Sunday, March 06, 2005

Philadelphia, Belatedly 

Well, I'm back, and about to forget the trip, so I better get this down in cyberspace before I lose it completely.

Tried posting a few times from Philly, but the hotel wireless kept eating my posts, and once I got into the swing of things at the prep school placement agency faculty recruitment forum I didn't want to process too much, lest I lose my interview momentum. Too tired Saturday night to blog, and too happy to spend time with my family after too long an absence yesterday to get to it any earlier.

What follows, then, is a backtrack two-fer, as short as I can without missing the blogworthy. Enjoy!

Hit the road just before dawn for the long multi-stage trek down to Philadelphia, illicitly hardwired into the iPod (the iTrip is still dead) and smoking like a fiend. Parked at Hartford airport by 8:00, made 9:30 flight with time to spare. Got half the plane to myself -- guess there's not much demand for a midweek Hartford to Philadelphia.

Stopped at the airport info desk on a whim upon arrival, and decided to take the train in to downtown and walk from there, thus saving much cab fare throughout the week as well as avoiding that international sweat and leather cab stink. Train went nowhere near the hotel where I was staying, but came within two blocks of the hotel hosting the prep school faculty recruitment forum, so I decided to stop off there first

Good thing, too. Arriving at 11:50 after a decent walk through the financial district I discovered that, despite notification that I wasn't going to be in until 1:00, one of the schools I was interested in, a unique combo of public and boarding prep school in the midst of Maine, could only see me at noon. Off went the coat, and there I was in the hotseat.

Like all four following, the interview went well, and that's all I'm saying for now -- as previously mentioned herein, I'm trying to preserve the semi-private nature of the jobsearch process. Except to mention some harsh generalities: First, that there seem to be an awful lot of boarding schools out there that don't have housing for families, and second, that if I coached varsity basketball, I bet I could have any teaching job I wanted.

Other than a quick between-interview check-in at the four-star hotel Dad took care of, spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly through a 12 block radius, enjoying the city. Pork buns from Chinatown for lunch, a spicy andouille sausage sandwhich and belgian fries for supper from the great pub across the street, and more history than you can shake a musket at. Even found a sign marking the site of the first photo ever taken in America -- in 1830, of a school that no longer exists. Fell asleep happy at 10:30, stuffed with television.

More of the same until noon the next day -- two early interviews, a quick lunch with another NMH jobseeker, and a final 30 min chat with yet another Upper School Head, this time from mid-Pennsylvania. A philly cheesesteak (yum!) from a street vendor and a quick zip through the Franklin Institute museum's giant walk-through heart exhibit, where I bought Willow a real stethescope, and I was back on the commuter rail, still in my tie and coat, beginning my six hour plane, train, and automobile back home -- this time surrounded by the beginnings of spring break Harford (woo!).

For those interested: in all, the interviews were more like those cheesy table-hopping speed dating events than anything else, though broken up by hours of down-time. The competition was younger, mostly, and single -- which unfortunately means cheaper and easier to house in-dorm, though I'd argue that when you hire a 32 year old with a new second child you get a commitment to stick around for a while. Now it's days of follow-up letters and -- I hope -- a few calls for school visits as we enter the home stretch, so keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?

posted by boyhowdy | 10:07 PM |

Post a Comment
coming soon
now listening