Cruel, cruel, cruel

So, here we are approximately 14 months since the tenure process began.  The letter is supposed to come “in June sometime” that tells me if I have a future or not.  (Please don’t repsond by telling me I have nothing to worry about — I appreciate the sentiment, but it makes me crazy).


Yesterday to the mailbox.  High quality statonary envelope with NU return address.  Addressed only to me (not a label).  Return sender:  the Provost.  Opening Sentence, “President (name) and I are delighted to  . . . . (you have to scroll for a while and bite your nails)









invite you to participate in a teaching workshop.”

Was your blood pressure high?  Was your heart all aflutter?  Did you have to sit down?  Was your stomach in your throat?  Satan is laughing his ass off (and taking notes) at that one.  I mean, I appreciate being invited to a teaching workshop but seriously, the Provost should send me no more mail until it is the tenure letter.  Wurd.

11 Responses to Cruel, cruel, cruel

  1. hegemonsadun says:

    Better that than say the opposite:

    Opening Sentence, “President (name) and I have the unfortunate duty of reporting that…

    (name) has died.”

    I don’t care how close you were with (blank), at that moment you’ll be he/she died. Better that than the alternative.

  2. hegemonsadun says:


    You’ll be happy he/she died.

  3. nobamakoolaid says:

    You’re right – those mailbox vigils can be a real bitch. Kind of like counting down the days to Christmas as a kid, except that if you were only told the month, rather than the day of Christmas. Then you wake up every day thinking, “Is this it?”

    Go ahead, worry. Pull out some hairs. Bite some fingernils. Throw nerf balls at your kids – whatever. I have found that heavy drinking at least takes care of a day or two. Perhaps by the time you emerge from a beer coma you will have your answer – and then you can start drinking again – whatever the result. As a close personal friend, I would certainly be glad to help you take my advice.

  4. lbsmom says:

    I have an idea–let’s take a family cruise to Alaska in late June to celebrate (or not). Was that cruel too? Sorry about asking too many times about tenure & have tried to keep my mouth shut about it. You’ll let us know right away. I’m sure you will. Hint, hint.

  5. robertlnelson says:

    Dear Professor Nielsen,
    I have the duty to inform you that tenure letters go out at one time a year for all candidates considered for promotion. Typically the process at Northwestern takes until the month of June. I believe, formally and informally, that you have been informed that this is the case. My own empirical examination of the calendar reveals that this is still the month of May. Now, you might try to cast spells to make the earth turn faster, but that just might make more polar bears fall off the ice and drown. So, please try to remain patient. Days will pass at more or less the same rate for the rest of this month. Then you can begin to stalk the mailbox on a daily basis.


    The Provost (on good electronic stationery, addressed to you)

    bcc: The Dark Lord

  6. laurabethnielsen says:

    dear bob: it may be that you have been in academics SO LONG that you forget that some people, sometimes complete their duties AHEAD of schedule. I hope that empirical examination of the calendar did not require a grant from the NSF or the Ford Foundation or assistance from a Research Assistant. I’m sure you were cool as a cucumber that whole year. Oh wait? didn;t you get divorced that year?

  7. nobamakoolaid says:

    Oh, that’s cold, LB.

  8. nobamakoolaid says:

    Oh, that’s cold, LB.

  9. lbsmom says:

    Now, now, children. Let’s respect our differences & play/work nicely together.

  10. lbsmom says:

    OR I’ll have to tell the Dark Lord all about this when she/he comes home…..

  11. laurabethnielsen says:

    OMG – Relax. He laughed – and corrected me — he was divorced before the tenure year. He and the ex will have a happy time at their daughter’s wedding this summer; they get along fine.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: