Phone Interview Questions

We talked for almost an hour and I don’t think they could tell that I’m sick, except for the occasional throat-clearing cough.

Let’s see which questions I didn’t answer last time.

Why do you want to work at a community college? Why do you want to work at this community college?
Pretty much what I said last time. I want to work with students who are branching out and trying to improve their lives. Talked about that a while. Did admit to the area being an advantage.

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books, which would you take? Why?
Bible–lots of kinds of literature, lots of literary references, lots to read
Gulliver’s Travels–lots to it, funny, with a rescue (Okay, I didn’t say that part, but it would have been good.)
Beowulf manuscript– lots of reading, bone up on my Old English, love the stories

What is a strength in your teaching? A weakness?
Answered this same as last time.

How do you teach to standards when students aren’t meeting them? How do you avoid dumbing down the course?
Students aren’t being done any favors if they think they can do the work/are doing the work and aren’t. So flunking them is better than passing them under those situations.

How do you integrate reading?
Discussed same as last time, did a better job. Reading informs writing.

What of your interests on your CV go into your classroom and how?
Talked about Shakespeare book.
Talked about Judith and the role of women in OE versus ME. Someone said the wife of Bath would disagree and after having talked about it, I decided maybe I needed to go back and look at that again. If women were second class citizens, why are there so many (relatively) women in works and writing? (Wife of Bath, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe)
Talked about fairy tales.
Talked about insanity.

Is Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper” really post-partum depression?
It would have been better if I had finished this paper already. Said no, though. Symptoms don’t really match.

Was able to bring up the difference in treatment between the early 1800s and late 1800s when the story was written. Which is a point that is worth mentioning and which I will mention in my paper.

How do you keep yourself fresh with a 5/5/2 course load?
Conferences. Reading journals.

What sophomore topics course would you want to teach?
I had never even thought of this before. CC1 doesn’t teach this way.
Shakespeare’s comedies
19th century literature English and American
thematically a course on insanity
“Dr. Davis’ favorite books” — GT, Frankenstein, Alice’s Adventures, The Old Man and the Sea

What are the intellectual implications of teaching a thematic course on insanity?
(Not sure I did this well.)
Basically said that I would tend to avoid them if I didn’t have to teach depressing stuff. Gave my spiel about literature and why it is depressing. And I said that reading in this area allows students to create a vocabulary to deal with the hard things in their lives.

What is romance and why are you interested in it?
That question I flubbed entirely, I think.
Oh well.

I asked them what they liked about the school. They said the other teachers and the rare occasion when a student learns and gets it. (Much more depressing, though possibly realistic, view of the college.)

They also said that the school has a lot of second-language students. 5 different native languages out of 25 students would be normal/average.

That’s different. I wasn’t expecting that.

My take?

I think the interview went fairly well but if they are looking for a person who lives and breathes Shakespeare, I’m not it. And that was obvious from the discussion.

So they may call back, but I won’t actually be too shocked if they don’t.

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