You Never Know Who You’re Going to Meet

so they say God even cares about the sparrows and knows the number of hairs on my head. so why ever worry? there is a God in heaven who’s looking out for me.

i debated what to wear on my flight to philly. i was on my way to the association for library and information science conference, where i will reconnect with my gslis professors/colleagues and do interviews with a couple of schools for professorships. i decided to go ktown style and wear all black. it looks professional, right?

my flight stopped over in dallas, which, by the way is a phenomenal airport. i was one of the last people on the plane, and the gentleman in seat E had to get up so i could get into F. he asked if i needed to store anything up top; i said no, thank you.

about 90 minutes went by. i updated my cv for my website, finished reading american libraries, and watched a couple of korean music videos on my ipod. then i pulled out some job cover letters so i could review them before the interviews. the one on top was for the university of texas-austin. a few seconds after i started looking at it, the gentleman next to me asked, “are you sarah park?” 

he was the dean of the library science program at the university of texas-austin. he had glanced over, saw his name at the top of my letter, and put two and two together. so for the next hour i sort of had an informal, very pleasant interview. he told me a lot about the school, and i told him about my work, and he questioned me about my research, and i questioned him about the vision and future directions of the school. it was, in a word, awesome.

the dean had plans to meet someone at the airport, so i went to get my bag and find the shuttle. the lady next to me told the info person that she wanted to take the lady liberty shuttle to the sheraton, so i asked her if she was going to ALISE and we decided to go together. after introducing ourselves, we realized she’s the chair of the search committee at another school in texas i applied to. and then we ran into the dean at another LIS school, where i also applied, and the 3 of us shared a cab to the hotel. by the end of the evening, i scored another interview. 

the moral of the story is: God is always in control. and stop freaking out. and always be ready to talk about your research. and memorize what the deans of schools look like. and find out who’s chairing the search committees. and always dress your best. you never know who you’re going to meet.

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