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How do, um, jobs in America/The West, like, happen?

I feel like this should not be a total mystery to me, and yet applying for international jobs and grad schools is this baffling black-box of a process in a way applying for jobs or university here (and I have applied for, and had, lots and lots of jobs. Because I last an average of five months at em) isn't, and I can't quite figure out why.

It's a very similar process, all told - ok, we don't do the cover letter thing as much, but I feel like I've figured that one out at this point - but somehow I kind of know where I stand if I apply to a job here, usually have a good sense of if i'm likely to hear back, and generally, well, get the jobs I really want (because they're things I want to do and know how to do and can demonstrate that and show genuine enthusiasm and all that. And it works!) Applying internationally? Total mystery. It's like I'm throwing my CV into a well.

It's like one time at a job fair thing here at uni there were lots of stands and tables with various companies and organizations with various banners and bowls of hard candy and fake-enthusiastic humans (normal, for a certain sense of the word), and one empty table with nothing on it but a cardboard box with a slit in the top and a plain A4 sheet that had 'Mossad. CVs here' printed on it, (I laughed.) So ALL foreign stuff feels like that to me.

(True story - I did not put my CV in the box, or any other creepy spy boxes, but did once get a phone call from 'the secuirty apparatus' saying they'd gotten my CV - no, they could not tell me how or from where - and would like to invite me to an interview. No, they could not tell me for what, or how, or where. I went to the interview - HOW COULD I NOT? - which was in a weird abandoned office filled with shiny plastic plants and no signs of humans habitation and lots of giant Israeli flags - it looked like an incomplete movie set for a government office - had me do a sort of stream of consciousness sentence completion thing (when i think of dinosaurs I think...when i think of death I think...) that had apparently not changed formats since 1969 (at least that what it said - it was a terrible photocopy of a typewritten page) then a two hour interview/psych exam of some kind (it made me cry) with someone who explained that there were two types of positions available, in the field and not in the field, and the ones in the field, were, well, more field-based, and the ones not in the field, were, well, not field based. And, no, I couldn't not have any more information. No, not at a later stage either. Which one would I prefer?) 

I can't tell if that means that I'm just applying un-ambitiously around here, or overly ambitiously abroad, or Israel just has a great labour market right now (eh) so it's less competitive and I have no clue how many awesomely qualified people there are out there, or my credentials and experience and whatever don't make sense to non-Israelis - thought I don't know that any of them make sense to Israelis...my real, full CV reads like an exercise in Dadaist poetry. (Professional D&D Dungeonmaster/Albanian Hostel Manager/Congolese Transportation Planner.)

Or, sometimes, it feels like its really an odd, quite subtle cultural thing? I mean, applying for a job here goes - see ad somewhere, send in a CV (no cover letter usually,) hear back by phone or mail within 2-3 days max, come in when you can for an interview, get hired/not hired within a week. I mean, I got my current job on the spot (and it's a relatively proper one at a gov ministry). I feel like that would never happen abroad? Like, it has to be more formal and there is some art to keeping to a certain timeline or something? I really have no clue.

Just musing out loud...and trying to figure out why I haven't apparently even managed to score an interview for something I have every qualification for, yes.

(Runner up theory - international social sciences research is run by economists, and economists are, A. the worst, and B. disdain economic geographers because who cares about any ability to approach reality, what matters is how many courses in mathematical financial modelling you've taken?)

Grr, I say.

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Seemed to solve it with shipping stuff here from the UK, which has better prices, more variety of sizes and oh, online shopping, which hasn't really caught on in Israel. Managed to sync up with a friend to buy enough stuff to qualify for free international shipping, were terribly pleased with ourselves...only to find New Look do not ship to Israel. Come on, you ship to Bahrain! There are like four people in Bahrain! Grrr, headdesk. I hate shopping. And I hate shopping that involves going into shops even more. Why, why must you make me go to the mall, global economy?
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Can I get away with referencing Neal Stephenson in an academic essay, on urbanism in Doha, Qatar? 

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I see - and sympathize - with all complaining that no one is writing fic for your favourite rare pairing or obscure old fandom, but I will raise you all the sublime frustration that no one is writing serious meta for your critically unregarded comedy loves.

WHY can I not find a good analysis of the political subtext of Brooklyn Nine Nine? WHERE is the critical deconstruction of the narrative tools in How I Met Your Mother? HOW is no one jumping around on a barricade about class issues in Community? Why dost thou betray me and leave out to dry and with no one to talk to, oh fandom?

I'm going to sit here and stare at the wall, y'all.

Well, at the books, because I'm in a library.

Ooh, that one looks interesting.

Apropos, do you know how incredibly boring, obvious and unimaginative most serious books about tv are? All that "Philosophy of Mad Men" (we have no less than 3 books about Mad Men, and the series isn't even done!) or Women on TV: from Lucy to Friends type stuff. I sort through them a lot because that section tends to be a perennial mess, and SO OBVIOUS.
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Anyone have a favorite band or artist to rec?

(I feel like i've been listening to the same ten Leonard Cohen and Gaslight Anthem songs for a year. My taste in music is both eclectic and terrible (really, i'm completely tone deaf and the only thing I can sing so people even recognize it is the Internationale. And I have to accompany that with hand gestures) and it's pretty good odds I've never even heard of that really famous artist everyone has heard of. I mostly listen for the lyrics, but my idea of good lyrics stretches from Cohen and Springsteen straight through to Lady Gaga.)

Anyone? Literally anything?
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I did a stupid thing. I drank three cups of coffee. I normally average about a cup a month, and I don't drink coke or even tea (just herbal stuff. Rarely actual tea.) I'm all twitchy and my eyes are open too wide. Anyone have anything they want to talk about? I'm here! Probably all night.
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My (very old) bra broke during yoga, which was painful for a while, but on the way home I simply threw it away! Did not keep it in a drawer for years because 'i'll find a use for it someday'. Just threw it away. I am so proud of myself.
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Proposal from A: We want to collectively buy food and sell it to at-cost to members to undercut the giant evil chain.

Proposal from B: (One street over,) we want to establish a community controlled space that would tackle consumer issues in a practical way

Proposal from Me: I will write the dark comedy script about the warring cooperatives that wouldn't.

...I haven't been super useful in this seminar.
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The schedule said "culture evening." I have been to, like, millions of seminars, and god knows how many culture evenings. Culture evening means silly games where you line up according to height and try to summarize your activism in interpretive dance, along with off-brand fanta, dry sponge cake and maybe someone with a guitar while we try to recall the words to Israeli pop songs from the 90s. (Israeli culture 101.)

It does not mean a live jazz band, nice nuts, fruit platters, good wine and moody lighting. WHAT IS HAPPENING? Seriously, the room looks like a wedding where all of the guests are slowly arriving at the realization they're at the wrong wedding. I am currently surrounded by 80 left wing activists staring at one another and confusion and mouthing "why are they spending this much money on us? What do they want? Couldn't they have given us the money for stuff? Are they going to eat us later?"

So weird.

ETA - I'm sorry, it's not Jazz, it's what we believe to be the world's first and only Judeo-Yemeni funk band. ("Bint al-Funk.") 

ETA2 - This is the most erotic Tu Bishvat seder i've ever heard.


Jan. 14th, 2014 12:34 pm
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You can put cinnamon, on coffee! And it is delicious! I discovered this today.

Yesterday I walked into a classroom where everyone was absolutely certain it was a something-democracy class, and not Methodologies in Demographics, which I thought it was. Moreover, they were insisting that they had been there all semester, which was impossible - even if the class had moved, we had definitely been there all semester. So I checked all other classrooms along the hall that were angled the same, ascertained that I wasn't crazy and that that really was the right room, and arrived at the conclusion it had to be a sadistic sociology experiment where they try to get you to change your mind under social pressure*. It took going to the secretary of the sociology department to figure out what was going on, which is that it was not, in fact, Tuesday.

And in a separate incident I missed a quiz I had actually studied for.

But I totally figured out the coffee, so completely doing fine at this university thing.

*This actually happened to me: a friend was working in a psych lab that were running all sorts of experiments on making decisions about money, and they needed people to sign up in advance, so I did. I didn't actually go to do the experiment though. Then I got a call telling me that there had been a lottery just for signing up, (they had wanted a big sample,) and I had won about 50 dollars. Me: "This is the experiment, right?" Them: "What? No." Me: "You would say that. That's the experiment, right?" It took 15 minutes and I still didn't believe them until I actually got the money. Tell me that's not a totally reasonable reaction.


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