Your Mission: Cross Fingers

14Nov07

Internet, I need your help. I need you to cross your fingers and to ask everyone in your family to cross their fingers. If your babies are too small or too uncoordinated to cross their own fingers, I need you to cross them and tape them so they stay. Then, I need you to go around to people on the street, in the grocery store, stopped beside you in traffic, and I need you to get them to cross their fingers.

Why, you ask? Because I’m pretty sure that the winners of the big fellowship I’m hoping for will be announced by Friday. Winning this fellowship would mean both a 20% increase in my income (whoa!) and a one-year break from teaching to focus on my dissertation. The dissertation that I haven’t worked on since September 12th. The one I thought I was going to have done by June until I went and got myself knocked up. I could hire a sitter to watch Evan while I worked. It would be amazing.

Whether I really even want to work on the dissertation is another issue altogether. I might be asking you to cross your fingers for something that in the end is going to lead to my slow, tortured demise. But I want it anyway. So cross ’em.

“But you’re only pretty sure?” you ask. “Is that a waste of finger crossing? Should I wait until next week to cross?”

Oh, Internet. Have some faith in me. My pretty-sure-ness is fairly firm. I am somewhat confident that the winners will probably be announced in the next couple of days. Which is to say that I did some research and some calculations and determined that in the past, this was the week the winners were announced.

Yup. I’m a big giant nerd and I’m not afraid to admit it.

The graduate school doesn’t tell us when the announcement will be made. I had materials due to my own department back on October 6th. They had to make their nominations to the graduate school by October 22nd. But other than that, no dates have been mentioned. No word on when the graduate school has to have its part of the decision making done.

But this is like torture for me. Not the pleasant kind of torture that comes from Brian dropping ridiculously obscure hints about my Christmas presents so that I get the joy of trying to figure them out and of thinking about Christmas presents in November. No, not that kind of torture.

This is baaaaad torture. Horrible drawn-and-quartered torture. Endlessly looped recordings of fingernails on chalkboards. Slow descriptions of what it feels like to grind your own teeth down until they crack into hundreds of pieces and fall out of your mouth like so many pieces of confetti. Nightmares about being smothered by a comforter that grows until it takes over the whole bedroom. That last bit was my fever dream as a kid — the dream I had whenever I had a fever — and it was awful. Scary as hell.

Not knowing when the announcement will be made is so so bad.

So I did a little research. I let my fingers do the walking right through a whole slew of past press releases by the graduate school, scanning each pdf file for mentions of the presidential fellowship. Then, I searched past academic calendars and figured out that the presidential fellowship announcements were always made in press releases that came out on the 8th Friday of the quarter.

This quarter is strange, though, since it started on a Wednesday and the ones I looked at were for academic quarters beginning on Mondays. Technically, the 8th Friday of the quarter was this past Friday, but I suspected (and it appears I suspected correctly) that they wouldn’t count that first partial week.

Which means that the presidential fellowship announcements should come out in the Friday graduate school press release. And possibly, the recipients themselves could hear even sooner.

Like today or something. Holy crap.

Of course, there’s a good chance that I won’t win. The winners might be announced today and I might not be listed among them. Which would suck. The number one thing I’ve had to learn in graduate school is how to lose. How not to win things. How to be disappointed. And yeah, I realize that asking you all to cross your fingers only draws attention to this fellowship that otherwise you had no idea about and so when I don’t get it, which is a very real possibility, I’ll have 50 people to share my shame with.

But maybe that also means that 50 people will find good ways to cheer me up in that event, which wouldn’t be all that bad.

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7 Responses to “Your Mission: Cross Fingers”

  1. Fingers crossed!

    You’ll update?

    Julie
    Using My Words

  2. Fingers crossed!!!

  3. Happy to help – fingers crossed! And good luck!

  4. 4 Mom

    Fingers and toes crossed :-)

  5. We’re all crossed over here. Good luck!

  6. Thanks, all! And no, I haven’t heard yet. I called the graduate school pretending not to be me and asked about it — the committee doesn’t even meet until the week AFTER next. I think they’re trying to TORTURE me.

    I guess I know how Evan feels when he sees me get the bottle out but doesn’t get to have it right away.


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