Comin’ Around Again

Not too, too long ago – but long enough – I reached the point where updating my resume no longer made any sense.

Update it for what reason? For whose benefit? Who would read it? Is there anyone to give it to?

Updating is a not-so-terrible or burdensome chore. Still, I was glad to abandon it. Until recently, that is.

More than three decades ago, when then a still relatively young faculty member, I applied for a job as department chair at a small New England college.

They were interested and flew me in for an interview. It must have gone well as, in short order, they issued a job offer. A pretty good one.

The timing was propitious. Computers and computing were on the very near horizon of higher education, easily visible to even those requiring eyeglasses. The digital revolution had begun and all but the naïve were clear that the light at the end of the tunnel was a locomotive’s headlight about to plow over traditional methods of professoring, academic administering and learning.

In short: a pretty darn exciting time. Professionally and otherwise.

If nothing else – and of course there was – the college was geographically perfect. A short commuter train ride to Manhattan, the media center of the world. Perfect for a production geek.

Not far from the ocean and Boston; Yale could have been a lunch spot. Shout-out to Oxford, Derby and Seymour, CT, nearby old stomping grounds.

Quietly upscale, the college bordered properties owned by luminaries such as Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Katherine Hepburn. Sidebar: had Hepburn known who I was, gone out of her mind (temporarily or not) and invited me to dinner, I would have been there faster than any Indianapolis driver.

With no dissatisfaction about my then-current employer, research on housing costs followed the other college’s job offer. Unsurprisingly, for one who never got a call from Hollywood, never mind obtained (or had any reason for) membership in the Screen Actors Guild, real estate was not cheap. Or even moderate.

“Outrageously expensive” might be an accurate if still understated and modest way of describing it. To the surprise of none, I found it was going to be impossible to replace the current abode with a comparable New England one. Indeed, I would be downsizing four decades before that would become necessary.

From a three bedroom, one and half bath 1,600 square foot house on a third of an acre to – if lucky – a two-bedroom apartment with a monthly rent higher than that of my mortgage.

You can predict the decision. The numbers wouldn’t “work” and the decline with appreciation for the offer followed.

The other day, while catching up on the education industry’s newspaper, a big quarter-page display ad caught my eye.

Same college and the identical position as advertised 30-plus years ago.

Think they kept the position open for me? Is this Karma? Kismet?


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