are looking for Adjunct faculty to teach biology labs, starting this spring. They are advertising this as a good way to get experience.

I immediately type up an e-mail and forward it, along with my CV, to the chair.

Five minutes later she calls my cell phone.

The following Monday I drive up to meet her. We chit chat for 30 seconds. It turns out I never attached my CV to the email, so she asks if I have one. I do, so I give it to her; she glances at it. Then she hands me the syllabus, the course textbook, and the lab manual. She tells me that my section will be on Monday nights. "Are you interested?" She asks.

And just like that, I am hired.